“If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?” – Vince Lombardi
(Although winning is the goal… the UCLA vs. USC Game is much more! It is the yearly meet-up itself. It is the tradition. It is pre-game fun and antics. It is the Hometown Rivalry that ends with friends and family from both sides meeting up for pizza and beer; already excited about the next year’s game… not that it isn’t great to win!)
Our house is a house-divided over one of if not the biggest college rivalry in the country. And as big as it is, it is common to at least half and probably more of the families, households, groups of friends and businesses in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas; although a road less traveled among married partners. Bliss between Bruins and Trojans is a well negotiated art or a painful contract, depending on the people, the game and the year!
In the 1970’s USC was football and UCLA was basketball, but in more recent decades the line has become blurred.
In our house, the big game of the year is always the USC vs. UCLA game. We both have lived through long stretches of wins for our teams, with the occasional surprise between like UCLA’s upset of USC in 2006. But last night was a continuation of USC dominance since then. Final score of the final regular college season 2010 game as well as the final Pac 10 Game ‘ever’ was USC 28 – UCLA 14. Had UCLA not scored a final touchdown, it would have been the fourth year in a row that the score was USC 28 - UCLA 7.
In the years since high school that my husband and I attended together and then went our separate ways to attend these arch rival instituions, we have both had some fun, interesting, and disappointing game related memories!
My husband, Tim #5, was a walk on punter for USC in his freshman year, while I attended UCLA. After UCLA winning that game, what are the odds that I would run smack into him after the game, as I did with my group of UCLA friends? Not good, but it happened.
Our scrapbooks and my husband’s office wall is filled with USC vs. UCLA and Rose Bowl memorabilia. (Photo 1971)
USC announced in 2007 that they were wearing their home uniforms on the road against rival UCLA (that year’s home team) for the big game; UCLA was obviously also going to be in their home uniforms. Maddeningly, the beautiful interplay of rival colors with so much history behind it was an NCAA violation and USC was to lose a timeout in each half as a penalty for its disobedience.
This is one of dozens of stupid rules in the NCAA book and everyone was happy to see USC carry the flag if you will, in boldly disobeying one of the more ridiculous legislated items out there. The wearing of the home uniforms by both teams has carried on ever since. It’s just a more fun and open atmosphere for athletic competition and makes for great television. The mix of USC’s “vibrant cardinal” and bright gold shows great against UCLA’s “powder keg” blue and more traditional gold home uniforms. It always adds an extra layer of excitement and energy to one of college football’s premier rivalries.
The winner of the USC vs UCLA games get the victory bell for the next season, whose framing is re-painted in the victor’s color (Photos from 2007 game)
“It ain’t over till it’s over.” …Yogi Berra - And with this rivalry, its never over!
One of the biggest parts of this rivalry is tradition… old traditions like each school trying to steal, teepee, or paint each others mascots Tommy Trojan “Bruin Blue” or the Bruin Bear “Cardinal Red” or do something cleaver (but never permanently damaging).
Friends, families and groups also build their own traditions around these games, including a long list of tailgating rituals. In the past few years we have missed attending the games, so have started a tradition which includes our pups. Our “furkids” wear the uniforms of whichever team won the big rivalry game last year.
Darn… I was soooo looking forward to buying everybody new UCLA Uniforms!!
Tailgating Recipe of the Day
Shrimp ..peeled.. and deveined ..with tail shell left on for a handle 1 lb., 2lbs of any size shrimp, but bigger is better and easier to prepare, and obviously you can adjust for whatever amount you need for any size crowd
Butter 1/2 stick for 1 lb to 2lbs of shrimp
1 to 2 tablespoons seafood spice – “Old Bay” Brand is great if you can find it.
Put a seafood cooking grill on the regular BBQ grill, so shrimp don’t fall through. Melt butter and add spice. Put shrimp on grill. Baste with a bit of butter and spice mix. Turn shrimp. Cook till pink, about 10 minutes.
You can’t make enough of them! And then add your favorite brew or drink.
The evening after a tough game and too much tailgating…
One of the greatest things about this rivalry (80 games strong) is that it has always been friendly. I saw a sad article in the OC Register today about yesterday’s game: The Real Fight Wasn’t Even on the Field. To me it is just another example of the breakdown in our society and the make-up of fans.
Marion Algier – Ask Marion