Tough to be a Trojan Fan

Before Pete Carroll, there were other great coaches that included John McKay, John Robinson and Howard Jones.  Those are the four greats that most people will mention when you are talking about the legends and football traditions at USC.  Mike Garrett and Pat Haden came along later and arguably were almost as important, as say Marcus Allen, Charles White, Anthony Davis or OJ Simpson.

Back in 1959, Coach John McKay took over a football program that was usually backing up to places like UCLA, Stanford and CAL.  Bill Nelsen was the iron headed quarterback, Ken Del Conte the running back along with Big Ben Wilson at Fullback.  Coach McKay won 4 National Championships by 1975.  In 1976, he left USC to become the coach of the the NFL expansion team Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coach McKay had reached the mountain in college football and had beaten Red Sanders of UCLA,  Ara Parseghian of Notre Dame and other so-called world beater Collegiate Coaches.  Coach McKay sadly, never found that kind of clarity after he moved to the NFL.  He found a great paycheck,  a nice home in Florida, good golf…but never reached “the heights” that he had accomplished as the Coach and Athletic Director at USC by 1975.

Coach McKay had been lucky too, he got talented Pete Beathard to load up and support his student body right offense. He got a dutiful Craig Fertig to be the back-up quarterback guy.  The McKeever Brothers to supplant the Defense! It was so bad, that when Pete got blitzed and sacked, it was reported that he said:  “Keep that up and we will put in the Defense and really score on you!”  The call in the Coliseum many times was:  “Bring in the Animals!”  McKay’s teams represented their Coach: his character, sense of humor and desire to win.  The ’72 Trojan team was known to have called their offensive plays openingly.  “We are coming around left end for 20 yards!”  Then run it 25 yards!

Today, Lane Kiffin is the scrappy, younger than life Head Coach of the USC  Trojans who has replaced Legendary Coach Pete Carroll – now gone to the Seattle Seahawks, the other Coach in USC History to truly approach the greatness of McKay, John Robinson and Howard Jones. The similarities are truly amazing.  Coach McKay was 36 when he took over at USC.  Kiffin just turned 35 on May 9th, 2010.  The good news is that his dad Monty, is the Defensive Coordinator, the additonal good news is that Kennedy Pola got ripped from the Tennsessee Titans by Kiffin to become the Offensive Coordinator.  For players that want to excel in the NFL…there could be no better training ground.

Kiffin still has the quiet and shy QB Matt Barkley, who is a local Newport Beach kid, that has put on several pounds of muscle over the summer.  He is looking toned and ready.  Kiffin seemingly gets nothing to start with, except a bunch of grievous NCAA sanctions.  It will be interesting to see who shows up on the field of play this year and beyond.  It is too easy to blame “the End of the Legend” on Reggie Bush…so it goes!  Actually, back in the day of McKay, you could have seen several USC Football Players,  leaning on rakes, looking at the leaf build-up next to Tommy Trojan….making a few bucks to keep up with school book costs and the like…we are sure!  Would the NCAA sanction those activities too?  If so, there wouldn’t be a team in America with players that qualified to play.

Hey, when you are a Trojan Fan and Notre Dame beats our team, we die.  When UCLA beats our team…we die.  When Stanford beats our team…we want to puke!  When CAL beats our team…we want to play the game over immediately!  When an Oregon or Washington school beats us….we are too amazed to be upset.  When an Arizona school beats us……we know that the odds makers in Las Vegas have just made a bundle.  No, we are not cynical, nor elitest.  No, we are Cardinal and Gold.  The one, the only and by golly, our babes, weather and nearby Hollywood makes aus a draw from which…those kids in Kansas…just can’t say no too!

The NCAA is loaded with a unforgiving arrogance that can only be described as something that will eventually kill the sport of college football.  Four years of sanctions says more about the jealously of the NCAA than something about the truth of what may have happened at USC.  No Bowls, no BCS ratings for four years!   The only USC hope…will be to go undefeated over those four years.  Make the NCAA realize that even though we might have the best college football players in America…..not letting them play during bowl season is going to kill “their little Golden Gooses”!

The reality is: USC should withdraw from the PAC 10…15..25 or whatever they finally end up with.  They should set their own schedule:  Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Florida, UCLA, Boston College, Utah, Florida State, TCU, Missouri, Georgia, , Stanford and CAL.  They should go out for their own Television Contract with ESPN and tell the NCAA….and the six great minds huddled around that pot belly stove in Norman, Oklahoma to go skip a rope!

Is this the only option?  No, the NCAA could make the bowl ban good for 2010/2011 and forget it.  Saving that….stick a fork in them – they are done as a governing body.  We will not bother to bring up any of the past wrongs or penalties at other various schools or try to compare those wrongs to the wrongs of a private sports agent giving Reggie Bush’s mom and dad a place to live.  All in all, this is going to be a tough year to be a Trojan fan!  “Fight On” boyz…..win one for Reggie Bush!  In fact win ’em all!  Make Coach McKay and Carroll proud!

Lane Kiffin; one further word of advice:  Do not go to Nashville or any other town or city in Tennessee EVER!  Also, do not ask for a raise in pay until you go two seasons undeafeated…please!


About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.