Citizens of the Trojan Nation had high anxieties as we gathered for Saturday night's game. There was not anything that we could do to improve the mood, and we had a sense of impending doom. The Trojans had won as expected in Hawaii, but they did not play well against a much weaker team. The Cougars had nearly upset the highly ranked Auburn Tigers. We were worried, but we tried to shake it off with some tailgating parties, and remembrances of past glories.
We listened to the great Trojan Marching Band. We knew that Traveler, our Noble Mascot, was ready to dash onto the Coliseum floor and prance after every touchdown. Fight On!
Everything was just perfect, until the game started. The Trojans stumbled out of the gate, and then things got worse. They could not run, pass, or tackle. I had predicted that the Cougars would win, but I was expecting a score of something like 34-27. I could not envision a scenario where the Trojans, my Trojans, would score only seven points against them, and lose by a score of 10-7. Oh my!
Lane Kiffin, USC's head football coach, thinks of himself as a great coach, and an offensive genius. He has a history of really weird behavior, but he has been retained by USC, because they believed that he was a winning football coach.
For example, he had refused to name a starting quarterback. So, neither Cody Kessler or Max Wittek, or the rest of the team, knew who would be leading them when the game was played. So, when the game started, the team was obviously confused, and they did not play well. The game was bad in every sense of the word and worse yet, it was boring.
The fans began to boo, but they were not booing the team, they were booing Kiffin. They want a better head coach, and they want him now. The near-term prospects for Kiffin and his team are not good since Boston College will be playing them at the Coliseum on noon Saturday. Our expectations could not be lower.
UCLA - The Bruins were impressive in their win over the Nevada Wolfpack. They are now the 16th rated team, and they travel to Nebraska to play the 23rd-ranked Huskers. It seems a little strange that they are now the number one football team in Los Angeles. Next thing you know, USC may be the number one basketball team in the nation. There must be something in the water.
DUSTY BAKER - His Cincinnati Reds swept the four-game series from the Dodgers. That must have left Dusty feeling pretty good. He played for the Dodgers, while Al Campanis was the team's General Manager. Just in case you don't remember Campanis, he was being interviewed by Ted Koppel on television. Koppel asked him why there were not any African American Managers in Baseball. Campanis pointed out to him that African Americans did not have the "necessities" to become successful baseball managers. The statement got him fired, but most baseball owners felt that way at that time.
BOXING - Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will fight Saul Alvarez on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This bout may produce the most money ever made for a pay-per-view television fight.
It has been reported that Mayweather will earn $41.5 million for his participation. His opponent will receive $6 million. Other than this bout, I cannot think of the name of any other boxers. When I was growing up, all of us knew the names of champion boxers in every weight class. It was not anything that we studied, since everyone knew they were. As a matter of fact, you could not, not know who they were. They were larger than life itself.
SERENA WILLIAMS - Congratulations again to her on another tournament victory. I do hope that her manners off the court will someday be as good as her skill is on it. Lest you forget, your daughters are watching her.