Last week, USC became the sports capital of the world. On Friday, there were dozens of television cameras on the Campus, and at least that many at the Coliseum. They were televising the student rallies, and interviewing hundreds of them. No question about it, this upcoming game against Stanford was a major international event.
Students and fans proudly wore the Cardinal and Gold colors, and the USC Band played Fight On every 30 minutes. Traveler, the legendary USC Mascot, did his part by prancing all over the field. Friday was indeed a wonderful day.
However, against the backdrop of all of this frivolity, the locals were very worried. On Saturday, they would have to play the dreaded Stanford Cardinal, and in our hearts, we all knew that this was an impossible task. Most of us, and that includes me, had already concluded that our cause was hopeless. Still, we were hoping for a miracle.
Then, the team led by Interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron took the field, and the battle was joined. What the world saw was a return of the legendary Trojans of yesteryear. They came to win, and though it was not easy, that is what they did. USC now has "Big O", the inspirational coach that everyone loves. Happy days are here again!
While USC was basking in the limelight, UCLA defeated Washington by a score of 41 to 28. They were expected to win that game, and they did. This Saturday, they will face a very tough Arizona State team at the Rose Bowl. If they can get by the Sun Devils, and if USC beats Colorado, then the game between the Bruins and the Trojans will have historic implications. This is the way it used to be, when both teams were national powerhouses. This is the way that it should be. How sweet it is!
CLIPPERS - Doc Rivers is teaching this team how to play championship basketball. It is not always pleasant or easy for them. They grew accustomed to making spectacular "Lob City" dunks, and eventually losing the important games. He has them working hard on fundamentals of offense and defense. This is a part of the game that most of them did not seem to know anything about. They are also considering adding Lamar Odom to the team. If they do offer him a contract, it will be for less than $1 million, which is considerably less than the $5 million a year that he has previously earned. If the Clippers do sign him, then Doc will make or break him. Rivers will not buy into Odom's pity party, and he will demand an all-out performance every time he is on the floor.
LAKERS - Considering the circumstances, things are going about as expected for the team. Jodi Meeks and Jordan Hill are pleasant surprises. However, when Kobe Bryant comes back, they will not likely play as well. The other players are so intimidated by him that they never play as well as they could. Steve Nash has had a wonderful career, but regrettably, it is over. His retirement is the best thing for all concerned. Well played, Steve.