Leave it to UCLA to throw salt on USC’s tradition.
With the Battle for Los Angeles on the horizon, Trojan and Bruin fans alike are gearing up for what could be the best matchup in over a decade, with a trip to the Pac-12 title riding on the line. SC has bested their crosstown rivals 12 of 13 times in recent history, and especially with the 50-0 massacre from 2011, their fanbase really feels like they run LA.
So what does UCLA do about this? The university informs USC’s marching band, the Spirit of Troy, that when drum major takes the field on Saturday, he is not allowed to stab his sword into the turf. Should he choose to do so anyway, UCLA security will prevent the Spirit of Troy from further performing during the pre-game show, and at halftime.
According to a source close to the band, UCLA has been miffed about USC’s drum major stabbing their field logo ever since a Pac-12 promotional video surfaced last summer of him doing that very act. Adding on to that, SB Nation site “Bruins Nation” called for UCLA to “Defend Our Logo” and disallow USC from repeating it in Pasadena this year. But here’s the thing: he does that exact same thing at Cal, at Stanford, at Notre Dame, at every single away game USC travels to, and even in the Coliseum. It has nothing to do with disrespect and taking jabs, and everything to do with tradition.
For UCLA to ban USC from performing such an iconic display, they project their insecurity and inferiority complex loud and clear. To Trojan fans, it makes the Bruins seem whiny and childish, only adding more fuel to their fire that their squad is the better of the two.
And for the record, the Spirit of Troy is still allowed to play “Tusk”, but only at the end of the game if the Trojans win. Go figure.
All of this from the team whose coach–a week after two international students were gunned down at SC– quipped “I mean, we don’t have murders one block off our campus,” when discussing his recruiting pitch.
This from the team that declared the “Football monopoly in LA to be over” right before promptly being dominated for an entire decade.
If UCLA wants USC to take the rivalry as more than big brother showing little brother who the boss on the gridiron is, prohibiting the Trojans from performing a ritual achieves the exact opposite effect.
On the contrary, it shows just how much UCLA is in USC’s shadow, that they would make such a fuss about a display that has more to do with USC than with anyone else. It shows that in a year where their team actually has a chance to wreak havoc for Lane Kiffin and his squad, they would rather turn the focus of rivalry week into a discussion of how USC “disrespects” them.
But that’s just typical UCLA–more concerned with that USC is doing than their own selves.
That’ll teach those Trojans a lesson, UCLA. I’m sure of it.