The 17 Best Things About a USC Football Game Day


C&G Shades On is a special weekly column from Sara Kakuris, bringing a die-hard USC football fan’s voice and perspective to Reign of Troy.

As we are officially 17 days away from kickoff, I thought I’d compile my 17 favorite things about game day. While I could do without the traffic and debilitating heat, these things make it all worth it.

  1. Seeing all of the local businesses displaying their USC flags proudly. La Barca, dry cleaners, Ralph’s – they all love the Trojans!
  1. Marching the mile or so to and through campus with hundreds of fellow fans. Walking to the corner 7/11 on a normal day exceeds my lung capacity, but somehow the game day walk never seems long.
  1. The bookstore (except for the days the line wraps around the corner and they only let 5 people in at a time…even I’m not that crazy). Yes, I need another “Fight On” pin. Yes, I need a pin saying “Beat Arkansas State”. Yes, I need pins for every team in the future, even those we may not play for seasons. No, I will never have enough “Beat UCLA” pins.
  1. Seeing Tommy. Despite having seen him hundreds of times in my life, I still need a picture of him each time. Especially when he’s being guarded by the Trojan Knights.
  1. The Spirit of Troy parade. Though I race to get ahead of it, as the blockades are as hefty as those at the Disneyland Electric Parade, I still love hearing them as I sprint ahead.
  1. Kicking the flagpole. Though, as I’ve noted, I broke my toe last season kicking it just a little too fervently, head-on in Rainbows, not rain, sleet, snow or fractures could stop me from participating in that tradition.
  1. Walking past the rose garden.
  1. Bacon. Wrapped. Hot Dogs.
  1. The ding of the barcode reader. For some reason, despite being a season ticket holder, I live in great fear that my ticket won’t be valid. This is most likely a flashback from when I was a student and unknowingly bought counterfeit tickets on Craigslist.
  1. The National Anthem. We never have to worry about a horrible singer ruining the moment, because our band always kills it.
  1. The moment I hear the first chords of Eminem and I know the hype video is coming. There is truly nothing that gets me more pumped.
  1. The Spirit of Troy’s “USC” and “Trojans” spell-out. I have a million near-identical pictures of this, as well.
  1. The camaraderie of the fans. In normal life, you will not catch me dead high-fiving a perfect stranger but, in this setting, it’s an outright necessity. The common love is also necessary when a ref makes a bad call and that long loss walk down the steps in the worst case scenario.
  1. The halftime show. I know I am not the only one who will miss a play of the game to run to the restroom before halftime.
  1. The immensely spectacular Traveler. I’m so hoping that the “loss” of the Audi suites allows him to run the entire field again, as he is meant to do. (Side note – I would give my right arm to ride Traveler just once in my life, so if anyone has any connections…).
  1. The lighting of the torch. This would be the third game day occurrence of which I tons of identical pictures. No, it doesn’t particularly change, but, hey, sometimes the wind blows in a different direction!
  1. Throwing up the victory sign over and over again. New guests look at me incredulously as I stand up once again with my fingers in the air, moving to the beat, joined together with thousands of other people at that exact moment. In fact, maybe we don’t do it enough!

*Author’s note – While I’m sure tailgating should be on this list, I’ve somehow made it through life without ever attending one. For those who love a good pre-party, please substitute in as you see fit.

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