What do USC football fans have to be thankful for in 2018?

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

What do USC football fans have to be thankful for in 2018? Despite a difficult season, there are Trojans to celebrate and hope to find this Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving brings with it the joys of family and food, but most importantly the opportunity to reflect on everything you have to be thankful for in life.

Usually, USC football fans can include football in that category of gratefulness, but the 2018 season has not exactly rained down reasons to give thanks with a 5-7 record and bowl eligibility looking far from certain.

Still, there are still things to remember to be thankful for this Thanksgiving:

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Jake Olson: The winner of the Walter Camp Award of Perseverance for 2018, Olson has been the feel good story of the last decade for USC. And what better example of Fight On! spirit is there? Blinded by cancer as a child, he has achieved incredible things like snapping in a college football game and throwing footballs with surprising accuracy. All the while he has kept an inspirational attitude and fabulous sense of humor. He will be celebrated on Senior Day this Saturday along with the Trojans other graduating players.

The 2018 senior class: Cameron Smith, Porter Gustin, Iman Marshall, Aca’Cedric Ware and company have represented USC for four years with pride, helping to win a Rose Bowl and Pac-12 title.

Michael Pittman: In his last four games of action, Pittman is averaging 5.75 catches and 114.5 yards. He has been one of the few bright spots on the Trojan offense and he says he is coming back for his senior season.

Young talent: Veteran talent may be returning for the 2019 season, but the youth on this Trojan team is reason enough to have hope for the future. Linebacker Palaie Gaoteote and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown have shown their special ability as freshmen, along with others. The foundations for a dominant team are present.

Tailgating with friends: No matter how miserable a football season may be, there’s always tailgating. The chance to hang out with friends standing around a barbecue and drinking a beverage of your choice in beautiful Southern California weather is priceless. In the words of Saman Djabbari from the Traveler Hates Thursdays podcast: “If your football team sucks, at least you have your friends.”

The Fight On! message: The beauty of the “Fight On!” is that it only means more in times of strife. A losing season may be in the cards, but still Trojans fight on. Even the nickname “Trojans” bears that message. When the name was coined, it was in homage to a football team that had tremendous fighting spirit, even when things didn’t go their way.

This too shall pass: It’s simple. Times may be tough, but better days are ahead. That was true when USC had four losing seasons in five years from 1957 to 1961. John McKay delivered a national title in 1962. It was true in 2000, when Paul Hackett’s Trojans went 5-7. Fans only had to wait a year for Pete Carroll to launch decade of greatness.

How long will it take for this period of struggle to pass? It may be one year, it may be more. But it will indeed pass. That’s something to be thankful for indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Reign of Troy crew!