"My name is Patrick and I weigh 89 pounds."
That is how my eight-year-old brother introduces himself to strangers, as if he's slating in a video audition to be a USC walk-on (or Song Girl). Of course, he uses his "Breakfast of Champions" Doritos diet and shameless Pop Warner vitals to pick up older women that are barely heavier than him. Off of the eye test alone, that is certainly a Trojan in the making.
In fact, his premature scouting report might already be enough to project 89-pound Patrick as a Southern Californian first-round disappointment or fourth-round steal. Hell, a year removed from my commencement, Rex Ryan would start even me ahead of Tim Tebow.
Hyperbole is a word I learned in college, but based on the fermenting reputation of USC football as an arrogant gene hot tub that fails to cash in on lofty expectations at the professional level, alumni are profiled to the opposite extreme. The perennial Pro Bowlers of the league are seen in fuzzy gray reception as opposed to their cardinal n' gold bubble wrap, and are almost forgotten.
Personally, I don't see how we can possibly remember anything else, but let it be known that there are a few fertile swimmers that were able to Marco-Polo their way away from McClintock Ave.
The Italian Trojan is clearly bored during the offseason - I have a college degree and I watched 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea today for absolutely no reason. In hopes of restoring the notoriety of my community, here is the NFL's All-USC depth chart in anticipation of the 2013 season:
Quarterback - Carson Palmer (Arizona Cardinals) As the No. 1 overall pick in 2003, Palmer has left much to be desired. As the predecessor of Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez, he is the godchild of George Lucas and John Wayne.
From initially revitalizing the Cincinnati Bengals from the bungle bunker to contention for first-round playoff exits (and both legacies could be drastically different minus a wild-card knee injury in 2006), to his dead silent 4,018 passing yards for the Oakland Raiders last year (which is 3,018 passing yards by Ancient Roman standards), at least Palmer can throw the football for occasional forward progress
Upon his relocation to Arizona, we'll see whether Palmer will emulate the twilight years of Kurt Warner, or...Matt Leinart.
Running Back - Reggie Bush (Detroit Lions) Despite hardly living up to his No. 2 status, the all-purpose playmaker has evolved from a flashy punt returner and slot receiver in New Orleans to a back who actually integrated between-the-tackles gains en route to 2,072 rushing yards in his last two Miami seasons.
Moreover, Bush finally found a home where he can efficiently run as though from the cops. This tall glass of method acting is sponsored in part by USC SODA.
Fullback - Stanley Havili (Indianapolis Colts) In college he was a reliable option in the flat on third down or sure-handed on a triple option call, and hopefully Havili will continually earn opportunities to showcase athleticism and spry leadership in a youthful locker room. He never wanted to be mean - he wanted to be a dancer! Yes, I was the awkward non-stalker freshman that shared a Modern class with him.
Wide Receivers - Steve Smith (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Damian Williams (Tennessee Titans) Smith produced his one-hit wonder in 2009 (16 starts, 107 receptions, 1,220 yards, and 7 touchdowns) before injuries and fiscal New York ownership sent him packing into oblivion. Williams, meanwhile, was a polished and highly touted prospect in 2010, but his quickness hasn't pushed him past the likes of Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, or Kendall Wright.
Marqise Lee seriously couldn't arrive too soon.
Tight End - Anthony McCoy (Seattle Seahawks) Statistically, Fred Davis posts the more lucrative resume, and has failed drug tests more recently. As 2012 developed, however, glimpses of McCoy's potential behind Zach Miller and chemistry with Russell Wilson were exemplified. Plus, although I haven't asked him yet, I'm assuming Pete Carroll will be coaching this team, and he'll prefer his fellow Seahawks.
Offensive Tackles - Matt Kalil (Minnesota Vikings) and Tyron Smith (Dallas Cowboys) Two rising bookend mainstays in this league. The senior edition of Matt Barkley and an eventually separated shoulder can vouch for that.
Offensive Guards - Chilo Rachal (Arizona Cardinals) and Alex Parsons (Oakland Raiders) They grade you on participation, and these guys were the only choices at their position, otherwise an offensive lineman formerly from the Chicago Bears would be nowhere near a fantasy roster.
Defensive Tackles - Jurrell Casey (Tennessee Titans) and Mike Patterson (New York Giants) They're tenured and serviceable veterans (Patterson being the tenured and Casey being the serviceable) more so than DaJohn Harris and Christian Tupou. Free agent Sedrick Ellis, by the way, is an underrated bust of a top ten pick.
The linebackers will compensate for this defensive line coated in UCLA.
Linebackers - Nick Perry (Green Bay Packers), Rey Maualuga (Cincinnati Bengals), Brian Cushing (Houston Texans), Clay Matthews (Green Bay Packers), and Keith Rivers (New York Giants) We have the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year with an asterisk, an ascending captain of the Jungle, a Discount Double Check disciple and his mentee, and the prototypical burnout turned Giants rotation filler.
Cornerbacks - Terrell Thomas (New York Giants) and Shareece Wright (San Diego Chargers) With Thomas spending the last two seasons on IR, I'm surprised undrafted rookie Nickell Robey hasn't yet lapped him in games played.
Safeties - Taylor Mays (Cincinnati Bengals) and Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh Steelers) One of them is a future Hall of Famer with multiple Super Bowl rings, Head & Shoulders commercials, and a survived Madden Cover. The other one is Taylor Mays.
Punter - BIG BALLS PETE! USC does not punt. USC goes for the two-point conversion on fourth-and-29. We don't kick field goals or extra points, either, so Buehler...Buehler? Hmm, I guess he already left.
Kick Returner - Joe McKnight (New York Jets) McKnight's role in this league has been defined by his 2,274 total return yards in three years, and how he's the only person in the universe to record less offensive snaps than Tebow. The likes of Robert Woods and Ronald Johnson will have to kill him to take THIS spot from him.
If only they were all Patrick and 89 pounds.