This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.
I am a true fan...not an alum of USC. I couldn't possibly understand the rigors of getting in and going through the tough academic standards that makes USC such a prestigious university as it has become.
The only reason I root for SC is my dad.
He is a man who accepted me into his life when he married my mom.
He is a man who I could never pay enough tribute to.
He is a man who through out the years has shown patience with me when I've made bone-headed moves but who has been one of my staunchest supporters. He taught me to be patient and to try and not get emotional.
We've always spoken a couple times a week and no matter what we talk about we always end up talking about SC and that continues today.
Even though my immediate as well as my extended family is divided with both USC and UCLA alums, I have never wavered...USC was and is my team. Rooting UCLA was never an option...
We've all got stories about our dads and sports. Each one holds something special for each of us who share our stories. No matter what allegiances we choose as we start our own lives we will always hold our childhood teams and experiences in a special place. Pro teams come and go but because of my dad 'SC will always be #1 to me.
My dad went to 'SC and played baseball under Rod Dedeaux. I remember all of his stories about playing in the CWS. I grew up going to 'SC football games and I saw some doozies. 'SC v. ND in 74'- Anthony Davis goes crazy in the 2nd half in the game dubbed "That California Earthquake".
John McKay was my hero. As he walked the sideline I always wondered what it would be like to play a game on the field the storied Coliseum. The games in my head were always against ND or UCLA with me always throwing or scoring the winning TD.
I was there in 75' when Coach Vermeil beat Coach McKay in his last regular season game before going to the pros. They were many great games against UCLA, some coming down to the final seconds.
Coach Robinson came in, the first time, and did a decent job of holding to the high 'SC standard of winning.
Then there were the lean years of Tollner, Robinson-2nd time around, Smith and Hackett. The 11 straight years of losses to ND and Lou Holtz and the 8 straight losses to UCLA for which 'SC has now turned the tables.
During the time that I was growing up in LA there were many teams to root for. Outside of 'SC for me there was the Dodgers. Vin Scully's voice will always be my favorite. Once the Dodgers started trading the players that I identified with I then began to lose interest. Once the O'Malley's sold the team all interest was lost.
I have never felt that way about USC!
I have lived in Chicago, San Diego, D.C. and now NYC. With each city that I have lived I have followed the local teams that caught my interest. In Chicago it was the Cubs, in S.D. it was the Padres, in DC it was the 'Skins and 'Terps hoops and of course my sentimental favorite Navy. Here in NYC my wife's family are Jets and Yankees fans so I root for them for the sake of peace.
Regardless of that fair-whether fandom, USC is always the team I root for first an foremost...it is automatic!
No matter where I am in the world or where I am in life USC will always be the first team I think of when it comes to sports!