I try not to talk too much about my passion for college football here because the urge to edit out comments from haters would be just too great for me to bear. We have an NCAA college football e-mail alias here where we all snark at each other (and you know I love that). When it comes to college football, everyone is right, their team is the best and they will never concede that their conference rival is the owner of one positive attribute. Politics and religion are less divisive. OK, I need to stop.
Anyway, college football is a part of my life. I can resist the urge to recap games like I did The Apprentice. But I won't hide from you the fact that I am magnetically drawn to the campus of USC once a year, if I am lucky, to watch my Trojans play. Last year it was homecoming. This time, it was the USC v. Notre Dame game; one of even greater consequence this year (for the benefit of the uninitiated).
If you just developed a nervous twitch because you went to UCLA and you wonder how you ever landed on this blog page, just consider it a study in sociology. Kind of like the sparrows returning to San Juan Capistrano. It's just that these sparrows like to watch some other sparrows make some Irish sparrows blow snot bubbles. Does it make sense now?
So I also have a little story. Anyone who talks to me about my college football rituals knows that Lee Corso drives me nuts. I bet a lot of you don't know who he is, but I guess you aren't getting up at 7 AM to watch college game day on ESPN, right? He's one of the three commentators on the show that is preview of the days games with some feature stuff thrown in. He's an older guy, used to coach some teams (I think Indiana and ???) and I refer to his game predictions as being ever so slightly better than flipping a coin. He doesn’t technically fall into the category of "homer", but the fact that there's no subconscious benefit to be derived from his wacky picks makes it ever so slightly more enraging. It's all in good fun, of course. So his refrain of "Cal is the best team in the Pac Ten" leads to some shouting at the TV that really confuses the heck out of my dog, and maybe my neighbors.
As you can tell from the previous post, I was in Arizona for Thanksgiving and we flew into LA on Saturday for the game, back on Sunday (and I flew home Monday...more on that later). Since I am one of those people that will accidentally tell you the same story three times unless you stop me (or unless I have story-telling deja vu part way through), here's how I explained my story to the NCAA football alias (just feel the need to acknowledge the cut and paste in case some bored person on the alias reads this and I sound as annoying as I do on the third re-telling of a story):
We pull into the valet parking at the Omni hotel and who was there getting into a car? Who? Lee Corso! I kid you not. I finally had the opportunity to unburden myself of the built-up angst over his only-slightly-better-than-a-coin-toss predictions. I said “Hey, Lee, you still think Cal is the best team in the Pac Ten?”. He says “They are but they don’t play like it”. I say “You are only as good as you play” and then I tell him how much better I feel because it was more fun talking to him than yelling at my TV. Of all the people…Lee Corso…because you know how I feel about him. I hate myself for saying this but he is much better looking in person than he is on TV and he was gracious as hell.
Brent Muskberger (sp?) and Bob Davies were standing in front of the hotel too, but you know I made a bee-line for Lee. I had to.
Anyway, I don't expect you to understand the depths of my college football obsession or how I walked away from that conversation thinking "cool!". I'm not really interested in supposedly famous people. I simply had a friendly bone to pick with Mr. Corso. Anyway, it was fun. I look forward to yelling at him through my TV set next Saturday.
Before the game: