Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Culture Shock #511: Caring About College Sports

On the radio this morning: “This weekend is a big game: the USC-UCLA game. They don’t know who, but somebody vandalized the UCLA bear and spray-painted its face red and yellow … I think I figured out who did it.”

Once upon a time, I went to a school that never ever won sports games. Before a Homecoming game against Princeton, they printed T-shirts that said, "We may lose, but they still have to go home to New Jersey." They looked for rivals in schools that were only barely worse than they were. Now, I go to a school that has a sports team that they talk about on the radio and a rivalry that is so serious that for a week before the USC-UCLA game, the mascot is wrapped in duct tape (that's Tommy the Trojan to the right) and guarded 24/7 to protect against vandalism. UCLA, it should be noted, seems not to take this precaution. There are also UCLA bears hanging from the ceiling in the university bookstore and the marching band has a song called "UCLA Sucks."


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