Saturday, December 6, 2008

What a Great Tradition!

The annual USC-UCLA football game was played today in the Pasadena Rose Bowl, the 74th time the cross-town Los Angeles rivals have met on the gridiron. The tradition started in 1929, but because USC dominated year after year, the game was suspended from 1931 to 1935 until UCLA established itself in football.

USC Coach Pete Carroll arranged to have his team wear their cardinal home uniform for this game to recall the traditions of the past. Consequently, for the first time in 26 years, both USC and UCLA wore their home jerseys in the same game.

USC was assessed a time-out right after the opening kickoff for that (there's a rule against the visitor wearing their home colors), but UCLA immediately called a time-out of their own. What sportsmanship. It brought tears to my eyes.

This game always excites me more than any other, even when I’m just watching it on TV. What a great experience it was today to once again hear both schools' fight songs. Can you believe I actually sang the words to both USC’s “Fight On” and UCLA’s “Sons of Westwood” when their bands played them?

What an emotional game this always is. Such history, such tradition.

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