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My Absolute Favorite Ultimately Meaningless Sports Story of the Season

December 3rd, 2008 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

I love this story. I love it to death.

USC and UCLA will revisit a grand tradition on Saturday when each team wears its home uniforms for their game at the Rose Bowl.

They did this every year, for decades, the both-wear-home-unis thing, until the NCAA decided to make a rule prohibiting it. For no good reason I can conjure.

Pete Carroll got the ball rolling Monday, saying USC would wear its home jerseys, on the road, and simply endure the Pac-10’s version of a fit penalty for breaking this silly “wrong jersey” law — the loss of a timeout.

Then it got better.

When UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel heard that Carroll was going ahead with a plan that he apparently had broached with the Bruins before, Neuheisel said the Bruins would immediately call a timeout of their own, right after USC was assessed its penalty, to even the score. And let us see the Trojans in cardinal and the Bruins in baby blue.

This almost makes me weep. (Not that it tells you my emotions are massively distorted.) It’s so cool.

As the story indicates, this was a USC-UCLA tradition. Both teams wore their home jerseys. It was great. Next time you see tape of O.J. Simpson’s 64-yard touchdown run against Gary Beban’s Bruins … please note both teams are wearing their home unis.

But then the NCAA took it away, and it made no sense, and it ticked me off. And I’m not even a UCLA or USC alumnus.

And now it’s back, thanks to a little sensible collusion between coaches/programs.

I love this. I can’t tell you how much. Now I wish I were at the game even more … but I’ll have to settle for a couple of plays from highlights.

But, guaranteed, I will watch.


4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 George Alfano // Dec 3, 2008 at 8:10 AM

    The rule might make sense in the case of a visiting team which would try to show up with their home jerseys and force the issue to make the home team wear white. It would be a problem in a situation like Oklahoma and Nebraska where both teams wear red. Another question would be marketing, where teams are trying to sell their colors.

    In this case, it makes sense to get a dispensation from the rule. Both teams are in the same city – the only Division 1-A teams where that is the case – and the colors don’t conflict..

    The high school rules now require the home team to wear white jerseys, so if a team’s colors are gold and green, they have to wear white home jerseys. This makes things clear in cases where both teams might have gold as one of their colors.

  • 2 Vince Tammaro // Dec 3, 2008 at 8:30 AM

    Watched that game with O.J. and Beban – both Bay Area products BTW, not that The Juice is anything to be proud of these days. UCLA vs. USC was very big then, even up North. Running back Greg Jones of UCLA was a star from my neck of the woods back in the mid-1960s. As a little kid, I watched him run up and down the field for South San Francisco High. Beban was a single-wing QB at Sequoia High in Redwood City. He never did anything in the pros, but was great in college. Yeah, the stereo home-team uniforms thing was cool. I remember it well even though it was more than 40 years ago. Odd facts on Simpson: Went to Galileo High in San Francisco, a predominantly Asian school. For that reason, I think The Juice may have originally played some offensive line. Galileo is in a congested part of the city and had a field that was only 90 yards long. Covered a game or two there.

  • 3 Chuck Hickey // Dec 3, 2008 at 3:25 PM

    I’m with you, this is quite cool. As a kid growing up in SoCal and watching this game every year at the Coliseum, I thought it was the greatest thing. Can’t wait to see it again.

  • 4 Michael Munoz // Dec 7, 2008 at 3:20 AM

    I really thought this was stupid of USC to do. Maybe I don’t have all the facts on why they chose to do this. But in my opinion, it shows a total lack of class on USC’s part and is disrespectful to UCLA. And it just goes to show the type of spoiled brats that go that school and why they are known as “the University of Spoiled Children”. Obviously I’m no USC fan, but I though USC had a little more class than this. To me its poor sportsmanship and I hope they get their ass handed to them to whomever they face in their BCS bowl game.

    Go Bruins!

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