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USC and UCLA as one big, happy family

The Fan of the House columnist thinks it's high time that the two institutions came together.

September 26, 2012|Chris Erskine
  • Shawn Cohen, left, and Toar Campbell, both from Calabasas, tailgate before the UCLA-USC game in 2008.
Shawn Cohen, left, and Toar Campbell, both from Calabasas, tailgate before… (Los Angeles Times )

So I'm stuck at a light at Jefferson and Hoover, waiting for some freshman in a Bavarian sedan to finish texting all her boyfriends, when the idea hits me: USC merges with UCLA, into one mega-university. One great school, the envy of the world. One phenomenal football team, in blue, cardinal and actual gold.


I've sensed lately a certain tension between the universities. With the problems we have, the last thing this city needs is a civil war between its two most prominent institutions. Merge them, marry them, blend them like Scotch and soda (a metaphor Trojans alumni will certainly understand). Whatever it takes, these two schools should finally become one. With winter on the way, can you really have too many study buddies?

Sure, these things take a little time. To link the two campuses, you would need some sort of high-speed train. It'd be good for those effete Westsiders to see this gritty sector of the city. And those kids from the tough side of the tracks would probably like to see the ocean for the very first time.

In any case, I now give you USCUCLA. Which, on the page, looks like some sort of Vulcan sex part. Or perhaps a type of mini-banjo.

I was over at Trojanville the other day, asking people what they thought about this proposed merger. Didn't go over that well, but I remember the same skepticism when I came up with vegan jerky and New Coke.

At USC, they seemed a little unfocused, a little preoccupied with their skateboards. But when they sober up, I suspect the idea will grow on them — like knowledge itself — in a slow, fungal manner. Go Brojans! Fight on, USCUCLA!

You know, on Fridays before home games USC has one of the greatest pep rallies ever at Heritage Hall. If you're looking for a cheap activity for your football-obsessed Trojans offspring, take them to one of these 4:30 p.m. pep rallies, where the band plays, the players dance, and the Song Girls do whatever it is Song Girls do. In warmups, I saw one bend over and — like a scout knife — basically fold herself into herself. Heismans have been awarded for less.

The thought came to me that maybe I should work out with the Song Girls for a story, but my marriage is already on blue ice — a cellophane so thin you can almost breathe it. Besides, I'm almost 30 now, and could probably get hurt.

And can you imagine the razzing from my buddies, who have no appreciation for the written word? They'd just look at the pictures and make instant negative judgments about ulterior motives.

As I've noted before, I'm all about the Pulizter ... or is it Pulitzer? And I'll do whatever it takes to purchase one.

One thing I know is that for a school that prides itself on its business savvy, USC does not make enough of the Song Girl brand. If I were Pat Haden, there'd be a line of Song Girl Cosmetics and certainly Song Girl Soap. Song Girl Fried Chicken and a Song Girl Processed Cheese. Really, do I have to think of everything around here?

Meanwhile, we're at this Friday pep rally, which as I said is free, and a great chance to mingle with the jocks and coaches, as long as you don't get steamrolled by the trumpets, as we did. The USC trumpeters lack people skills, but so do trumpet sections most places. Hang with the saxes, if you can. Better yet, hover toward the patio in the back, the best spot for viewing a Trojans pep rally. If you love football, you'll love Heritage Hall on a football Friday evening (remember, home games only).

At this particular service, T.J. McDonald spoke to the congregation. To me, he is the most daring Trojan. Runs with scissors. Eats only the red M&Ms. Leaves the cap off the opposing quarterback. You could easily build an NFL franchise around this guy. Or a new line of Ford trucks.

Didn't spot Coach Kiff, whom I wanted to assure was 100% on track with his handling of the media. In AYSO, I don't give out any injury reports whatsoever. And if I had my druthers, I'd ban the media from all soccer practices. Those schlubs have no business giving out mostly meaningless info. Only coaches are qualified for that.

Maybe I'll text him.

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