It is difficult to explain the USC-UCLA rivalry to an outsider: Trojan arrogance and understood superiority runs deep and cannot always be rationalized. In light of the game tomorrow (and UCLA’s recent bout with trying to tear down our traditions), here are fifty reasons you can feel content with your arrogance. Fifty seemed like an appropriate number – both in honor of our score in last year’s game and in honor of the Drum Major’s role at the fifty yard line.
I have fifty, but the list is too long for one article. I’ll publish the rest tomorrow, win or loss (though, let’s be real, it’ll be a win).
Here you go, in no particular order:
1. The main insults directed towards us are things we readily accept:
- U$C: the school is expensive, a lot of the student body is wealthy. A lot of the student body is also on financial aid or scholarship. Going to USC probably will pay off in the long run as well. $$$, thanks for the compliment.
- University of South Central: yes, that is an accurate description of our school’s physical location.
- Arrogant: well, yeah. We go to USC.
- University of Spoiled Children: please see #18.
2. We were here first: USC was founded in 1880. Two years later, the “first” UCLA opened downtown. In 1919, they moved to Westwood. We’re the original LA university, which makes UCLA like an annoying younger cousin who tries to outshine its older, better-looking, and more successful relative.
3. Smaller class sizes, better student to faculty ratio: We have a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, UCLA reps a 16:1 ratio. I don’t need to do analysis here.
4. We actually get to know our campus: there is no denying UCLA has a beautiful campus – but it’s also huge. I’m going to graduate in 2014 feeling like I know USC’s campus inside and out. That would be virtually impossible across town. I don’t know how you can feel true connectedness and ownership in your school when you aren’t even totally familiar with your own campus. (There’s some whole North vs. South campus thing which sounds sad).
5. Will Ferrell: Ron Burgundy/Ricky Bobby/SNL superstar/George W. Bush/Buddy the Elf/generally hilarious. Graduated from SC in 1990.
6. The Trojan Marching Band/Spirit of Troy: self-proclaimed (and rightfully so) “Best Marching Band in the History of the Universe” – tough to argue when they’ve performed at the Academy Awards (with Hugh Jackman and Beyonce, no big deal), the Grammys (with freaking Radiohead), Coachella, at the Olympics, for five Presidents, in Forrest Gump, and are the only college band to have two platinum records… Yeah.
7. 50-0: I’m confident in saying a football score of 50-0 deserves a healthy bout of arrogance. Yes, it’s allowed to last for a few more years, regardless of how tomorrow turns out.
8. Steven Spielberg is on our board of trustees: I don’t think I need to expand on how awesome this is.
9. SoCal Spell-Out vs. 8-clap: while ours might involve rudimentary spelling, they have the Very Difficult Challenge of counting to eight. Also, “8-clap” sounds like an STD (it’s like gonorrhea on steroids!)
10. Cardinal and gold versus baby blue: Blue might be my favorite color, but as far as school spirit, baby blue (oh wait, I’m sorry, “UCLA blue”) is lame as hell.
11. Jackie Lacey: just elected LA District Attorney, she is the first woman to be elected to the position. She graduated from Gould in 1982.
12. Diversity: I know that UCLA is a state school, but around 89% Californian and 7% international versus our around 50% Californian and 17% international (with the most international students nationwide for 11 years straight)… It’s nice to see some geographic diversity on campus.
13. Neil Armstrong: the first man on the moon received his masters at USC in 1970. RIP.
14. TroGro: I can confidently say we are the only school in the nation with Trojan Grounds – an unparalleled location for poor late-night diet decisions. Actual convenience stores just aren’t the same.
15. LA Live/the Shrine: right next to campus and a couple of miles down the road, we have the Shrine, Staples Center, Nokia Theatre, and Regal Cinemas. Pretty decent entertainment options for college students. Remember that one time you went to a show/rave at the Shrine and literally walked down the street? (If you haven’t done that yet, make it happen).
16. Olympics: This year we won in college medal count worldwide. If USC had competed as a country this year, we would have been 6th overall in gold medal count. In terms of Olympic history, as a nation USC would be 12th overall. That’s incredible and unparalleled.
17. Richard Knerr: the guy known for marketing hula-hoops and Frisbees back in the day graduated in ’47. Super random and fantastic.
18. The next time you call us the University of Spoiled Children, I encourage you to rewatch this. We might have some bratty students on campus, but UCLA definitely had a champion with Alexandra Wallace. Well done, Bruins!
19. Star Wars: thanks for the original trilogy and the $175 million donation to build the current School of Cinematic Arts, Mr. Lucas.
20. Marquise Lee, Matt Barkley, Robert Woods, Silas Redd, Khaled Holmes, Curtis McNeal, TJ McDonald: I really don’t care who is on UCLA’s team this year, they don’t get to watch these guys every week.
21. President Obama: remember in 2010 when President Obama came to LA and spoke at a university? Remember which one he chose? If you were at USC in 2010, you probably do.
22. Flat campus: It’s nice to be able to bike to class and not feel like you’re hiking every time you decide to take a walk.
23. Josh Schwartz: let’s keep with the entertainment industry trend – you can thank Mr. Schwartz for what should be your favorite soapy teen show: The O.C. While we should thank him for some great Seth/Summer/Marissa/Ryan middle school memories, he’s also known for being the youngest person in TV history to create/run his own show. He’s also known for co-creating, producing and writing on Chuck and Gossip Girl.
24. Our majors don’t get unexpectedly get cut: it is a bummer that public funding means specific majors have to get cut over in Westwood. A girl I know at UCLA got a letter in the mail telling her she needed to switch because of budget cuts. That would be terrible. Never have heard of that happening here.
25. Traveler: yes, our official mascot is a pretty white horse who runs around the stadium every time we score a touchdown. I think that beats a teddy bear.