Monday, February 18, 2008

Nobody Puts USC Song Girls In a Corner

Sunday night, I paid my first visit to the Galen Center, the newish (built in late 2006) basketball facility for the USC Trojans which is located just a few urine-soaked blocks from the main campus. Wearing UCLA blue to the game, there were a few things I knew to expect. I knew that I'd be booed and cursed at by USC students (I was, although it wasn't excessively vulgar at all); and I knew that if the Bruins were to win, Trojan fans would immediately invoke the recent history of the football programs (they did). But one thing I wasn't prepared for was the aural assault that was Petros Papadakis as the PA announcer.

For those that don't live in Southern California, here's the best way I can describe Petros. Remember when Tony Siragusa was on Hard Knocks and in preparation for a career outside of football, Goose tried to portray himself as the fat, fun-loving court jester- only he wasn't really that funny, so instead he was just loud and obnoxious? Well try to imagine that rather than getting a tv gig where he could receive some training, Siragusa was instead given a sports radio talk show where the more obnoxious he was, the more airtime he would be given. That's Petros Papadakis; and for some reason USC has decided to give him a microphone for a captive USC audience. It's absolutely brutal. By the end of the game, I wanted to borrow a gun from one of the SC fans, blow my brains out, and leave a note beside me which read, "Whoever finds this, please pick up the gun and empty the chamber into my head so that my ears can never be raped again." C'mon Southern Cal. The voice of your basketball program is a mindless, witless blowhard. Even I think you deserve better.

As for the game itself- while Tim Floyd may be a brilliant defensive tactician, he leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to player development. The Trojans only substituted one player out (Jefferson) the entire game, leaving the other four to play all 40 minutes of the game. I know SC was down an injured player, but there had to be somebody on that bench who could steal a few minutes of rest for the starters. No wonder the Trojans finished the game with more turnovers (22) than field goals (20). I'm just surprised that nobody vomited on the ball.

If the Bruins want to make it back to the Final Four, somebody is going to have to find their outside shot. In their last four games, the Bruins are 7 for 44 from beyond the arc. Josh Shipp has missed his last 15 attempts at three pointers. Lately, their most potent long range shooter has been center/forward Kevin Love. Fortunately, the team's next games are at home vs the worst team in the conference, Oregon State and a team that plays pretty loose defense, Oregon. If they're ever going to find their shooting touch, it should be against these schools.

This was the first year in which the visiting team's cheerleaders, dance team and band didn't make the trip for the rivalry games as financial greed (initiated by UCLA) has taken priority over tradition. One would have guessed that this would at least mean more floor time for the USC Song girls during timeouts, but instead the marketing experts at the Galen Center opted to use that time to promote SC alum Will Ferrell's new movie, "Semi-Pro." There was a trailer for the movie on the jumbotron, the dance team performed to one of the songs from the movie, and fans were given cardboard cutouts of Will Ferrell's face to wave around during free throws. Either SC is really proud of their prodigal son or they're getting some points on the back end of the movie. I'm guessing it's the latter. Meanwhile, the Song Girls spent most of the timeouts prancing in a corner behind the baseline. That's inexcusable.

Matt Leinart was sitting courtside at the game, and surprisingly, he was with his son Cole and his baby momma, Brynn Cameron. They all appeared to be happy, which must mean that Matt's child support check had just cleared.

While I think the architects of the Galen Center got a few things wrong, being in a new building was a stark reminder of how outdated Pauley Pavilion has become. There's really no excuse for one of the top basketball programs in the country to be playing in a building that offers neither the intimacy nor the amenities of these newer facilities. Actually, the Galen Center doesn't offer much in the way of intimacy either. It's a rather sterile, concrete structure in which the students were screwed over by being put behind the backboard. Worst of all, the seating was designed in such a way that you feel removed from the action on the court and feel much more like a distant observer than an active participant. For example, my seats were in row 14 behind the backboard opposite the SC students, and yet I was so far from center court that I had to take an Ansel Adams landscape approach to the photos I took. That is, if Ansel Adams was a horny old man instead of some dude that just liked nature. Well, judge for yourself:

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At Tue Feb 19, 11:13:00 PM PST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The USC Song Girls are way overrated. The UCLA Dance Team is way hotter.

At Fri Feb 22, 03:54:00 PM PST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, but who cares? Great pics!

At Fri Feb 22, 05:36:00 PM PST , Blogger insomniac said...

Yeah, this is a down year for the Song Girls, by their standards. Tho just watch one Big 10 game, and suddenly you'll start appreciating them more.

But UCLA's dance team this year is an all-time great. Hopefully this is the start of a trend for the Bruins crew.

At Fri Feb 22, 11:12:00 PM PST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

They show a lot of ... umm ... crotch.

Not surprised they're from SC.

(Not that I'm complaining)

At Sat Feb 23, 08:45:00 PM PST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

199 and 231, pure heaven!

At Fri Dec 24, 02:18:00 PM PST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of crotch shots, maybe it's a USC tradition. Not that I'm complaining, if they wanna show it, I wanna see it!!

At Wed May 30, 11:23:00 AM PDT , Blogger maximuscaligula said...

Prefer it when they wear the infamous sexy super-tight white sweaters which makes their huge, perfect tits stick out.


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