Clearing Up The Westwood Billboard Controversy

The hacks that call themselves reporters in this town.  If they wanted the truth (or at least something arrogant), they should have left it to the Bearfighter.  You want to know what happened to the ridiculously arrogant Matt Barkley billboard looming above Westwood?  Let me set you straight.

To recap, USC as part of its PLAY campaign, had about 30 billboards around the city depicting various teams, all arrogant, looking hot and getting in their sports’ respective endzones.  One such billboard featuring 2012 Heisman Winner Matt Barkley was hoisted up above Westwood casting an ominous victory shadow on the droves of nerds patiently waiting for ice cream sandwiches.

Then suddenly, it was stolen.  Or painted over.  Or none of the above.

How about look in France, reporters?  The billboard is now in the Lourve, where it belongs alongside other incredible works of art created by people history recognizes as total winners.  You think an art community as serious as the one in France would let something so majestic, neigh, so timeless be on display in a neighborhood so associated with losing football games, ice cream sandwiches and science majors?  No chance.  That billboard was street art beyond even Banksy or Space Invader’s capabilities.  This was ironic and heroic.

One reader submitted this to me as a suggestion of what Regency Outdoor Advertising should replace the ad with:

I got a good laugh, but I think their cultural memory is scarred enough.  You can’t just win a few games and erase that.  You need to win 51-0.  It’s about a culture of winning and having a certain as the French say “bad ass joie de vivre”.

Let’s take this excerpt on the situation from ESPN.com:

UCLA fans on online message boards congregated when the Times story was released and complained about the ad being near the school’s campus, appearing to jokingly plan on a blue-paintball assault on the billboard to reclaim their territory.

“I wish some one (sic) would take the time to deface it,” one fan wrote. “Just saying.”

This is their school spirit.  Jokingly hoping to pelt it with a few blue paintballs?  Know what happens when USC students get upset at UCLA?  This:

We dumped so much paint on Joe Bruin that it looked like 1000 seagulls did a flyover after eating cardinal and gold colored Chipotle.  We didn’t talk about it, it just happened.

Look, when I first started expanding my internet presence, I Google’d my name and saw that it might be tough to own my name in search.  In fairness to a young bearfighter, I was just making me way into the world, it was the earliest stage of my quest that will potentially end this season in ultimate victory.

The reason I might never own my name hurt me.  There is a Bruin named Jerome Zack.  My name, backwards.  If I am Levels, he’s Levels (in reverse).  Where I was a college undergrad using my retail food plan to supply the row with Red Bull (thanks Mom and Dad), Jerome Zack was straight balling.

Jerome Zack isn’t just a stem cell researcher.  He’s also leading the way in researching cures for HIV and cancer.  Basically, this dude fights diseases all day and he has my name (in reverse).  Hell, we’re all rooting for this guy, I am a two-time cancer survivor and I want Jerome Zack to cure everything (I may even take some credit and pay him back for the fact that no one could find me for the beginning of my career).

That didn’t change the fact I wanted to get my name back.

Now that I am the Bearfigher, you Google Zack Jerome and 9 of the 10 articles that display are about me with #10 being about him.  Even better, Google Jerome Zack.  Now 8 of the 10 are about him, but the other 2 are ABOUT ME.

My point is not to belittle who is probably a great man.  My point is just to say I am arrogant enough to feel that just because you “cure diseases” and are “far more accomplished” doesn’t mean you get my name.  Frankly, at the rate my influence is growing, it doesn’t mean he gets to keep his name either.  That said, I encourage you to donate to anything this guy is working on because beyond the rivalry, I am pretty sure this guy is going to cure everything.  Like, Contagion would be an 8 minute short film with a happy ending if you called this guy.

But either way, STAY OFF MY NAME SEARCH DR. JEROME.

Which goes back to this billboard.  UCLA’s senior tradition was to ditch their final practice of the year.  USC’s Senior Tradition is to win the Rose Bowl and have them write our name in bronze on the wall of champions for the millionth time.

The French took the billboard, but the whining we saw taught us a lot.  I am begging UCLA donors to put up a Bruin billboard by campus.  PLEASE DO IT.  I’ll arrogantly donate money to see it happen just because of the creativity you’d see within the first hour.

When life hands you the world’s leading cancer/AIDS/stem cell researcher, Trojans become the Bearfighter.

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6 Comments

Filed under Rants and Musings

6 responses to “Clearing Up The Westwood Billboard Controversy

  1. I haven’t been able to find a video of it, but all the SC alums on the channel 7 news totally dropped an “arrogant” in their delightful coverage of this story last night (namely my old classmate Elex Michaelson)

    • Zack Jerome

      Elex went to my high school, I knew him way back when. We both were president of Agoura High School. That was no accident.

  2. K Proctor

    What would be more arrogant, a 51-0 victory, or a 2-0 victory where we drive the ball to the 1 yard line every single time (then intentionally turn it over on downs), safety the quarterback in the first series, and not allow a single yard all game?

  3. What a hilarious article…well written!

  4. Curious George

    Zack,

    Is it still possible for Barkley to have his chance to beat Stanford? In the chance that Stanford beats out the Ducks for the North title, can this still be an option?

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