Daily Trojan Thinks It’s Time For Me To Go.

To get my readers up to speed, a writer at the Daily Trojan named Joey Kaufman has posted an article essentially saying the purpose of this blog, Arrogant Nation, has run its course.  Best you READ IT first because fairness is important here.  You should have the full story before I respond.  Those expecting a typical thrashing will be disappointed. While I’ve received hundreds of attacks since taking up this arrogant cause, this is different because it is from a student, it’s from the school I went to and frankly from a writer I do admire.

(Frankly, I should just stop as the comments on the article kind of make the point I plan to, but what’s the point in being hell with a pen if you don’t use it.)

In advance, if the Daily Trojan could tell me by the end of the day the record for most comments they’ve gotten on a story, I’d love to know.  Next step would be to check out the sentiment of said comments.  Then, we’ll have an idea of how the day went.  Also, if this was printed in a hard copy, please save me one, I would love to frame it and place it next to my other achievements including, but not limited to being voted “best sense of humor” in my fifth grade class, my 3rd place runner up soccer trophy from elementary school, my LA Weekly Award (not the one I am currently nominated for “Best Sports Blog”) and a drawing I did on a vision quest.

Or, my readers should just take arrogant poses around campus while reading it.  I’ll post all of them.

Some context.  Joey interviewed me one day after work a couple years ago.  I sat in my car outside my apartment in Beverly Hills, giving a student reporter an hour of my time.  More than anything, I was impressed with his rigor and ultimately his skills.  We’ve been cohorts on Twitter for a long time and even right now, I appreciate his balls to write an article like this, without warning me, without so much as letting me comment.  Arrogant, almost…  Perhaps he’s followed more of my blog mission statement than he’d like to admit.

Joey is someone I respect and I gather my readers will want to let him know how he feels.  May I politely ask that when you respond, do so to the piece and not the writer.  I fully expect Joey to write for ESPN one day and cover teams we love.  I am a Trojan first and would never sabotage a career.  Even while I think writing this article and not offering me the chance to answer the question of “do you think you have worn out your welcome” sprints past the kind of journalism he was looking to achieve, I hope Joey makes it and look forward to reading his future work or debating sports on Twitter with him.

I’m just looking out for him.  In the end, I am not a journalist.  I have a blog.  He’s looking to do this professionally.  I have a profession that has more to do with getting attention than how I go about doing it.  That profession is not my blog.

My analytic mind knows this possibly was just about getting comments or using my platform to gain notoriety.  That said, it’s a “Trojan Family”.  If you want help, you ask.  You don’t need to write an article harshly critiquing the work of an alum on a day most of us are thinking about September 11th.  I spent the morning getting ready for work and watching the Today Show replay their 9/11 broadcast reflecting on that day, which happened just a few weeks into my freshman year at USC.  I thought about our “arrogance” of all going to class even though we were scared.  I learned a lot about our school and the words they carved into Tommy Trojan that day.  I feel like this article kind of ignores them.

That said, this was one man’s opinion.  This is mine.

While it’s hard to take seriously considering the article starts out saying that he never saw the point in the blog to begin with and only later warmed up to it, the general thesis is that when the NCAA was beating on us, the rally cry of this blog made sense.  Now that we’re “on top” again, I am perpetuating a bad stereotype that no longer exists.  Magically, we aren’t the University of Spoiled Children.  We’re 3/5 into sanctions and now that we’re 2-0, we’re perfect, loved and our history of being a school others love to hate is gone.

Joey, I disagree with your thesis.

Joey, I came to USC around the time that it was gaining that extra academic prestige our current students are so proud of.  Frankly, my high school resume and acceptance was one tiny cog in what a decade of Trojans did for this fine school.  With President Sample changing our DNA, but building off of what our proud alumni created, we became a top 25 school.  We were always the coolest place to go.  We always had a proud network of alumni to help each other.  That said, we were finally getting new kinds of recognition.  This was happening when you were in middle school, for context.

What attracted me to the school was it’s cheeky arrogance.  It had nothing to do with the fact we were a 6-6 team at the time or that my buddy’s father used to call it a “gentleman’s C” school.  I fell in love with USC, the Trojan Family and the attitude that we were proud of our culture.  Our pride has always come off as arrogance.  It’s just tongue-in-cheek.  Like this blog.

I remember two kids on campus joking when I came to see my first game, the day I fell in love with USC.  They were saying, “My father didn’t spend 40K a year for me to have to walk this far to the Coliseum”.  My father, an Ivy League graduate, was with me and we both started laughing.  The kid didn’t mean it.  It was just hilarious.  There’s something about us.  I embrace who we are.  Your article felt like you are ashamed of it.

It’s not like at the office my Bruin coworkers are covered in paint and made fun of.  I conduct myself the way Trojans are supposed to.  Like boiling down someone’s blog to “pedophile” jokes in the school paper.  Wasn’t that carved on Tommy Trojan as well?

Jokes aside, I get it.  You think it’s time for me to hang up my cleats and float on a river of bourbon to the sea.

When Obama won the election, did that mean Colbert should have shut it down because pretending to be right wing no longer was entertaining to his admittedly left-leaning demographic?  I think the answer was no.  The answer was that people still wanted to watch.  My traffic ebbs and flows like any site, but the main reason for doing this is because thousands of people read it every day.  Just because we stayed positive and now are enjoying better times doesn’t mean people don’t enjoy reading my words.  I would think a writer would assume, or at least hope that wasn’t the case.  If you end up the beat writer for the Dodgers, I hope people find you relevant during Laker season or it will make for a lonely winter.

Having traveled all over the country to attend sporting events, let me clear up one inaccuracy.  People have always stereotyped us this way.  Our rising academic standards, our return from sanctions, our new buildings on campus…  These things didn’t change the perception.  It’s still there.  Go to any thread about USC anywhere that isn’t on a USC-themed site.  That’s where you will find the stereotype is alive.  Alive and well.  I’m not the problem.  Our greatness is.

In advertising, my vocation I was wonderfully prepared for by my education at USC, sometimes the solution to a stereotype is to embrace it.  And that’s what I did and that’s what my readers love.  If they say we’re assholes, I say “we’re the most glorious assholes in the world”.

Let me pause for a second for a brief USC history lesson.  It was our great Trojan Marching Band that owned the “fight the fuck on” phrase.  I think as far back as the 70s, which I hear were awesome.  The band are some of my favorite readers and the t-shirt is a homage to their “arrogance”.  Just a tip from one alum to a student.  You won’t get far if you don’t understand that our band is our 12th Man.  That’s the heart and soul of this school.  That’s why when we have a big win, our star player leads the band in Conquest.  My general arrogance test is if the band would do it, I should too.  They embody our spirit.  If they FTFO, I FTFO.

The point of my satire and parody that anchors it to reality is the fact that we shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks.  We picked USC and we stand by it.  Every week, I am just here to have fun, pump up our fans and call out the other team.  Frankly, with the exception of a few Oregon Duck fans, I get a lot of love from our opponents who get a good laugh at us making fun of ourselves while also being totally right.

Like in this case.  I don’t care that you have this opinion of my usefulness, but I do care that the people who buy shirts here or have fun a couple hours a week reading the posts know that I am having a blast poking fun at our traditions and ideals and celebrating what others try to hate us for.

“Fight the fuck on” to me was when I had 50 stitches in my back and under my armpit after having a sentinel node biopsy and wide local excision post malignant melanoma, going outside and sucking it up to write my weekly post so I wouldn’t let my readers or the players on the team who read my blog down by not posting.  It was sharing that experience so I could use my forum for something other than entertainment and motivation for our Trojan Family.  It was still writing in the period you deemed me “relevant” even though I had things like “pathology reports” and “when I could go back to work” and “shower without help from my wife” on my mind.

My readers had my back during that time.  Matt Barkley himself reached out to me, a reader who spoke up around the time I needed Trojan support.  I shared it publicly and I think showed the same wonderful side of our Trojan Family you think I am somehow missing.  The same Trojan Family that support Fight On Jackson and his family.  I ask politely, writer to writer, what have you done to expose our good side that you are so worried about me tarnishing?

You mention the school trotting me out at events like the Pep Rally and that is somehow a bad thing.

Was it bad for Delta Gamma to invite me to talk leadership and ethics where I gave career advice?  Do any of the people I’ve helped get internships or given career advice to find me to be portraying a bad stereotype of a Trojan?  When I spoke at Relay for Life and shared my cancer story with other survivors, was I painting a bad stereotype for cancer survivors?  When I spoke to the Greek Community following the public sex scandal about responsibility, was that portraying a bad stereotype?

Joey, for a dude I talk to a lot, for a dude that has been waiting “years” to write an article about how I am not needed, you sure haven’t spent much time seeing how I am being utilized.  Acting like a tongue-in-cheek bearfighter for shits and giggles is the tip of my iceberg and you seem to be commenting on just the tip (just to see how it feels).

You mention the arrogance needle not moving because we middled around the top 25, or whatever you said.  We finished ranked sixth in the nation and winning the Pac-12 South forcing our inferior rival to play Oregon and eventually be the worst team (record-wise) to ever play in a bowl.  I said our goal should be to blow up the system because the system was unfair, not just to USC, but to everyone.  We did that.  Arrogant Nation (and a lot of our players that I speak to) felt a tremendous amount of pride. We have plenty of sports journalists saying “point” and “counter-point” on the system.  I’m not that guy, Joey.

It’s not always about arrogance.  I’d like you to read my letter asking Matt Barkley to stay and asking our fans to support him if he left.  I’d like you to tell me if that article was about your “Trojan Family” or about “my arrogance”.  I know Matt appreciated it regardless of how it factored in, but the article was about what he meant to us.  That he would go down as the way we like to think of our pride.  Turning down millions to crush some unfinished business?  Arrogant in our book.

Again, Joey, I love you dude.  You are a Trojan and I don’t want to start a holy war because as a real Trojan I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED.  I would caution you to remember what a Trojan is.

I can check all those boxes and frankly, you checked a few of them for me.  That’s how I honor my school.

Look.  Let’s wrap this up.  I talk about killing bears and a punter with a cyborg leg.  If the other team has a creepy mascot, I’ll point it out.  Frankly, when the Stanford Tree kills someone, I will have done my best to warn everyone.  Your article is giving me flashbacks to the time Los Angeles Magazine sent me a cease and desist letter because they though my masthead was confusing their magazine readers.

The school need not invite me to speak on their behalf.  That is out of my control, but like any Trojan, I am honored when they do.  If people don’t want to read it, by all means, I’m not projecting it on their eyelids.

In the end, I am guessing your article will receive the most comments and reads of any you have written in your time at Daily Trojan, where you have done some great work and that is my honest opinion.  If that was your goal, congratulations on your success.  Next time, I would have rather had the chance to offer you a comment for the article.  Instead, I’m posting it on my blog.

Mine is a personal blog that frankly covers reality television in the offseason to entertain my wife and attractive women everywhere.  That’s why I am having some fun talking about football and reminding our fans to embrace the hatred because if you have ever been to New Orleans, you know an LSU fan will not change their mind.  You know, like politics, the debate never ends.  It doesn’t have to do with anything.

I’m not using the school newspaper to bash the project of a fellow Trojan.  Like I said, if it’s not your cup of tea, don’t drink it.  This is one of hundreds of opinions that this blog should stop, but for now, the yeas outweigh the nays.

And for the record, we’re in year 3 of sanctions, with 2 more to go.  Maybe it’s an “instant gratification” of youth thing, but I don’t stop pumping my legs until we’re in the endzone.  That’s served me well in life, career, love and even this “brainchild” of a side project that I do week in, week out just so my readers have some fun and hopefully have ammo to defend their school in a comedic way because despite your feeling that if I stop talking, we will not longer be thought of as the University of Spoiled Children, you are frankly just dead wrong.

But hey, at least you got a lot of reads today and when my university’s paper decides to say you “aren’t relevant” anymore, it’s at least done with a picture of me in a suit hosting a pep rally at Galen that happened two weeks ago.


If you want to grab a drink, I’m buying.  You may not enjoy my work, but I still enjoy yours and hope your career goes well and you represent the school in the way you see fit.  If it’s cool with you, I’m gonna keep being me.  Typos included.



Filed under Rants and Musings

71 responses to “Daily Trojan Thinks It’s Time For Me To Go.

  1. Well done. Fight On, Bearfighter!

  2. W

    Bear Fighter Wins!

    Flawless Victory …

  3. chris rockwell

    You don’t need me telling to you to keep going but, if you keep writing, I’ll keep reading…


    Marshall School of Business
    Class of ’97

  4. Drew Davidson

    Classy and Arrogant. And the Spirit of Troy is truly a role model for us all. FTFO.

  5. John

    “The point of my satire and parody that anchors it to reality is the fact that we shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks.” EXACTLY. I graduated in ’94 and was not going to trash the Daily Trojan or it’s journalists. New York Times, MAYBE, but your point that as Trojans we don’t care what people think is right on. And, nothing we can do or say or act will ever change what they say about us, so why not EMBRACE it and give the critics the double-barrell bird. Yes, your blog helped through the tough times and made dealing with the NCAA easier to swallow because we can arrogantly laugh at the NCAA at what a hypocritical duplicitous useless body it is. Now, we have to contend with the SEC homers and the general east coast media bias against USC so it’s nice to have someone throwing who we are in everyone’s face with such wreckless abandon. So, keep it up.

  6. Nice Guy

    The problem here is that you see it as a personal attack, when in fact it is just a promotion of what he sees that is great about USC. I get that he mentioned you. But was the purpose of that REALLY to attack you? Clearly, I think the answer is no. The article is to paint a picture of what he thought could make the university better. The implication is not ‘a world without Zack Jerome,’ and I think you know that.

    The guy who wrote this article wanted only the best for the university. It’s not about what others think. It’s about promoting the best of a university for the sheer sake of doing it. Sure, he included what outsiders think of USC, but that’s what you DO in an article that’s meant to be more or less well-rounded.

    You say you want to support him as a member of the Trojan Family, and yet only now do you say to your followers not to make personal attacks on the article’s site. Look at the site. Look at what you have done to a fellow Trojan. The guy clearly KNOWS HE CAN’T TOUCH YOU, but he just wants the university to be a better place. You, however, can wreck the guy, which you know very well.

    By responding the way you have, even with the half-attempts at acknowledging his skill as a writer, you have done wrong by him and by what I see as part of what makes this university great.

    THE ARTICLE THAT HE WROTE IS NOT ABOUT YOU. IT’S ABOUT MAKING USC A BETTER PLACE. If you disagree, fine. But at least acknowledge that he has good intentions, and is not in fact attacking you. Also, belittling his article to the point of making an accusation that he wrote it for the sake of views is childish and immature. He clearly believes what he was saying, whether or not you agree. But what you SHOULD agree on is there is room for Joey Kaufman’s and there is room for writers who disagree, if the sake of the disagreement is simply to better the university.

    I believe what you have done for the university is clearly on the whole positive, but this is not. You encouraged, for lack of a better word, ‘cyber bullying’, and then trashed the guy for an article.

    Finally, reread his article. He says he embraces your ideology. He says that your impact should not be undervalued. But he also says that a shift in ideology is for the betterment of the university. Disagree as you may, this is not an attack on you; the intention here is clearly a different take on the direction of the university, and not a personal attack.

    I’m glad people love you, and I’m glad you continue to write this blog. Personally, I think it’s hilarious. But the arrogant thing, and perhaps the right thing to have done here is given him a shout out for his balls, disagree, and abstain from personal attacks, or the promotion of them.

    For someone clearly arrogant, Trojan-family-loving and apparently secure, this response is neither. For someone who says they respect the author of the article, the evidence is heavily overshadowed by the badly masked personal attacks and encouragement of them on the website/newspaper he wrote on.

    The way the article he wrote is being reacted to I think further proves a point he was trying to make. Furthermore, it is slightly disappointing.

    • Zack Jerome

      Appreciate your point, but read the title of the article. His photo is a photo of me. It was also posted at 11pm and my readers were onto it before I was. I can only ask they be polite when I find out. If that article is not about me, I don’t know what is. Joey, a friend of mine, traded on my image, that’s why it probably had more reads/comments than anything he’s done for that site. I am politely speaking my peace, but appreciate your opinion and still maintain Joey is a good guy.

      Remember, I didn’t start this.

      • Nice Guy

        Life throws shit at you (the general you, not you in particular), and that is a given. But it’s how you respond to it that matters. And I just felt that the initial response before the bold warning in this response almost encouraged personal attacks on a guy that, once again, clearly had positive intentions.

        I just would not like to be in his position, receiving the kind of accelerated (personal/character attack) backlash that you had a large part in starting. That’s really one of the major differences, and one of the main reasons it doesn’t matter who started this. Whoever has the more readers/followers/supporters has the higher potential for impact. It’s apparent who does in this situation, and I wish you had used it slightly more carefully and tactfully. Because if you’re going to make a point out of his lack of tact and respect, I would hope that you wouldn’t respond with that same lack of tact and respect. It’s just a hypocrisy that could actually end up hurting the kid. His, on the other hand, can’t hurt you. And I think you’re well aware of that.

        I appreciate that you have extended the meaning of arrogance for USC and for its fans. Which I believe is what the photo is related to; the first half of the article where he gives you credit for your impact (which he said should not be undervalued, because he sees the value in it). Furthermore, you represent one symbol of many that are shaping the progressing culture, however similar to the past, of the university and its fans/students. If anything, putting you there is giving you (due) credit. However, a culture of ‘arrogance’ isn’t all you, and I don’t think he quite equates it to that. And he’s talking about a university culture that he’d like to cultivate, mature and improve. (I understand that I’m reading into it slightly too much). And so the point behind the whole article is missed, because it becomes a “civil war”, when really it would be good to address what makes sense about his article, too.

        At the end of the day, I just hope you don’t respond to something like this so hastefully and without consideration of the impact of that immediate reaction. Because I am an arrogant guy, and a USC guy, but I’m also a Nice Guy. And I have a lot of empathy for Joey in his situation, regardless of how much he “benefits”.

        Once again, I’m one of the loyal, but I can’t help but look out for the fellow Trojan. We are blood, after all.

      • Zack Jerome

        I appreciate your opinion, but again, I didn’t wake up asking for my work to be critiqued in my university newspaper without fair warning. Joey is no slouch. If he wants to write editorial, he best be aware that it will probably spur this kind of thing.

        You have read the blog enough to know I gave him a love tap, not a retort. Had I given a retort, I’d fully agree with what you are saying. I’m called the Bearfighter, not the Care Bear.

      • Nice Guy

        Fair enough, this just seems different than most of what you deal with. Idk. He’s not administration. He’s not the sports marketing department. He’s not a bear/babybear. He’s a Trojan.

        He made a bad decision here and there. But, hear me out here, you might have as well. Forgive me for expecting near perfection from the bearfighter, but I do.

        I know nobody cares at this point. It’s just your differing power positions, and differing levels of experience that are glaring to me. I just know it could have been handled better by both parties, and only one side is genuinely being considered.

    • W


      At least have the balls to post a reply under your own name.

      • Nice Guy

        It’s not Joey, haha, just lookin out man, not to say I have balls, this is still anonymous.

      • Nice Guy

        I would give my name, but part of it is that I would like to avoid the ‘Joey treatment’

      • Modern Technology

        —> Nice Guy = Joey Kaufman
        [[reverse IP address lookup coupled with d-bag scan confirms Nice Guy’s identity]]

      • Nice Guy

        You called who you thought was the writer of the article a dbag. Do you see the irony? It’s there, but it’s not particularly amusing.

    • Daniel

      Nice Guy, go and read the original article and read all the comments. VERY FEW of the comments are personal attacks. Almost everybody simply disagrees with his opinion and points out some of the inaccuracies in his article.

      You say that Mr. Kauffman is just expressing his opinion about the direction of our University, but than you chastise Zack and his readers for disagreeing with him and making their case in the comment section of the actual article! Zack clearly, and rightfully so, took issue with Joey writing an article anti-Arrogant Nation without so much as interviewing it’s founder. If he was interested in discourse, he certainly would have asked Zack, or any of his readers, their thoughts about the perception of the university and his concerns. He didn’t. He wrote a hit piece and Zack and Arrogant Nation have gone out of the way to disagree with his content, but not his person.


      • Nice Guy

        I disagree with the piece. And would have written it differently. I just feel bad for the guy. Because he did also receive a ton of personal insults from fbook, twitter, peppered through this response , along with on the newspaper’s site. He’s being made out to be a bad guy. And that seems a bit ridiculous, and, quite frankly, sucks.

        Also, I’m one of this blogs loyal readers. And a Trojan. I just took issue with how this was handled, considering we share blood. You can say what you want about what Joey wrote, but Zack didn’t deal with any character attacks in Joey’s article. But some of the loyal AN members took it too far, and I think it was a result of a rallying cry that I wish wouldn’t have been made.

      • My question to you Nice Guy then is did he really not expect this to be a hot issue?? The University itself has asked Zack to come and speak now in front of hundreds of students, thus proving his popularity. I really do believe Joey knew what he was getting himself into, and if he didn’t then maybe next time he writes an editorial about such a popular Blog, he should consider the fact that he will get chastised over it. I mean come on, you can’t go on taking something many people love and stating that you don’t believe it should exist anymore and not expect a bit of an uproar. I believe that Zack has responded as best he could in this situation and has taken this criticism in stride. He simply originally posted; seems like the DT doesn’t want me around anymore, and his fans read the article and responded in kind. The article itself had many flaws in it’s logic and like Zack has stated, why on Earth would a Trojan try and critique something another Trojan has created without first consulting him on the issue or even a heads up. Above all else I believe there was such a strong reaction due to the fact that this very young writer was speaking as though he knows the entire history of the program and social issues and impacts it has had. When in fact he has only been there for however long and was truly wrong on many of the popular social issues he brought up about USC. I’ve been a trojan for 25 years and I can tell you that, while not so PC as the rest of USC, Zack’s foundation as a writer is a fierce, fierce show of Trojan Pride, and his articles have united the Trojan Family in one of it’s darkest hours, and continue to do so. I don’t agree with your stance, but hope you find some comfort in the fact that the man takes this so seriously, he responded to you right away and respects your opinion. Fight On Zack, and keep up the good work.

      • Nice Guy

        I can’t disagree with you on most of those points. I know that this morning was probably chaos, and the decision that could have solved the issue before it happened would be if Joey told Zack that he was writing the article, asked for a comment, etc. But I think, despite the chaos, there could have been the instruction to AN to focus on the content, not the person, as a primary and first response. Because once the first comment came out without the earmark, the damage was done.

        I concede that this is difficult to ask for, considering how crazy it must have been, but I still wish it would have happened. I just have a lot of respect for Zack and the blog and his ideals especially related to the loyalty to the Trojan family, and I think if it had been less hasty and more well-thought-out, the personal attacks might have been avoided.

        I’m not arguing about whether it was a hot issue. I’m sure he knew it would be contentious, and that he would get attention and scrutiny. However, I think a culture where it’s acceptable to make character attacks on the guy for what he wrote really isn’t ok. Especially when I think the message and overall intent was positive, despite it offending the AN and the bearfighter. And I hold Zack at least partially responsible for controlling the troops.

        The 9/11 comment in Zack’s reply seemed uncalled for as well, considering logical implications of the comment, and that kind of had a large part in stirring me up. I understand that it was timely, but I think it both undermined the significance of the day, and put an unfair label on Joey. There were also a couple other comments in the response that weren’t necessary when considering the theme of his response.

        I completely appreciate the fact that he cares, one way or another. I can see why his stance is different, I just think that there were decisions or lack thereof made on both sides which could have been better. I will also concede there were more unneeded, sometimes misleading, and not-so-well-thought-out comments from Joey’s article, but I think the worst thing that happened (actual human impact), was that he had to deal with the character/personal attacks from all sides by his own “family”. I personally see that as a problem. I just think the AN, we, can do better and should do better. It is a reflection of who we are and what this culture and blog stand for. And it is in a way a reflection of Zack as a sort of figurehead. So doing whatever possible to avoid this on Zack’s side I thought was perhaps the action that could have had the largest ‘actual’ impact. It’s a small detail, a small mistake, but the consequence was inarguably bad.

        On another note, I salute your devotion and tenure as a Trojan, and have a lot of respect. I don’t doubt your insight into SC’s culture and how Zack pinpointed it and led us to the realization that there is no darkness in LA. I’m inherently a part of AN, and I think Joey is, too, he’s just trying to be different, and trying to promote what he sees as a positive direction for the university. I know it was seen as an attack on AN and Zack, but I thought it was critical, however misinformed, of the culture at USC. And that’s okay. If anything, the USC mindset was reaffirmed. This article breathed new life into Zack’s AN, which is now inevitably going to persist beyond this year, and perhaps beyond the foreseeable future. Which means more funny articles, more interesting reads, perhaps more spelling and grammar errors. And I’m more than content with that.

        I, like you, like Zack, and like Joey, want the best for this university. And I don’t believe the senseless, immature attacks on character of our own should be a part of it, and we should do everything we can to avoid/stop it. That didn’t happen today, but I hope it does in the future. If it does, I think the AN, and more importantly the Trojan Famil, will be better off for it.

      • Zack Jerome

        I think we agree it didn’t need to get personal. In the end, Joey and i have talked and are cool. He is smart enough to know this would happen. My job was to do what I did. My readers pointed it out to me, and by then it was too late. Me asking their opinion and then saying be cool in my post doesn’t make me the enemy. Joey is a journalist. I respect him. He did what he wanted and like all of us in the real world, we make our own bed. We spoke and agree we each did what we had to. I’ve done nothing but support him on twitter. I think you need to realize he missed his target by too far. It offended AN and that’s why you have to be precious with the pen. He’s better for it and a good dude.

  7. So well responded to. Class act yet arrogant all the way. I think you’re an awesome example of what it means to be a Trojan and your blog reminds all of us why we love being Trojans so much. #FTFO.

  8. Vinny

    Truly, a class act you are, Bearfighter.

  9. I am literally standing up in my office and applauding. You, sir, are a class act, the epitome of what it is to be a Trojan.

    When I was a freshman in the Trojan Marching Band, Dr. Bartner told us we would be hated by EVERYONE but us. Against that virulent hatred, we had to be pompous. We had to be arrogant. And most of all, we had to be a$$holes. This was a veneer against all the bile that was constantly thrown our way, and not just by the fans of whatever opponent of whichever team we happened to be playing, but almost everywhere we went if we happened to be wearing our school colors.

    I am proud of your blog. I am proud to have been in on this journey almost from the beginning. And I fervently hope you continue to write your amazing blog. The USC Football team *will* have rebuilding years, almost unavoidable in any program. But Arrogant Nation will remain on top and up front and in everyone’s collective face. As it should be. #FTFO. Forever.

  10. man..always on point.

    You can get used to being appreciated by your readers…especially when the vast majority of us appreciate every-single-sentiment you share

  11. Mike

    Write a book please. On anything.

  12. debbie

    perfect…simply perfect!

  13. amedina555

    my response to mr Kaufman:

    Joey, asking the Arrogant Nation to cease and desist is akin to asking all trojan fans to stop rooting for their team. All college sports have their fanatics, disciples and demigods and the Bearfighter just happens to embody all of those in one simple design we have come to know as Zack.

    He is fueled by the inequities of the NCAA sanctions and the tyranny of the PAC12 commissioner. He consolidates all that is the Trojan Spirit and focuses it on a weekly basis towards our opponents. He has filled a void that has always been there, he just put a name on it, made a website and made some extra cash on the side. That to me is the true embodiment of the Trojan Spirit. His passion for our beloved Trojans made it possible, along with some bourbon, to keep his head high in the face of adversity.

    I think you wanted controversy when you decided to not include a comment from Zack because any good journalist knows in order to write a good piece you must always look at both side of the story and that is why you should mark this as an editorial piece.

    Fight On!

  14. KR

    Trojan nation has been, and always will be arrogant. In the meantime, I think your blog has some “Unfinished Business” so continue to FTFO.

  15. Reblogged this on Musings, pictures, and poems. and commented:
    And with this, I say Fight The Fuck On, my fellow Trojans.

  16. cathy

    WELL SAID, Bearfighter. Way to counter a cheap shot at controversy with eloquence and grace. #FTFO

  17. Tatfreak

    Bro, you should just drop the mic and walk away. That was arrogant.

  18. Pingback: The Pride & Arrogance of College Football « Saturday's Slight Reach Advantage

  19. JT

    “I don’t stop pumping my legs until we’re in the endzone.” Dude, I’m starting to quote you on a regular basis. Keep it up.

    I just ordered my #FTFO T shirt.

  20. uscwright

    Classy as always Bearfighter. Its this attitude that makes me admire you so much. Thanks for making my undergraduate years significantly more fun. And if I ever run into you at the 90 I’m buying cause I owe you one.

    Nick class of ’12

  21. Fan

    I saw this comment by a reader/poster on FightOn247sports

    He makes a great point that great players and teams are arrogant.

    “Was Michael Jordan arrogant? You bet. And he won big. Six titles, with many of his brightest moments coming in crunch time. And he didn’t just *win*. He won with style and attitude.

    The fine print on the sanctions the NCAA handed down said “See, told ya we’d show you”. Our arrogant response was “fine, we will win with a culture of compliance, under sanctions, and turn you on your head”.

  22. Keith (@Envius023)

    I responded & said what I had to over at the Daily Trojan article, Zach I cant speak for everyone but in my opinion you stood up at a time when a lot of folks had us buried & when you stood up, you stood up proud & reminded us just who the f*ck we were.. Trojans!.. You reminded us to fight (players included) Your own story of fighting was beyond inspiring. Now look at us!!

    I dont know you & all the bear meat, 745’s, models, expensive scotch & slip n slides aside, I hope I have the pleasure of shaking your hand one day my friend.


  23. eric-USC-1980

    Bearfighter, thanks so much for your shout-out to the Trojan Marching Band. That will help keep the fires warm for quite some time.

  24. a

    I have a fatal, genetic illness and USC football has always been anamazing distraction and source of joy for me. I will one day die of this disease, probably in my late 30s or early 40s, just like all who have come before me with Cystic Fibrosis.

    This isn’t a pity party – but rather said to illustrate that I can really relate to your fight against cancer. I can most certainly appreciate your desire to focus on the joys of life (read: USC football) rather than the hell that is cancer. For me, indulging in your blog while enduring “lung bacteria sensitivity testing” and “2 weeks off from work AGAIN to be in the hospital” and “struggles climbing the Coliseum steps in fear of coughing blood ” has been, well, a gift. Your blog is hilarious and is a tremendous gift to all who read it. It’s a rallying cry. It reminds us why we belong.

    BTW I love your point about the marching band. Holy cow are they arrogant. Greatest band in the history of the Universe? YES!

    This University has made me the woman I am today. I hold a B.A., B.S. and MBA from USC for what it’s worth. And neither of my parents went to college. No spoiled child here.

    Zach, please don’t stop your amazing blog. Too many of us are counting on you to bring a smile to our face when we need it most 🙂



  25. Nick B


    I have been an adamant reader of your blog since I identically stumbled upon it googling soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin’s “arrogantly long” last name in the middle of the 2010 football season. I bought a “Lane Fucking Kiffin, Bro” shirt. I thought it was hilarious, and still do. During the bowl-ban years, it provided Trojan fans something to rally around. It is witty, funny, and while everything is “tongue-and-cheek,” some actually rings very true. You are indeed “hell with a pen.” But you and your disciples commenting on the DT website are grossly misinterpreting the point of Joey’s column.

    It was not a personal attack on you. He did not say that YOU are a bad Trojan, or that you lacked the five attributes or anything like that. He said that Arrogant Nation had its place, and while it is still humorous to a great degree, it should no longer be the rallying cry for Trojan fans. Yes, “FTFO” can still be said, but “Fight on” should come first. And while I think that “Arrogant Nation” has its place, it is the Trojan Nation that matters most, especially when your team is ranked No. 2. Being arrogant was fun when USC was unranked or getting smacked around by Arizona State. Being arrogant is still fun, but not nearly as fun as winning. Your blog is still funny. The Syracuse recap lede with Kiffin telling Barkley and Woods all the ridiculous sounding stuff they had to do was hilarious, and I’m excited to see what you have in store for Stanford on Thursday.

    But notice the title isn’t that “Zach Jerome needs to go” or even that “Arrogant Nation has run its course.” It’s the “Arrogant Message” that’s “Run its Course.” You didn’t need to write a 2,800-word defense of yourself and what you stand for; Joey NEVER attacked that. He did not “use the school newspaper to bash a fellow Trojan.” He simply said he would appreciate it if people’s focus returned to football victories as opposes to “arrogant” victories. For you to even suggest that Joey was just trying to gain notoriety by this is going way, way farther than he went and it’s not even your lowest blow (that said, I am also interested to find out what the Daily Trojan comment record is, because I’m sure this comes close).

    I am friends with Joey Kaufman. I had class with him today, and he was a little shaken by all the attention and specifically the notion that attention was the reason he wrote his piece, so that needs to stop immediately. But what irks me most is that you pulled the 9/11 card to make him sound disrespectful. Joey Kaufman gets to write one column a week for the Daily Trojan, and that day of the week happens to be Tuesday. This year, September 11th happened to be on a Tuesday. For you to say that he disrespected the memory of that day by not talking about it is infinitely more disrespectful on your part than him not writing a sports column about 9/11.

    All that said, I look forward to continuing to read your work, and hopefully your response to this as well.

    Arrogant Nation can also Fight On.

    • Zack Jerome

      The 9/11 part is valid, as a former NYCer who watched a morning of coverage, I think I brought it with me to the blog. That said, media calendar is part of media and the fact is, social media was flooding with 9/11 sentiment and I am getting emails from my readers furious that the Daily Trojan was discrediting my blog. Frankly, if it hadn’t been Joey, I would have been furious.

      Joey and I spoke last night. He knows we’re cool. When I started the blog, I dealt with haters all the time. Joey wants to be a journalist and when he questions something people believe in, this is what happened. I wrote that people could attack the piece, but not the writer, but as human nature goes, that’s my limit.

      Even your explanation is about how the blog is somehow less relevant. Joey (and you) should know that it’s one opinion and the place to change minds isn’t here. If I had taken it as a personal attack, if you read this blog, I would have pulled the claws out. I just responded for MY readers and the moment I did, the comments on the DT article slowed down.

      But if Joey was worried about attention, it’s a lesson in journalism. It took balls for him to write that, it took balls to have that viewpoint and I respect him for it. It also takes balls to take it like a man, and I honestly think he knows that based on our conversation. I’ve been stirring up this audience for years when even he admits we needed it. Even if he didn’t mean it, everyone took it as this blog was somehow a single-serving experience. It’s not. I’m sure he knows.

      It’s a myopic view that Arrogant Nation and Trojan Nation are separate entities. Hell, British football teams have several fan groups, but they are all fans. I didn’t wake up and write an article about how the message of another fan movement had “run its course”. I play my own game, everyone else can celebrate as they see fit. Perhaps I should write a “college newspapers have run their course” piece… No. I wouldn’t do that. This issue came to me, not the other way around.

      I love Joey to death and that’s why I went easy, albeit long winded, but that’s what I do. I built something a lot bigger than a weekly column and all those readers that bought shirts, made signs for GameDay and spent hours before dawn waiting needed me to show them I cared.

      Joey has my number, you make him sound more shaken than he sounded.

      Also, it’s Zack.

      • Nick B


        I do recognize that you went easy. When I first heard about Joey’s piece I thought you might go “red comments” on it, and I very much respect that you didn’t. But you did spend much of your piece defending yourself more than your message. I understand that they are intertwined in ways, but there is still a distinction, and Joey kept to one side.

        I know you respect Joey. He is probably the most well-respected student sports journalist on this campus right now, by his peers, the professionals he works around and those in the athletic department he works with.

        Trojan Nation and Arrogant Nation root for the same thing, but they are different too. During the sanctions, Arrogant Nation was fun, and it still is. But now USC has something more than arrogance to compete for. That’s what I think Joey was getting at.

        I (and Joey too, I think) still very much enjoy the blog and the fun it pokes at the football we take so seriously. I look forward to the AGP tomorrow.


      • '05 Trojan

        On 09/11/2001, USC ended all morning class sessions early and did not hold class sessions from approximately 11:00am on. I’m calling shenanigans on the part of the story about everyone “going to class even though we were scared.”

      • Zack Jerome

        I was in “Earthquakes” lab at 8am in the Science building off trousdale, the second tower had fallen and everyone was scared but went to class. Call shenanegans all you want, that bike ride to class was the most surreal ten minutes of my life not spent in oncology.

  26. V

    I would listen to the arguments of our detractors but I blew my ears out listening to Conquest. I would believe what other schools thought of USC, but we’re too busy being awesome. I accept that East Coast bias doesn’t exist because I Leave No Doubt. I respectfully listen to the football opinions of UCLA grads while I play Tusk in my head. I am aware that being a Trojan means living on an isolated island… a beautiful tropical island full of hot, smart, talented people.

    If I let what others thought of me and my school determine my actions, I wouldn’t be a Trojan. So you be you Mr. Jerome. You be you.

    I will continue to read this blog because it is hilarious, it embraces all of the characteristics I love about my school and myself, and because everyday we should FTFO.
    Alumna ’04

  27. Wizzy

    My Trojan credentials are impeccable. My kid is a 3rd generation Trojan, I marched with the Spirit of Troy in the late 70’s and have had football season tickets for over 30 years. Zack, you express my Trojan pride so well, that I am a devoted reader. Especially when you point out that outside accolades are nice but we don’t need them to know we are great. I have never understood fair weather fans who only care about football scores, academic comparisons, etc. Since I am no longer a student, it was rare for me to be able to share with fellow Trojans my certainty in our greatness. I live in the Bay Area, which can be a lonely place for a Trojan. Your blog not only helped through sanction time, but it helped this old, devoted Trojan feel a renewed connection to USC and Trojans old and new. Thank you for that and all the laughs. I hope you keep writing, because your humor and insight absolutely make my day! It’s great to be a Trojan! FIGHT ON!

  28. A proud Stanford alum

    The fact that someone at USC would suggest pulling your blog days before your promised “most arrogant preview I have ever done for Stanford” that you’ve been waiting a year to write and I’ve been waiting a year to read just makes me despise USC more.

  29. Katie

    I am a third generation Trojan. Hearing “University of Spoiled Children” has been part of my life since I could remember. Did it bother me hearing my friends from high school calling me a spoiled child when I went to USC? Yes, especially since we grew up in an affluent community. However once I graduated, and was no longer a starving student, I embraced the “Spoiled Child” stereotype and figured if I was going to be called a spoiled child I might as well look the part. For me now football games means dressing up in nice clothes, wearing pearls, and sipping champagne. Yes, I have done well for myself because I went to USC. Deal with it opposing fans.

    As for what was said in the blog about the Trojan Marching Band, I can attest to that. To this day I still remember my first morning many years ago out on the field with the band and hearing Dr. Bartner telling us to stand up tall and show off our “Trojan Arrogance, Trojan Pride” because other than the football team, we are the most visible part of the University, especially when traveling to hostile stadiums.

    Trojan Arrogance has been around for a long time. Just stop by my USC alumna mother’s tailgate which has real tablecloths, good food and USC buttons from year ago proclaiming our arrogance. Listen to her stories about when she was at USC, or better yet, ask to see her apron that has “It’s hard to be humble when you’re from USC” embroidered on it. Her apron hits the nail on the head. It is difficult to be humble when your school is quickly rising to the top in academic rankings, our alumni have amazing jobs, the Trojan network is not only strong but world-wide, we have a super attractive student body that gives back to the community, the weather is perfect, and our athletic teams send so many athletes to the Olympics. Just to name a few.

    Our accomplishments remind other schools that we truly are better, so rather than admit defeat, opposing fans act like school children and call us names. So like I said earlier, instead of wasting your time trying to reason with someone who just cannot be reasoned with, be like Zack and embrace the awesomeness that we have always been and always will be. I have, and life is good.

    Trojans for life!

  30. Anna Alumna

    LOVE your blog, Bearfighter! In-your-face arrogance is what drew me and my siblings, and my grandfather, and my great-grandfather to become Trojans and TMB members! You keep F-ingTFO!

  31. Tommy

    Do you screen your blog for critical comments? Mine got buried… what gives? You can’t urge readers to check out the comment section of Joey’s article if yours are edited to your liking. Please tell me you’re better than that Zack, don’t wanna stop loving this blog!

    Class of ’07

    • Zack Jerome

      Sometimes I moderated from my phone, but unless anything is racist or ridiculous, I always approve. Apologies if yours was deleted, please send again. I’ll publish. Everyone has a voice here unless it’s hate speech.

  32. patwilliscce@hotmail.com

    FTFO or GTFO!

  33. jp

    There’s clearly enough support on here from all different kinds of Trojans. No need for me to add to that. But, at the end of the day its your blog and you can write whatever the F you want, whenever the F you want. We are all lucky that you use it to honor the greatest school in the history of history.

    I think you took the high road on this, and the effort is appreciated albeit unnecessary. Good on you for that.

    Also – I hope you completely destroy that damn tree mascot tomorrow. No mercy.

  34. Too Easy of a Target

    I think you might have underestimated yourself, Zack, because you stated that even some opposing fans enjoy this blog. In reality, even fans of UNopposing teams enjoy this immensely. I’m not a member of the Trojan family, a part of any Pac 12 family, or a nonconference school USC has played since 2010, but a good friend and USC student turned me onto this your first year, and I look forward to reading every single week.

    Surely this blog would have more personal significance if I had connections to the school, but being a college football fanatic and fan of humorous writing, I don’t miss an article (about football).

    I will not look forward to the day when my beloved Cornhuskers meet the Trojans, because of the limitless potential of this blog. Being from a large city in the midwest and attending the University of Nebraska (like most students there), I’m afraid we will be sitting ducks in terms of this site (hence my username).

    I will say Go Big Red, not to be mischievous, but out of respect by not stating the beloved USC chant, reserved for the Trojan family. I look forward to Friday.

  35. Mike


    Flattery first, I transferred in to USC and graduated in ’11 and admittedly it was hard to stay interested all the time when Pete Carrol’s last mediocre year and the bowl sanction era defined my college football experience in LA. It wasn’t until I was directed to your blog that I really began to give a shit at all on gameday about anything except loading myself up with enough keystone and cheap whiskey (I’m not as classy as the Bearfighter) to get me through the dry hours in the Coliseum. I moved back to Minneapolis and have nearly zero SC influence in my day to day life but I have never been more proud (or more arrogant?) to call myself a Trojan and I credit a good deal of that to you. It’s more than just football and the “tongue-in-cheek” visage you present, there’s a profound respect and pride for the history of our school and what it stands for in your writing that is more contagious than the bubonic plague, and that shit wiped out like half of Europe. That’s what makes us want to literally go find and kill a live bear after reading your posts. It’s not that we even have any personal grudge against the bear, but it must be sacrificed for the glory of the cardinal and gold. If you tasked us with resurrecting and hunting a velociraptor in the Trojan name and all it stands for, we’d find a way. That’s what your writing is about. You’re a great writer and, from everything I can tell, a great dude.

    To the issue at hand. As you suggested, I read the Daily Trojan article before I read your rebuttal and I want to say first that a huge appeal of your writing is its funny and entertaining as hell and I’m not the only one who will read whatever you post on here until your pen hand withers and dies and is risen on the third day just because of its entertainment value. But I’ll play Devil’s advocate and go with Joey’s assertion that your role in USC football made sense when we needed something to rally around during the bowl ban years and doesn’t make sense if the flag can be carried by the sheer promise we show on the field this year. For the sake of argument, I’ll buy into it. Even giving Joey that, my problem with the article was, in your own words, this: “And for the record, we’re in year 3 of sanctions, with 2 more to go. Maybe it’s an “instant gratification” of youth thing, but I don’t stop pumping my legs until we’re in the endzone.” Exactly. If your role was to navigate us through the dark storms the sanctions cast on our program back into sunny, LA skies then why stop when the clouds are starting to part? Take a knee on fourth and goal at the 1? Fuck that. No matter how the season ends, score or not (and we all like our chances with Barkley floating it up to Woods or Lee in the corner) you gotta finish what you started. Again, if I give Joey his “run its course” thinking then maybe, MAYBE it will be time to hang up the pen next to Barkley’s Heisman jersey when the season is over. But not yet.

  36. Juan4SC

    Hey Zack,
    I’m from the 70’s and yes, it was a very cool time at USC. I don’t tweet, don’t Facebook, yet I make the time to visit here regularly and read your outstanding work. I will continue to keep you in my prayers, because we need bear fighters like you healthy and strong in the Trojan Family.
    Without personality and wit like yours, our world would be a bit less colorful, and lot less fun. Keep fighting the fuck on!

  37. USCStudent

    i love reading this blog. please don’t change your style! FTFO

  38. TMB90

    Wow you took it easy on Kaufman! And thanks for the TMB shout-out!

    You’re right: you have to own how people perceive you. Life is more fun that way.

  39. Mike4SC

    Please keep on being arrogant as hell. I graduated in ’79; I can confirm, the ’70s were awesome, and arrogant as hell. I have embraced all of the good that arrogance has given me: awesome job opportunities, no unemployment in over 30 years, great and lifelong friends, lifelong association with the greatest university in the world, Trojan football, The Trojan Marching Band (#FTFO!). If that be arrogance, I wear the label proudly!

    Never stop writing your blog. It has always been relevant, and continues to be so. FTFO!

  40. Gnossos

    While those around us bicker, I raise my glass of The Macallan 25 and toast you and Arrogant Nation! FTFO!

  41. Katie

    Zack, as long as you’re writing, I’m reading. FTFO.

  42. Zach,
    The husband and I found your blog when the second ever Arrogant Game Preview went up. It definitely helped bring some joy to what I am sure we will always remember as the “sanctions era.” You sure as hell deserve to be a strong Trojan voice now! We need the arrogance this year more than ever because we need to be able to let the NCAA know, in no uncertain terms, that they and their BS sanctions can suck it. So thanks for the blog, and thanks for writing this sanction-light season.

  43. darinv

    Perhaps the “Nation” will run its course, but for now let the message burn down the Farm, the rest of the whack ass Pac12, and at the end of the year when the visor is hoisting that crystal ball, we can dance around the flames of arrogance to the sound of Conquest and write our battle cry in the ashes! Your work ain’t done yet. FTFO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Wes

    Wow, you sound so petty, passive aggresive and self-righteous in this article.

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