Before I start, my readers are aware this week that my friend Joey Kaufman of the Daily Trojan and I had a little back and forth about whether the arrogant message was detrimental to our team or perhaps, unnecessary anymore. We disagreed, and perhaps it was just a discussion. That is all in the past now, he and I have spoken and will continue to be spies on Twitter together. Please continue being kind, we’re all Trojans. He’s a journo. I’m a bourbon-swilling, lazer-riding sociopath. We each have carved a niche. Mine looks like the Grand Canyon, except it looks cooler under a blacklight.
That said, in respect to the few who felt a kinder, more gentle approach was best and in light of the fact that this post may stand the test of time as my most venomous, honey-badgering in recent memory, I wanted to provide an alternate, “non-arrogant, positive” game preview you can view by CLICKING THIS.
Did you click that? You’re welcome, Daily Trojan. Shit. I was just arrogant again, wasn’t I? Thumbs up.
For the rest of you who want to cut down some trees with little regard for the environment, the ozone, global warming, polar bears (they’re still bears) and people from Nor Cal (Nor Cal Trojans exempt), the rest of this post is for you.
2012 Heisman Winner Matt Barkley has not beaten Stanford. Enjoy that phrase because time is running out on its accuracy. Matt has done a lot here. Hell, just last week he found a way to throw for six touchdowns and under 200 yards, which I didn’t know was mathematically possible. And he did it in the middle of a tornado and lighting convention. With Otto the Orange staring at him.
The dude guest DJs at fraternities, finds time to help people in earthquake ravaged countries and I’m fairly certain he’s solved at least one Good Will Hunting-style math equation on a big chalkboard.
But he hasn’t beaten The Farm. That’s the only Pac-12 team he hasn’t beaten and two of them just were added last year. And this is a travesty. I mean, beating the Farm is sort of like in the welcome pack they give football players when they get a full ride to the school. Welcome to USC, you just beat the Farm by three touchdowns. Only, somehow, we’re trapped in this alternate universe where nothing makes sense when it comes to this matchup.
The Farm is like avocado for people who don’t live in California. It’s a seasonal delicacy that sometimes comes into fashion, but then is totally forgotten in the long cold winter. For almost half a decade now, The Farm has been in season and it boggles minds. No winter hath ruined their crops. Will the polarity of earth reverse? Is the end of the world coming to fruition? Is everybody taking crazy pills? Worse, did I take something in college and not realize I’ve slipped into a decade of drug-induced REM? Is this thing on?
Leland Stanford Jr. University is not a football school, but like many superheroes, they were given a great power. Two really. They were given Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck. Slow wide receivers and tight ends? No worries, the caveman could put the ball in the chest of a man who was not even open. Lack of team speed? Harbaugh made up for it by giving them excess of team heart. And you had to admire that element of what was going on. You didn’t have to admire how often they went all PDA on national television:
You don’t need to dig for these images. If you Google “Andrew Luck Jim Harbaugh” that’s all you see. And you don’t need to pay $9.99 a month or be 18 years old to subscribe. Just for fun, if you Google “Andrew Luck Geico” you get this:
I’m not the only one who thinks it…
But even in these glory days, they were still The Farm. As a favored team playing a home game, they rushed the field after a last second victory two years ago. When Curtis McNeal fumbled into the endzone in triple OT last year, the broadcasting team said “Cardinals win”, not even feeling this team at their peak was relevant enough to remember their name isn’t based on birds, rather a color more associated with our school than theirs.
Stanford Indians was badass. Cleveland is still rocking it. The Blackhawks and Seminoles and my local fucking high school the Westlake Warriors are rocking it. Stanford backs down. Only for five years, they haven’t.
I attribute last year under Coach Shaw to after glow. It was like when a grandma lifts a car to save a child with pure adrenaline. The situation gave them old man strength. With a great QB and Harbaugh’s philosophy still in place, they had barely enough to win. A hot girl gave them her number and then they went in and aced a public speaking event based on pseudo confidence.
It’s one year later and the QB and the TEs are gone. Harbaugh is the best coach in the NFL now. Stanford is, essentially, a Big Ten team now. They will pound the rock, play sound defense and try to make safe passes. They will test our patience by holding onto the ball for as long as they can. That said, they are the running team, but we’re averaging more yards per carry. And we’re not even trying to hand the ball to a running back unless Kiffin gets bored. This game will try to play as a filibuster.
I don’t care. We need to chop down some trees.
We’ve played a lot of great teams in my time following and attending USC. We’ve even been beaten up pretty hard in a few games. That said, no one has disrespected USC to the level that Stanford did in the Harbaugh era (or mini-era, he was like FUCK THIS pretty quickly). Harbaugh made losing feel worse than losing feels. Harbaugh was so arrogant he was my choice for coach when the Pete Carroll rumors began before sanctions. I can’t even remember the levels of disrespect it was so disrespectful. I blocked them out of my mind. Well, also because we know Stanford’s run over us won’t last. They know it too.
Save when we decided to hang over 70 of SEC then-powerhouse Arkansas (the McFadden year), USC typically put the brakes on at a point. Most of my college years when we were dominant, we’d see scores in the 40s and 50s. Stanford showed no such restraint and I actually respected them for it. That’s why I hope they understand that on Saturday with everyone suggesting”an upset”, we are going to absolutely go batshit homeless person with Vietnam flashbacks on them.
It’s like a coked-up bat has gotten loose in your cabin and finally it pauses in one spot just long enough that you can smack the hell out of it with a tennis racket. Stanford is that coked-up bat and after years of an improbable alternate reality where they exert their will on us, they are due for a two-handed cross-court backhand to their face.
I picked on The Farm for rushing the field when they were favored to win at a home game. I said they should act like they’ve been there before, but they have been reluctant to take on that roll. I can tell this year in reading their forums and local beat writers. I think they knew one day the big dog would come back for his bone. I’m not saying Stanford won’t put up a great fight. I’m just saying Stanford has no idea how hard the collective USC universe wants to punch them in the face. I mean, truly punch them so hard in the face they don’t remember getting punch in the face and forget the anomaly these last five years were.
I am trying to think of moments that would describe how hard we want to punch them in the face right now. Here’s one:
Independence Day. Will Smith punched this alien right in the face and then said “Welcome to Earf” and I was in like 7th grade at the time and was so fucking jacked up on soda and candy that I punched the kind next to me. The theatre was cheering. Stanford, it’s that kind of nobody expected you to come destroy our cities and now we’re so fucking angry that once we punch you in the face the only thing left to do is smoke a cigar kind of punch. Your fathers will feel this punch in their crotches.
Then there’s Drago in Rocky IV. This asshole got too comfortable winning and forgot he was fucking with a guy who literally dated a woman who never spoke and trained by beating the shit out of steaks in Philadelphia, the worst city on earth. That’s kind of like us coming out of sanctions we all knew were BS. We’ve been with a quiet-ass woman who has social anxiety and we’ve been drinking raw eggs and fighting beef in a freezer for two years and now, this asshole Drago thinks he’s got it made. Only now, we own a robot, the quiet girl dresses up sexy and talks more and we’ve been training by climbing snowy mountains in the Ukraine and screaming Drago’s name at the top of each one. You are gonna get punched in the face, Stanford. Like Drago. For America.
In film school, they taught us if you are doing something, do it in threes.
So there was the cocky ass demon who rode around on a dragon in Lord of the Rings and he was just getting way too used to fucking people up from the kingdom of men. So this warrior rolls up on him and he’s like “no man can kill me” and the warrior whips off her helmet to reveal it’s a woman and she just says “I AM NO MAN” and then stabs him right in the face with a sword. Stanford, someone needs to stab you in the face and I am pretty sure it’s going to be Matt Barkley. Marqise Lee will probably catch you because all he does is catch touchdowns. Negrete will be nearby laughing. And playing Words With Friends on his cyborg leg. Yeah, it does that too.
It’s just that Stanford’s time must end. Cindarella needs to go back to cleaning up for her hot Newport Beach sisters that hate her for wearing Crocs in public. We accept that a generational talent at coach and at QB really gave them a leg up in extending a couple shockers into a small era of “backwards day” in this rivalry, but it’s high noon, time to stare Gary Cooper in the revolver. Boom, motherfucker.
If you are a Stanford fan, the kind of person who rushes a field when they are favored at home, even if you are the kind of fan who is going to comment on this blog and tell me how wrong I am, don’t tell me you don’t know this is coming. I smell the fear coming in like the fog off the bay. It’s like in Starship Troopers when Neil Patrick Harris puts his hand on the alien bug and reads it’s mind and gets all stoked because “it’s afraid”. It’s getting too movie reference in here, but NPH deserved a shout out.
Found an image. Thank Barkley, this puts it into context.
Look Stanford. Every dog has their day, but Saturday is the day you get neutered. It’s been too long. Surely, even you miss the feeling of walking out of the stadium, our fight song annoying the hell out of you. I mean, keep it real guys. While we’re finally recognized as a prestigious university, I don’t think we’re thinking we should be the flagship academic beacon of the Pac-12 (yet), so don’t you think it’s time you just embrace getting punched right in the face?
Afterwards, we can talk about the iPhone 5 or whatever the hell you do for kicks in Palo Alto (Spanish for “face punch”) and it’ll be cool. You can tell us how smart you are and we’ll ice our hand (I mean, we punched you in the face, hard). It’s going to be cordial. After the face punching.
You’re due. We’re ready. Let’s go. Predictions.
The Farm 24
Mad respect on this prediction. I think they hold the ball enough to keep us under 40, but I don’t think they will pass enough to get into the 30s. Also, it’s hard do your check downs and make your reads when you eyes are watering from getting punched in the face.
Weather looks warm for game day. 3 weeks in a row. White Visor, White Polo, Khakis. It’ll have to get colder for him to break out the 90s snowboarding gear. White Knight of the Mountain I call that look.
2 PT. CONVERSIONS:
1 for 1
There will be an opportunity and Barkley will take it. He wants to punch some faces.
KYLE NEGRETE CYBORG LEG REPORT:
5 punts, all inside the 20, one inside the 7.
We can’t be sure what the extreme weather of colder games will do to the cyborg leg, but so far, it’s perfectly calibrated. He is the one Trojan exempt from dishing out a face punch. He can just kick faces. But as a former linebacker-slash-robotics experiment, he’ll punch a face or two if he feels like it. Kyle will be the first player ever to punt in a peacoat. I know this about him.
That’s it. Ice your knuckles. Lift some weights. FTFO fans and players. Time to welcome Stanford back to Earf.
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