Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Fight On!"

You may have noticed that one of my favorite links on the right side of this blog is "U.S.A. Bookstore". That is a "type-o". It should read "U.S.C. Bookstore". I'm going to get this fixed soon by my son, "the computer expert". I would like to refer you all to the Alumni Website also. I think they both will be very active in the coming season. There were articles all over today's papers/regular and sports sections about U.S.C.'s record setting football team and the merchandising and logo endorsements it has promoted. I got this hat from that website last season after "my team" won back-to-back national championships. In a week or so they are set to start this year's season and a unpresidented "three peat"...back-to-back-to-back. Whenever I have worn this hat recently, I have received spontaneous comments and sometimes just our slogan, "Fight On!" from perfect strangers. I have a hooded, logo sweatshirt too. Same reaction. People identify with a winner.

It is not that I gravitate to the "popularized" merchandized logos; I don't usually. Believe me, after just being thoroughly "Disney-fied" on our cruise, I can see how much I resist and resent such brazen commercialism and mindless identification. However, this particular logo and what it represents to me is truly something I do identify with and alway have. Let me explain.

Back when I was ready to think of a career that involved my love of kids and learning, this was the school/university that accepted me in a special "Ford Foundation" program to get my teaching credentials. Back then, the basic units were not as outragiously expensive as they are today, but they were beyond my reach financially. I commuted to the campus, parked and soaked up the "spirit" and atmoshere surrounding "Tommy Trojan". My girl friend then, now my wife, worked at Signal Oil and Gas and I'd stop by to and from and actually call in/dictate papers to her on the phone that she would then whip up and polish off for my pick up later. I shopped at the old, original Bookstore for all my books...ivy covered walls across from "Tommy's Statue" Later I took graduate courses there to keep up my credits for credentials in counseling and administration. I'd say "Hi" to Coach Robinson in passing. Jim Mc Kay was the coach when I was first there. I've since had several students who eventually went there via Damien...ie Mark Maguire. One summer I took "Teaching As A Performing Art" at the L.A. Music Center with many classroom experiences and local neighborhood connections a S.C. I went to some games at the Coliseum but mostly I listened to my team regularly on the radio/TV coverage. Over the years, good and bad, I've been loyal. I never had the time or money to go to their many Rose Bowl appearances.

This is all well and good, almost expected. Fan-hood is not all that unusual these days. But the real reason I identify with this team/school is their reputation and the way they play the game...They NEVER GIVE UP! They are known for that. They are well conditioned and can be counted on late in the game to "come back" and keep trying even when they are behind or there are only several seconds left to play. Yes, they are known as a "second half team". Thus, the meaning of the slogan, "Fight On!" The music of the fight song, the white horse Traveler and Trojan rider stir that spirit of perseverance...we do not quit! Nor do I.

Now I'm looking forward to our next cruise of the Greek Isles and Ports. I want to see where the ancient fables and tales of Greeks and Trojan Horses began. This part of history has always facinated me. This is also the birthplace of the ideals of democracy, philosophy and western civilization. The Arts, my love, from Athens and the rigor and discipline of Sparta...always juxtaposed and necessary for any worthwhile endeavor...especially...fighting on. Bob


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