I’m not a Trojan Super Fan.
I’ve never been a person who gravitates toward football. My parents are die-hard 49er fans. They would abandon my brother and me Sunday after Sunday and indulge in watching San Francisco beat the living daylights out of their opponents.
While my brother would sit and watch the same football game on television, I would read the comics.
Now that my brother plays high school football, I’m more and more convinced that I was switched at birth. Somewhere out there are two literature professors with Gridiron George for a son who does nothing but eat, breathe and live football. I pity them.
When I left for USC, I was excited that I would finally be able to relate to my armchair jock family. I could sit with friends and watch my team, the USC Trojans, destroy any adversary.
I went to all of the home games the Trojans played last year. I even drove 350 miles to Berkeley to participate in the Weekender. Each game brought me closer to the brink of insanity as the USC Trojan Marching Band would belt out “Tribute to Troy” endlessly.
So I decided that I would attend the USC-Oregon State game on Saturday. I overslept and missed the first half, but sat down with my friends in time to see the halftime bonanza. Standing two rows in front of me were real Trojan Super Fans.
It was hard not to miss them. In a section full of sitting people, three guys and one female were standing. Standing for every second of a game where the only real action came in the third quarter.
A graduate student sitting next to me filled me in on what had transpired in my absence: taking “Trojan pride,” these four gawky fools stood, arms crossed, talking only to themselves, becoming the unofficial icons of what it means to be real fan of Trojan football.
These people were ready and willing to be ejected for their team. What spirit. What tenacity.
Mocking the four Super Fans became more interesting than the game. Whenever any number of people would yell at them to sit down, they would scream back that we should stand up and support our team. Apparently, respecting the people around you just isn’t the Trojan way.
Finally, the boiling point was reached. Security had been called and several of us were yelling at the Super Fans to sit down or get out.
The climax of the day came not when Chad Morton had a 73-yard touchdown carry, but when three police officers came and yanked the whole group from the stadium. While they argued at us, calling us jerks and accusing us of not being true Trojan Super Fans, our section united and sang “Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey-Hey-Hey, Goodbye.”