‘Arrogant’ message has run its course

I almost wrote this column two years ago.

I wanted to respond to the launch of the Lost Angeles blog, the brainchild of 29-year-old Zack Jerome. The blog went on to spawn an on-campus “Arrogant Nation” movement, which I wanted to point out perpetuated the outdated stereotype that USC was stocked with bigheaded rich kids.

The Bearfighter · “Arrogant Nation” founder and Lost Angeles blogger Zack Jerome emceed the Fall 2012 Sports Rally at the Galen Center. – Corey Marquetti | Daily Trojan

Then the wave of T-shirts reading “You Can’t Sanction The End Zone” and “Bowls Are For Salad” hit Saturday tailgates and flooded my Facebook newsfeed. At first, it irked me, but I waited, with my pen tucked away — or more accurately, my keyboard.

Oddly enough, the popular site grew on me. It made sense.

Eventually, I decided to contact Jerome, a 2005 USC graduate, to research a column I was writing about the blog and his message. Eventually, I would concede the following: His blog was a remedy — in fact a powerful one — for distraught fans in the wake of NCAA sanctions that kept USC out of the postseason for two years. That was important, so I listened, which is what they teach you in journalism school nowadays.

“I didn’t want people to get down on the fact that we couldn’t win a fake national championship,” Jerome explained to me.

He was right, and his message fit its niche to a T. The students, the alumni and the fanbase needed a sort of rallying point in the face of what were, at the time, the harshest sanctions since the 1987 SMU Death Penalty.

“I am here to re-focus the Nation of Troy on the eve of battle,” Jerome wrote in his first post prior to the 2010 season. “I am here to explain to you what this season is about and why you need to push for it.”

Amid probation, this fanbase faced an existential crisis, wondering openly if playing games even mattered if the Trojans couldn’t land in a January bowl game.

Jerome and the newborn “Arrogant Nation” resoundingly answered, “Yes.” That was the site’s impact. That’s why it was made, and because of that, its value shouldn’t be understated.

Fast-forward two years later: Circumstances paint a brighter picture for the football program. Though USC, as coach Lane Kiffin so often puts it, is playing with 10 fewer guys this season, it’s ranked in the top five of virtually every top-25 poll imaginable. Its quarterback is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, college football’s most prestigious and coveted individual award. And seemingly all offseason long, media members and fans alike heaped praise at the feet of Kiffin for “beating the sanctions.”

So for all intents and purposes, USC boasts a good football team again, which begs the question: Do we still need an arrogant nation? Do we need a unifying message for fans and students that chastises an opposing team’s mascot for “looking like a pedophile,” as many did last week in reference to Otto the Orange, Syracuse’s mascot?

Spoiler: This all screams patented, good ole ’SC snobbery — a stereotype that’s subsided but one that will always be tough to shake.

“UCLA is the nice school and USC is located in a sh-t dump and populated exclusively by dumb rich kids,” wrote Deadspin’s Drew Magary earlier this month. “It’s the SMU of the Pacific region.”

Of course, this is Deadspin, Gawker Media’s sports site which is always a little tongue-in-cheek, but that perception still very much lingers.

Unfair? A bit, yes. But, of course, it doesn’t help when arrogance, more or less, has become the unwritten manifesto for the student body rooting on an undefeated, second-ranked football team, winner of its last six games spanning to last November.

It also doesn’t help when the athletic department props up Jerome in front of students at various rallies, which encourages that same tiresome manifesto of arrogance.

USC is above that.

Arrogance is far from pride — what fans and students should instead save for their school. Arrogance is flashing your middle finger at someone wearing opposing colors. Pride is raising two fingers to say “Fight On” to players after an impressive performance, or a return trip from Haiti after building houses for earthquake victims.

The difference, however small, is also stark.

During the bowl ban years, arrogance didn’t exactly move the needle much as USC mostly puttered around outside the top 25. It was a way to hang on.

But now, as the wins and the wins by double digits pile up, the line between the two blurs.

So in the interest of clearing up the confusion and creating some civility, it’s not, “Fight The F-ck On.” It’s just “Fight On.” It’s not “Arrogant Nation.” It’s the “Trojan Family.”

It’s time we admit it.



“The 19th Hole” runs Tuesdays. If you would like to comment on this story, visit DailyTrojan.com or email Joey at jrkaufma@usc.edu.


128 replies
  1. Marcelo
    Marcelo says:

    As a slightly older alum (class of 2003) who lives in Austin, TX, for me the point of Arrogant Nation (at least what I valued about it) was that it was a way to completely disarm the haters. Living in Austin during sanctions was brutal – every time you wore your USC shirt it was “cheater” this and “cheater” that. You couldn’t watch the game at a bar because no bar would change the TV for you if anything Texas-related was on.

    The whole Arrogant Nation shtick gave us ammo. Instead of constantly being on the defensive, constantly deferring to the criticism and laying low, we were able play the greatest role of all – the contrarian who gets under everyone’s skin. Every time they would say something we would double down on our greatness. We would play the heel on purpose and MAN, people hated that. It got on everyone’s nerves that, at a time where we should have been contrite and deferential we were proud and defiantly awesome.

    I would say AN is necessary as long as people hate USC. And that will ALWAYS be the case, no matter how much kindness we throw at them, no matter whether our coach is Lane Kiffin(the most hated coach in the NCAA) or someone everyone loves like Bill Snyder. Haters gonna hate, and nothing gets haters more frustrated than a heel who doubles down and refuses to give an inch, who can spin every negative into a positive. It’s made being a USC alum in Austin bearable, and for those of us who don’t live in cozy Trojan country Arrogant Nation remains relevant and indispensable.

    Anyway, something you might not have considered when writing the article. It’s easy to forget what life is like outside the Trojan home base.

  2. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    USC is definitely not the only school to act arrogantly, we’re just the ones who own up to it. Many of my close friends at rivals schools do not hesitate to flash a middle finger at me in response to a perfectly civil facebook status applauding our team and celebrating a recent win. In fact, I’m commonly one of the only people in football discussions to acknowledge even a single redeeming quality in our opponent’s team and their performance. Yes, we are arrogant, but so are they

    That being said, I think we still need our arrogant nation. We may be ranked in the top 5 in every important poll imaginable, but we have yet to prove ourselves. We’ve been ripped on and torn down for the past two years, and we’ll still feel the effects of the santctions well into the future. We deserve an opportunity to say a big “f*ck you” to the NCAA, and this season is our chance to show why we deserve to say it. To show that our arrogance is about more than just spite, that it’s because we really are that good

    This season should be the peak of our arrogance. What could be more so than coming out of two years of sanctions, with 10 fewer of our guys on the field than any of our opponents, then rushing headlong into the post-season undefeated, with a Heisman winner leading the charge?

    The time for pride will come. In fact I think it’s already here. But that doesn’t mean we can’t use a little arrogance, too.

    • Marcelo
      Marcelo says:

      So true. Living in Texas you see real, nasty arrogance all the time, from Texas homers and Oklahoma people and Alabama people, people who lash out at you because football is all they have. It’s really sad. They hate you because they know you have it better, and when football is involved they can’t stand it when we win because football is supposed to belong to them.

  3. Kelli
    Kelli says:

    Wow Joey, really? This blog was the battle cry for our beat up program. Jerome not only rallied the troops, but he gave us a great laugh to lighten the load. He’s BRILLIANT! Have you ever attended a game? Doesn’t seem like you have. Perhaps grad school at ucla is your next step.

  4. Gnossos
    Gnossos says:

    Just returned from Madison and experienced Camp Randall……the students have a a chant that goes, “EAT SH*T, F**K YOU!” Arrogance is everywhere…..

  5. KJ
    KJ says:

    I remember my freshman year at USC. Trojan spirit had ebbed for a moment, so the administration took away the 50-yard-line seats that had traditionally been the right of the students and sold them to ticket-payers. Now that we are back on top, we need someone to stir up the pot more than ever.

    Trojan students are fickle. Remember: a significant portion of our students are international students, and they don’t necessarily have the same fanaticism for the Coliseum that we do. Then, we have the graduate students, who sometimes (one once proudly told me), can’t even find good-ol’ Tommy Trojan. That leaves a small, select group of individuals charged with carrying forth the mythos of Troy, like Aeneis. And those few students have many other concerns. No longer does legacy easily carry you into this school. No, the individual that sees the inside of Doheny is often the Renaissance Youth, one who carries the school on shoulders by way of leadership, scholarship, and constitutional vigour.

    These visionaries themselves need a leader. They need a reason to return to the Coliseum, to tap into that heritage that connects use to our ancient Hellenic roots. Without a vision, the people perish. If Arrogant nation fades away now, the symbol of our school–of our intellectual, athletic, and entrepreneurial dominance in every other arena.

    You’re not calling for our flag-bearer to lower our flag simply because we’re not retreating. You’re asking that we apologize for our Olympic medals, for our contributions to science and academia, for the leaders that we’ve fashioned, for the film makers and reporters we’ve fashioned for the screen, and for our meteoric rise in the rankings. We all know that success breeds envy, and it’s the envy you’re responding to. You’re asking that we stop succeeding.

  6. Pete
    Pete says:


    Sorry but I could not dissagree more with you regarding Zack’s blog. Zack is a blessing to us and in my opinion, this year will be the most important year of Arrogant Nation.

    As a long-time Trojan fan and alum (1989) I can only surmise that you have not been around long enough to buy into the whole “Being a Trojan” thing yet. I hope at some point you will embrace it and be proud. I’d like to share a quote about USC from Sports Illustrated that was published back in 1988 (when I was still a student). For me, this article wonderfully articulated the Trojan “sprit” (arrogance?).

    Being A Trojan

    “Of course it is only a game, but somehow the Trojans, bursting out of that stadium tunnel, have come to stand for a way of life. The sight of those USC teams rolling across the Coliseum grass, dominating their opponents – and without a single penny of government aid that the UCLA’s and Oklahomas and Nebraskas depended on, damn it. All of it happened, year after year because the school annually turned out a phalanx of new achievers, men who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and went on to be the cream of their crops and the captains of their industries, men who started companies and expanded businesses that created jobs and took people off the welfare rolls, men who took care to plow back their superabundance into the institution that launched them, so that the Trojan tradition of independence and excellence would go on and on. Yes, the sight of that wave of cardinal and gold articulates everything. Maybe you cannot comprehend that. But a Trojan can. It is a little like being a Marine. You know you are one of the elite.”

    – Sports Illustrated, November 28, 1988; Gunning for No. 1

  7. Anna Alumna
    Anna Alumna says:

    I started my USC education in 1984. I was not rich; I worked my way through school, just like my older brother did. We were both members (and years later, so was our sister) of the Trojan Marching Band, and we were all arrogant!

    One of the main characteristics we loved about both the band and the school was, and still is, its arrogance. Whatever walk of life we come from, no matter what is happening with Trojan football, we all embrace it & stick it back in your face. Especially if you don’t like it!

    Zack Jerome captures this perfectly. If you don’t like his blog, don’t read it. No need to stab a brother in the back; at least not in MY Trojan Family. FTFO

  8. Tommy
    Tommy says:

    The only self-righteous snobbery I see is from the writer of this column… Who cares what someone from deadspin said – get a life kid.

  9. Mikajl
    Mikajl says:

    I’m a Trojan Grandma and really don’t get why this blog should suddenly “go away” right now. I find it very entertaining, hysterical and well written. It should stay as long as there is an interest in reading it.

  10. Ceez
    Ceez says:

    “I love Arrogant Nation and everything that it stands for, because it was there when we needed it most. You don’t turn your back on someone who’s helped you through the rough patches, do you? ”


    ““your proposal to separate us is frankly the antithesis of what a family is.”

    I read arrogant nation religiously, it’s entertaining and reminds me just how awesome USC, it’s alumni, and it’s fans are, the only thing about the blog I haven’t liked is the link to this article. Moving forward I know now that any link to this site, I won’t go to or read. You can do the same, if you don’t like the blog, don’t read it/

  11. Mer
    Mer says:

    If you’re going to be called arrogant, regardless of the truth of the situation, you might as well own it. And as many others said, the bearfighter brings a levity to a long week. He gives you something to look forward to (other than an amazing football game). He was our hope and spirit when we should have broken down. Quite honestly, we owe the last two years and our status today to Zach and Matt Barkley. Barkley fought for his teammates and Zach fought for our fan base. Together they created arrogant nation and gave hope to a group who didn’t know what to think. So thank you for your opinion, but in the future, please keep it to yourself. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  12. Bob
    Bob says:

    I honestly cannot even put into words how much this article disgusts me. I never liked the Daily Trojan when I was a student mostly because the articles were either poorly written or about some new ultra alternative rock CD and how it did not live up to expectations even though I always thought having heard of it was a crowing achievement. I remember one article in particular about the UV and how we should not get rid of it…just wow… However, this article appears to be a new low. For a “writer” to attack a comedic blog with more logical fallacies then a political speech is simple embarrassing. I am honestly very glad that I no longer am a student so that I don’t have to read this slop just to get to my crossword puzzle. Fight On Arrogant Nation! and dont let party poopers like Joey here stop you from having fun this football season!

  13. WDG
    WDG says:

    Sorry I cannot cite this properly, oh wait it was in The DT!?!? —>

    ‘As a self-proclaimed believer in Gonzo journalism, a style of journalism that does not claim objectivity, Jerome supports outlets for the reporter to be part of the story, which allows him to write freely. “What won’t go away is the human need to connect,” Jerome said. “It’s a gift to have writers people want to read.”,

    If the referendum is on Gonzo journalism (which today is not well executed, and yes he is no Thompson but Zack applies his “hell with a pen” brilliantly) then call it as such. I understand it’s an Op/Ed piece but your opinion sucks and your editorial prose is much less than compelling. Sorry dude, FAIL.

    (Emphatically) #FTFO!

  14. Mano
    Mano says:

    Its supposed to be Trojans helping Trojans. We have always supported each other, its has always been our greatest strength. AN has instilled more of the Trojan values than the DT ever will.

  15. Huh?
    Huh? says:

    While most of your writing for the Daily Trojan has been off base, I never wanted to comment for fear you would think someone was reading your articles and be encouraged to continue. Get a sense of humor and back away from your pen.

  16. Beck
    Beck says:

    Nothing to add that hasn’t been said above. It’s depressing that you (Joey) “almost wrote this column two years ago”. That the thought ever crossed your mind then is unfathomable.

    Zack, with you 110%. Keep being hell with a pen.


  17. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    I copied and pasted this from a reader’s comment on Zack’s blog because it sums up perfectly what I wanted to say:

    “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.”

    I hope they’re teaching you that in journalism school these days. It’s important. Maybe you weren’t listening after all?

    • JB
      JB says:

      Come on, it was a sports column on the back page of the paper. Totally meant as an editorial. Should Joey have gotten a comment from Zack? Maybe (I think so), but the fact that he didn’t certainly doesn’t mean it’s bad journalism. It’s not a news story, it’s an opinion and he’s entitled to it. I don’t understand the personal attacks on a student journalist. If you have a problem with what he said, have at it! But leave him as a person and a writer out of it.

  18. SoCalSpelledOut
    SoCalSpelledOut says:

    As I sit here reflecting on my experiences with the Trojan family, I can’t help but think about how this article more than anything Arrogant Nation ever wrote reflects poorly on the USC community. I was introduced to USC during the 1990’s when 30,000 was the top attendance number, and as we suffered year after year of crushing defeat at the hands of bRuin nation, we were often outnumbered 2:1 in our own house. We had P**l Ha***t as a coach, and “The Mausoleum” as the nickname for our stadium. Oh, how I wish we had someone like Zack Jerome at that time.
    I transferred to USC via community college, paid for school with loans and scholarship and joined the single most arrogant organization on campus..the Trojan Marching Band. The first thing we were taught (besides how to put Tribute To Troy and Conquest on repeat) was that we were the University of Southern California, win or lose.
    Zack Jerome didn’t invent #FTFO..the TMB did, and they did it at a time when they were recording Gold Records with Fleetwood Mac. Zack Jerome just reminded us that even under that darkest of skies, we are still an Arrogant Nation and that we’ll never go back to those days of a half empty Coliseum, and that win or lose we are SC. Zack’s time hasn’t passed, it’s just getting started and it won’t end until we raise #7 in the Coliseum and add our 12th National Championship, all the while dropping the mic and peacing out leaving the NCAA and SEC and ESPN hacks of the world slack jawed and wondering what the hell just happened.

    One last thing…
    It’s a satire blog…chill out dude and just enjoy.

  19. Tommy
    Tommy says:

    “arrogance, more or less, has become the unwritten manifesto for the student body” …actually it’s a written manifesto, and we’re all about it. #FTFO

  20. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    This article is obviously written by someone whose mom’s message to ignore people who throw insults at him fell on deaf ears. Here is what she was trying to tell you, in a nutshell: Who cares what other people think about USC? As long as people associated with the school make ethical choices and don’t embarass the institution, why is an alum who speaks his mind with tons of success a liability to any of us? Ultimately, anyone who complains that we are arrogant and spoiled and whatever else is saying less about us at USC than they are about themselves: They are insecure in the choices THEY have made and in what THEY have going on in their lives. I won’t go so far as to say anyone doing that is “jealous,” and maybe it’s me buying into the very arrogance about which you write, but I personally find it hilarious and satisfying when someone talks about how pompous or spoiled we are. At the end of the day, who gives a crap what they think.

  21. Mark
    Mark says:

    Pump the breaks kiddo… Zack is one of the most entertaining and creative bloggers in sports today. He’s not for everyone but he certainly has become for me and many of his fans, in some ways, as much a part of this very special Sanctions Era team as MB7, TMac7 and everyone who decided to come back in order to handle “unfinished business”. The spirit of the Trojan Family is woven throughout his writing and in the exceptional way he lives his life. My 80 year old father, graduated undergrad and medical school from USC in the 50’s and is still a professor in the Medical School emailed me after reading the Arrogant Post Game Recap: Hawaii edition – “I must be going thru a metamorphosis, or I’ve got a virus. I liked it….DAD”. Not exactly a glowing endorsement but I bet Zack will take it! #FTFO

  22. Jake
    Jake says:

    I agree with the previous 70 people. This article was written, poorly mind you, to garner attention for a subpar student ‘journalist’. Arrogant Nation is the rallying point for an entire student body.Iif you cannot understand the tongue in cheek foolery of the blog, then why not spend your time writing about topics you can grasp and comprehend?

  23. WDG
    WDG says:

    I did not realize TJ Simers came in for a lecture. Was the topic just shock journalism or was there also an innuendo message as well? Well you got your wish, a tone of responses but at the cost of a bit of integrety.

    FTFO (and no, Lost Angeles wasn’t the first coin that)

  24. Daren
    Daren says:

    It’s sad that you you are hurting your own school. Why did you write this article? If you wanted attention you got it.

    Do not express these opinions in a newspaper supporting the school. Do it on your blog.

    The only question is ” Why did you write this?”

    My friends at UCLA love this article.

  25. lionlament
    lionlament says:

    Thanks for writing this Joey, I’m totally on your side. I made some stupid meme on reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/USC/comments/z3c1k/sorry_but_i_think_the_arrogance_gimmick_is_old/) with the same ideas. Maybe you even saw it? Who knows. I got a decent amount of hate for it but not nearly what you’re getting. The internet is a terrible place.

    In the end, I appreciate what Zack Jerome did to rebuild the morale of the school during the sanction era, but I just don’t think it’s cool to be a dick. Sorry I’m not sorry. Further comments/explanations given in the link above.

    • TD TD
      TD TD says:

      “sorry I’m not sorry” – that sounds like the comment of someone who is a dick…..but i thought you didn’t think it was cool to be a dick?!

      thanks for the link though….we’ll be sure you get a lot more shit talking on your reddit post, after all, you were probably just seeking attention anyway, like this joey character

      jealousy is destructive.

    • TD TD
      TD TD says:

      and sorry bro/bra, but 169 views in 2 weeks doesn’t exactly count as the establishment of a ‘meme’

      You’re a chemical engineer…..leave the social things to the social people. If you want to find someone who knows about creating meme’s or creating something relevant on the internet, well just look to where you posted your silly attempt about a meme….on another silly piece of writing….that is trying to attack someone who spawned a viral movement.

      cure cancer or some shit bro/bra – we got this

  26. Meg
    Meg says:

    How could you, in the USC student newspaper, reprint this quote, “UCLA is the nice school and USC is located in a sh-t dump and populated exclusively by dumb rich kids,” and not rebut with anything stronger than “Unfair? A bit, yes.” Come on man…I don’t want to read that on an SC site. Just graduated and all of my friends anxiously look forward to Lost Angeles’ AGP and AGR every week. Zac Jerome enthusiastically rallies the student body and alumni base with written word, which is what the Daily Trojan should aspire to do as well.

  27. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    Joey Joey Joey. This really backfired on you, didn’t it. Not only did you just make a fool out of yourself to every Trojan that picked up a copy of today’s picture, but you now are going to have 100s of comments explaining why you are simply wrong. USC is like the Yankees. We are the best at everything, which is why everybody hates us. I, like a lot of my fellow Trojans, love that people hate us because it proves that we are better than them. Wake up, get in touch with that this student body really feels, and save the PC articles for a school like Cal.

  28. Adrian Medina
    Adrian Medina says:

    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!

  29. Jesse
    Jesse says:

    Amidst all the comments hating on this article; I’ve got to say I agree with Joey.
    I love being the best, I believe we are the best and always will be, and I think pride in being the best is great, but that’s not what he’s arguing against.
    What he’s arguing against is, like he elegantly said, flicking off the other teams in our arrogant, “everyone else is worthless” attitude. That works for an underdog team, but when you’re actually the best, and most people recognize it, the classy route is to let everybody else (the reporters, the teams we roll over) sing your praises, not shout them annoyingly in the face of others.
    We’ve got something good here. No need to be jerks about having something good.

    • Daniel
      Daniel says:

      So it’s only okay to be publicly proud of your alma mater when we have a “down” year?

      You clearly don’t know the difference between being Arrogant and being a douche. Arrogant Nation isn’t about being a dick, it’s about being proud that we’re always going to be better, smarter, more successful and more beautiful than everyone else.


    • WDG
      WDG says:

      There’s nothing wrong with letting others know we have something good here. That is how you attract talent. Mr. Jerome does this in a satirical way that even makes our opponents laugh. It’s “arrogantly” over the top and a great source for a bit of comic relief through the week.

  30. Sanders
    Sanders says:

    I want to add to the sentiment that USC’s arrogance is nothing new. In 1941 UCLA was given a stupid bell from their alumni association. They started ringing it at football games. The Trojan Knights, feeling it was their duty to arrogantly F with the Bruins (as is any Trojan’s duty), they impersonated UCLA rooters, infiltrated the committee responsible for the well-being of the bell and stole it after it was loaded onto a truck headed for Westwood while the actual UCLA rooters searched for a replacement key to the truck. We hid this bell for an entire year (in a haystack for a period of time) and finally, a year later, we allowed UCLA to sign an agreement that would make the bell a trophy for which ever team won the football game that year. It wasn’t even ours to begin with and we made it so that UCLA had to beat us in order to even get it back. If that’s not arrogant, I don’t know what is. And that was 1941. FTFO!

  31. Sam
    Sam says:

    I think someone needs attention. Why would you write an article to attack a blog who is supporting USC and that people like. When USC got the sanctions and was suffering no one in the media supported USC. Arrogant Nation helped USC and showed how fans felt. Zack Jerome is a great person who does the blog in his free time. Fight On!

  32. jm
    jm says:

    Mr. Kaufman — I couldn’t agree with you more. Mr. Jerome’s relentless and senseless attacks on bears around the world in the face of their continued “threatened” status on the endangered species list borders on hate-crime status. His implication that somehow all oranges are pedophiles is truly disgusting. AND, just last week, he posted completely baseless allegations about Oregon’s Puddles’ drug use.

    Zack Jerome must be stopped.


  33. John
    John says:

    Also, this might be the first time anyone’s cited a Gawker writer a support in a serious piece. But it makes sense that if Gawker’s (lack of) seriousness was misinterpreted, so would Zack’s.

  34. Carin Maher
    Carin Maher says:

    I only wish we had the arrogant nation during the Larry Smith era. I think Mr. Kaufman has lost his sense of humor.

  35. John Matthews
    John Matthews says:

    You’re worried about USC’s arrogant, spoiled, rich-kid image… so you call out a simultaneously eloquent/hilarious blogger who had the selflessness to apply those writing abilities toward dulling the pain of sanctions for an entire community?


    • Mel-e-Mel
      Mel-e-Mel says:

      I’m an alum from 1987, and also a sportswriter, turned financial editor, turned Sr. Copywriter for a Fortune 500 company. Everything I have made of my career I can attribute to USC. From the internships that got me started, to the networking that got me every job thereafter. USC on my resume gets me in the door every time. I’m extremely proud to be part of this arrogant nation, along with the rest of my family and extended family. We’ve converted Razorbacks, Beavers and even Bruins to our Trojan family with just one tailgate. SC is displayed all over my work, my car and my home, and if haters call us cheaters, I make sure they know just how arrogant we are. We have the greatest school, marching band, mascot, athletics department and alum in the world, and we should be arrogant! Once a Trojan, always a Trojan. We are arrogant and proud, and I hope the many generations of Trojans to come feel the same way.

  36. chris
    chris says:

    Completely agree with every other comment and completely disagree with Joey Kaufman. Don’t even think this was really necessary.

  37. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    Joey, you have made an ass of yourself. Here is Zack’s reply to your piece:

    Judging from the comments on the Daily Trojan, you have seriously mistimed your post, no one here seems ready to say goodbye to the Arrogant Nation. I for one am an avid reader of his blog and love how he owns and reworks the stereotypes about ‘SC. He loves this school and is so devoted that he doesn’t even want his fans to beat you up about this ill-advised article. Good luck in your career and next time, think twice before you write and submit a piece like this. #FTFO

  38. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Dude, get a clue. We REVEL in our arrogance. We LOVE IT. Have you even been to a football game or watched a band practice? Have you ever spoken to the alumni? Have you???

    It’s who we are, and we do NOT apologize for it! Do you know why we sing “UCLA Sucks” when the band plays Tusk, regardless of the opponent on the field? (I mean, besides the fact that UCLA does, in fact, suck)… it’s because today’s opponent is insignificant. They are an ant, and we considered them crushed before kickoff. And it is part of reminding today’s opponent that we aren’t worried about them, we’re not even thinking about them. Buh-bye.

    It is not lost on the fans that whoever we’re playing that week, it’s one of that team’s biggest games of the season. EVERY WEEK. Why? Because we’re THAT awesome.

    If you want to embrace your inner Trojan, you need to accept your superiority, embrace it, and have fun with it just as Zack Jerome does. It’s okay for other schools to think we’re arrogant. We are. (SC!) But we’re also THAT GOOD. We’re up to our arrogance. Arrogance is the backbone of the Trojan family, and what makes our bond so strong… it’s our shared belief in the superiority of our fellow Trojans. Not just “oh, you went to the same school as me and I feel nostalgic”. It’s much stronger than that.

    What you suggest in your article, that arrogance had its place when we were struggling under sanctions but now that we’re not, things have somehow changed smells very reminiscent of the stench of fair weather fandom. The Arrogant Nation always believed in the superiority of Trojans, whereas your faith wavered. And now that we’re back in our rightful place on top, you want to kick to the curb those who hung by and believed in the Spirit of Troy when you didn’t? I don’t think so, bub.

    You need to spend more Saturdays on the ground with the die-hards and figure out what we’re really about. And if you don’t like what you find… well, I’m sure there’s some hippy-dippy school up north that would welcome you. To the rest of us: FTFO

  39. Heather
    Heather says:

    Joey, Joey, Joey. We became Arrogant in the 20s when Coach Howard Jones when we won our first FOUR national championships. I’d like to think The Thundering Herd was our first Arrogant Nation and Zack took it to the next level during our greatest time of need.

    And sanctions or not, I will always root against our rivals, trash talk on gameday and shake hands at the end of the day. My friends know I’m arrogant. They still love me.

  40. TommyT
    TommyT says:

    You clearly have no idea what being a USC Trojan is all about and do not deserve to be included in the Arrogant Nation. I am saddened by your message and your lack of school pride.

  41. Proud Trojan
    Proud Trojan says:

    I feel as though “Arrogant Nation” is something that we have come to embrace for good reason. It’s been an ongoing dialogue between other schools and USC: “You guys are rich.” “No we’re not!” You guys think you’re better than everyone else.” No we don’t!” “You guys are so spoiled!” “No we’re not!” “You guys are arrogant….” And finally, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em and embrace it. Our final response to all this trash talk…

    “FINE! You’re right…We are arrogant. For good reason. Our school has more prestige, pride and power than your school could ever dream of. A tradition unlike any other. We’ll kick your ass in the business world and we’ll kick your ass on the football field too. We are a tight-knit family of elite students and alumni and we are damn proud of that fact. We are the Trojan Family. It’s us against the world and we are ARROGANT.”

  42. Max
    Max says:

    I don’t think that the article is getting at what everybody seems to be implying. I think the point isn’t that there isn’t a place for a certain level of arrogance, pride, or, more importantly, the lostangeles blog as a whole. The premise of the article has a certain inherent level of arrogance; that we don’t need the outward arrogance nearly as much because our team speaks for itself. I think he’s calling more for a slight message shift, or at least a more mature message. And I don’t think that’s bad. There are certain aspects of the ‘arrogance’ that have run their course. I love and have loved the blog. And Joey even says he embraced the message in it. I think you guys are being a little hard on a guy who clearly just wants the best for the student body and USC as a whole, and, in my opinion, is not insinuating that the blog should go. USC is clearly about more than arrogance, and I think we should embrace all of it.

    • TD TD
      TD TD says:

      “The premise of the article has a certain inherent level of arrogance; that we don’t need the outward arrogance nearly as much because our team speaks for itself”

      – dude, wait, I’m confused. First off, the team speaks for itself every Saturday. Don’t you get that this is about the fans? Arrogant Nation speaks for us.

      the premise of this article is the furthest thing from arrogant….singing Kumbaya with your (figurative) enemies and telling them how equal we all are sounds a lot like being a pushover and a kiss-ass. Throwing one of the strongest voices of your family under the bus sounds like betrayal. This isn’t cricket or high Tea time….there is no place for PC civil gallantry in football or life, well if you want to be successful anyway.

      No one ever saved the world by being nice – they did it by saying “F* you , my ideas are better, I believe in myself, Scoreboard”

      it’s only immature if you’re not living up to the (justifiably) arrogant picture you project


      • TD TD
        TD TD says:

        and plenty of Nice things were done for the world by people being ambitious, fearless, outside-the-box, unapologetically confident, dedicated and loyal

        • Max
          Max says:

          At the beginning I was just saying that acting like we’ve been there before is a quiet, and, I would argue, more powerful sort of arrogance. Comparing it to saving the world is straw man argument at best.a

          I get that you don’t like his opinion. I differ in opinion as well to an extent. But I think it’s silly to say the guy has negative intentions. He sees things differently. He wants the best for the university. There is room for both Joeys and Zacks in the world. I know what everyone is insinuating from Joey’s article, and I know you think he was just throwing Zack under the bus, but I just don’t think it really is about Zack or AN, as much as it’s about knowing that there will always be an arrogance, genuine or otherwise, but that the USC fan base doesn’t necessarily need to define itself as arrogant.

          I, personally, like the qualities of a Trojan set out by the university. You can put arrogance under faithful if you like. But I prefer the original set of characteristics to define us.

          As much as it doesn’t flow as well, I’d prefer a Faithful, Scholarly, Skillful, Courageous, and Ambitious (FSSCA) Nation. And I think we can agree that arrogant doesn’t embody all of those things. And I don’t know if the fan base has shown that we embody all of these things as of late. That’s not to say there isn’t room for arrogance. I think it’s inherent in college sports to some degree. Especially USC sports. But we can do better.

  43. Not to Beat a Dead Horse...
    Not to Beat a Dead Horse... says:

    Clearly, a lot of people have already said this, but lighten up. Sports, particularly football, brings out arrogance in EVERYONE. While there are people who take it too far, do you really think we’re actually booing the boys on the opposing team when they run out of the Colisieum? No. We’re booing them because they’re competition.

    And if you read his blogs, Jerome gives credit where credit is due. I mean, for God sakes, the man calls himself “The Bearfighter” and he recognized that UCLA had a nice big win against Nebraska on Saturday.

    Arrogant Nation is a little more tongue and cheek than you are painting it. Oh, and by the way, you might as well accept the fact that USC fans are some of the most arrogant football fans in the nation. And that arrogance comes from excellence, not from wealth.

  44. TD TD
    TD TD says:

    kind of hard to add on to Jessy’s point….it’s pretty simple – read between the lines. The Bearfighter was my freshman roommate in Fluor tower, Fall 2001 – so trust me when I tell you, you got it all wrong.

    I’m pretty sure I never saw him wear an Ed Hardy T-shirt or a pink Ralph Lauren Polo with the collars flipped up to his Gucci frames; I never saw him burn the tires of his banged-out hand-me down Mercury on Westwood Blvd; and I never saw him come with anything but sharp wit and class to any man, woman, child, stranger or enemy (not literal enemy, like figuratively, like as in we’re having fun with football – he has no literal enemies, other than bears) .

    He’s a gentleman and a scholar – and I could not be more proud of the collective voice he has championed. Kids these days are too entitled. We EVEN had a wet Coliseum in our early day, and our fans were kind of pathetic. Our early dorm room banter was about being a killer fan no matter what. We owned campus, Trousdale, Rose Garden, Coliseum, 9-0, Row every single Saturday….before we were crazy super good. We truly believed that our die hard fanaticism would turn around a program and deprogram that concept of a fair weather fan. Mission Accomplished, ZJ

    We have progressed past a “fair-weather” fan base and have garnered a powerful year round proud and passionate fan base. You couldn’t ask for more as a University or a sports program. The players love it. The coaches love it. The fans love it. The media recycles Arrogant Nation content.

    We have something unique – thinking outside the box, bucking the system – that’s where the greatest innovation and progress comes.

    Come over to our side, we’ll accept you too – and show you the true nuance of being classily arrogant.

  45. George
    George says:

    Is this guy really a Trojan? All arguments aside, he says “it’s ranked in the top five of virtually every top-25 poll imaginable.”

    Seriously man, where is your pride? The published rankings clearly show USC being AT LEAST third in every PUBLISHED poll (http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings).

    Not sure where you are sourcing your material that says USC ranks 5th? Are you being paid by those dirty bears across town to disparage your own?

  46. Drew Davidson
    Drew Davidson says:

    I have been a Trojan for over 3 decades–through amazing seasons and horrible ones, and I thank Zack for putting the time and effort and love into supporting ‘SC and our football team, our student body and our fan base during the last couple of years of absolute BS. He didn’t create Arrogant Nation, but he definitely put a name to it, with his wit and tongue-in-cheek posts. If we are to be punished for what we “should have known”, then we can scorn the ncaa and everybody that gleefully branded us “cheaters” and remain proud of our school and team and tradition. If you don’t understand that and actually believe that we should censor his free speech, then maybe you shouldn’t be writing for the DT.

    Until we are completely out of the sanctions, I refuse to say anything other than FTFO. If Zack retires his keyboard at the end of this season as he has indicated may be a possibility, then that should be his decision. Until then, he has my support and gratitude for the laughs and being a beacon for some of the less die-hards. And if I run into him at a tailgate, I hope to have a fine scotch to offer as well.


  47. EK
    EK says:

    As a 10+ year alumnus, and season ticket holder, and a person whose blood runs cardinal and gold, there has been (and continues to be) nothing better for Trojan Nation than Zack and Lost Angeles. I think your literal definition of arrogance is very different than what Zack means by Arrogant in his posts. As someone above said, he embodies that first virtue carved on Tommy’s base: FAITHFUL. He has made us laugh, he has been brutally honest about our performances on the field, and he has opened up his life to all of the Trojan Family. And since it’s a personal blog, your opinion is your own – it’s up to Zack whether to continue or not. And personally, though he’s said this is the last year, I hope it continues in perpetuity. If you don’t like it Joey, then don’t read it. Sorry if that comes across as harsh. But it’s the truth. Fight On! Beat the Farm!

  48. Bob Hope
    Bob Hope says:

    I find it funny when people refer to USC has the university of spoiled children. That we’re rich and oozing with money.

    Like that’s supposed to make me feel bad about myself? hahahahaha Those guys are too dumb to realize they’re saying I’m better off than them. Wooo! Morons.


  49. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    There is nothing to hate about being ambitious and having a better reputation because of it. Obviously Zack’s blog is to be taken with a grain of salt, but in many ways the ‘arrogance’ that he has portrayed, in the bad times, and now the good, has in my eyes given Trojans even more ambition to keep up the ‘arrogance’ and continue to make our school one of the top, most sought after, universities in the nation. And make no mistake, this arrogance is completely justified, it wouldn’t work if SC wasn’t better than ever…

    Conversation I had with a UCLA student at a bar that made me even prouder(more justifiably arrogant) to be a Trojan:

    Bruin: “You went to USC, ugh, they suck.”
    Me: “USC is a better school than UCLA right now.”
    Bruin: “Yea, but that’s only because you guys have more money, better sports, and better research and academics.”
    Me: “Exactly.”

    To be arrogant is one thing, to have it justified by your rival is another(albeit one case personally, but I am sure there are many other cases). Zack has embraced our justified arrogance and it makes all of us prouder to be a part of something so successful. I would much rather read Zacks’ blog then read a blog that tells me to not celebrate my alma matter being successful in sports, academics, raising money, being attractive, life, etc…if the time comes that Trojans aren’t justified to say these things, then I would have a problem with it, but why not embrace it now. No one’s going to question the arrogance.

  50. USC-TroJohn
    USC-TroJohn says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa – Hold the phone! Is this Article laying out how the force that brought so many together to cheer on our Trojans should now be discarded, based only on the fact that we are now looking better and able to play for the NC? Should we mothball the navy seals now that Bin Laden has been smoked? Then what; Then who takes the fight to the streets when the Media, haters and bRuins start to run their mouths? The Arrogant Nation brought fans, alumnus and current students together in a time of need, and in doing so gave the Team something to play for besides ridicule and the snarky remarks from everyone outside our circle of Awesome! LONG LIVE THE BEARFIGHTER!!!

    PS. I only ordered one pair of shades, but got two! That was super Arrogant of you.

  51. Keith
    Keith says:

    There’s so much wrong with this article..

    First off, thank you Jonathan K for pointing out my first issue-

    “During the bowl ban years, arrogance didn’t exactly move the needle much as USC mostly puttered around outside the top 25. It was a way to hang on.” USC finished ranked 6th & would have arguably challenged for a National Title if given an opportunity so “puttered around outside the top 25 might be slightly off.

    My second issue-

    “Arrogance is flashing your middle finger at someone wearing opposing colors.”

    no thats being a d bag, i’m flabbergasted you don’t comprehend the difference.

    Jessy said it best “if you get offended by the humor than dont read it” & its damn good humor btw, Zach Jerome is a living legend to me & he has stood up & fought for us in a time when no one wanted to so he is damn sure deserving as are all of us long time Trojan fans of throwing on our bear skin coats over our Bowls are for salad t shirts & having a little fun during an extremely fun time for this program.. Quit being the old cranky neighbor who’s whining for us to turn down the music Joey, be the neighbor that comes over & while he might not fully agree with our party, he knows we deserve this party. Ill pour you a drink & get you a blonde.

    Id also look to point out the best part of this entire article/comments was Kyle Wheeler calling Zach “Jack” in his comment. There is nothing more arrogant to me than messing up someones name. I Love it


  52. JT
    JT says:

    They are always going to call us the University of Spoiled Children and make those BS comments. It’s sad that they need to put us down to feel better about themselves, but it’s not going to go away no matter what Zack says or doesn’t say in his blog.

  53. Donna
    Donna says:

    I have no problem with the blog or its message of arrogance, I just wish that Zach Jerome would proofread his posts before publishing them. The spelling errors are embarrassing for a blog that serves as such an influential representative of the USC fanbase.

  54. Amy
    Amy says:

    I think this article is what we dont need….
    Lost Angeles got us through the sanctions and we all became fans of Zack and his writing.
    If you dont like what he has to say, dont read it. What is the need to write an article like this stating that he (or the arrogant nation) is no longer needed?
    By the way, our boys didnt just “putter around the outside of the top 25” last year….you may need a fact checker on that one…..

  55. Declan S.
    Declan S. says:

    2 things: 1) Zack Jerome just drinks scotch and hunts bears so I’m sure he doesn’t care that you think about the Arrogant Nation. 2) Zack Jerome writes about Kyle Negrete’s cyborg leg so I think it’s a little bit ridiculous that you take him so seriously. His blog is supposed to be entertaining and a great way for alums and students to rally together. Take a chill pill, Joey.

  56. JD
    JD says:

    I see where you’re coming from, but frankly, I think you’re way off base. Save the squeaky-clean perception for Pat Haden and the administration; it’s working for them. But when it comes to the fanbase, arrogance is what we do best. We’re the fans that crudely trash our rival in one of our most famous band songs. We’re the fans who jingle the keys to our expensive cars as we close out a win. We’re the fans that made it so the marching band can never play that Gary Glitter song ever again. And I like it that way. It’s who we are. It’s what USC football is. Ours is a tradition of arrogance. We stab the field as part of our pregame ceremony, effectively claiming victory before the game is even played. It doesn’t get much more arrogant than that.

    Save the classiness for the classroom. Yes, USC is growing in stature as an academic institution. Nikias wants to make USC an Ivy League of the West Coast, and I’m all for that. That doesn’t mean that, as fans of the greatest football team on the West Coast, we need to change who we are to cater to national perception. Who cares if the rest of college football hates us? They should; we’re more attractive, earn more valuable degrees, and still dominate on the football field. Zack Jerome didn’t create some temporary fix for a dark time; he helped remind us who we’ve been all along. We’re SC, we’re arrogant, we’re winners, no matter what some arbitrary governing body says. And that’s the way it should be.

  57. Goose
    Goose says:

    It’s a satirical sports blog… And last time I checked we are still sanctioned so I’m pretty sure his site is still fair game as far as your set of rules go.

  58. Veronica
    Veronica says:

    I can’t help but feel this is a recommendation that everyone should be a fair weather fan. Well I for one, refuse to do just that. Through thick and thin, there are many fans (including myself) who have stood by our team and rooted them on, but when the sanctions dropped, so many lost hope, and we all were divided, left feeling like we were the only ones still cheering. Arrogant Nation helped to encourage even the shakiest of fans in the darkest of hours to not lose hope, to stand up and cheer for the team that we love.

    I give Zack at least partial credit for some of the players still being here this season- he and his blog helped to re-establish a support group of fans that no other university (outside of maybe Texas or the SEC) has seen the likes of in times of trouble. Even at the lowest of low, even when we couldn’t win a bowl, there was still glory in playing Trojan football. New recruits saw it! Despite the fact they couldn’t get scholarship money, they still signed up. So if you’re suggesting that we should sit back and politely golf clap instead of enjoying the spoils of victory (LIKE ANY OTHER COLLEGE FOOTBALL FAN IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD, ESPECIALLY AFTER GOING THROUGH THIS), then no, I will not “chill out, bro.”

    Self righteous fans do not belong in college football. Years before the bearfighter ever came along, there were FUCLA shirts and teddy bears drug across the quad with rope. We battle-cried and set sh!t on fire, and it was awesome. How is this in any worse taste? If anything, he’s truthfully illuminating the pomp, circumstance, and insanity that is college football under a hilarious microscope, and uniting the Trojan Family instead of suggesting a division of it (like you, sir, are currently doing.)

    I love Arrogant Nation and everything that it stands for, because it was there when we needed it most. You don’t turn your back on someone who’s helped you through the rough patches, do you?

    Besides, USC will always have the stigma of being USC. If we’re gonna have a label slapped on us, we might as well represent. #FTFO

  59. Sarah Bedo
    Sarah Bedo says:

    Am I arrogant regarding where I go to school? Hell yes. I go to the best school in the universe and it is better than any college anywhere. I think that every Trojan is the best because we are taught by the best, and are surrounded by the best. Our arrogance, especially that of Arrogant Nation, is beautiful because it is smiling at the people who try and bring us down. Sure, it is going to piss people off that are not in the Trojan Family, but it is a beautiful way of not letting ANYONE bring us down. It’s like when someone honks loud at you on the freeway for no reason and you give them a thumbs up. It’s giving them the middle finger WITHOUT doing it.

    And for the record, my father is a Bruin, but reads the blog and absolutely loves it.

  60. JACK
    JACK says:

    As someone who graduated last year and went all 4 years with Zach’s posts I feel like you could not be more out of touch. Don’t take yourself/ or Zach’s posts so seriously. The purpose of Arrogant Nation isn’t to paint a picture of USC to outsiders. It is something that brought levity to a grim situation, kept SC “pride” intact, and maybe in some small part helped us be where we are right now. For someone who works 12 hours a day I look forward to the 2 hours a week when I can read his previews and recaps.

    Zach himself said that this is most likely his last arrogant season, he feels like he should finish what he started and I agree. It would really be a shame if one article from one DT writer without any perspective ruined something so great for so many Trojans, both undergraduate and alumni.

    • Jessica
      Jessica says:

      Hate to break it to you, but this is only Zach’s third year writing the blog. He didn’t start writing about USC until the sanctions started.

  61. Marc
    Marc says:

    Zacks blog is a characterization of the first value of a Trojan, faithful.

    …and lets be honest, FTFO was in place long before Jerome. So read his blog, have a good laugh, and get over yourself.

  62. Courtney
    Courtney says:

    The Bear Fighter is a genius and a wonderful writer. Obviously his tongue-in-cheek irony is lost on some, but that isn’t what really “irks” me about your column Mr. Kaufman. You seem to be arguing that Zack Jerome had his place when we were under the oppression of the sanctions, when we couldn’t win a “fake national championship.” Now that things are “serious” and we have the ability to be champions again he’s supposed to be cast aside? We’re supposed to forget that those silly little sanctions ever happened and go back to playing “real” football? Jerome kept Trojan pride alive. He reminded us that no matter what, at the end of the day we’re still Trojans, trophy or not.

    You sir, are un-ironically “arrogant” for thinking that the opinion of your sad little column could possibly discourage a fan base who was rallied by a true Trojan, a fighter, like Jerome. I for one will continue to stand with my Trojan Family in the Arrogant Nation. #ftfo

  63. WCW - '08 and '14
    WCW - '08 and '14 says:

    Perhaps if the arrogant blog were not entirely based on satire your points would hold more weight, but the reality is that the writing style is obviously comedic and I have yet to hear a single person say that I have degrees from the “University of Spoiled Children” on the basis of Zach Jerome’s stellar website. What you propose is to cut what is an obvious trilogy short because of your fear of perception. This is USC and we don’t stop the telling an epic tale because we’re afraid some bRuin or Kal kid is going to call us all arrogant because of a blog. Are you serious? What’s courageous or scholarly about that?

  64. Cass
    Cass says:

    I enjoy the rants of the arrogant nation, not because I consider myself part of this clique, but rather for entertainment purposes. I think AN has a place among the Trojan Family and the guy should be allowed to continue his blog. You might feel differently, which is a choice. How USC chooses to acknowledge Jerome is up to the University, but your article walks a fine line calling for censorship on the basis of public perception. That’s lame. With that said, you bring up great points on the values of what it really means to be a Trojan. Arrogance is an exaggerated sense of one’s abilities, exaggerated being the key word.

  65. Matt G
    Matt G says:

    Really Joey? You have apparently missed out on the whole point. The best way to answer the “snobby rich kid” stereotype you seem to fear is to embrace it and make it our own. Poke fun at it, play it up. Getting indignant about it is exactly the reaction the SC haters are trying to provoke. There is no shame in being better looking, smarter, faster and richer! Who wouldn’t want that? You’d rather be ugly, dumb, slow and poor? FTFO Zack and stay arrogant buddy!

  66. Bob H.
    Bob H. says:

    I would say we need Zack and his blog now more than ever. Because IF there is even one tiny misstep by this team, the blogosphere, local and national media will try and knock us off the front page AND drop Matt out of the Heisman race as quickly as you can say East Coast Bias. I appreciate your respect for the “Trojan Family”, but your proposal to separate us is frankly the antithesis of what a family is.

  67. Alex
    Alex says:

    Tell me you’ve never screamed “UCLA SUCKS!” at a football game when the TMB plays “Tusk” and your article will carry a little more weight with me. Trash-talk and exaggeration are a standard of competitive sports at all levels; a way to get fans and players excited, a way to distinguish “us” and “them”. That divide of our team versus your team is at the very heart of competition and lets be real: no one wants to go to a pep rally and listen to how nice or accomplished the other team is.
    Lost Angeles is a blog that lives in that pump-up mentality. As you mentioned, that tone was particularly important while we were under sanctions, but now that we’re bowl-eligible it shouldn’t just be chucked out the window. Fans want to be excited about their team and their sport, and Zach Jerome gets USC fans excited. Is he over the top? Absolutely. But if he met Andrew Luck at a party, I highly doubt their conversation would sound anything like the Stanford posts on his blog.
    Instead of focusing on USC’s arrogance (an arrogance present in every sports culture) maybe you should look to the loyalty and pride that underlays it. Because that’s what Zach’s blog, and being a Trojan, is all about.

  68. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    As a recent graduate of USC who isn’t one of the rich kids, I understand you wanting to beat the stereotype. Being a Trojan has enabled me to earn prestigious fellowships, scholarships, awards and jobs. But, what your argument fails to address, is the other perceptions people have of USC, besides the rich dumb kids.

    For the past two years, at every internship I’ve had across the country, I’ve been called a cheater. I’ve been told that the only reason my school was every any good AT ANYTHING was because we cheated. Do I think I or anyone else at USC cheated? No. Do I think Reggie Bush is in the wrong. No, not really. If you’re coming from a bad background, it’s hard to wait three years to make big bucks when your family is living in a harsh neighborhood or can’t afford basic amenities. Or the fact that you can’t afford a nice suit on an NCAA athlete stipend.

    Now that our two year bowl ban is up, I think the blog has an even large responsibility and roll. It’s to remind the new Trojans, entering into the family, WHY they need to be so proud (and even arrogant) about their team and their school. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of this season or the potential awards that our players may get. But the blog is there to remind us that EVERYONE out there hates us. I’ve personally witnessed this in several cities across the US while wearing school shirts. We’ve never done anything wrong, but they do across the country. Because of this, we must cheer that much harder, support our team that much more, and yes, be arrogant and proud, win or lose.

    There’s always room for a blog like Lost Angeles. The day it isn’t needed is the day views drop below 1000+ daily.

  69. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    Zack Jerome has most definitely not run it’s course. He says what all of us think but are too PC to actually say. Why should we feel bad about having a good football team, a top ranked academic institution, perfect weather and beautiful students and alumni? Why should we feel bad for celebrating our success?

    As students and alumni of the University of Southern California, we should be proud of our past and continued success. If that makes me ARROGANT, then I am more than willing to take up that mantle. I’m not going to feel bad that my football team is better than yours, that my school is better than yours, that my fellow alumni are more successful than you and that the other students at my university are better looking than you.

    If there’s one place where I don’t need to be PC, it’s in my unbridled support for my alma mater.

    Fight On!

  70. Brent
    Brent says:

    Yeah, it’s called irony, and having high spirits. It’s only week 3, at least let the vision come to fruition before kicking it to the curb just because you feel we don’t “need it anymore.” It’s now apart of the culture, and it showed the entire country how the Trojans conduct themselves in the face of such a disappointing last few years (and a disappointing BCS).

  71. Jonathan K
    Jonathan K says:

    There’s a lot I take issue with here. First, there’s this: “During the bowl ban years, arrogance didn’t exactly move the needle much as USC mostly puttered around outside the top 25. It was a way to hang on.”

    You do realize that last season was a bowl ban year too, right? And USC finished ranked 6th. I’m not saying the idea of arrogant nation made that happen, but it certainly helped keep some fans excited.

    Then there’s this: “Arrogance is flashing your middle finger at someone wearing opposing colors.”

    No, that is not arrogance. That is being a jerk. Arrogance is knowing that, win or lose, USC is always awesome.

    Finally you say that “USC is above [arrogance].” That sounds pretty arrogant to me.

    (And like others said, it’s mostly tongue-in-cheek anyway. The perception of USC being a bunch of dumb rich kids is never going to go away, so why shouldn’t we have some fun with it?)

    • Ann
      Ann says:

      “Then there’s this: ‘Arrogance is flashing your middle finger at someone wearing opposing colors.’ No, that is not arrogance. That is being a jerk. Arrogance is knowing that, win or lose, USC is always awesome.”

      Knowing that USC is awesome win or lose is called pride, not arrogance. I believe that the Lost Angeles blog did serve its purpose over the course of the bowl ban, but that does not mean that it does not have a purpose to serve now. I just think that the purpose needs to be altered to fit the current state of the football team. Yes, we are playing with 10 less players than other programs, but there is no denying that we are no longer the underdog so the message of arrogance and fighting on to come out on top when the odds are against us is simply outdated. I think the blog should portray a message of Trojan pride, not arrogance. We can be proud of our school without being rude to others and perpetuating the negative stereotype that being a USC student sometimes holds.

      • Jen
        Jen says:

        10 *fewer* players than other programs.

        And while I’m correcting word choice, have you seen a thesaurus entry for “pride?”

        Main Entry: pride
        Part of Speech: verb
        Definition: take pleasure in accomplishment
        Synonyms: be proud, boast, brag, congratulate, crow, exult, felicitate, flatter oneself, gasconade, glory in, hold head high, overbear, pique*, plume, prance, preen, presume, puff up, revel in, strut, swagger, swell, vaunt

        What part of that doesn’t sound arrogant?

        We are ‘SC. We are arrogant. And we are proud to be Trojans. #FTFO.

    • Steve O
      Steve O says:

      Exactly right, Jonathan! I almost copy/pasted your entire response to make it my own. I gagged upon reading those very same points you address.

  72. Zach
    Zach says:

    We didn’t start calling ourselves Arrogant, others did. When people try to insult you for being ambitious, you make them eat their envious nonsense, if you’re a real Trojan.

  73. Patrick
    Patrick says:

    I have been around USC for over thirty years. The student body and alumni are among the most talented, attractive, capable, and arrogant people on earth. Zack Jerome did not make USC and Trojan Nation arrogant. We`were that way since before you were born. Keep calm, Fight On, and remember we are better, smarter, and faster than the rest.

  74. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I actually kind of agree with this article… I love the blog and I am thankful for how Zack kept our spirits high during the bowl bans, but we are no longer in need of this. The blog served its purpose.

  75. Tina
    Tina says:

    While I see your point, I can’t help but feel this entire article was written to get you attention rather than out of true concern. Maybe give people something better to read and something better to “follow” and they will. But until then you can’t complain about everyone liking and embracing the fun and humor associated with this guys blog. I hate myself for posting on this and giving it the attention that you were begging for by writing it.

  76. Eric Maher
    Eric Maher says:

    DT writer Joey Kaufman doesn’t get it. We understood and embraced arrogance when I was a freshman at SC in the 1970s. It’s the same now. The DT should thank Zack Jerome every day. And Joey should call him Mr. Jerome.

  77. Kyle Wheeler
    Kyle Wheeler says:

    I agree with Jessy. I am a Scion and a recent Trojan graduate, and Jack’s messages are what kept us bonded together during our hardest trials as fans. For you to now turn and tell him he is not needed or that his message is wrong, is just your perception. To also then take it a step further and write an article seemingly against him is just wrong to me. We are the TROJAN FAMILY as you wrote…So chill out and take a step back.

  78. Jessy
    Jessy says:

    if you really take “arrogant nation” LITERALLY, then it is you that has the problem. Its an exaggeration that mocks our sterotypes, just fun which is what college football is all about. Chill out and let this guy write his blog. If you get offended by the humor than dont read it.

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