Aren’t we all sick of speculating yet? Every possible outcome for Saturday’s season opening football game against Alabama has been written about. We have discussed what could happen if the Trojans win, lose or tie. In fact, we’ve done so much forecasting, it seems that come Saturday night, when the scores are all final, everyone will be able to turn to their friends smugly and say, “Well, I saw that one coming.”
Everyone has a different approach to the beginning of football season, and the fact that there are so many unique ways to experience football is one of the reasons it is such a popular sport. For example, there are the people (and there are a lot of them) who are all about the predictions and “what ifs.” The majority of my friends fall into this category and they frequently get in heated debates about whether or not head coach Clay Helton selected the correct starting quarterback.
There are the people who think they can coach or play better than the people on the field and sidelines. Most of the time this is just a ridiculously ignorant comment, but it can certainly be good for a laugh.
At USC, football is more than just a sport. It is the culture that comes with tailgates, Song Girls and a special white horse. The magic of football goes beyond the field, especially as a student, and that is something that has been out of reach because of the circumstances of this year’s opening game. Traveling to Dallas, playing the storied Alabama Crimson Tide — who are the defending champions and top-ranked team in the country no less — is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most fans, student media and athletes, but it loses a little of the USC magic.
Nonetheless, I am ready for it to be game day. Saturday will mark what is bound to be an exceptional game in one way or another — it wouldn’t be a USC football season without some unanticipated intrigue.
Perhaps the following weekend will be even more exciting, however, when the Trojans return home to the Coliseum and Saturday becomes a day filled with Cardinal and Gold.
Of course football season isn’t just about the fluff: the marching band, the lighting of the torch, the Fight Song. More so than at other schools, the success of the football season is defined by results on the field. Football is a million-dollar industry and is treated like a business. Reputations, jobs and money are on the line every time the Trojans take the field, but isn’t it a little ridiculous to pin the success of the whole season on one game?
We as a fan base know little about redshirt junior quarterback Max Browne yet choose to continually decide whether or not he is qualified and capable of leading this team. How can we say he was or was not the correct choice? The same theory holds true for Helton.
While I understand and respect that football is the sport that a majority of people are the most passionate about, I have grown increasingly tired of the hoopla surrounding a game when there is no real gauge on what to expect.
Football season is back, and with it comes the highs and the lows of unguarded anticipation.
Hailey Tucker is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Tucker Talks,” runs Wednesdays.