Thursday, November 01, 2007

Behind enemy lines

I'm paying my first visit to Trojanland to attend a work seminar, and I couldn't resist stopping first at the storied stadium that is home to USC's football team and the former host of two Summer Olympic Games.
At night in low light, the Coliseum certainly has a certain panache. But I've heard that the downtown stadium - like its crosstown cousin the Rose Bowl - is a bit of a dump in the guileless glare of sunlight.
USC is located just outside downtown L.A. on a compact scenic campus. (Click on the map to view it larger.)
I found Tommy Trojan near the center of the campus. The 77-year-old statue is an important part of school tradition.
As is George Tirebiter, the scraggly mutt that became the school's live mascot in the 1940s. He's immortalized in this bronze.
This is Alumni Park, also near the center of campus. The tents in the background are part homecoming celebrations leading up to this weekend's PAC 10 conference game against Oregon State.
I was really hoping that my in-your-face LSU shirt would provoke some livid reactions from Trojan faithful as I roamed campus tonight, but I couldn't have been more disappointed.

Not only did no one dare speak to me, but most of the people I encountered (many wearing USC clothing) turned their eyes away from me like cowardly puppies fearful of triggering a confrontation with a snarling, rabid pit bull.

This ain't the SEC.
I'm wondering if the members of the debate team will spend their time under this tent arguing whether a single national championship makes a dynasty.
This is where they play those other ball sports.The Coliseum is located just south of campus in Exposition Park, which is home to a growing cluster of museums . . .
Including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
I thought my skin was going to incinerate when I had to walk into this hotel gift shop to buy a newspaper.

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