When I was growing up in Los Angeles, this game actually meant something. I had the great fortune of going to most of these crosstown rivalry games, either at the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl, oftentimes going with another friend of mine (who will go nameless but used to be a Son until we killed him for sport).
I have this awesome childhood memory of being at the Rose Bowl with this nameless friend after a close game, having to wait for the queue of exiting fans down the aisle to start inching their way down from the stands toward the tunnel. Of course, we started screwing around, and he was below me in the aisle of unmoving people, and I shoved him forward, causing him to push the guys in front of him like dominoes. This of course pissed off a guy about five people down from us, and he started yelling at the guy immediately behind him, who happened to be from the other school and didn't take kindly to his words. Next thing we new, it was an all-out fistfight between these two guys, with people screaming and punches flying and my friend and I deciding to cut back across the horizontal row and get the hell out of there, fast. Hilarious.
Those sort of memories might be the only thing that comes out of today's game, a matchup between two non-bowling programs in various states of rebuilding, scrapping over their last game of the year. Bill Plaschke even tried to inject some suspense into the SoCal showdown in yesterday's column, using his opening five paragraphs (and only six sentences!) to make some ridiculous insinuation that Lane Kiffin's job is on the line today. Pshaw. This game is a yawner, with smaller bragging rights than ever. Not that it can't be fun; it's just...not too meaningful this time around.
For those of you heading out to the game this weekend, enjoy the rivalry and root on your favorite team! And keep your hands to yourself when exiting the Rose Bowl.