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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Trojan Walk

A Herdmember’s Perspective on the August 21st Trojan Walk

(This was an old article written by one of our Original Herders regarding an invitation only event that the Herd participated in)

By CardinalBlood

It's really difficult to put into words all the feelings that I experienced today as the Thundering Herd were invited to share the Trojan Walk with the football team before the free scrimmage. At 10:45am, about sixty Herders were waiting on Figueroa as the football team buses pulled up. The first one to exit the bus was Pete. He immediately shook every Herd member’s hand. The players exited and we filed in behind the team as instructed and began to walk towards the Coliseum in the middle of a roped-off street. Soon both sides of the walk became crowded with Trojan fans cheering on the team. I think it was one of the largest crowds at a Trojan walk I have ever seen. We were behind the team and as we approached the fans, I heard many people saying, "Look it's the Herd!" It was so amazing to feel that encouragement. Now I know how the players feel walking into the Coliseum.

As we entered the cavernous Coliseum; empty, huge, intimidating, I had to stop at the top and take it all in. My heart was pounding as it did many times during this incredible day! Standing up at the top of the stairs with the team in front of us, I thought of being a boy and watching the greats like Mike Garrett, Marcus Allen and Ronny Lott, and I could hear in my head the TMB playing Tribute to Troy, and then the goose bumps and chills began to appear.

We descended the steps into the Coliseum, that most hollowed ground, that most sacred place, where we mingled with the ashes of Marv Goux and John Mckay. We stopped in the middle of the field and watched as the team circled for the team prayer. Pete thanked the Herd for all of our support through thick and thin, and for being there in the beginning before USC were champions. As the prayer ended we followed the players up the tunnel! It was cool, it was surreal, I could not stop grinning. Once the team walked into the locker room, the Herd stood against the wall with all the Rose Bowls and National Championships listed on it, and we had a group picture taken.

Every one in the Herd had a great time. We were allowed to stay on the field while the team warmed up, while the band took the field, and when all the players made their entrance. When the scrimmage started, we were finally asked to go back to our seats. What a day. It was an amazing opportunity to bond with this team like we never have been able to before. I know that none of us in the Herd will ever forget this day.

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