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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wise Words (or lack thereof) on the Off-Season

Poor Richard’s Almanac – Handling the Off-Season
by Brooks

Every year, we are faced with the problem of bridging the seemingly endless ennui known as the “Off Season;” that interminable time between the Bowl games and the start of the next season. That is approximately 8 months…or 240 days….or 34.2 weeks. I’m not sure on these numbers. Numbers make my head hurt. TroBob keeps track of these things (he is a historian and a soccer expert).

This isn’t quite as formidable as it seems. The period of time between the bowl games and the Trojan Huddle – January 4 to mid-April can be an interesting time period, or at least not as boring. (photo right: Brooks at Menlo and 39th yesterday, waiting for the season to start) We have TrojanOdyssey telling us what actually happened in the Trojan bowl game. Normally, this is not at all what we thought. We have National Champs and Mojack at each other’s throats arguing whether we will win every game next season easily or lose every game; both with compelling arguments. We have the old fart, Brooks, trying to please both of them by agreeing with both sides of the argument so as not to offend anyone; usually offending both of them and those monitoring the discussion. His ability to change black to white with statistics is also a time killer and a source of entertainment.

Then we have the delight of gloating and rubbing our victory in the faces of the fans of our vanquished foes. Some people feel ashamed about our total lack of humility and empathy in our overbearing superior attitude. Poor Richard says Bullshit! We’ve earned it. Besides, as Queen Victoria said, “Let them become Trojans.” As if we needed more Trojan bandwagoners clogging up the freeways and parking lots.

About the time we put our bowl victory to bed, LOI signing day is here. This is an entertaining week or so as the high school stars make their decisions. Amazingly, the ones who select the Trojans are fine kids with family values and character. Those who stab us in the back are gutless punks who we didn’t really want at all and who deserve the crime infested campus and sleazy coach where they will play.

Then we have March madness and the college basketball experts come out of the woodwork. TVofTroy, Brooks, Po’okela and Fast Frank explains the game to us while quiet unassuming historian TroBob walks away with the Bracket Battle money.

Now the Huddle is coming up. (photo left: Brooks is spending this off-season painting his bedroom) We kill a couple of weeks in anticipation; predicting who will star and who will flop. The annual QB controversy erupts. The vitriol and venom flows freely. Mojack and Brooks are at each others' throat. They begin calling each other and the respective quarterback candidates bad names. Trojan Odyssey steps in with his usual aplomb and objectivity and reminds them that both players are Trojans and whoever Pete selects will win the Heisman.

After the Huddle the customary arguments resume. Others get in the act. Violence is threatened. Guys challenge each other to meet somewhere to duke it out in front of the Herd. The date comes and no one shows up, including the combatants. Belle steps in and tells everyone to act like Trojans instead of Bruins. Calm returns. Actually, this period of time can be more fun-filled than regular season

But now we’re here. That miserable period of boredom is here! The Lakers are done so we don’t even have the NBA tournament. There is still around 115 days of unthinkable nothingness in sports. Sure there’s baseball and golf but who cares about them except the board losers like Grover and Yucca?

Here is what you have to do:

Young single guys: If you’re bored, you have a problem. Duh. Football or all the advice of Poor Richard won’t help you.

Married guys: Don’t let your wife know the season is over. I can guarantee she will be pulling you away from the computer, keeping you home on weekends, demanding conversation, movies, dinners and worst of all making you clean up the yard. Block out the sports channels, get up early every morning and pull the sports section from the newspaper. Wives, on the average, are pretty dumb and can be fooled.

Make up user names and get on message boards of opponents. Masquerade as a fan of the school you are messaging on. Bruin and Domers are dumb. Shorty once posted under a different name for 32 days posing as a Bruin fan and saying insulting things about the team, school, students and coaching staff before the figured out that he was actually a Trojan. Speaking of Shorty, he fools his wife by sending her on a month-long fishing trip with the girls (yeah, right, girls) while he tools around the inter-mountain states on his Goldwing.

If you live in the Los Angeles area as do most of the normal fans (not that out-of-town fans aren’t normal but we all know Red and Gretyl), you can go to Father Mikes Church after he does a wedding and shoot him with paint balls when he leaves the chapel for pictures with the bride and groom. (photo right: Brooks spent last off-season painting his trailer. Why didn't he use more cardinal?) You can hang around Heritage Hall and ask Pete if he’s going to turn Sark loose next year. Or why isn’t Sanchez really getting a shot at starting. Or why did he call a run on 4th and 2. Or why wasn’t Reggie in the game. Or you can go to rehab and try to get over it. Poor Richard recommends that you face it. Put the tape on. Watch the game. Watch it again. Internalize it, so we don’t make the same mistakes again and to be prepared when TrojanOdyssey rewrites the game. You can get another user name and pick a fight with Manny and challenge him to meet you in Hesperia to duke it out and then not show up.

These are just a few things. Use your imagination. Only boring people are bored as Mojack clearly illustrates. Yucca isn’t bored. Brooks isn’t bored. TrojanOdyssey isn’t bored. RepoTazz isn’t bored.

By now, we are within striking distance of the season. Bob has started his count down. Vandal fans are on our boards talking smack. Mojack and Champs are at each other again. Mojack is giving 50 reasons why we can’t lose, Champs is warning against over confidence. Manny is still claiming that Sanchez will be the starter. Brooks, the toady, is agreeing with everyone (except Po’okela who can sound wrong even when he is right). The Tailgate planning starts. The air of excitement returns. Then suddenly, one morning you wake up and you realize that you have done it. You have lived through another off-season. It’s game day. Beat the Vandals.

Fight On.

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