I’m a lifetime Bruin (birth, preschool, bachelor’s, Master’s, doctorate and currently teaching) so the title of this post doesn’t come easy. I couldn’t bring myself to write “I Heart USC” because of the history: Rodney Peete running down a certain UCLA football victory or Trojan guard Harold Miner punking the Don MacLean-led Bruins. My own son Jake wore cardinal and gold braces just to piss me off. Despite the fact I’ve sat on the USC Sea Grant Advisory Board for over a decade, I hate that white horse almost as much as I hate the Trojan fight song.
All of that changed last Saturday. The Santa Monica High School Vikings (they wear blue and gold and use the UCLA fight song as their own) competed in the Surf Bowl, the L.A.-Orange County competition of NOAA’s regional Ocean Sciences Bowl. As always, USC and JPL hosted the battle of the aqua-nerds. Last year, USC played host to another heart-wrenching defeat that shattered the Gold family: Arcadia (clad in cardinal and gold) beat Samohi on the last question of the tourney at the buzzer. A half-court three-pointer cost Samo a trip to St. Pete, Florida.