|The University of Southern California|
We're staying at the Raddison on the USC campus for the second leg of our sportscation. It's perfect for us to walk to all sports venues. It's also next to the Metro light-rail "Expo" line to downtown Los Angeles and the Staples and the Convention Centers.
But back to rivalries. During Conquest Week, the mascot statues are covered for protection. Here are before and after pictures. First comes George Tirebiter, a stray dog that became an unofficial mascot that led the USC Marching Band into football games in the 1940s.
|George Tirebiter, a 1940s mascot.|
|George "in the doghouse" for safety.|
Next comes Traveller, the white horse that has galloped in the football stadium carrying a Trojan warrior at home games since 1961. During Conquest week, Traveller gets wrapped in duct tape to keep him safe from UCLA Bruins fans.
|The Traveller statue.|
|Traveller all taped up.|
Finally comes Tommy Trojan. He represents the spirit of USC. He also gets covered in duct tape so he doesn't end up with a coat of blue and gold paint in the dead of night.
Wayne with Tommy Trojan.
|Tommy Trojan "under wraps."|
In addition to the protective coverings, the mascot statues are guarded 24-7 by representatives of the Trojan Knights philanthropic and school support group.
Then it was time to light the bonfire.
When we walked through the campus earlier in the day we saw the bonfire pile and Bruin effigy that would go up in flames.
At the rally we saw the results, followed by fireworks, and bands playing until the wee hours. It's fun to return to your alma mater and enjoy the fun, even if the music is a whole lot different. -- Margy