Custom – University of Southern California

It is well known that a school such as ours here at the University of Southern California is chock full of different kinds of legends, customs, and folklore.  My friend Berna shared her favorite piece of USC folklore with me.  With football season being such a major period of time in the school year for us Trojans, one of USC’s very own football customs stands out most in her mind: kicking the flagpoles on Exposition Blvd. on the way back to campus, returning from a glorious or defeated game of football.

As the fanfare of The Spirit of Troy dies down and the Coliseum spills out its throngs of people after every Trojan football game, the crowd on its way back to the University Park campus typically takes one route: across Exposition Blvd.  The flagpoles in front of George Tirebiter, the trusty and loyal dog companion of the early Trojan football team, stand as a sort of gateway back to USC from the Coliseum.  As each person passes through, Trojans or non-Trojans alike, must kick the base of the flagpoles a number of times.  Berna recalls hearing the sound of clanking feet against the metal of the pole every time she approaches that entrance on Expo.  Such a simple custom is said to bring luck and victory to the football team for their next and future football games.  I, being a superstitious person, agree with this folklore and, although I was a Spring admit this year, I came out to each and every football game, with my own Student Season pass, and gladly partook in the custom of kicking the flagpole every single time I passed through that entrance into campus.  I honestly felt as though each time I had not kicked the poles, the team truly could have performed better in their following game.