“One folklore I’ve heard about USC is actually kicking the flagpole as good luck before football games.”
I’ve heard this too and I have asked about where this has come from, but I’ve never been able to find out. It’s always interesting to see hundreds of people kicking a flagpole on the way to the Coliseum before a game. I’ve heard that football players kick the flagpole as well. This practice seems to only happen during home games, as I have yet to see anyone kicking the flag pole while the football team is playing an away game. A lot of my friends have questioned this practice and the purpose behind it, but they all continue to do it because the action has become a symbolic tradition and an amusing way to demonstrate school spirit.
This practice is similar to other actions people perform for “good luck.” Other common things include crossing one’s fingers or making a wish after witnessing a shooting star. Although these superstitions are more likely than not ineffectual in increasing one’s “luck,” these practices are common because people enjoy these traditions that are passed down generation to generation.