Residence: Los Angeles, California
Date of Performance/Collection: April 2007
Primary Language: English
Sports fans at the University of Southern California take their traditions very seriously, even right down to the Homecoming Game tailgate on campus. There are certain things that the football fans of the Trojans, (USC’s team name), do before, during, and after the home games.
USC has become a very big partying school in the sense that the day of home games are the only time that you can have open containers of alcohol on campus. It has become such a tradition to party before the game that the school has recognized this and allows tailgating on campus.
My informant told me about the rituals involved in attending the games. First, everyone walks over to Exposition Park, which is near the Coliseum where the team plays. On the way there, everyone kicks one of the light posts that are on the very edge of campus before crossing Exposition Blvd. As a matter of fact, my informant told me that if someone does not do this, other fans to kick the light posts sometimes turn them back. This is just a superstition to ensure that the team wins. My informant did not know when this tradition was started, just that it has become so widespread that all students, fans, and alumni perform the ritual.
Another tradition is to make the fight on sign with your right hand. It looks like you’re giving a peace sign, but it is actually a symbol of the team’s slogan, “Fight On,” and is often shaken to the beat of the fight song that the band always plays at the games.
When the game is over, everyone walks back across Exposition Blvd. and once again kicks the light posts for good luck for the next game or the next season.
Traditional dress is the school colors, Cardinal and Gold, and sometimes traditional food is labeled as ‘death dogs,’ the hot dogs that local vendors sell right before and after the game all along Exposition Park.