It is October!!! My favorite month of the year. Of the many reasons is Halloween and the slew of horror movies that correspond to it. Not coincidentally, we have our own horror shown as we play the University of Southern California Trojans on Thursday the 13th, at the Last Stadium on the Left! Continuing with the horrific theme of playing Oregon and USC back-to-back, I compare old Pac-10 teams to horror villains.
via www.dailyraider.com [Yes, that is Coolio]
Why? Cal and Oregon have both been dubbed hippy schools, and recruit similar type players in football. At first glance they look just like us (I even hear they blog here), but when it is game time Oregon players develop super-human speed and strength sucking the lifeblood from our bodies. Sometimes it is a quick kill (2009), sometimes a slow painful death (2010), in either case, we're dead. All we can hope for is that someday we can turn into them.
Also, much like vampires, Oregon has sex appeal, whether it be Nike or these people.
Werewolf: Oregon State
Why? They always start off the season human, usually injured and stumbling, but they get their rest and heal. By the time Oregon State plays Cal, a full moon reveals itself, and Oregon State transforms into an ungodly beast from hell. They are not suave, they are not sexy, they are raw unencumbered power, thrashing Cal's ass again and again. After these epic beatdowns they awaken dazed and human once more, staggering to season's end. Seriously, how did this 5-7 team so thoroughly kick our ass last year.
Watching UCLA football is like watching zombies aimlessly walking around an abandoned city. Seriously, they are the walking dead this year. No one expects anything of them. They are injured, have anger issues, and have an dead-like coach. As in the original Night of the Living Dead most teams think they can simply walk by them. Yet, they keep coming. Somehow they are second in their division, and if they get some help could somehow limp into the championship game. Further, they win ugly while playing a game no one wants to watch, and can catch an unsuspecting team off-guard to secure a win (2005).
Michael Myers: Stanfurd
Why? Michael Myers is intimidating and when you see him approaching you, it usually means your ass. But, much like Michael Myers Stanfurd is only scary once in a while. Unlike, the other Pac-10 teams that could stalk and kill you at anytime, anywhere, any day, Stanfurd is only a threat once in a while. Michael Myers is only a threat at Halloween, Stanfurd is only a threat once or twice a decade.
Freddie Kruger: Washington
Recent Cal U-Dub history is one of nightmares. Freddie Krueger specializes in nightmares. Both in 2009 and 2010 Cal slept through the final game, and Washington showed up in our collective dreams to terrorize and kill us in our sleep. In 2009, Cal had back-to-back upset victories of Arizona and Stanfurd only to get thumped 42-10, making Jake Locker look like a good passer in the process. In 2010, Washington developed a new nightmare winning on the final play of regulation spawning Cal's first losing season under Tedford and ruining the final game at Old Memorial. This year, Freddie again developed a new nightmare, as Cal had a first and goal from the 2, inspiring hope, only to see four plays net zero points.
Jason Voorhees: USC
Even when you kill him, you know you are never really safe. It is only a matter of time until he awakens from his slumber and comes for you. He is bigger, stronger, and tougher than anyone else around. You try killing them with bad coaches (Paul Hackett), sanctions, and dilapidated stadiums, but they always come back. Jason has been shot, drowned, set on fire, killed with toxic waste, killed by psychic powers, and burned up upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere, yet he still lives. USC never dies, they may knock them down, but really you are just pissing them off. This year, Barkley is the Jason's mask, but his machete is Robert Woods, and we are going to get disemboweled.
Killer Clowns from Outer Space: Arizona (I had written this before Stoops got fired)
Why? Mike Stoops. Say what you want about his coaching abilities, but the guy was a clown on the sideline. Problem is his clowniness would sometimes distract Cal long enough for him to get you with his hellish cotton candy or evil popcorn gun. Much like the movie, his tenure will be remembered as one of over the top stupid antics with no real substance. Most pointedly I remember Arizona for their evil tricks, like Desean's baby toe in 2006 and the excruciating loss in 2010.
Mummy: Arizona State
Wait... Dennis Erickson isn't an actual mummy? Traditionally, a big ferocious monster that usually stumbles around, seems to fit Arizona State the past few year. Strong and intimidating, but with obvious holes impacting their success. Cal has done well against Porn U in recent years, hopefully the trend continues, but this year looks like the year the Mummy might actually make his return to prominence.
Cenobites: Washington State
In many ways I feel bad for Washington State. They have no recruiting advantages and resides in the ass end of Pac-10 country. In the grander scheme of things they are often forgotten, yet when we lose to them it is truly a dark day. Much like Clive Owen's Hellraiser, a loss to Washington State is an exploration of sadomasochism. You truly know it is a painful year, when Wazzu gets the better of you.