This is the first in a twelve part series on the mythical origin of each Pac-12 school . . . up first: the USC Trojan.
Long, long ago the west coast had nothing—no institutions of higher learning to educate the illiterate masses, no college football or basketball to entertain the good people of the west, and most importantly there was no sturdy Golden Bear watching from the sky. So, on the glorious day of March 23, 1868, the gods decided to rectify this great injustice. And with a booming command—FIAT LUX—the University of California and its great Golden Bear was born.
Not long after this, a fallen Angel by the name of Leland Stanfurd decided he wanted to infiltrate the University of California and corrupt the Golden Bear in order to have it do his bidding and spread darkness across the state and country. He attempted to gain the status of "regent" and almost succeeded if it were not for the prophet Stoneman who rejected Stanfurd from having any influence over the Golden Bear. Soon after his rejection, Stanfurd has banished to a desolate wasteland known as Palo Alto. Furious at Stoneman and the Golden Bear for rejecting him, he decided to create his own university and creature in order to carry out his plan to spread darkness throughout the land: this new university would be known as Leland Stanfurd Junior University and its guardian would be known as the Indian. Most Native Americans were furious that Stanfurd had adopted the noble Indian as his representative because they did not want to be associated with something so evil. Even with Native Americans denouncing Stanfurd and joining forces with the Golden Bear, the one Stanfurd Indian remained for many decades. The junior university and the Indian had a problem: no one wanted to attend such an evil institution, anyone of even moderate intelligence wanted to attend the University of California and bask in the glory of the Golden Bear. To get around this problem, Stanfurd then set up a system where only the children of his demonic followers would be allowed admittance to his university—these children would eventually be known as "legacies."
The evil demon Stanfurd being banished by the great prophet Stoneman.
The Golden Bear produced some of the greatest minds ever to grace the earth, but a problem for its followers arose: it became nearly impossible to gain entrance to the University of California if one was not extremely intelligent. This posed a problem because many of the intelligent people that had been uplifted by the Golden Bear's wisdom had children that were not able to learn under the shining light of California. Desperate to get their less-than-intelligent children into college, some Californians did the unthinkable; they had their children apply to the junior university to learn from the Indian. Even though the children were certainly intelligent enough to attend the junior university and learn from the Indian, they were rejected because they were not legacies. The Indian did, however, see this as an opportunity to take down the University of California by establishing yet another dark university. The Californians that were led astray and the Indian decided to create an unholy union between Stanfurd and California in order to serve those less-than-intelligent, evil folk that were not decedents of Stanfurd's original followers: thus, the University of Southern California and its Trojan came into existence.
The unholy union between Stanfurd and California.
The Golden Bear was outraged with what he saw as a betrayal by a small group of his former followers and immediately grew to dislike the Trojan. Those that had helped create the Trojan saw their plan backfire . . . it began to take on a life of its own, doing whatever it wanted regardless of any mandates that had been proclaimed by the gods. The Indian watched from afar and enjoyed what was happening between the Trojan, the Golden Bear, and the Golden Bear's former followers, but he would not be laughing for very long. Around this time, the Golden Bear, Indian, and Trojan decided to start doing battle on the gridiron. The Indian thought that the Trojan was nothing more than a puppet, but the Trojan turned against the the Stanfurd Indian defeating him four of their first five meetings. For a brief moment, hatred for the Trojan united the Golden Bear and the Indian as they banished the Southern Californian from the battle field for a short period of time.
Much to the chagrin of the Indian and the Golden Bear, the Trojan would go on to be one of the greatest warriors on the battlefield winning numerous crowns throughout the decades and visiting the Bowl of Roses on many different occasions. Not long ago, many believed that the Trojan was losing some of its power, and that the Golden Bear may be able to overtake him. Even during the dark time at California known as the holmoecaust, the Golden Bear was able to defeat the weak and vulnerable Trojan. This all changed when the Trojan sought the help of the great sorcerer Carroll who brought Southern California back to its former glory. When it was revealed that the great sorcerer was violating the rules of battle, he fled and left the Trojan to fend for itself. The great sorcerer, however, did leave one curse in place: the Golden Bear is cursed to lose to the Trojan every year on the field of battle. The great sorcerer cast the spell when the Californian's defeated the Trojan in the great battle of 2003. The Golden Bear's most loyal followers have been working day and night to try and lift the great sorcerer's curse and the hope is that the discovery of the new, great potion lawrencium will lift the despicable curse.
The Trojan also became a worthy adversary in other fields as well from the diamond of dirt to the many great pools of water across the land. The Trojan, however, was never really able to gain any footing in battles on the court of wood. The Southern Californian also was never able to gain the prestige in academia that the gods had granted the Golden Bear. This made the Trojan especially jealous—so much so that he feels the need to say that he is just as intelligent as his northern foe only to be laughed at by the Golden Bear and his legions of loyal Californians.
This Saturday will mark the 100th time that the Trojan and the Golden Bear have met for battle on the gridiron—this time, the event will take place in the Trojan's dark and desolate home amongst the smog and traffic. While the Trojan has used his dark power and the great sorcerer's curse to vanquish the Golden Bear for many years, the Golden Bear and his faithful know one thing: THE BEAR DOES NOT QUIT . . . THE BEAR WILL NOT DIE.