Tough call. Or not.
Will you find, in the sweltering conditions that’ll be apparent at the Coliseum or Rose Bowl, a certain delight in watching the Spartans shredded by USC, or the Aztecs fall on their own sword against UCLA on Saturday for the launch of the local college football season?
Which do you fear for most?
It depends, likely, on your rooting interest in either the Cardinal and gold or the True Blue and gold.
And, if you’re not a student or a grad of either USC or UCLA, how did you decide which football program you’d follow — even if you went to Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Cal Lutheran, Occidental, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Cal State L.A. or even L.A. Trade Tech?
That’s what we’ll look into with a story in the college football special section that launches Thursday.
Here’s a sample response of those who we’ve been able to contact … if you have a story, let us know:
== Marcus Vanderberg, 26, went to Cal State Northridge from 2001-03. He was one of those CSUN students that wore his USC gear around campus.
“Yeah, that was me,” Vanderberg said. “I had my SC gear. During USC-UCLA week, I had a bear in my room tied to a noose. I liked Northridge, but Northridge didn’t have much school spirit. Any other campus if you would’ve worn another shirt, people could’ve said something.”
Vanderberg’s Godmother is an assistant dean at USC, so his first interest was in attending school there. For a long time, his email address was “uscwannabe01.” He didn’t get in to USC, but he’s still a diehard Trojans fan. Vanderberg transferred to Hofstra in New York and followed the Trojans. In May, he moved back to Los Angeles and he’ll be back at the Coliseum for Saturday’s season opener.
“In high school, I went to games with my Godmother,” Vanderberg said. “At first, I was just getting a good vibe for college. Then I had an obsession about going to SC. I had season tickets at SC and those were in the poor SC days.”
== Al Sanders, an operations employee of El Segundo-based DirecTV, graduated from the University of Northern Iowa — the same school that produced Kurt Warner.
But growing up in Pasadena, Sanders’ Bruin allegiance sprouted in the late ’60s because he lived down the street from Kermit Johnson — half of the famous “Blair Pair” with James McAlister who’d go on to star at UCLA.
“I loved that blue and gold,” said Sanders, who also coached football in the Inland Empire and has had season seats for UCLA the last several years, despite living in Riverside. “I’m an L.A. type of guy, but when it’s head to head, I definitely go with UCLA. I’m not a bandwaggoner.”