Sunday, December 03, 2006

USC Bans Use of "Rose" For Rest of 2006

Site of many past triumphs for the program, the Rose Bowl has been a house of horrors for USC football in 2006. In both January and December, the Trojans’ national championship dreams were dashed in the historic Pasadena stadium. Therefore, coach Pete Carroll has determined that the word “Rose” will bring nothing but doom for his team in 2006. As a result, Carroll has banned the word from his program for the remainder of the year.

In January, Vince Young broke the hearts of USC fans in leading Texas to a 41-38 Rose Bowl victory. While the Trojans were devastated after the game, they knew that they had fallen to a great team led by a phenomenal performer. However, yesterday’s 13-9 defeat came to a UCLA Bruins squad that entered at 6-5 on the season, with seven consecutive losses in the cross-town rivalry. Since rational explanations for the shocker were scarce, many in the USC camp searched for answers outside the norm. Pregnancies are not abnormally high in Pasadena this year, so the city cannot be blamed for making Trojans ineffective. The Rose Bowl lingered as the obvious culprit. Taking no chances, Carroll decided to remove “Rose” from his players’ vocabulary through the end of December.

The USC coaching staff is confident that the Rose hex is only in effect for 2006, so the ban will be lifted on January 1. The Trojans will be back to play in the Rose Bowl that day. It remains to be seen how Carroll will keep his players from hearing “Rose” in the pre-game buildup before New Year’s Day. Internally, the team is referring to the contest as The 110 Freeway Bowl. During December, players will be forbidden from appearing on The Best Damn Sports Show Period, hosted by Chris Rose.

The coaching staff has also placed restrictions on the team’s on-campus life. Players are not allowed to listen to music by Guns ‘N Roses for the rest of the month. They are also forbidden to enter USC film school buildings during that time. They could possibly overhear discussions of Woody Allen that mention Broadway Danny Rose or The Purple Rose of Cairo. A reference to Titanic would inevitably include Kate Winslet’s character of Rose. Also, an evaluation of the impact of Citizen Kane would be all about Rosebud.

This policy will also impact basketball fans on the team. The Trojans cannot watch the Phoenix Suns in December due to the presence of Jalen Rose. On the bright side, Malik Rose will keep them from seeing the New York Knicks. The coaching staff was also concerned after learning that the USC basketball team has a walk-on guard named Chris Penrose. However, they decided that like all USC students, the football players will just naturally avoid seeing the basketball team play.

As the players unwind after practice, their television viewing habits will need to adhere to the policy. They can watch reruns of Charmed, but only the episodes before Shannen Doherty was replaced by Rose McGowan. The Golden Girls is strictly forbidden due to Betty White’s character of Rose – no small matter given the show’s popularity with college-aged males. The Trojan players have all been encouraged to watch DVDs they have been given about the Baseball Hall of Fame – a fitting subject for anyone observing a ban on “Rose.”

Yesterday, the Bruins drove a stake through the heart of USC’s national championship hopes. The Trojans suffer like vampires in another respect. Vampires are extremely resistant to garlic, whose common nickname is The Stinking Rose.