16
Sep
2020

Weekender provides very fond memories

first_imgI love the Weekender. We all love the Weekender. Nothing there is groundbreaking. The Weekender is a fun tradition, and the rivalry with Stanford over the past few years has made it all the more exciting.As a freshman, less than a month into my college experience, I made my first Weekender trip. It was, and still is, the most exciting sporting event I have attended as a fan. After being on the fence for a few days, a friend and I bought cheap front row tickets just a couple of days before the game.As we arrived at Stanford and began to walk around in what can only be described as a dirt parking lot with a forest growing in the middle, it became evident that USC fans travel well — especially to this game. At the time the Cardinal were No. 13 and we were No. 14, though I’m sure all the delusional USC fans (I will include myself in this group this time) thought that the Trojans were guaranteed to come away with a win.Then there was an Andre Heidari field goal, a J.R. Tavai fumble and the rest is history. The team went nuts, the fans went nuts, the band went nuts and my love for the Weekender was born. I have to think I at least partly reflect on this game with such happy thoughts because of the outcome and how exciting the game was despite being just a 13-10 final score.At the same time though, I only remember two football plays from the whole game — the aforementioned — but I have equally clear memories of all of the Trojan fans who were there as well.On the drive up, I remember thinking that every car we passed must have been a USC fan since there was so much Cardinal and Gold on what is normally a quite dreary trek up the 5.There was the tailgate, where even though we were technically in enemy territory, many families brought us into their tailgates, fed us and let us hang out.Then in the stadium, what should have clearly been a Stanford crowd was overshadowed by the USC faithful who in addition to traveling in force, also cheered in force. Since school hasn’t even started yet for Stanford, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the crowd be a majority of Trojan fans again. This would also explain why the Stanford band will probably be booed when they take the field, as they were in 2014.Of course at that time, USC was nationally relevant and Stanford didn’t have a player who was a Heisman snub. The USC-Stanford rivalry, though, has been full of surprise results and unexpected endings. Even though the focus, and rightfully so, has consistently been on how terribly USC was shown up by Stanford not once but twice last year, there is an undeniable magic about the Weekender, for both teams, that renders neither home field safe from the visitor.USC beating Stanford on Saturday is a long shot. Clearly Stanford has the more talented, stable and disciplined team, but anything can happen on the Weekender. Last time the Trojans and Cardinal met in Palo Alto, USC snapped the Cardinal’s 17-game home winning streak which was, at the time, the longest in the country.Now, if USC defeats Stanford, it will probably have played a role in Christian McCaffrey not winning the Heisman for the second year in a row, and it will immediately put talks of a playoff berth in the minds of Trojans everywhere.Here’s to hoping that this year, even with the odds against the Trojans, the flocks of USC fans will show up, fighting on and that win or lose, the trip will give us a memory worthy of starting a story, “Remember that one time we all went to the Weekender?”Hailey Tucker is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Tucker Talks,” runs Thursdays.last_img

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