Zack Jerome, a friend, previewed the USC-Arizona game. He’s good, hell with a pen as he’ll tell you. The following is my Arrogant Game Preview rebuttal:
Our first interaction was a hug.
I’d walked into the bar, crowded with the familiar home-for-the-holidays crew, and was introduced to this Angelino. At the time he was the boyfriend of a high school friend. Today he is her husband, founder of Arrogant Nation and that evening he was hugged by me because that’s what we do in a lazy, desert town.
That’s what Tucson is. It’s not Los Angeles and it’s not supposed to be. We’re drier than Seattle, lower than Boulder, less techy than the Bay, bigger than Eugene, Pullman, and Corvallis. We sure as shit ain’t Tempe.
You see, we’re a happy bunch and we want to have a good time. So much so that sometimes we’ll even come onto the field before the game is over! I mean, who doesn’t want to party with Jeremiah Masoli? And our all-time winningest coach? Dude is renowned for being a sweet old man. We found him in Hawaii. A good man, Dick Tomey was celebrated for losing during his tenure at San Jose State. God bless him.
Of course there’s the whole never-been-to-a-Rose-Bowl thing. But let me ask this: why would I want to go to Pasadena for New Years? In Tucson it’s 75 and sunny and we can golf or hike or jump in our own swimming pools or lotion our hands because it’s so effing dry. Get up at 4am to sit in miserable traffic to watch a goddamn flower parade? No thank you. I’ll take Bud Nitros on the couch with the door to the porch open. And because I’m home visiting, my mom will probably even go pick up my Chad’s Choice from Beyond Bread.
Hell with a pen, Zack? I’m self-deprecating on a QWERTY.
But it’s not all fun and games in Tucson. We’ll fire your basketball coach and gladly take Derrick Williams off your hands (don’t be surprised, you knew it was going to come down to basketball – I mean, the football locker rooms are in McKale). And we’ll take coaches who turn down the head job at Alabama and talk with a drawl and spread the shit out of a football field.
Look, Rich is our kinda guy. He’s the lowest profile, high profile guy you can find. Check out Tucson. Seriously, check it out. It’s the thirty-third most populous city in America. But you’d never guess that and you’d never guess that RichRod was once the hottest name in coaching. In his introductory press conference, guns blazing, he declared, “Why not Arizona?” We ate it up.
We leave the arrogance to the big city because we’ve got saguaros to maintain and we check our shoes for scorpions. We watch basketball in March and embrace all of the UC rejects who don’t want to go to Tempe. Do you know why Jerry Bruckheimer (UA grad!) keeps making mega movies for USC kids to hold boom mics in? Because it’s hot as hell in Tucson during the summer and what the hell else are we going to do?
Back to the hug.
It was unexpected for Zack and unexpected that I’d smell deceased bear on his coat when I embraced him. But embrace I did because that’s how it’s done in a lazy, desert town. We welcome – contrary to state legislation – any and all and will raise a cup of bourbon or whatever you like to celebrate competition and sport. SPORTS!
Good luck, Zack. You’re the best. And watch this: