>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
September 12, 2007

Nathan: Dude, that kicker missed four fucking field goals.
Mike: He got the last one.
Nathan:
So what?
Mike:
So, if he’d have missed, they’d have lost. At least he came through in the clutch. Forgive and forget, hoss. They won.
Nathan:
It’s a good thing, too. I don’t know if I wanta know what it feels like to kill a man.
Mike:
Did you stop taking your medication or something?

Essentially, it was just another football game. The score was 26 to 23. Some college team from Florida beat some college team from Alabama. And when you think of it like that, like it’s nothing, then you have a firm grasp of the importance of one college football game in the grand scheme of things.

But that’s the problem with the grand scheme of things: you see, there ain’t nothing grand about them. Hitler was important in the grand scheme of things. So was nuclear testing, civil wars, slavery and the invention of the diesel engine. That’s why sports, music and other forms of entertainment mean so much more to people than their family history and their study of Sigmund Freud. Because the grand scheme of things is hopelessly depressing.

To those who follow college football even casually, it was another upset win for another team from the up and coming Big East, a conference that was about dead before it let a few scrub teams from the old Conference USA in from the cold and dreary climate of obscurity. It was a chance to look at a box score and mutter to oneself, “Hey, that South Florida team beat Auburn. Well, I’ll be damned.” And then passively move on to other providers of entertainment.

“Love it or despise it, fellate it or shit on it, this is my alma mater. And I care about it.”

To those who are diehard fans of the SEC or the Big East however, it was damn amazing. It was, depending upon your vantage point, awe-inspiringly awesome or devastatingly awful. SEC fans not pulling for Auburn laughed in delight, and Big East fans not pulling for South Florida saw the score, stopped what they were doing, and muttered an expletive.

And to those students and alumni of the University of South Florida it was yet another huge step in the right direction, another indication of the culmination of future greatness. It was a fist pounding, hand slapping, voice stealing thing of beauty.

We’re talking about an 11-year-old football team beating a 100-year-old football team in their own tradition-laden home. We’re talking about a team that borrows its home stadium from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (and promises not to tear it up too bad on the Saturdays before Buccaneer home games) winning in front of a bigger crowd than their NFL pseudo-home stadium could even hold. We’re talking about a team made up of players who, more than likely, did not choose to play on Florida’s fourth best football team because every other school was drooling over them (to try to put it nicely) beating a team that has offered who knows how many hundreds of players to the NFL in the last 50 years.

And yes, we are also talking about my alma mater.

Ten years ago (shit has it been that long?), back before I could legally consume alcohol but shortly after I was allowed to vote in presidential elections, I saw this team play its first game. We won 80-3 and ticket holders all received t-shirts that read: You Never Forget Your First Time.

And you don’t. But you see, your first time is never your best time.

If your life is going as it should (and I wish such on all of you dear readers) then each time should get better. At least until lower back pain and unwanted pregnancies rear their painfully sinister heads, your life should always get better.

And for South Florida, life has.

USF has climbed from Division 1AA obscurity, to an independent Division 1A ranking, to Conference USA, into the Big East. And in that time, they’ve ruined seasons for conference rivals Louisville and West Virginia (insert Gaudio joke here), they’ve posted winning season after winning season, and they’ve even appeared in a nationally televised game or three.

As I type this, I’m wearing a t-shirt older than this team. That says something about the speed with which the USF Bulls have developed into a real, honest to goodness college team (it also says something about my wardrobe, but I’m trying to focus on the positive here).

As I type this, I realize again one of the many reasons that sports are so important to us. Because we form allegiances. Because we care.

You see, this is my team. Love it or despise it, fellate it or shit on it, this is my alma mater. This is my school (I have the diploma to prove it), and this is my team. And I care about it.

The South Florida Bulls, like a girl screaming at a cheating husband in a crowded restaurant, will be heard. And, much like said girl, they will not be denied the opportunity to say what they got to say and they don’t care who hears.

And fortunately for me, I have this corner of cyberspace, which I shall use to deliver my message to all of those who happen to stumble into my metaphorical dining area:

Fuck your school.

The Bulls are coming for you.

See new PIC posts via Twitter, Facebook, or email.

Sign up for comedy writing or stand-up classes at The Second City - 10% off with code PIC.