first_imgAubrey Kragen is a senior majoring in communication. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Release the Kragen,” runs Fridays. To comment on this story, visit or email Aubrey at [email protected] I hate Arizona State.I mean, I really, really, really hate Arizona State.My animosity toward that university goes back to my freshman year at USC.Pullin’ me back · Senior linebacker Hayes Pullard has felt the sting of losing to Arizona State twice in his five-year career as a Trojan. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanLet’s take a little trip down memory lane. Freshman year, I was still with my high school boyfriend (dumb, I know), who went to Arizona State. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to head out for the USC game in Tempe in 2011.We sat in the sweltering Arizona sun for hours to get early bird tickets to be able to sit in the first couple of rows (Why isn’t it just first-come, first-served at the stadium before the game starts? I don’t know, maybe because it’s Arizona State and they can’t do anything right.)Except that night they did do something right. They did something right that they hadn’t done since 1999. They beat USC. The Trojans entered that game sporting a 3-0 record and a No. 23 ranking, so I was feeling pretty confident.Confident enough, in fact, that I decided it would be a good idea to wear my cardinal USC T-shirt smack dab in the middle of Arizona State’s drunk, sweaty sea of gold.Big mistake.People screamed at me. People threw things at me. Even Sparky the Sun Devil, ASU’s creepy mascot with a weak mustache, towered over me and tried to intimidate me. It worked. I almost cried.I also almost cried after USC took its only lead of the game late in the third and went on to cede 22 straight points to lose the game, 43-22. I’m pretty sure there’s something in the air there that just magically lowers everyone’s IQ, and that definitely seemed to be the case with the Trojans in the second half of that game.One of the only things that kept me from crying was laughing at the whole student section pouring out of the stadium after the game and cheering, “Let’s get wasted!” Jackasses.For some reason, I decided to go back the next weekend. Call me a glutton for punishment, but it was ASU’s family weekend, so I headed out with his family to watch the Sun Devils take on Oregon State. I had gotten over the last week’s heartbreak and was fully prepared to root for the Sun Devils, wearing a yellow ASU t-shirt and all.That feeling pretty much went out the window when some student I walked past before the game recognized me from the previous weekend.“Hey, weren’t you here last weekend?” he screamed. “Take that [expletive] shirt off, that’s disrespectful!”At that point, I damned ASU football forever.There’s a special place in my heart for that program. It’s the cold, dark place that also hates “How I Met Your Mother,” Jack Johnson and bacon. Yes, I hate bacon.I still cringe whenever I meet people who go to Arizona State. And that includes my editor-in-chief’s little brother (Sorry, Euno’s little brother).So as you can imagine, last year was especially painful for me, as it was for all of you too, I’m sure. Thankfully, I didn’t head out to Tempe again. My ex-boyfriend dropped out anyway (snicker). I actually didn’t even watch the game live.Instead, I went to a concert in San Diego with my mom, recorded the game and tried to stay off all social media to not have the result spoiled — like that ever works.I went to bed not knowing the outcome, and I sort of wish I had never woken up. Because when I did, there was that Bleacher Report notification that Kiffin was no more, along with a gloating text from my mom’s best friend, who went to UCLA.Watching a recording of the game and fast-forwarding through a lot of the breaks and early ASU drives made it difficult for me to gauge exactly what went wrong for USC. All I could tell was that it was embarrassing and that I’m glad that I wasn’t sports editor at that time (shoutout to Nick Selbe and Will Laws).Thankfully, the Trojans bounced back after their 2011 loss with a 38-17 win over the Sun Devils in 2012, and I predict they will put on a similar performance on Saturday.For the first time this season, the water seems to be calm surrounding this football team.The Trojans are coming off a resounding win over Oregon State, and everything seems to be in order.Redshirt junior wide receiver Victor Blackwell has been skipping all team activities and likely causing some friction with his teammates, but this drama is minor compared to what the Trojans have been dealing with all season.The Trojans are healthy, redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler is firing on all cylinders, and USC’s rush game bounced back from an atrocious performance at Boston College with a combined 200-yard effort on the ground against Oregon State.Couple that with the fact that Arizona State is starting a quarterback with only one other career start (last week’s 62-27 loss at home to UCLA), and I’m feeling pretty good about USC’s chances this Saturday.Maybe my resentment toward the Sun Devils is clouding my vision, but I don’t care.ASU’s hellish location, weather and demon-like mascot are pretty emblematic. That place is evil.Fight on and please, please, please Beat the Sun Devils!last_img

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