Chauncey Washington’s 220 yards were a career best, but no one ought to be surprised. I had Chauncey penciled in for greatness because, as we all know, former CIF Southern Section Division X players who make it to DI-A are the shit.

(Actually, I can really only think of three off the top of my head: Chauncey, Desmond Reed and Napoleon Kaufman. But they are all of them the shit.)

(Also, I have to hand it to Cal. Their throwback jerseys were thoroughly whatever in terms of asthetic appeal, but they triumphed over Washington’s throwbacks in one very important aspect: if you’re going to put on throwback jerseys, it’s important to don clothing that makes you look more like LSU and less like Notre Dame.)

The game ball must obviously go to Chauncey, but I finally got to watch USC play and I was completely unsurprised to see SS Kevin Ellison completely dominate the field. He missed two tackles but one of those was due to him trying to pop the ball out and another happened because Cal’s Justin Forsett ran like a greased up, incontinent Thor on his way to Asgard’s bathroom. (This imagery is not mine: it’s Neil Gaiman’s. That English bastard has a lotta nerve writing things before me.)

I do have to admit that, as I was sitting at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Knoxville full of nervous hatred, I jumped up and screamed “FUCK YOU” at Cal QB Nate Longshore after he got picked off by Terrell Thomas. I didn’t really mean it, Nate. It’s just that Desean Jackson got so little TV time I had to scream at somebody.

Jackson, who had two catches for 41 yards and two punt returns for zero yards against USC in 2006, had five catches for 64 yards and one punt return for zero yards in Strawberry Canyon on Saturday night. The above picture shows Thomas tackling Jackson on a punt return and also sums up Jackson’s contribution to the game.

Jackson looks like a cross between a gazelle and Edwin Moses, the eternal 400-meter hurdle champion who won 107 consecutive finals from ’77 to ’87, and in actual meatspace this bestiality analogy does Jackson no justice: #1 will out run anything with less than three legs and pat himself on the back while on the podium, but the gazelle and Edwin Moses were creatures of action and very rarely fonts of bombast and ego. Gazelles – when not hampered by the lack of a voicebox and higher thought – usually offered helpful, non-self centered advice only in African myths and folklore, and Moses – when not burning a hole in someone’s face with his I-may-very-well-want-to-kill-you-at-the-end-of-this-race stare – spoke of the self only in terms of winning: “I have the killer instinct,” Moses said. “It’s ego. When I’m on the track, I want to beat everyone.” I suppose if ESPN had been around during Moses’ streak he might very well have, when confronted by a couple dozen mics after every win, spouted off something ridiculous. He didn’t, though. He just ran and won. Gazelles don’t get asked for quotes much, either, but I’m pretty sure they just run and eat grass.

Desean Jackson called out Terrell Thomas in ESPN The Magazine’s college football preview, saying that Thomas needed the help of triple coverage and, by logic, shouldn’t have been talking trash.

Asked about the Thomas incident, Jackson told writer Bruce Feldman, “That dude was just talkin’ to be talkin’. If Pete Carroll told his 10 other players to focus on everything else and it was just me and Terrell Thomas, oh man, I’d expose that dude. But being the best player, you gotta deal with that stuff. It just makes you better.”  Apprised of Jackson’s comments on Wednesday, Thomas said, “He had two catches and we won — that’s all I care about. He can take it as an individual matchup. I enjoy the competition, but we play a team game. . . . It wasn’t just me. It was the whole defense.” Jackson also said he would rather defeat the Trojans than win the Heisman. “Honestly I don’t need to win it if we beat SC,” he said. [Can’t find working link to LA Times article.]

I think it’s pretty obvious who got the better of whom here, so I won’t bother pointing that out. I will say that you should never, ever talk about winning Heismans and beating your rival and which one you’d rather do. Cedric Benson once said he’d rather win the Heisman than beat Oklahoma, perhaps not realizing that to do the one he had to do the other. Jackson is a fine player and will more than likely make someone else’s pants soggy with fear-urine when he opts to leave for the NFL, and I am grateful for it because I really only have one pair of jeans. I am also grateful because one of my favorite athletes of all time is Muhammad Ali, who perhaps invented but nonetheless perfected the art of trash talking and who dominated his sport for fifteen years. Trash talking is a wondrous thing, but only if you win. Those who jaw to the extent that Jackson has should be lifted up on high when they follow through and laughed at when they lose. I am now laughing at Desean Jackson, and rightly so. If you respect yourself, college football and the theory of trash talk, you should join in.

Now bring on the Holiday Bowl!


Filed under Pac-10, USC

11 responses to “Chauncey!

  1. stuart

    nice neal gaiman reference

    how did knoxville treat you?

  2. Tristan


    I live in Santa Monica, grew up in Los Gatos, sister is a Cal-alum and went to the game with her and her hottie friends on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. . .did I mention we were ALL on mushrooms at the game?

    From what I remember that transpired, THAT GAME WAS BANANAS! It started to drizzle in Berzerkeley around 1pm, we were at a pub on Shattuck when we all ate “cap and stem” salad chased by some Stellas and Laphroig 18 yr.

    No one ANYWHERE at that pub was willing to wager a thing on a Cal win. Even the crowd at the game seemed to be “urinating” with the thought of a Cal loss. It was the most rabid, LOUD, and packed crowd I’ve ever seen at Memorial. I’ve been to a ton of Stanford, SJSU, and Cal games in my youth, but this one was off the chizzain!

    It was a continuous downpour during the game. Longshore (though severely inaccurate) has a FREAKING CANNON of an arm. Point of this verbosity: MeSean was getting CHEWED THE F_CK OUT in the 2nd qtr by some coach. We had premium seats near the 50 and heard him getting grilled for missed blocks and jabberin’ at Tedford for getting pulled on a crucial Cal 3rd down before the half. It was classic!

    The punk had NOTHING COMING during the game. Mays was crackin’, T2 wore him like a cheap suit, and Cush (& Matthews too, until he got hurt) were sticking cats left and right.

    Chauncey’s fumble was weird for me, for various reasons. . ahem. He was cracked with a mammoth hit from the safety that you could hear throughout the din of noise in the stadium. It was NASTY. At first, I thought he was injured with all the commotion. Then we found out it was a fumble thanks to the JumboTron. Was relieved at knowing what was up, then proceeded to get PISSED. (momentarily, thanks to Longsore’s ineptitude a few plays later).

    I’m surprised more T/O’s didn’t occur.

    The rabid crowd and obnoxious students were relatively tame compared with the rabid crowd and obnoxious students at LA-Memorial Coliseum. No produce launching. No screaming epithets. Just a bunch of tree-huggin’, granola-chompin’, Peet’s coffee-drinking, sanctimoniously liberal geniuses crowding in the halls to escape the rain trying in vain to root their team to victory over our beloved Trojans.

    It was a blast.

    This was a game that had your name written all over it, you shoulda been there. Granted, it’s not the SEC as far as passion. . .but the spicy nugs in the stands were ALL DAY EVERWHERE! It never occured to me that I’d hook up (I’m half-Asian too) with a Danish exchange student while totally higher than 10 Indians at a Sigma Nu party post game. Being a Trojan, and having them. . .came in handy Sat night.


  3. CrazyPi

    Tristan: great re-cap. (and sounds like great mushroom caps, too). I was at the game also, and was was pretty impressed by the decibel level at Memorial. Off the charts considering the miserable conditions. I’m still wet two days later.

    Gotta give the Cal fans credit – they packed the place despite reports that tickets were being unloaded at lower than face at game time. Did I mention the noise? Fantastic game.

  4. Jay


    Had an excellent time at the Tennessee game with you and Brendan. Hope you had a good trip through Knoxville and enjoyed the Neyland experience.

    Glad you found a spot to catch the USC-Cal game. Safe travels.

  5. stuart, Neyland was very orange and Arkansas was coached by Houston Nutt, so the combination of that was a great stadium and a fairly boring game. Knoxville treated me well enough, though I pulled back the debauchery of late and I didn’t sample the nightlife. The 12:30 kickoff didn’t help, either.

    Tristan, an impressive outing. I haven’t gone further than smoking a bowl or three before a game, and that was enough to make me think Lane Stadium was a UFO and my life had turned into Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I’m not prepared to handle what a packed college football game would look like under the effects of LSD-25 or mushrooms, mainly because I have neither LSD-25 nor mushrooms. But examining the admittedly blurred record of this trip so far, I can see both making appearances once again.

    To the FBI and the Chinese Embassy: I am not purchasing these hallucinogens. They were all offered by the positive karma seeking gentle folk of the road. I would never risk the ill will of Mercury, fleet footed God of Travel and the Smoother of Paths, by refusing local remedies. Also please ignore that red light I accidentally ran in Athens not too long ago.

    Finally: I’ve got to hand it to the Cal student section. They always seem like the loudest, most energetic student section in the Pac-10. I’m fairly certain that USC is a third or fourth, depending on how rowdy Washington State is feeling.

  6. Jay, thanks. I appreciate the tour you gave me. I checked out the library and was disappointed to find that all the blocks were a uniform brown and not geometric patterns of yellows and purples.

  7. Jay

    One thing I meant to tell you about your travel toward Memphis and the Jonesboro for the ASU game.

    Make a stop off in Mason, TN (on Hwy 70). It’s a little confusing to get there, but it’s really not far off the interstate.

    If you want the greatest fried chicken in the world, go to Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken. The place is only about 30 miles or so from Memphis, and I’d definitely recommend you check it out.

    If you don’t trust me, just do a little Googling around.

    Yeah, it’s a shame about the whole Q-Bert library thing and the color.

  8. Tristan

    CrazyPi- did you get to the game earlier enough to get the “commemorative” hat? did you also hear that hit on Chauncey when he fumbled. Me? we didn’t get there anywhere near the “first 15K people through the gates” to get a hat, but when I got back to Orinda on Sun afternoon (where my sister now lives)- I had 3 HATS in my windbreaker front-huge pocket!!!! I guess, instead of “Gecko LSD tabs” we ingested “Klepto-psilocybin caps”. What the? Who the? How the?

    And those Cal-coeds traipsing about in see-through ponchos wearing Cal blue and gold 2-pc bikinis? (DOI-YOI-YOING! cuh-razy!)

    I’ve never been to Autzen in Eugene, but I’d be hard pressed to think any of UofO’s games could have been LOUDER than Memorial Stadium was this past Sat. I was DRENCHED, DOPED, AND DONE after that game.

    jon- I felt at Burning Man 2001, the exact same way you did from your Lane-experience. Granted, I was supposed to. . .what with “contact-house” blaring and the light show up above The Playa purposely configured to simulate a spacecraft. That. . .and . . . .I was “feelin’ it” as well at the time. Are you gonna make the USC/fucla game Dec. 1st? (I ain’t begots no extra tix, just wonderin’?)

  9. CrazyPi

    Tristan: We were boozin’ pretty good at Henry’s before making the ascent to Memorial – so we missed out on the LSU paraphanelia. While not high, I was drunk enough to be thoroughly confused by the funky yellow Cal hats everywhere. Wasn’t until after the game – back at Henry’s – when someone told me the story. Not too bright I am.

    Yes – Cal hotties (did I just say ‘cal hotties’?) were everywhere, but not next to our seats. The old hippies next to us were actually eating dried fruit at one point in the game. Made me chuckle.

    Jon: are you still headed to Palo Alto for the pillowfight?

  10. I will be at both the ND/Stanford and UCLA/USC games.

  11. BeauDemon

    Pillowfight?! Only one of the teams is in the Pac-10 silly man

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