UCLA-USC: a tale told with tortilla chips

Once there was a somewhat skeptical UCLA fan. He had gone to school when the team was pretty good. He had seen his shares of highs and lows.

The skeptical UCLA fan went to his local market back in September and saw that they sold novelty tortilla chips in his school's colors. So he bought a bag.


The skeptical UCLA fan used the chips either to drown his sorrows after one of the team's horrific losses (like the one by 29 points to Texas or by 36 points to Arizona), or to celebrate an unlikely win (like beating Cal by 17 points).

As the season drew to a close, the skeptical UCLA fan knew that the Bruins likely would have to beat their crosstown rivals, USC, to win their division in the Pac-12. The Trojans had several advantages over the Bruins. The principal one being that they had better players at every single position. Fortunately for the Bruins, the Trojans were not eligible to win the division.

He went back to his local market to check out the novelty tortilla chips. He had a bad feeling that things weren't going to go well against USC. The Bruin chips had become greatly outnumbered.


When the skeptical UCLA fan was out of town, he saw a miracle. Utah lost at home to a woeful Colorado team. When he got home, he took the bag he had at home and declared them to be the Pac-12 South Divisional Chips.


Then came Saturday night. The skeptical UCLA fan ate the chips with guacamole while he watched USC run over, around, and through the Bruins at the Coliseum. The final score was 50-0. Since there was family around, there was no binge eating.

Today, the skeptical UCLA fan realized that he still needed some more chips because UCLA was going to play in the Pac-12 Championship game at Oregon on Friday night. He needed the chips in anticipation of easing the pain of watching his favorite team likely lose in an even worse way. Oddsmakers had already declared the Bruins to be 30 point underdogs.

But the skeptical UCLA fan was denied. This was what he saw in the market:

The skeptical UCLA fan will just have vegetable dip and fruit on Friday night. Perhaps it's all for the best.

More by Bob Timmermann:
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