Pranks a big part of football rivalry -- date to 1896





There's no use in UCLA fans putting out a contract on the lone, 76-year-old man at the center of USC's campus.

The statue of Tommy Trojan has been wrapped in plastic and mummified with duct tape as protection from the UCLA-loving Jackson Pollocks who shake blue and gold spray-paint cans....

On Monday, a local radio station furnished Trojan haters with a Buick Park Avenue sedan, painted brick red (almost Trojan cardinal) and painted with "Beat SC" on its doors.

For several hours, UCLA students gathered on Bruinwalk and took a sledgehammer to the car. By noon, the windshield was shattered and the doors heavily beaten, symbolic of a demolition the crosstown Bruins (6-5) can only hope to deliver to the No.2 Trojans (10-1).

Bruin beating and Trojan-car trashing shenanigans seem silly compared to the more elaborate undertakings in college-athletic mischief history that could be traced back to 1896, when the Auburn students greased the railroad tracks before the Georgia Tech football team arrived - and eventually skidded to a stop several miles from the field.

The first act of Tommy-foolery was recorded in October 1941 when UCLA students painted Tommy Trojan blue and gold and stole his brass sword, which has since been replaced with a wooden one given its frequent thefts.


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