Traditions in Trojan History

Tirebiter Tradition

USC mascot dogAs told by George Tirebiter…the dog.  On a cold wet night, looking for shelter from the rain I wondered onto the USC campus.  It was the mid 1940’s I’m not sure the exact year.  As luck would have it some nice students found and adopted me even though I was just a wet little stray mutt.  They even gave me a new name, “George Tirebiter” which I thought was really neat.  I believe they chose that name because I just loved chasing cars and biting at the tires

I was really happy; my whole life turned around.  I received a USC sweater and traveled in grand style to the football games in a limousine.  I lead the marching band on the football field with thousands of fans cheering me.  Once I got so excited I bit the mask of UCLA mascot, Joe bruin, on the nose.  That did it for me I became the school mascot, loved by all Trojans.  I became a legend.

I guess nothing lasts forever as my fun loving nature led to my own demise.  In 1950 I was run over and died doing what I loved best…chasing cars.  I couldn’t believe they had a public funeral for me right on campus.  They even found a similar looking dog to take my place and named him George the second.  As I look down on how much the campus has grown I see a sculpture of me now stands in my honor, George Tirebiter.  You can see it on the “Bloom Walk” at Trousdale Parkway.

The Red Wig

All new players making the Trojan baseball team for the first time had at some point, wear the red wig.  This would occur when the team was traveling.  It was worn on the bus to the airport, on the plane, at the arrival terminal and on the bus to the visitor’s hotel.

The tradition started in 1948 and continued as a practice until Coach Dedeaux resigned in 1986.  To my knowledge the wig was never washed.  All the great players in Trojan history wore this same red wig at some point in their Trojan career.  Some players just hated having to wear it while others loved the opportunity to clown around with it on.

McNamara’s Band

Rod Dedeaux was a master in maintaining the spirit and pride of his players.  He was all about having a good time and playing the game free of mental errors.  His coaching success was well above that of his competition.  Early on in his coaching career, after every victory on the road or at home he would have all players sing the McNamara’s Band song in the locker room.  Coach Dedeaux would lead the singing and walk abound to be sure everyone was singing.  At the end of the song Rod would yell out, “great to be a winner” and everyone would cheer loudly.  

Captain of the Bench

In days of old it was a common practice to ride the opposing players.  This was considered part of the game and those that did it well were called bench jockeys.  The Trojans were the best in the league at this and so good at that opposing players could hardly wait to get off the field and away from the hollering.  A particularly vocal player was selected and given the honor or being the Captain of the Bench.  This was a player not on the starting line up.  His job was to keep our bench constantly hollering at the other team.

Double Xer’s

Double Xer’s were players on the second or third team.  Coach Rod was particularly fond of of these players and went out of his way to make them feel part of the team.  He would continually find ways to express recognition and support for all their efforts.

Bovard Boners

This is a system where mental errors are recorded on a clip board in the dugout and managed by coach Rod Dedeaux.  Rod would assign a fine for each mental error during all practices and games.  The amount fined depended on the severity of the mental mistake.  The program was all in good humor but one thing is for sure.  It served to keep us all alert and on our toes.  The first fine of the day was 50 cents.  No player wanted to get the first fine or any fine for that matter.

Dedeaux Shuffle

A great attribute of Coach Rod was his ability to conduct intense practices and make them fun as well.
The Dedeaux Shuffle was one example. This was a variation of a warm up exercise. Rather than the
team doing standard jumping jacks, Rod changed the routine to include different leg and arm movements.

The exercise added agility and coordination and still functioned as a warm up. Coach and players had fun
with it as several players required some time before they mastered the routine.