Or at least not the Odyssey or the Aeneid. I’m not sure how else to explain their actions.
Around the twenty-ninth minute of last Saturday’s broadcast of the Alabama vs. USC game they ran a series of graphics. The first, seen to the right, of a helmet with the number fifteen on it was paired with a few lines about how Alabama proved it’s dynastic status with a fifteenth national championship.
When the next graphic popped up, the wheels came off and, if the game crowd everyone else was watching with was anything like the one I was watching with, you and your friends added to the collective laughter as you looked at one another and said “What the hell?”
As the voiceover started out “While the men of Troy made changes…” the graphic was of a wooden horse with the USC helmet graphic festooned all over it. The tone of the speaker and text is of optimism and hope going forward. The classical scholars at ABC/ESPN seem to think that the Trojan Horse is a symbol of the Trojan’s power rather than the brainchild of polymetis Odysseus. It is literally the thing that caused the entire city of Troy to be destroyed. It’s as if when tasked with creating a small computer slide show looking toward the future of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team they decided to go with an Enola Gay theme.
Next the wooden horse splits open to reveal a photo of new Athletic Director Lynn Swann and then of new Trojan Head Coach Clay Helton. This is egregiously funny. So much so that I’m am willing to hold out the possibility that rather than a gaping hole in the collective literacy of at least one department at a major network that this is the work of a UCLA graduate. Replacing the soldiers who snuck out late at night from their hiding spot inside the horse with an image of a coach seemingly in over his head would be some pretty inspired trolling. But I’m not holding my breath. They called him a “workhorse.”
This was the final image. Two mighty wooden steeds as background for images of the two quarterbacks vying to take the starting reins.
I’m betting that few of the 7.944 million viewers noticed or cared, but there is a department of classics at USC. For their own sake, I hope none of them are football fans.