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Residents cheer USC-UCLA game

USC Alumni Club also collects donations for scholarship fund

Posted: November 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.

UCLA fans Kathryn Spula, left, and Cindy Borland cheer as their team scores a touchdown in the first half against USC as they watch the game on TV at Big Wangs sports bar in Valencia on Saturday.

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While the Bruins and the Trojans battled at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, smaller, generally good-natured clashes were waged between their respective fans in sports bars and restaurants around the state — and the Santa Clarita Valley was no exception.

At Valencia’s Big Wangs sports bar, where the USC Alumni Club of Santa Clarita Valley gathers for game-watching events every week, “even UCLA fans are always welcome to come watch the game with us,” said club President Russell Mun, “except for this week.”

Fred Berson, a USC alumnus from the class of 1972, called the rivalry “huge.”

“I gave four years in college to this rivalry,” Berson said. “And I’ll give a whole lot more yet.”

The event at Big Wangs places a large emphasis on gathering donations for a scholarship fund run by the club.

But despite Mun’s declaration of the site being off-limits to Bruins, a sizable contingent of UCLA fans was present for the game, cheering wildly as the Bruins took a lead before halftime.

“I truly respect USC’s team,” said Kathryn Spula between cheers and bouts of clapping. “But I love UCLA.”

Even mutual respect doesn’t preclude some good-natured trash-talking.

“We’ve been going at it for at least a month now,” said 2010 UCLA alumna Laura Hughes as she looked across the table at her scarlet-and-gold-clad coworker, Dorian Holden. “We’ve been counting down to this day.”

Holden glumly looked up at the television, where the score was 24-0 in favor of UCLA.

“I just want to curl up in the fetal position right now,” he said.

UCLA prevailed 38-28 in Saturday’s game. The win gives the Bruins a championship in the Pac-12 Conference South Division.

USC is second.



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