photo credit Lisa Horne
I remember my most embarrassing moment. I was 14 years old. As I was running to my gym class, my shirt dress completely unbuttoned. Every single button. I was mortified. That was back in the dark ages.
We didn't have cell phones. We didn't have the Internet. The only thing we had to immortalize a major wardrope malfunction was our memories. Lucklily for me, the moment faded after 48 hours.
Unfortunately for Millennials, technology has created the perfect storm. Information gathering has never been easier. It also has never been so destructive. The Internet never forgets.
USC head coach Steve Sarkisian showed up at a private event on Saturday to help kick off the Trojans' football season. It was a night many will not forget.
Sarkisian appeared to be inebriated. He slurred his words and dropped at least one F-bomb. Athletic Director Pat Haden, a straight-arrow-kind-of-guy, reportedly hauled Sarkisian away from the podium and berated him. Sarkisian later made a formal apology after a snippet of Sarkisian's antics was shown on ESPN.com.
The team was "embarrassed," according to a team source who talked with ESPN's Shelley Smith.
Sarkisian is at a very vulnerable time in his life. He is going through a divorce. He and his wife Stephanie have three minor children after more than 17 years of marriage. There is undoubtedly a lot of stress in his life. Some people tip the bottle more when under tremendous stress.
Sarisian may or may not have an alcohol problem that needs to be addressed. He said that he mixed medications with alcohol and that caused his intoxicated state on Saturday. He also said he would seek treatment to determine if he has a problem.
What medication he is on is no one's business but his own. The fact that he had to even address that is testament to the media's typical overreach. One's health is a private matter.
Sarkisian apologized to the team and apparently, the team supports him 100 percent. Defensive captain Su'a Cravens told the media that they have "moved on." Quarterback Cody Kessler said that this has brought the team "closer together."
Sarkisian's most embarrassing moment made national headlines. It could have been worse. The upside was that it was at a private event and he was not driving. No crimes were committed although a cringe-worthy performane on a blurry video should constitute some sort of penalty.
Sarkisian has undoubtedly been punished by Pat Haden. We just aren't privvy to the details. And since USC is a private institution, we will probably never know all the details.
This we do know: The Cutty Sark jokes are alive and well. Siete Steve jokes remain popular, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Everybody loves piling on when an elite football program takes another stumble.
Sarkisian's antics do not even approach Bobby Petrino status, but this is USC.
photo courtesy of FOXSports
Everyone loves ripping USC and Notre Dame, ostensibly because of their winning football programs, numerous Heisman winners and perceived arrogant fan bases. How arrogant?
Here is a 10-hour version of Tribute to Troy Trojan Fanfare on youtube. That's right. TEN HOURS.
USC pisses off a lot of fans. Schadenfreude reigns supreme when the Trojans fall from grace.
USC has now banned any alcohol in the coaches' locker room. Some fans were shocked to learn there was alcohol in the locker room—it was not in the players' locker room—despite a drinking culture that has been well established in football for decades.
We know college football fans drink. We know they get inebriated We know they do dumb things, dumber things and downright disgusting things. Sports and alcohol go hand-in-hand.
For Sarkisian, he may have just had a bad day. Or, it may be time to re-evaluate that sports-drinking relationship. He's got the team's support, an immediate concern that seems to have been alleviated.
Now he needs to win.
If Sarkisian's No. 8 Trojans go 12-1 or 13-0 in the regular season, we can all break out Elton John's classic song, "The Bitch is Back."
If he goes 7-5, cue "Curtains."