Sure it’s hard following two Heisman Trophy winners and trying to carve out your own legacy, but this week’s winner basically broke the collective heart of the Trojan nation on Saturday. He led the USC Trojans to a 24-23 loss to (of all freaking teams) the Stanford Cardinal. Sure he was missing two offensive lineman, his top running back and he broke the middle finger on his throwing hand, but throwing four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown and one that led to the game-losing score, is completely unacceptable.
John David Booty is a great kid, don’t get me wrong. When he’s interviewed it’s really hard to not like the guy. He had a great game in last year’s Rose Bowl and when he’s on he looks great. For about half the game on Saturday, he looked pretty damn good. He went 24-40, for 364 yards and two long touchdowns … and FOUR interceptions. He led an offense that out-gained Stanford 459 to 235 yards, but turned the ball over five times. And couldn’t gain two yards on 4th and goal at the end of the first half.
Sure SC’s defense made some stupid mistakes towards the end, the team as a whole racked up 80 yards in penalties, they had an extra point blocked and Mark Bradford got away with a bit of a push-off on that touchdown catch, but it never should have come to that. If you’re a quarterback, you benefit from all the positive press your team gets. Booty was a Heisman candidate solely because he was the quarterback of the top team in the country, therefore this loss falls on his shoulders.
If you’re a quarterback you’re supposed to be a leader and you’re supposed to take responsibility when your team fails. So the team’s first loss of 2007 is on Booty’s shoulders, so is the end of the 35-game home winning streak, the 24-game Pac-10 home winning streak, and it’s also your fault that I had to listen to Jesse Palmer breakdown the team’s awful performance on ESPNU on the post-game wrap-up. Seriously, other than Lou Holtz I don’t know if I’ve ever wanted to punch an anchor more, freaking pretty boy moron. Why don’t you go do another reality show and stop bothering people (In the interest in full disclosure I really only hate the guy because he was the first person I saw talk about the game after it was over. That said, he still needs to go away).
Imagine how upset my future wife – and USC grad – Whitney Port is. How could you guys have done this to her?
Sorry JD, you’re a good kid, but you’re definitely our Douchebag of the Week.