Sep 10, 2023
Has the feud between Trojans and Bruins muffled their mascots on game day?
Some say the prankster feud between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins all
Some say the prankster feud between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins all started in the 1940s when USC's mascot, a dog named George Tirebiter, was kidnapped and then returned with his fur shaved away to create the letters "UCLA."
Many lighthearted outrages followed, including the prank gone wrong of 1958 when UCLA fans flew a helicopter over the Tommy Trojan statue and tried to release a vast amount of manure on poor Tommy. But according to USC fans of the era, most of the manure flew back at the helicopter and onto the pranksters.
Things got more serious in 2009, when the Bruin Bear was vandalized with thick Trojan red and yellow paint, and UCLA was out $40,000 to restore its statue — and install security guards, cameras and a "puzzle box" built around the bear during game week, to keep pranksters at bay.
It's called a puzzle box because, as the Daily Bruin once reported, the custom-made metal frame and tarpaulin that were used to cover the bear in the past were "replaced with a wooden enclosure" deemed tough to break through. And the Trojans have tried out layers and layers of mummy-like taping.
Somehow in 2018, USC fans got into the puzzle box and slathered the Bruin Bear with paint once again. And so the tradition goes on, with the two teams facing each other today, Saturday Nov. 19 — and the two mascots protected and beloved but not necessarily safe.
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