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JOHN BIRDWELL'S RECRUITING DIARY: USC

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EDSBS has recruited a recruit of its own: John Birdwell, a 26 year old Australian Rules Footballer being recruited by USC, Miami, Boston College, Arizona State, and Tennessee. He'll be posting here regularly throughout this process.

G'day, mates. We really don't say that a whole lot in Australia, but I thought I'd make your comfortable because you're almost as terrified of foreigners as Aussies.

First off, let me just say bravo to this top Aussie, who did us all on the flip side of the planet proud by being a man on air and saying what we're all thinking: that sheila in the white shorts has a beautiful ass.

Good on ya, Roger Rasheed. It shits me that a single whining sheila would have a turd's shit to say about this. Just look at her! She's like some magical long-legged ass pony woman in hot pants. You'd be blind not to follow that down a dingo hole, friend.

So I've got to tell you that I'm bloody impressed with Pete Carroll. He's the most inspirational man I've ever seen. Period. Just a hell of man. He just blew my fucking mind, he did.

First, when you get recruited at USC, they don't just pull ya along in a limo or something. No, no--Pete likes to catch people by surprise.

So I'm strolling at the beach in my budgie smuggler, scoping sheilas and looking like 16 stone of sex god when--ZING!!!--suddenly everything goes black and I'm staggering along like a drunk game ranger and going face down in the sand. I thought it was gay rangers coming after my fine ass. ( Heard they do that to fine young males like myself here in L.A.)

So I wake up and WHAM! I'm looking up at Pete Carroll. Great grinning bastard he is, wearing a crimson and gold cape and standing in front of a wall of SOLID FIRE in this kind of cave we're in. I'm wearing some kind of weird ass gladiator garb and wondering what I've cocked myself into this time. I mean, I once woke up bleeding and chewing on a shark fin on a beach in Tonga after I hit the Turps with Russell Crowe, but this is beyond the pale.

"Welcome to your first test, John. This is the Ronnie Lott Wall of Flames, sponsored by Fox and Phillips Electronics. If you wish to be considered for the champions club we call USC football, you have to pass through it without fear." The whole time he's smiling and everything with his textie in his hand...and he's typing as he talks to me, not even stopping. It's kind of freaking me out, especially since I'm wearing fur underwear and probably somewhere beneath Los Angeles in a cave.

"Why the bloody fuck am I dressed up like Conan?" I ask.

"That is not the question, John Birdwell. The question is: why haven't you been dressed like Conan all your life already?" he answered. And I was gobsmacked, because something in me said he was right: all along, I've been a barbarian waiting to rage, which explains so much about me: my inability to stay with just three women, my need for blood red meat and rivers of alcohol, my addiction to gambling, and that time I threw an eight year old into a sunglass kiosk at the mall for looking at me strangely. I was wearing fur undies and a horned helmet all the time whether I wanted to or not.

So, what the hell. I jumped through it. I've never been much of one for hesitation. Ol' Johnny does things that way. The first tackle I made in the bigs, I knocked myself out and gave the other man a permanent stutter. Was famous for boffing groupies through their panties--I ruined more pairs of knickers than girls' week, and that's no lie. It's hell on your wedding tackle, but a man's got to do things his way, and that's mine, chafing be damned.


USC's Ronnie Lott Wall of Flames. Sponsored by ESPN and Phillips Electronics.

Right through the old flame panties I went, and let me tell you: those were no special effects. I was totally on fire for the first time since my second bachelor party, and it's a total blister to be on fire. It's not the worst pain in the world, mind you--having a testicle ripped from your body, that's the winner there--but it's at least as bad as biting down on a stonefish, which I did to motivate my Brisbane Lions team in 2003. (Only missed the first half, and still made a few tackles before passing out and bleeding from my ears.)

So I crawl around with my fur bikini on fire, blind, screaming, you know...pretty much the way you want to spend every Saturday night, right? And I fall into this warm water, which puts the whole mess out. I go under, make sure I'm all put out, and when I surface I look up and Pete's sitting there, surrounded by naked women. Just...like, a hundred of 'em, completely in the nick. Pete looks up, smiles, and says:

"Welcome, son, to level one of the Trojan experience. Are you jacked right now?"

"Yes, sir. I'm practically tearing fabric here," I say.

He laughs. And this is like the kind of belly-roller that takes a fortnight to pass, he's just laughing all over the place. There's torches lighting the place, which I'd look around at if I weren't too busy trying not to pass out from shock and the loss of blood rushing to my penis. He finally stops, eats a few grapes from a plate really casually, you know, and then says.

"These are Rey's ladies, Johnnie. They can be yours if you decide on USC. And now...for academic compliance! Clean up!"

So I had to clean up without getting so much as a taste, and I spent the rest of the day wandering around slathered in Bactine and listening to this old hag prat on about grades, scores, and all this crap. But overall, my visit to USC was unbelievable. I don't even know what kind of football they play, or what I'd even be doing there...but for my own harem and cave, I'll eat another stonefish, I swear I will. That place is unbelievable.

Next: John visits Auburn!