He’s arguably the most exciting player that college football has witnessed since Rudy, and with slightly more talent. His USC team is on a one million game winning streak (an NCAA record) and well on their way to a third straight National Title. He has NFL scouts drooling all over themselves. He can leap tall buildings in a single bound. HE is Trojans’ running back Reggie Bush, and he’s agreed to sit down with me for an exclusive interview involving love, life, and if there’s time, football. For legal reasons, let it be known that this interview never happened.
Me: Hi Reggie! Thanks for stopping by. Did you have any trouble getting here? Sometimes Mapquest can be a pain in the you-know-what.
Reggie: Getting where? You’re at MY house.
Me: Ha ha! Yeah…you must mean that metaphorically. Ummm, it says here that you were named after two great American heroes – Reggie Jackson and George Bush, Sr. Is that true?
Reggie: What? No, that’s not true at all. I don’t know where you heard that. For one thing, you can’t just alter your last name so it’s the same as that of a former president. It’s just a coincidence that my last name is Bush. And I don’t even like baseball.
Me: Well, I’m glad we were able to squash a false rumor. Darn tabloids. Anyway, how does it feel to be part of a college football dynasty?
Reggie: It feels great, man. We’ve really created something special here at USC, and I hope we can continue this run with another title.
Me: Spoken like a true warrior. It seems like head coach Pete Carroll is fun to play for. And by that I mean, it seems as though he probably spends more time kissing your guys’ butts than worrying about things like stupid practice drills. Even when he yells, it’s usually words of encouragement, like, “Yeah! Go get ‘em!” and “You guys are the best!” Then he hugs everyone. Has he ever yelled at you in a negative manner?
Reggie: Yeah, once, when I was a freshman. He said something at practice, like, “Ronald! What are you DOING out there?!” And I was like “Ronald? Who the heck is that? I’m Reggie.” And he was like, “Reggie Bush? Oh crap, sorry about that.” Then he sent me home early so I could take a nap.
Me: He seems like a true enforcer. Most people feel as though you locked up the Heisman Trophy with your performance a few weeks ago against Fresno State. You had 513 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. I’m not sure the Cleveland Browns have 513 yards and two touchdowns on the season. Do you think the NCAA is going to even bother inviting four other guys to the Heisman ceremony? They might as well just put a couch on the stage instead of five chairs, and you can just lounge out on the couch while people throw flower petals all over you, and the video monitor can play interviews of people saying how you’re not just a great football player, but a great person as well. It’ll be like the Reggie Bush Show!
Reggie: Ha ha! I appreciate that, but I don’t think I’ve “locked” anything up. There have been a lot of great performers in college football this season, including my own teammate – Matt Leinart. Brady Quinn has had a fabulous year at Notre Dame as well, and we all know what Vince Young has meant to that Texas team. I think there are several players just as deserving of the award as I am.
Me: Spoken like a true warrior. You mentioned Matt Leinart. I understand that he is a huuuuuuge celebrity in California, and can often be seen at various celebrity functions, like a Frankie Muniz engagement party, for example. Does this bother the team, that Leinart has achieved such status within the community, while the rest of you guys continue to live a life of virtual anonymity?
Reggie: Oh, not at all. I mean, we have a lot of fun with it. Like, this one time, Tara Reid left this rambling, drunken message on Matt’s voice mail, and we played it over and over again at a team meeting. It was hilarious. Hey – Matt’s a good-looking guy, and the quarterback of a great college football team. He deserves all the attention he gets. Plus, it’s not like the rest of us are no-names on the L.A. scene. People know who we are. I mean, you’re here talking to me now, right?
Me: Yeah, but that’s only because Leinart cancelled. Ha ha! Just kidding, Reggie. Sort of. Anyway, if you had your druthers – Jets, Texans or 49ers?
Reggie: Ya’ know, I haven’t even thought about it. We have unfinished business here at USC, and I’ll worry about my NFL prospects when the time comes.
Me: Are you saying that your lifelong dream of having a 53-year-old Vinny Testarverde handing off the ball to you for a 3-yard loss hasn’t crossed your mind even once?
Reggie: Nah, not at all. And I don’t run for losses.
Me: Spoken like a true warrior.
Reggie: Why do you keep saying that?
Me: I don’t know – it sounds cool. Well, you guys have one more big hurdle to climb – a National Championship Game against a tough Texas team. Is this going to be a good game, or reminiscent of last year’s drubbing of Oklahoma?
Reggie: No disrespect to Oklahoma, but Texas is a great team. We’re definitely going to have our hands full with them. It should be a great game, but obviously, I hope we come out on top.
Me: Are you saying that you expect Texas to actually show up for the game, instead of curling up into a little ball while you guys run all over them for 25 touchdowns, similar to Oklahoma’s game plan last year? I still want my money back for that game, and I didn’t even pay for it.
Reggie: No, that’s not what I implied at all. Let’s just say that I think Texas matches up with us very well.
Me: Yeah, whatever. Reggie, it seems as though there’s nothing you can’t do on the football field. Are you the greatest college football player of all time?
Reggie: That’s for the world to decide.
Me: Reggie, what would you say if I told you that I talked to the world, and they agree that you are, in fact, the greatest college player ever?
Reggie: I’d probably say that’s impossible. You talked to the whole world?
Me: Actually, just a few people at a bar by my house. But they said they had friends who thought the same thing.
Reggie: Well, that’s a start, I guess.
Me: One last question before we go. People have compared you to such greats as Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders, and Ladainian Tomlinson. Does that bother you? Because personally, I hate it when people compare me to Ernest Hemingway. I mean, I’m my own man, ya’ know? How do you feel about that?
Reggie: Well, it does kind of add some unwanted pressure, but I consider it a huge compliment when people compare me to such great players. Hopefully in time, I can prove them right, and maybe someday, people will be comparing some young college football player to Reggie Bush.
Me: Wow. I’m holding back tears right now. Happy tears. Listen Reggie, thanks for stopping by. I wish you the best of luck on Saturday night during the Heisman ceremony. It’s going to be a close one. Really close. Can you see me winking? Cause I’m winking.
Reggie: Yeah, I can see. And what are you throwing at me? Are those flower petals? Where did you get those?
Me: From the front yard. Why?
Reggie: My mom is going to kill you.