BY GEORGE ARTSITAS — So I have a friend name Beans. He’s a good friend, known him since high school and have continued to call him “Beans” even as we’ve aged much too far for that to be an acceptable thing to do. It’s just, I feel once you don’t have a friend whose nickname goes along with a food, you’re officially in adulthood. Some say you have to have a Bar Mitzvah, some say it’s when you move out of your parents you’re officially an adult. Mine is much simpler.

And it’s not that uncommon. Jeremy Piven was once called Cheese in a movie once. Everyone loves the Black Eyed Peas. Hell, Popeye married a girl who was named after the stuff you put on a skillet so your food doesn’t stick. Me, I have a friend named Taco — who’s ironically diabetic — in addition to the aforementioned Beans.

So I decide to call Beans up about the USC this week and hear his thoughts. He lives in Southern California so he’s pretty clued into how the area is handling the Trojan’s collapse this year. I try to find out what he thinks the outcome will be but before that, he gives me the, “I need to tell you something, we need to talk,” in a startling serious tone.

Now, “We need to talk” is the most cliche opening to a boy and a girl breaking up in the world. Everyone knows this. It’s practically common knowledge at this point. Now when a guy says, “we need to talk,” to another guy, the reasoning is never so simple. It could something as simple as a confrontation over who’s using the peanut-butter all the way up to someone coming out of the closet.

Now, as the conversation went on, it immediately became apparent it could very well be the ladder.

He opens up with “I don’t know how exactly to explain this.”

Probably the worst thing he could’ve said with me thinking he was about to come out of the closet.

“I know you have strong feelings about this and you’re not too happy with the people who decide to do this.”

I almost interrupt him. Am I homophobic? Is that the vibe I give off? I love singing competitions on TV, I watch Bravo regularly and occasionally I’ll wear a scarf. I thought that made me exempt.

“I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and I think I just want to try it out for awhile.”

Now I pretty much know what’s coming. I’m deliberately between “Awesome” and “Good for you” as my first impression. I don’t know which one feels the most genuine. And yes, I know me choosing between the two is the most disingenuous thing possible. It’s a delicate situation. I need to be prepared.

“I’m going to be a vegetarian.”

I’m actually disappointed. I’d be fine with him being gay, but to be a vegetarian, it’s just lame. I’m sorry, and pardon the pun, but I just like me friends to eat meat.

I quickly ask him what he thinks the score will be to get out of the conversation. He thinks Oregon is going to smoke the Trojans. That’s something we can agree on.

My pick, Oregon over USC, 56-21.

Categories: Analysis, Around the Pac-12, News & Notes, Previews

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