Lincoln Riley Stars In Cringe-Worthy USC 'Welcome Event'

If Curb Your Enthusiasm is looking for some last-minute episode ideas or The Office ever decides on a reboot, they won’t have to search far for some awkward storylines. Not far from Hollywood, Lincoln Riley's initial USC "Welcome Event" is awkward enough to make The Big Bang Theory cast look like the Boondock Saints smoking heaters with a bunch of Playboy Bunnies.

Those in attendance planned to greet Riley with raucous applause upon his LA Coliseum introduction, but were instead left to laugh, cringe and generally feel like they accidentally walked in on their grandpa doing some holiday manscaping.


The awkwardness starts when Riley is announced and no one, including Riley, has any idea where he is supposed to walk or stand, causing the coach to do an awkward go-stop-go on the stairs.

Then, the pep band -- wearing sunglasses -- scrambles chaotically onto the scene and stands in place for way too long before a man wearing a cardinal-colored blazer and a full head of 80s hair says the magic words, prompting the band to pump out some beats. A group of brass blowers then dances with all the synchronization of toddlers walking single file to a preschool potty break.

As all this goes on, three Trojan cheerleaders dance like no one's watching (thank God for social media and camera phones), and Riley stands on the makeshift stage likely wondering what the hell he has gotten himself into.

No doubt, he repeatedly reminds himself, "Private jet, private jet, private jet."

In an effort to keep the party going -- or to get it going in the first place -- a man in a suit three people removed from Riley gives somewhere between 12 and 14 dad-claps before seemingly telling another one of the hosts he is ready to head the party planning committee. Senior suit is then quickly handed a mic as the band plays on, but sadly, the video ends before we can see what other kind of weird shit goes down.

My guess is maybe a cool magic trick or a Canadian tuxedo, but that footage appears to have been left on the cutting room floor.

As any USC fan could tell you, the majority of the Trojans' games are broadcast on the Pac-12 Network, but this version of the program seems better suited for Comedy Central.


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Anthony is a former high school basketball intramural champion who played a leading role in creating two offspring. He spends his weekends hoping for an MTV Rock N' Jock revival. Follow him on X (@OhioAF).