Traveler’s Early Retirement Followed by Suspicious Meat in the Parkside Dining Hall

By Dean Woods

LOS ANGELES, CA – Following a typical Saturday evening at the Coliseum, packed with sweaty football fans, tragedy struck. USC’s beloved “mascot,” Traveler, took an unexpected tumble during his 12th consecutive victory lap. The band abruptly stopped playing Fleetwood Mac as medics rushed in and checked the noble steed for injuries. Traveler was ultimately met with spirited applause as his unconscious body was bravely dragged off the field.

The Monday after Traveler’s fall, Parkside discretely added a “Special Burger” to its Eurasia menu. Numerous students reported the food having an unusual taste, with some calling it “significantly better than usual.” When rumors began spreading regarding the origin of this surprising delicacy, USC Hospitality was unavailable for comment. The timing of the new burger in addition to Traveler’s lack of public appearance was spawning questions. Where was Traveler taken for his injury? Why were long white hairs found in the meat? While investigating Traveler’s accident, non-emergency DPS officers ruled out foul play (but what do they really know? They couldn’t even find my stolen e-scooter!).

Head football coach Lincoln Riley held a press conference on Tuesday evening where he dispelled the growing theory regarding Traveler and the new Special Burger. He delivered the bittersweet news that Traveler would be enjoying an early retirement due to his unforeseen injury. Riley went on to say that the entire football team and coaching staff wishes Traveler a lovely trip to his farm upstate. However, behind Riley’s podium, one student witnessed, “A wheelbarrow with a hoof sticking out of it” being brought into the Parkside kitchen. Staff were once again unavailable for comment.

Rather than address concerns, USC Football decided a new horse is needed as soon as possible to continue boosting team morale, but sources say that the process may take up to three months. Based on recent campus construction projects, this likely means at least five years. Until a sturdier horse is acquired, Tommy Trojan has agreed to run around the field on all fours after every touchdown.