USC Trojans scored big over UCLA last weekend by winning the second annual Blood Bowl, a citywide blood donation drive initiated to help the critical blood shortage in Los Angeles.
The competition began in September and culminated in an announcement of the winner at halftime of the USC-UCLA game. Because blood supplies are typically low during the football and holiday seasons, both sides agreed to start a new rivalry, where the winner is not determined by how many touchdowns and last year field goals made, but how much blood is donated by fans to local blood banks.
The Blood Bowl was especially beneficial because Los Angeles has the lowest rate of blood donation in the country. Only three percent of residents donate blood, a number well below the national donation average of five percent. This is attributed to the active lifestyle of Southern Californians, who think of themselves as too busy to donate. The situation this fall caused the Red Cross to withhold Type-O blood unless for trauma or emergency situations and forced 60 percent of transfused blood to be imported to the region from other areas.
Tim Smith, director of SCHRA said the competition was important because it was a good way to get the word out about the continuing need for blood products. For more information on SCHRA or how to donate, visit www.cwire.com/orgs/schra or call the USC Blood and Platelet Donor Center at (323) 442-5433.