When it comes to mere Whiners...

...Oberjuerge puts them all to shame.

I was warned that it would be crappy writing, and yet in the end I couldn't resist and I clicked through anyway. I am, of course, referring to the whinefest piece by local big baby Paul Oberjuerge. The fact that he writes for some no-name paper called the San Bernardino County Sun should have tipped me off. I'm actually fine with him weeping like a little girl in his own rag which no one reads, but putting his crap in the Daily News, which more covers the Bruins readership and fanbase, is where they crossed the line, and now, it is time to dissect it.

We love Bruins in shorts. Except ... Except when the Bruins are stepping on our local-local team. Except when our hometown boys are being crushed by the UCLA juggernaut.

This isn't football, where the SoCal universe is USC, UCLA ... and the JCs. Most every neighborhood in the Southland has its own NCAA Division I basketball school.

Someone tell me what the hell geography has to do with how we're "supposed" to play? I don't see him shedding a tear for Youngstown State, which is also a school without Div IA football, which we also crushed. He just doesn't care because they're in Ohio, not in his precious San Bernardino County. Yeah, real humanitarian you are, Paul.

Those are D1 schools with real programs coached by ambitious men, leading prideful players, who have aspirations to win a conference title and play in the NCAA Tournament and win a game. And get just a teeny bit of the attention that disappears down the black hole in Westwood.

UCLA is tradition and talent. Except when it plays your team.

Then, they're the Big Bad Bruins. The bullies. The oppressors. The Man, keeping you down. Forever. Who won't let you up for air. Ever.

Who won't treat you as a potential equal. Who will never give you respect.

Alright, they're ambitious, no problems there. Tradition, talent, check, check. Bullies? Yeah probably, that's what every team aspires to be. No problem there. Who will never give you respect?


Here comes the clue train, next stop, Paul. What happened last night happened because the Bruins treated their opponents as equals and gave them respect. If teams come in all amped up and ready to take their best shot at bringing down the giant, don't be surprised when the giant has their best shot ready as well. I would like to know what does qualify as giving your opponent respect.

And all those things about the Bruins that seem so clever, so interesting, so fun when it's some Pac-10 rival in town ... suddenly seem dismissive and contemptuous.

Take, for instance, the UCLA student section's shtick for greeting opposition players.

As each of the five starters is announced, UCLA students shout, on cue. "So what!" (He's here to play, actually.) "Who cares!" (I do; he's my son.) "Big deal!" (Right, nobody but Bruins matter.) "Who's he?" (A guy with pride in himself and his team.)

The chants of "air ball, air ball" ... the band blaring ... the prep all-Americas lining the UCLA bench ... the arrogance of the UCLA crowd. All those things you don't notice when it's Stanford or Oregon in Pauley ... are like nails on a chalkboard when it's your neighborhood team the Bruins are about to destroy. Which is what they have done, since the Wooden Era began.

Dismissive and contemptuous? Haven't been to many of our games, have you? That's fine, neither has Diane Pucin. But don't talk like you know what the UCLA scene is about. Those chants happen at every single game, they didn't just happen because it was some local team coming into our house. Arrogance of the crowd? Examples please? If I may refer back to 13-9, when all the heartbroken suddenly humanitarian trOJan fans came on whining about the supposed "lack of class" when they themselves have been the poster children of bad behavior, this type of character assassination is rooted in sour grapes. You lost. Deal with it. Because you couldn't prove any sort of superiority on the court, you have to find some little nugget, no matter how far fetched or fictional it may be, to make yourself feel better. Here Paul, have a cookie. And a bottle.

Actually, it was worse than it could have been because UCLA's one alleged weakness - perimeter shooting - was a notable strength early. The Bruins made 8 of 12 from 3-point range, which they probably couldn't do in an empty gym.

So, again, somebody's down-home team was a plaything for the Bruins. Which is amusing to UCLA people, like a crippled mouse is to a cat. Well, actually, it's amusing to all of us UCLA fans ... except when it's the guys around the corner who are on the other side of the blowout. Long Beach, Fullerton, Northridge, et al.

Losers checklist: Unsubstantiated Character Assassination, The "Class" card, Backhanded compliments, Check Check Check.

Yeah, damn we were just so lucky to squeak by CSSB by 30 something points. Who knows what would have happened if our perimeter oriented, 3 point shooting team from the past two years hadn't shown up? We might have only won by 20. Give yourself credit Paul. Even if the Bruins blowing out local teams was amusing, your "article" certainly trumped that.

You're a class act Paul. You have taught us all how to lose with dignity. As a reward, I will be sending you a luxury car to pick you up for "work" for the next week.

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