The Media Attacks on Coach Ben Howland and the Real UCLA Fan Base

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

This started on a comment under Nestor's frontpage post and got so long that I'm posting it here so as not to clutter his space.

I'm tired of being spoken for. I am a member of the Bruin fan base and I speak for myself. And, what I have to say is not hard to find by anyone who really wants to take the pulse of Bruindome. 

In a like manner, I'm sure that most of you are tired of being misrepresented, too. Misrepresented by the attention seekers, be they morons, MSM trolls hoping some controversy will keep the rat readers from abandoning ship, or the lizard announcers trying to re-write history.

What we are seeing in the press is really a battle for who owns the right to speak, with authority, and legitimately for the real Bruin fan base.

This battle for legitimacy ought to be fought over the definition of the UCLA "fan base". Once the group is properly defined, then it can speak for itself.

Claiming to write for the "fanbase", without defining or proving that one either represents it or is even in touch with it, is writing hollow words. And, that's what these morons, columnists, and lizard announcers do. Without providing bona fides or a reason to verify that they are speaking for the "fanbase" -- they create profiles of us that are far from true.

They present us as a whining, sniveling group of ingrates whose only interest is in hanging banners and who are about to put CBH on the hot seat.

As Nestor properly points out on the front page -- nothing could be farther from the verifiable truth. I strongly support Nestor's conclusions, however I have one small quibble with his post:

In it, Nestor says:

"The UCLA community is no longer dominated by certain segement of the fanbase who perhaps did get spoiled during the glorious run of Coach John R. Wooden."

I don't know what that "segment" is, but I can tell you that those of us who were there for the start of the run and stayed close to the program during its duration and that part of Coach's career were never complacent, spoiled, or intolerant of losses.

Perhaps that is because we got to live the pyramid and judged the team by whether it was living and playing in a manner consistent with Coach's principles. And, we, better than anyone, knew that he never measured success in terms of wins and losses. In my senior year, (the 1965-66 basketball season) we went 16-8 and did not go to the tournament. There was no whining or tears. We deeply appreciated the effort put forth by our team -- a team that reflected Coach and his values. We were proud Bruins. So, I think it a bit unfair to talk of a fan base spoiled by Coach's success. Perhaps, a more apt way of putting it is that if anything, we (old and young) are a fan base "spoiled by" Coach's teachings. It's not about wins and losses to us -- it is much bigger. It's about effort and integrity. And, that is why we were probably the most vocal critics of the lizard and his ilk. We did not criticize him for losing -- as much as he would like to believe we did -- we criticized him for the way he coached/taught and the way he represented our school.

I'm sure that was more painful for him, because it was more personal -- so to handle it, the lizard and his followers created the myth of the "winning is everything" fan base. And, the lazy press has bought into it. None of us who know this program, its history, its traditions and its builder have been critical of The Caretaker or threatened him with a hot seat if he does not win a banner or go to the Final Four this year. That is a fiction created by the press and sustained by its "unnamed sources" or the morons it marches out to represent us, the real base. And, there will always be those morons -- little people who grasp for attention by saying outrageous things to get their names in print. They troll here and become "unnamed sources" for the MSM. I don't fault the morons. But, I do fault the MSM that quote them, use them as "sources" and exploit them to create controversy where none exists. The real fan base? The people who value Coach for his teachings, not his banners. The people who can name players, know the difference between a zone and man defense, understand the importance of the jump stop, can criticize our play in an analytic manner without regard to whether we've won or lost -- people who know this program and the foundation upon which Coach built it -- that's how I'd define the fan base. And, then there is the "player base". Over the years, Coach's players have made clear the positive impact he had on their lives -- both professional and personal. Can you imagine JF, AA, LRMM, KL, RW or LMR talking about CBH in the same way that past players, especially Barron Davis, have talked about the lizard? The REAL BASE strongly supports The Caretaker. And, that is why the morons and MSM writers cannot create a controversy with attributed sources or real people.

My first inclination is always to ignore the MSM and concern trolls. They are desperate little people craving attention or trying to save their jobs.

They do not speak for any of us who are the Real Fan Base and all of us in the Real Fan Base know that.

CBH knows that and so do his players.

And, to me, we and they are the only audience I care about. I don't know who reads Marcia Smith, Dwyre, Doh! or the others. I don't. And, I doubt that many of the Real Fan base do. Why would we?

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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