There's not much I can say at this point that other folks haven't already pointed out. It's patently obvious to even the most casual observer of UCLA athletics that we're a national joke.
Our football team is a hapless 6-6 group that squanders talent (how the f**k do you not throw more to a TE that is a match-up nightmare at 6'8" with some speed?!), led by a coach that plays not to lose, that managed to back into the championship game for two reasons: (1) our division is an absolute joke and (2) the only team worth a damn (which just full-on bent UCLA over) is ineligible. Our basketball team is a complete disaster, saddled with a stubborn coach who refuses to adjust despite personnel shortcomings and who has run talented players out of the program (Mike Moser, Chace Stanback, among others) because he insists on playing favorites (the Belgrade Bricklayer immediately comes to mind, although the Wears are certainly shaping up to be a miserable Ben favoritism second act), that has failed to beat mid-major tune-up types in LMU and MTSU.
If I was a fan of any other school, I'd look at UCLA and laugh. We're pathetic. And there's only one person to blame: Chianti Dan Guerrero. The incompetent, do-nothing bureaucrat who is more concerned with taking chianti trips with donors than with competently running our athletic department, is a public employee who sits back, collects a king's ransom ($600K+), and does just enough to not raise the ire of clueless bookworm academic Chancellor Gene Block.
I'm not going to do the normal Bruin Bites today folks, because 99% of the news about UCLA is how we're a total joke on the football field. You read stories about how it's embarrassing to the Pac-12 that UCLA is even in the championship game, about how if UCLA somehow pulls off some kind of crazy win (which it has the talent to do, despite our complete failure coaching staff . . . I would bet Guerrero's salary that if Urban Meyer was the head coach at the start of this season, with all the same players and injuries, UCLA would be at least a respectable 9-3 right now, guaranteed).
Bruin Bites has a pretty standard formula that all of you readers know by now: there's a handful of sports-related side stories, the kinds of tidbits that are interesting or neat, but not necessarily the subject to a full-blown write up on BN. There are a few profiles of fellow Bruins doing good things, and then there are a couple of feel-good stories about the wonderful things UCLA is doing, on the academic side, to improve society and the world at large.
I'm not going to do that today. Why? Because, yes UCLA does a lot of amazing things. We all got lucky to go to the one of the greatest universities in the world, the kind of school that has helped change the world for the better. If not for Jackie Robinson's bravery, what would professional sports look like? If not for Dr. Leonard Kleinrock, what would the internet look like? If not for Ralph Bunche, Glenn Seaborg, Bruce Merrifield, William Sharpe, Elinor Ostrom, and Richard Heck (UCLA's Nobel Laureate alum), how different would our world be? Or how different would life be for the hundreds of thousands of people who either were themselves saved, or had a loved on saved, at the UCLA Medical Center? Make no doubt about it, UCLA is amazing.
But I'm not going to spoon feed us a feel-good story about our university today. Despite all of those amazing things that UCLA is and does, I am embarrassed to be a Bruin today. I'll go to work tomorrow and my co-workers from other Pac-12 schools will make biting comments about the total beating we took on Saturday. We can pretend that football is one small slice of what being a Bruin is about, but the reality of life is that football (and basketball to a lesser extent) matters a lot.
Football is like beauty. In the long run, it matters little to the bigger picture of a university. The academic excellence, the achievements in arts and sciences, the cutting-edge medical center, those are like the internal qualities of a person, like their sense of humor, their patience, their intelligence, or wit, etc. Those are the things that make a university truly great (i.e. why Harvard is, well, Harvard). But
beauty football is what brings the attention. It's football that brings in the big money, that gets the alumni to open their wallets and splash cash for their alma mater.
Don't believe me? Go to Google's News page. Type in UCLA and hit search. Gee, where are all the stories about our wonderful academics? Our cutting edge engineering breakthroughs? The life-saving procedures at the medical center?
Like I said, 99% of the stories out there about UCLA right now are about our football team, better known as the Vespa Clown Show (never mind the total failure that is our basketball team, also known as the Dumpster Fire Squad).
So, there are going to be some Bruin Bites, but it's going to be a bit different today. Follow after the jump for more.It's actually been a bit of a whirlwind around BN since Saturday's beat-down in the Coliseum, so I'm going to use Bruin Bites as a way to keep everything straight and keep folks oriented. Here we go:
- Let's start with the post-game recap. Suffice to say, it wasn't pretty. To see how raw the emotions are of folks who are typically proud, dyed-in-blue, Bruin fanatics, is heartbreaking. This decrepit football program has been mismanaged ever since Chianti Dan took the reins at Morgan Center. He had a chance to turn around a diseased culture of mediocrity fostered by the Donahue years (and his lame "coaching tree") but instead, Chianti Dan nurtured and encouraged the mindset of accepting mediocrity, from making lame football hires, to saddling Rick with assistants he didn't choose, to dragging out the firing of both Karl Dorrell and (soon, we hope) Rick Neuheisel.
- Following our 50-0 embarrassment, Chianti Dan managed to show us how absolutely clueless and tone-deaf he is, telling the Bruin faithful that we should still be excited to see this putrid display of football in the Pac-12 title game, led by the same play-not-to-lose "coach" that has delivered nothing but pitiful football to Westwood.
- It's not just frontpagers at BN who are going full-bore after Chianti Dan Guerrero for being an incompetent bureaucrat who is only interested in his only personal advancement. Regular readers are putting Chianti Dan on blast for not doing something to right the ship and calling on Chianti Dan to grow some balls and fire Neuheisel immediately.
- The Morning After post kept the ball rolling, hitting at Chianti Dan for being a worthless chump, highlighting that under his failed "leadership" UCLA is an astonishing 1-17 during Thanksgiving in football and basketball combined. The sole win? Division II Chaminade. So, on the one weekend where the entire nation is doing nothing but watching sports with the family in post-turkey bliss, or waiting in an airport to get somewhere, catching the score to kill time before dinner, etc., UCLA embarrasses itself time and time again. No wonder the national perception of us is so low.
- Initially word got out that Chianti Dan reached down and found a pair of balls and was finally going to man up and fire Rick. But apparently, he decided he'd check his man-card at the door and go back to being a feckless, tone-deaf cowardly bureaucratic sleazeball, making stupid comments about retaining Rick through the Pac-12 championship game, a game that the Bruins are only in because U$C is ineligible, Utah choked, and the rest of the Pac-12 South is a joke. Nestor took Chianti Dan to task for dragging his feet, hurting UCLA in the long-term search for a new head coach.
- In the coaching carousel, we've now seen multiple programs with more dynamic and bold athletic directors, including fellow Pac-12 programs, making moves, either firing their coaches, or preparing to do so within days, all putting themselves ahead of UCLA in the race to land a new head coach. Chianti Dan, on the other hand, is content to sit back, sip wine, and wax poetic about how "excited" we should be to play in a laughingstock conference title game, where the University of Nike will surely destroy us in their quest for BCS glory.
- Chianti Dan's stubborn refusal to take action has led BN to make a call we never wanted to make: calling for a full boycott of all UCLA athletic events until Chianti Dan takes action and fires Rick, or until Chancellor Block axes both Chianti Dan Guerrero and Neuheisel. That's right folks: full boycott. Do not appear. Yes, it sucks in the short-term (especially for the players), but they're Bruins too, and long-term, we have to do what is in the best interest of UCLA. In the end, forcing Chianti Dan's hand is the best for everyone, players, fans, and alums.
- Finally, Tracy Pierson, who is one of the, if not the, best writer covering UCLA athletics, wrote an absolute must read article that calls out Chianti Dan Guerrero for sitting on his hands and not taking action and flat-out destroyed Chianti Dan's lame comments following Saturday's destruction in the Coliseum. It is an amazing piece and it really hits home with the frustrated fan base. Nestor recapped it here if you need just the essential points, pairing it with a call to action and links for how you can take steps to force change at UCLA.
Those are your special edition Bruin Bites folks. Right now, like I said, all of the news floating around the UCLA-iverse is focused on football and Chianti Dan's inept failure to take action.
Now is the time folks. Make your voices heard. We need nothing short of WHOLESALE REGIME CHANGE IN WESTWOOD, STARTING WITH CHIANTI DAN GUERRERO AND RICK NEUHEISEL.