It's Sunday evening, and for the first time this season, Bruin fans can enjoy back-to-back UCLA victories. Sure the second victory was gift-wrapped to UCLA, thanks to an Arizona State team that played undisciplined and choked in the clutch.
The downside is that it has brought out the Neubs in full-force, beating their chests about the "awesomeness" of Neuheisel "turning the corner" against a "powerful" Arizona State team. LOL. How soon people forget that even Karl Dorrell had his 13-9 moment. Although Karl's was against a #2-ranked U$C team one game short of playing the BCS title game, with vastly superior talent than this year's #19-ranked ASU squad, the Neubs are declaring this Rick's signature win that will "turn around the program." LOL. Oh, and BTW, Karl's win-loss record at UCLA was 29-21 after four seasons. Rick stands at 20-26 right now, so even if he wins out (which means winning every remaining regular season game, as well as the Pac-12 title game, and the Rose Bowl game, not some half-ass, win the regular season but lose in the title game BS), he'll finish at 25-26. Last time I checked 29-21 is better than 25-26. Just sayin' Neubs.
Good win for the guys, and a good win for UCLA's fans (many of whom are so downtrodden and used to losing that they'll take pride in meaningless moral victories), but a lot of questions remain surrounding the coaching staff (especially after Rick's repeated efforts to play-not-to-lose, which nearly cost UCLA the game), which leaves us convinced we still need wholesale regime change in Westwood
With that, let's turn to the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse for this lazy fall Sunday evening:
- Since our men's basketball team kicked their season off tonight (sort of), let's start with some basketball related news: this year's Dribble for the Cure fundraiser was a smashing success, with over 900 folks participating and raising over $115,000 for pediatric cancer research. Awesome news and a great testament to the Bruin spirit. Let's give everyone who participated or donated a round of applause. And don't forget: it's never to earn to mark it down on your calendar for next year.
- Speaking of basketball-related fundraising, there's a special fundraiser down in Newport that offers about 20 folks a chance to get an intimate look at the greatest Bruin, John Wooden. Two of his former players, Rafer Johnson and Keith Erickson, will discuss their relationships with the legendary coach and how it shaped them as men. If you're interested, all the information is here. Proceeds are set to go to the UCLA women's gymnastics squad to get the ladies their own locker room. Nice to see the money going to student-athletes, but just another big strike against Dan Guerrero and his incompetent "leadership" at Morgan Center, where world-class athletes are subject to fourth-rate treatment and facilities. Embarrassing that some UCLA alums have to step up to fix Dan's shortcomings (again).
- Turning to some more inspirational news, UCLA's official website has a great story on current Bruin undergrad Nick Matthews. While not an athlete, Nick does compete for the Blue and Gold, serving as the team captain for UCLA's Speech and Debate team (which was the #15-ranked squad last year). What's amazing is that Nick has major hearing impairments, and yet is still able to compete for the Bruins. In fact, when an opposing team refused to speak up or speak slower so he could understand their arguments (after all, it's debate, not "speak fast so no one can understand"), he went out an won anyway. Great story about an awesome Bruin.
- In campus news, Laura Perry, the director of communications for the School of Nursing won the 2011 Nursing Media Award by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. It's nice to see that someone in Westwood knows how to engage with the outside world, because certainly Dan Guerrero and his staff of fools has no clue how to do so (one need only see his lame tone-deaf "blog" for proof of that).
- Finally, UCLA engineers are continuing their excellent work, this time the folks at the at the Easton (yes, the sports guy) Institute of Technology Advancement are being awarded $4.5 million by the Defense Department to develop carbon nano-tubing that Uncle Sam hopes will aid in satellite development and technology. Besides being pretty cool, with our alma mater's current fiscal state, it never hurts to get some more cash in Bruin hands.
Alright folks, that's your Bruin Bites round-up of news from around the UCLA-iverse. Great win for the young guys yesterday, although we will need to keep our eye on the prize: doing right by those players by giving them a real coaching staff as part of a complete regime change in Westwood.