Happy 7th birthday, Bruins Nation. I can't remember my 7th birthday, but I bet it was filled with cake, younger siblings, and family. So let's continue celebrating this family's 7th birthday with a trip down memory lane.
I came to BN during the Dorrell era. BN had already joined the SBN family of blogs, and I am pretty sure I found it by angry googling after a football game. I was just happy to see I wasn't alone - I was frustrated with football, after tasting the smallest whiffs of success during the Toledo era, to being blown out by that other SChool after paying for bus tickets and watching the frats and sororities around me more interested in each other than the shellacking on the field, as I ignored the phone calls of my companions that attended the other institution. I had so much hope when Neuheisel was hired - the prodigal son back to UCLA - which unfortunately didn't pan out... and hopefully an upswing for a program I have invested a good chunk of my life with screams, tears, joy and sorrow.
My favorite football memory from the past seven years is obviously 13-9. My second favorite is beating Cal in 2005. I vaguely recall crying after that game. (Shush. I've been through a lot of losing as a UCLA football fan.) My favorite basketball memory is Russell Westbrook dunking the hell out of Western Kentucky in the 2008 tournament, even if it didn't count at the end of the game. I screamed along with him. My third favorite UCLA sport, gymnastics, my favorite memory is of the 2004 team, which predates this community, but that team was freaking LOADED and we dominated.
When I think about favorite BN memories over the past five years (my five year anniversary is tomorrow from when the blog merged to the new format, I think I've been here longer) I think of the hysteria of football signing days with many cups of coffee, NCAA tournament mojo threads, silly threads about the best basketball player on the team, or general announcements about what is going on in your life (oh and threads on opera), I cannot choose one. It's impossible.
That and my memory is probably starting to go. My vision has already has probably started to fade. My UCLA fandom, however, will not.
My favorite part of this community is just that - the community. The members here are invested in their alma mater, and are very passionate about all things UCLA. It isn't a part time job for us, or only commenting when we're winning. (More of you show up when we lose.) That's what being a fan is to me - even during the dark days, you still root for the team, even if you're enjoying the view in the stands more than what is going on on the field.
Thank you to everyone who has been here over the past 7 years, and here's to many more.