MJD moves away from a tackle by the Sooner's Cory Bennett (#97). Bruins beat Oklahoma 41-24 at the Rose Bowl on September 17, 2005. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Well, today happens to be BN's birthday. Odysseus wrote a bit about the ups and downs that Bruins have experienced over these last 7 years and how our community has shaped and been shaped by it. There have been some great (and not so great) moments of my 6+ years with Bruins Nation, but what first came to mind on this day is a conversation that I had with gbruin last weekend. After watching our Bruins beat TCU, our thoughts went to the role that this blog and the community that has risen out of it has affected our relationship with UCLA.
My first moment with Bruins Nation came early in 2006, after a friend passed along a link to one of N's basketball roundups. The previous fall, I had moved to the east coast to begin law school, and lacked the ability to gather much news on UCLA sports or a place to talk about the Bruins. Living back there really does make it difficult to watch games, or even keep track of what is going on with our teams back in Westwood.
In that first football season after leaving California, I was limited to watching a couple of games on TV - with MJD saving me from a potentially disastrous bet with the Cal alumna in my 1L section, and seeing me finally lose my s*it with KD during the Southern Cal game. By the start of winter, I was at the point of listening to the online radio feed of our Thursday night basketball games while studying (or trying to) in the Law Library.
So I opened up the link, looked around the blog and appreciated what the editors were doing. I kept passively reading for a while, getting more and more pumped up as basketball made its run through the Pac-10 Tournament and into the Final Four. After another month or two, I finally got around to signing up for the site and commenting as the spring came to an end. As time went on, the community inspired me to start contributing to Bruins Nation and after some time and an invitation from the editors, to become one of them.
For me, the role of a community - this one in particular - is to support and inspire in its field of interest. My time at UCLA was one of the darker periods for our major sports, with a lack of enthusiasm - or even more than a cursory of acknowledgement - surrounding our other teams on campus. And while I made it into the world with a loyalty and a level of excitement of UCLA Athletics, having this site and this community over the past 6 and a half years has drawn me even closer to the fortunes of Basketball and Football, not to mention investing me into the non-revenue sports that don't get much love on campus, and that I hadn't given all that much thought to before BN.
What led you to Bruins Nation, and what has the community here meant to you?