So it's another birthday for Bruins Nation. 7 years in the blogosphere...that's like a century in the brick and mortar space! It's amazing what this place has become. From how it started to what it is now, ups and downs, frustration, jubilation. We've had it all, and best of all, we've had a great community to share it with.
My affair with BN started almost six years ago. It was the year after Dorrell's magical mirage of the 2005 season. It didn't take long for the luster to wear off. I was looking for someone, anyone, who could explain to me what on earth was going on with this program, in both football and basketball.
At the time, the only sources that I knew were Yahoo sports and Stewart Mandel. And I suppose I owe Mandel a debt of gratitude. First of all, he's a nice guy, I got to meet him in a bar in NY, to watch us lose to UW in hoops yet again. He was pretty happy that someone could recognize him from his column picture.
But it was in his mailbag that I found a link to a poll, a link that showed that 80% of Bruins Nation was unhappy with Dorrell. So it started, and I haven't looked back. I had finally reconnected with my Bruinhood, despite being all the way on the East Coast. And then it turned out that I knew Nestor from our years in school, so it was a great way to rekindle an old friendship and for getting a lot of flack for staying pre-med while he mozied on over to the north side and got the better scenery and the more pleasant ride. Ahh...
This place has come to mean a lot to me and what it means to be a Bruin. I always thought I was an outlier when I felt that the university was underachieving in so many ways. The beauty of the way this place got started is that all the founding members were on the same page and they haven't deviated in all these years. And as it turns out, there are a lot of us who feel the same way, and that is reflected in the size of this awesome community.
Other blogs give us crap for being "harsh" or for having an agenda. Screw that. It's not an agenda, it's a vision, and most of all, it's a set of standards that we think our university deserves. It's the belief that excellence is the goal, with integrity and passion. It's a far cry from Chianti Dan's scale of "zero to good enough" and Gene Block's blind love affair with the medical center.
We got to experience many highs in these 7 years. The final four runs, signing day with Neuheisel, 13-9, the first CWS run, the ladies' softball and volleyball championships. It was incredibly fulfilling to be able to share that with all of you.
It may seem random, but CRN's big signing day was probably my favorite moment, because it was so symbolic of our school and athletic program. Full of hope and potential. The prevailing thought that still sticks with me is that too many of our programs are run like a little league team, with no awareness of their meaning and their potential. Too often, students and alumni are left on the wayside while the university looks to just get by.
But it's not about what we deserve or what we want. It's about the right way of doing things, it's about making tough decisions in the face of tradition when tradition holds you back. It's about grabbing the next day by the horns, instead of the next dollar. That is why I am here and that is why I will hopefully continue to be here and to voice my rage against the stupidity of small-minded people while I scream for joy when our students and athletes are successful.
I would love to hear what this place has meant to you, and what you think it stands for.
In the words of Yoda...do...or do not...there is no try.