True Bruins Show Respect

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I am a life long, now 72 year old, Bruin fan. I grew up on Selby Avenue, a little south of the campus. In reality, I grew up on the campus. I was a ball boy during both football and basketball practices. I was a gym rat. As a young boy, I memorized all of the Bruin fight songs and cheers. My dog was named Bruin. Bruin players were my heroes.

My neighbor, Peter Blackman, a then Bruin basketball player and later well-respected long-time Bruin administrator, taught me a lot about basketball on our back to back backboards in the alley separating our houses. Although I chose to attend a smaller university in order to play sports in college, I have remained the consummate Bruin fan.

For over sixty years, my blood has run Columbia Blue and Gold. My heart beats and skips a beat with every point scored by the Bruins or scored against them.

I even obtained my PhD in Physical Education at the University of Oregon. Thanks for the inspiration and mentoring Peter. In fact, while studying in Eugene, I was court side when the Ducks broke the long running consecutive win record of then coached John Wooden Bruin basketball team led by Bill Walton. I was depressed for months. Fortunately, the good memories far outnumber the bad.

Enough background... now I wish to "cut to the chase" regarding this so called Bruin blog. Every team, every player and every coach makes mistakes. No team, no player and no coach is perfect. In fact, we are all open to criticism daily. It really upsets me that many of the contributors to this blog are critical of the team, players and coaches. In my mind, this is not what being a Bruin really means. There is not one among us that would prefer criticism over appreciation, in our work or in our relationships.

I was a teacher and coach for over forty years. In the classroom, on the field and on the court, I always reminded my students to “be a player not a spectator.” It is ridiculous for anyone on this blog to criticize a player or a coach without stepping out on the field or the court in their shoes. It is unfair and unjust to be critical of any player or coach when you really do not understand the dynamic of the situation and every individual moment.

But there is something more about this blog that bothers me. No team could ever be expected to be successful without staying together and supporting each other. Many of the posters on this site are hurting the team, players and coaches by the negative nature of their posts. What kind of TEAM is this blog modeling?

Bruins should stick together at all times and in all situations, win or lose. In addition, true Bruins should not be criticizing or making fun of our cross town rivals. We should building up the Bruins rather than tearing down the Trojans. And true, I do not like the USC teams anymore than any true Bruin, however I learned and taught that you play your game and be respectful to the opponents at all times. In other words, “hit em hard, knock em down and pick em up afterwards.” Without an opponent or the challenge of competition there is no game and there is no fun. And, there is no blog. So Bruins, all Bruins be respectful!

Too often, the posts put up on this blog are not fun to read and are disrespectful. They are difficult to read because they are so negative and critical. At times, they are embarrassing to read. If this is really the “Bruin Nation”, it is time to start acting like a Bruin. Stand behind our teams, our players and our coaches and those teams, players and coaches will be stronger and give everything they have to order to honor what it means to be UCLA…in all places and all times. Think about how prospective recruits, their coaches and their families perceive this blog. It is, most often, not a true picture of a true Bruin. It is time to change. Winning isn't everything; respect is. The Bruin teams, players and coaches will always have my FULL support and respect.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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