Dear Coach Mora and the Entire Bruin Football Team,
Last year, at the end of the Holiday Bowl, I wrote how disappointed many fans were and how you must re-earn respect. My litmus test for respect was to start out 4-0 this season. Little did I know the heartache of losing #36 that you and the team would have to suffer. And I know, absolutely know, that Nick will be in the players thoughts each and every game this season. This alone would have been enough to understand "losses with pride", but you ,Coach Mora, wouldn't accept that "excuse" for your team. You were instrumental in helping the team get through the very first weeks of this tragedy. And the team members were critical to helping each other through it. And they will be critical to each other to keep getting through it.
On to last night's game: I heard the Bruins get through the parts of the game that aren't going well, and just play their guts out. Wow!. WOW!
It's hard to describe the overwhelming positive feelings about the team after last night's gritty win (I could listen to, but not see the game real time). The feeling is a combination of pride and awe of how this team has come together and become a unit that does not give up or give in. It is joy of seeing people who your really care about reap rewards of hard work and tenacity. It's happiness that truisms of life lessons like "you can never coast, or assume. You have to show up every day" are reaffirmed. It is excitement that the football team represents the overall excellence of the entire university from academics to sports to community service to inventiveness.
But in the end. It is RESPECT. I respect the team and the coaching staff. I respect how you go about preparation and games. How you keep focused on the important things in life and allow the scoreboard to reflect that. And I'm really glad, happy, and elated to be able to say that again.
Keep going. You are on the road to greatness. We'll be with you through thick and thin. As a fan (and a parent of a current UCLA student, and one that has already graduated), you are giving us what we hope for in our athletic teams (and it is NOT about W!, But we like those, too.).
Go Bruins! Fight! Fight! Fight!