And indeed there will be time
... Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
* * * * * * *
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker
* * * * * * *
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
... At times, indeed, almost ridiculous
The lines above were selected, arbitrarily to some degree, from T.S. Eliot's great poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," written almost 100 years ago and preceding "The Waste Land" and "Four Quartets."
BN isn't a forum for literary criticism (although I'm sure there are a number of readers who treasure the works of great poets), but I couldn't help thinking of those lines when I read gbruin's post on Dan Guerrero's scheduling of the game in Dallas.
Much of the derision of Guerrero takes the form of jokes about donuts and chianti - deservedly so, in my opinion. But what has always appalled me about the man is my perception of his gross incompetence. Conversely, what appalls me about Gene Block (sorry, I can't put "chancellor" in front of his name without significant discomfort) is not his incompetence but what I believe is a deeply flawed sense of values and perspective.
So, for me, this scheduling decision crosses a line in the sand. Other than grinding my molars to dust - and thereby enriching my dentist - I can only ask Mr. Block, "Have you no shame?" All along, you and the Athletic Department have reluctantly tried to catch up with the relative success of the football program. (I say "relative" because the coaching hasn't always been consistent.)
Didn't Dan, the Donut Man, miss on his first choice to replace Rick Neuheisel with Chris Petersen, then at Boise State, only to flail about wildly? Somehow, he - and, more importantly, we - got lucky with Jim Mora. (I'm so struck with what seems to be the element of luck that led CJM and UCLA to each other, despite the tactics used in searching for Neuheisel's successor, that I'm reminded of the "Infinite Monkey Theorem," which says, according to Wikipedia, "A monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.")
I could go on with other examples of Dan Guerrero's mistakes, but such lists have been compiled again and again, with no discernible effect on the judgment of Gene Block, who, I'm told, is leading UCLA into the future. Somehow, Mr. Block has decided that the part of undergraduate experience that involves developing loyalty to a school's athletic teams is at best a tangential benefit to students.
And why should we reach that judgment about G. Block? Because of what he has not done about Dan Guerrero. So, here's where things stand, Mr. Block. We've got a chance - a good chance - to have a really good football team next year after many years of suffering. If you won't help with plans for a stadium on campus - and there's no good reason not to have one - don't stand in the way of student athletes who put in grueling hours of practice. Don't pretend that a football game against the University of Texas, in Dallas and not part of a home-and-home series, is being played on a "neutral" site.
It isn't neutral, and your silence, along with Dan Guerrero's role in agreeing to play this game, only undercuts whatever credibility you both have left.