I tried something like this one time before. That time, I was motivated mostly by utter despair, looking wherever I could for distraction to help allay the pain.
This time around, the effort comes from a far happier place. As we all know, this past weekend, we saw a UCLA team play up to its potential, a coaching staff making many of the right calls, a woeful in-town streak come to an end, and a hated rival's national championship hopes delightfully dashed.
And how did this glorious day, December 2, 2006, come to be? Because of our Bruin Heroes. Much like last time, I've matched our UCLA Bruin Heroes with their appropriate counterparts from the new hit series of the same name. So, without further ado, here we go.
Claire Bennett/UCLA Defense
How do you best describe UCLA's defense this past weekend? Impenetrable? Totally indestructible? Gifted with the power of healing, after a season of too many wounds? Facing a potent Southern Cal offense which, though not as strong as years past, still seemed poised to tear UCLA's sometimes uneven defense a new one. But, with quickness and heart, this unit seemed to spontaneously regenerate play after play, and, by games end, was the story of this great game.
Matt Parkman/DeWayne Walker
Passion, preparation and heart. Those were important elements to this victory. But, it seemed that UCLA's defense at some points had an added edge. Was there any chance that DeWayne Walker was reading the thoughts of Southern Cal's play callers? It sure seemed that way, as the Bruin defense often seemed to know what plays were coming. He may not be a physical genius, but DeWayne Walker sure showed something this game, and deserves a good chunk of credit for a UCLA win for the story books.
Hiro Nakamura/Eric McNeal
While I don't generally listen to prima donna two-named QB's, Southern Cal's version is probably right when he said that tipped passes almost never get caught by the guys who tip them. That is, unless you have the incredible power to bend the time space continuum, and alter the trajectory of a ball to have it fall into your hands in the waning moments of the year's biggest game. Surely, McNeal's natural physical ability played a part. But, in a moment that immortalized him in the fabric of UCLA lore, one has to wonder if greater powers might have played a part.
Niki Sanders/Karl Dorrell
Screaming on the sidelines. Leading his players onto the field. Fire-breathing speeches during time-outs and half time. Showing energy and passion, that left him hoarse by game's end. This isn't the Karl Dorrell I know. Maybe this was a glimpse of an alternate personality, perhaps unleashed by traumatic events over this past off season, and the normally mild mannered Karl Dorrell has developed a split personality. When things are going well, we see stoicism, calm, almost apathy. But when terrible danger lurks, and no less than a win against USC will save his job, KD's alter ego, Cade, takes over his body, and the results from this past Saturday are evident, and the wicked Trojans are torn to shreds at the Rose Bowl.
Nathan Petrelli /The UCLA defensive line
The incredible quickness and speed of this unit was another key to this Bruins' victory. But, were their abilities just the product of emotion, pride and skill? Or were more supernatural things at work, with players such has Justin Hickman, Brigham Harwell, Kevin Brown and Bruce Davis, among others, seemingly flying to the ball? Maybe not, but you can't help but think something else was at work watching this unit literally grab this game by the scruff of the neck and carry it home.
Cold, self-aggrandizing, ego-centric and horrible. There stands Chetey Petey Carroll. In many ways, he seems to have the most awesome power of all the heroes, and it has served him well in the recent past. Seemingly gaining strength from others by absorbing their unique abilities, be they strategic planning or NCAA rules avoidance, Petey wrought doom upon the college football landscape. But, as many like him, Carroll suffered from a deep conceit. A confidence that, when taken to an extreme, goes from helpful to debilitating. And, on that great day, this past Saturday, Carroll and his minions were laid to waste by the powers of good.
When hope was all but lost, at least one voice spoke with hope. With optimism. And with truth. During the two weeks leading up to this past weekend's game, someone here on BN, seemingly at the time in a heroin induced trance, painted a picture with poignant words. A picture of an unlikely Bruin victory. Against the odds, and without regard to the doubts of many, this picture spectacularly came to life this weekend, as the Bruins were triumphant. So, as eerie as it may be, look back upon the picture Nestor painted leading up to this game, and be chilled by the precognitve powers of divination that his canvas portrays.
Truly, these are our Bruin heroes. Together with the many, many others who contributed to this great win (and maybe didn't fit as nicely into my dork-a-thon post), these folks were instrumental to what will remain a memorable victory for a long time to come.