A little note before we wrap up this Friday. So uh we had lot of spirited discussion over a nickname this week on BN. lol That's all right. As I said somewhere in the comments this is what makes college football (or college sports in general) so much fun. Here we are getting all passionate/worked up over a nick name we came up with few months ago. And after one big game - boom - it blows up all over online. For now though until we hear anything otherwise we are going to respect the wishes of the Olsons and refrain from mentioning SPJ here on BN. We have changed the "SPJ" section to simply "Ben Olson." It's more than all right with us.
But I think what last few days proved is just how much this kid has captivated the imagination of this blue and gold crazy nation. I wrote over the summer about the Montana Magic.
This is the guy so many of my generation worshipped including yours truly, when we were growing up:
No. 16 is The Quarterback.
No. 16 was one of those generational athletes that not only transformed an entire franchise, but changed a city, but the sport, leaving his mark in America's sports lexicon.
Right now we have no idea Ben Olson will get anywhere close to the legend of No. 16. And it is unfair to even heap that kind of expectation upon him.
But I have to tell you this kid has me dreaming. Big Ben projects that same aura of calm, cool, humble composure, we got from No. 16. It's something you can't quiet quantify or pinpoint. He just seems to have "it."
Karl Dorrell's reign at UCLA has been marked controversy over his record, his failure to win big games, his failure to win the conference, his failure to get the big bowl games, and most importantly his failure to beat USC.
Yet all those frustrations of last three years (or more like last fifty somewhat years) can be washed away, just like No. 16 wiped off all the dark memories of Niners fans prior to 1982.
After Saturday many of us are seeing things. I think many of us are visualizing what can happen if this kid (and at 23, no matter how "mature" he is, he is still a kid) can keep his poise, provide the steady leadership, maintaining his humility, while playing up to his potential through rest of his season.
We can kind of see it now:
Photo: Keith Birmingham, Daily News
We can visualize it. No. 7 just may be The Quarterback who leads UCLA to the promised land or clears up the road to it.
No we are not expecting him to bring us the NC this year. But he sure showed us his potential that has this nation dreaming that he will lead this program to what it needs to do this year to reestablish its proud tradition, setting up for big runs sometime in the near future.
Ben Olson could turn out to be The Quarterback, who may be able to permanently change the culture of UCLA football, and erase all the frustrations, agony, and heartbreaks of more than 50 yards.
Again we have only played one game.
I get it. We have long way to go. But this what college football is supposed to be all about. Last Saturday No. 7 had the kind of start that has all of us dreaming.
He just may turn out to be The Quarterback, who changed everything before he moves on from Westwood:
You must fight just to keep them alive
Happy Friday everyone.