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"We're UCLA, You're Not"

I actually wasn't going to post anything on this, but then I remembered the whiney piece put out by Paul Oberjejrdaiovmd after our demolition of San Bernardino earlier this season, and it proved to be a refreshing contrast.

George Washington's school paper breaks down the "Pauley Mystique" from an outsider's perspective:

The fans are so unmistakably in unison in their heckling that they might as well be one giant, booming voice. Each situation seems to have its own choreographed response, from the "Roll Call" before the opening tipoff to the free-spirited dance members of the cheer squad do in the middle of the court after victories. Whereas GW fans stick to what any first-timer can pick up on, such as chanting obscenities after every foul against the Colonials, Bruins fans' traditions are just that - long-standing chants that have been tweaked to perfection.

The whole production produces an aura of entitlement and inevitability that seems to beam, "We're UCLA, you're not. You can't win." Of course, it helps that the team on the court happens to be a collection of some of the most talented players in the country, but in a world where winning is expected, failure does not seem to be a viable option.

It's just fun and games in the crowd. An easygoing time in a University that is usually so demanding. Unless of course, we are playing local juggernaut San Bernardino, in which case it's malicious and hostile. As a reminder:

Those are D1 schools with real programs coached by ambitious men, leading prideful players, who have aspirations to win a conference title and play in the NCAA Tournament and win a game. And get just a teeny bit of the attention that disappears down the black hole in Westwood.

UCLA is tradition and talent. Except when it plays your team.

Then, they're the Big Bad Bruins. The bullies. The oppressors. The Man, keeping you down. Forever. Who won't let you up for air. Ever.

Who won't treat you as a potential equal. Who will never give you respect.
And all those things about the Bruins that seem so clever, so interesting, so fun when it's some Pac-10 rival in town ... suddenly seem dismissive and contemptuous.

Take, for instance, the UCLA student section's shtick for greeting opposition players.

As each of the five starters is announced, UCLA students shout, on cue. "So what!" (He's here to play, actually.) "Who cares!" (I do; he's my son.) "Big deal!" (Right, nobody but Bruins matter.) "Who's he?" (A guy with pride in himself and his team.)

The chants of "air ball, air ball" ... the band blaring ... the prep all-Americas lining the UCLA bench ... the arrogance of the UCLA crowd. All those things you don't notice when it's Stanford or Oregon in Pauley ... are like nails on a chalkboard when it's your neighborhood team the Bruins are about to destroy. Which is what they have done, since the Wooden Era began.

I recommend reading the entirety of the GW article. I do not recommend reading anything written by Paul Oberjakvma;drasdda897.