Yes we are in the middle of Final-4 fever. Yes we have Memphis to worry and obsess about.
But guess who showed up in our mail box this weekend?
That's right we got another jolt of passion bucket this past weekend via the UCLA Magazine, reminding all the alums how a certain someone has been making all the right moves since his arrival in Westwood:
"That's part of what makes UCLA special," he says. "You come here expecting to play for the big prize. And if you don't, it's a disappointment."
The new coach believes that UCLA's immediate goal should be the conference championship, because if UCLA beats a strong USC team for the Pac-10 crown, then the Bruins will be in the hunt for the national championship as well. And while he's not equating the Rose Bowl with a national title, Neuheisel nonetheless defends the bowl's prestige.
"Having played and coached in a Rose Bowl, there's nothing better," he says. "In my first team meeting with our guys, I described for them what that day would be like. ... I went into great detail, and it was easy to do because I've lived it. I was that kid who came out of the tunnel and didn't feel my feet hitting the ground as I ran to the sidelines. All of us who grow up dreaming of playing college football dream of playing in a game like that. So it's never going to be a disappointment to play in the Rose Bowl. It would be an honor. We've got to work hard to get that chance."
He adds, "This is going to sound corny, but when you walk down Bruin Walk, you go by the John Wooden Center. How did he get his name on that building? He came here, just like I got this chance, to be the coach. And he did it so well he's going to be remembered forever. And you can keep walking and reading the names: Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, Jackie Robinson Stadium, Ralph Bunche Hall. ... And now to be given the chance to add more honor and glory to this place that's already so full of honor and glory, well, I've gotta take my swings at that."
Rick Neuheisel, who always wanted to be the head football coach at UCLA and finally got his shot, smiles and finishes with a quote from another Coach: "As John Wooden says, 'Be quick, but don't hurry.'"
Oh by the way there is another reason for posting about passion bucket during Ben Ball game week. That PB karma works well for us.