Bumped. Let's do this Bruins. DESTROY TROY. - BN
We’re almost 24
48 hours away from the annual show down with the cheating SUCsters, and I have to admit that I’m concerned. I’m not necessarily concerned about our on field performance. God knows we’ve seen some disheartening athletic displays over the past decade. However, I always find myself hopeful before kickoff. The days and hours before kickoff retain the endless possibility of a blank canvas. Any number of things could happen, so I choose to focus on everything that could go right.
What has me brooding is how the Rose Bowl will look when I step out of the entry tunnel on Saturday night. I have no idea what Bruin team will show up, but I am afraid I know what crowd will. I have already heard older Bruins say they are staying home due to the late start time. Others have given up after the last two on field debacles. I shudder to think of what I will encounter this weekend.
For too many years I have sat and watched as red-shirted buffoon after red-shirted buffoon has paraded their way past, in front of or next to me, settling into Bruin season ticket seats. The retarded band strikes up its two-note abortion of a fight song and a sea of hands go up with two fingers extended – proudly displaying their owner’s IQ. The teams take the field and the Bruin crowd half-heartedly applauds, only to be drowned out by the undesirables littering the stadium. It makes me fume.
I know the issue of attendance has been covered in detail here on BN, with many arguments tying butts-in-seats to on-field performance and the abundance of entertainment options in Los Angeles. However, every year this game highlights one of the biggest weaknesses of the UCLA support base – apathy.
The reality is that die-hard Bruins are painfully few and far between. Those who bleed Blue and Gold are an endangered species that abound in refuges like BN, but are unfortunately outnumbered at Pauley and the Rose Bowl. I look at what it means to be a Bruin and I am baffled by the lack of fervent support. I recently attended the Texas A&M vs. Nebraska game. From the opening kickoff to the final gun, no one sat down – students and alumni alike. You don’t think this influenced the game? A crowd can change a game and even will a team to victory, but it has to care. It has to support its team with its whole heart.
I get UCLA fans’ frustration, but I don’t understand the absence of passion from our alumni and students. Through thick and thin we are all Bruins, with a common heritage that cannot be stripped away by athletic disappointments.
I am a Bruin. I am proud of my university. I am proud of my degree. I am proud of the tradition and heritage that this institution embodies. I am proud of all of its athletic teams.
My years in Westwood made me a part of a large Bruin family with an unrivaled history of honor and success. My Alma Mater is known far and wide as a distinguished institution, from the U.S. East Coast, to Europe, to Asia. She is associated with legendary names like John Wooden, Jackie Robinson and Arthur Ashe – people of great athletic prowess, but more importantly people of remarkable character and social merit.
I am proud to be a Bruin – always. I’m proud after amazing comebacks like the 2006 Gonzaga game and thrilling battles like 13-9. I’m also proud after 2005’s 66-19 and the 2009-2010 basketball season. I am a Bruin. Through thick and thin I support this university and its teams. I will stand in the rain to watch them play. I will stay as the last seconds tick off the clock in a blowout defeat. I will always be there for those who don the blue and gold and bear those four letters across their chests.
We are all Bruins, and should show our pride and support our teams to the end – whether they’ve won, loss or tied. This is why I don’t buy poor performances and alternate entertainment options as excuses for light attendance or reduced support. We should all be burning with passion for this university regardless of records. It can be frustrating. It can be heartbreaking. It can also be joyous and amazing. Call it school pride. Call it a passion bucket. Call it anything you like. It should never be absent or empty.
Win or lose, we are the Mighty Bruins. We are pioneers and barrier breakers, not cheaters and double murderers. Wear your blue. Shout your lungs out. Cheer for this team and all other UCLA teams like they’re undefeated because, no matter what the scoreboard says, no one can beat this university.