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How We Became UCLA Fans

Some other members of Bruins Nation team share their stories about how they became Bruin fans.

Freeman McNeil is one of the Bruin greats that helped make DCBruins a UCLA fan.

Welcome to the refreshed Bruins Nation! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

In this article, some other members of Bruins Nation team share their stories about how they became Bruin fans.


I am a UCLA fan by marriage. I attended a UC school with no football and always followed UCLA, but my interest was definitely kicked up a notch in 2000 when I met my future husband. We have been going to events for almost all sports since then, and we have passed the tradition on to our children (my youngest made her first visit to UCLA at five days old). We love bringing them to the events and showing them what college is and how amazing it can be. The entire experience has brought other members of our family in and we all share the love of UCLA athletics. The university has values that we can support and traditions that we love. Coach Wooden’s lessons that he taught his players really resonate with me and I do my best to pass those on to the 7th and 8th grade students that I teach.

Melissa Castro

I became a fan of UCLA because of women’s soccer. When I discovered Canadian international Jessie Fleming was going to attend UCLA, I looked into the soccer program. I immediately became a fan. I then started to follow the other sports. It went from only following women’s soccer to following all the other sports. UCLA just has a pull that I can’t really explain.


There’s a belief that some people never had a choice in their rooting interests, and that definitely applies to me. My mom went to UCLA, and with my dad going to a school without a football program (though he was fond of pointing out that Tyus Edney learned to do 4.8 from the Anteaters running that play successfully against the Bruins a year prior), it made rooting for UCLA the obvious choice for the family.

But just being born to a family with set rooting interests isn’t enough; true fans always tend to have major moments that they experienced that solidify their decisions. For me, I’ve been lucky to be in the Rose Bowl for some of the biggest events in the past few decades of UCLA - the Cade McNown years, 13-9, the Cardiac Bruins (was actually in Palo Alto for that ridiculous comeback), the Heat Game against Michigan, Brett Hundley and the rain washing away years of frustration against USC. Even one of the few basketball games I’ve been to at Pauley happened to feature the Josh Shipp HORSE shot against Cal. The good times are what help you get through the bad times, and what makes it easier to continue rooting for any program, especially one that has been as mercurial as UCLA athletics.


I am not sure how but my Dad got tickets for a group of my friends and me to watch the 1980 UCLA and USC game at the Coliseum. Before the game, my Dad asked who we were rooting for in the game. Many of the guys said the other team. I said UCLA. Freeman McNeil outplayed Marcus Allen and UCLA won. I never looked back. Years later the other team offered me a scholarship, but there was no way, I was a Bruin.

Go Bruins!

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