I've been pretty upset all afternoon after watching today's game. I do feel a little bit better about things after watching Coach Mora's post-game presser that was posted by Ryan Kartje of the OC Register. But it's not why you think.
I'm not impressed by Coach Mora's optimism.
I would have felt a lot better if he were more honest with the media. I don't necessarily mean being as honest as IEAngel suggests. I would have settled for an admission that we did not live up to our own expectations today for UCLA football.
We almost got that, but not quite. Mora said:
You would have thought we lost the game just from the expressions on our young men's faces. So, to me, that gives me a good feeling because I know what their expectations are....
I've been reading the comments from fellow Bruin fans since today's game ended. A lot of people are upset that we aren't happy with today's win while others seem to have several misconceptions. I'm going to try to briefly address some of them before explaining the proper way to feel about today's game.
First, I got a kick out of Randy Part's comment on Facebook. In response to Bellopheron's post-game article, he took issue with what Bellepheron wrote and he whined, "This is the new and improved Bruins Nation?"
Well, Randy, we never said we were changing our editorial opinions. We aren't.
What we said was that we are going to be more welcoming of all opinions. And, we are. The comments sections of today's articles/open threads are perfect examples of that very fact. If you read through the comments, and I'm guessing you didn't, you would have seen that our moderators were very tolerant, allowing all opinions and no one was banned today for simply expressing an opinion. That would not have been the case in the past.
To Randy and everyone like him, if you don't like what we have to say, you're welcome to do one of several things. Write your own Fan Post expressing your opinion. Second, you're welcome to stop reading. Third, start your own blog and write nothing but positive articles.
Contrast that, with all the folks whining about one of our writers expressing an opinion that they disagree with.
We aren't going to sugar-coat things. We never have and we're not about to start now.
Tomorrow happens to be my dad's birthday and I fully expect that, when I call him to wish him a happy birthday, he's going to ask me, "What happened to UCLA? They stunk." And, you know what? Today, we did stink. The other thing my dad is going to say tomorrow is "They got lucky." And, as much as it pains me as a Bruin alum to admit that, I'm going to have to agree with that too.
The last thing he'll probably say is that, if we keep playing like that, we won't win the Pac-12 much less that National Championship we've all expected. And, he'll be correct again.
In high school, I played on a team that won two state championships (one in my junior and one in my senior year). As a class, we lost our first road game as freshman and didn't lose again until our last road game my senior year. I remember riding the bus back after losing that first road game as freshmen. It was the longest bus ride ever. That day we just came out flat and lost to a team we should have beaten. I was glad we didn't lose again until 3 years later because I hated losing.
That said, I understand how it's possible for a team to come out flat periodically. But, if you're going to win championships, be it a divisional, conference or national one, you absolutely positively cannot do that very often while still expecting to remain undefeated. And, that long plane ride after today's game should have really sucked. If it didn't, our coaches aren't doing their jobs.
Yes, I know...It's the first game and we did win. But an alarm has been sounded because, while the Bruins may have won today. It was a very, very ugly win. There can be no excuses because if our team plays like it did today against any of our other opponents, the goals of our team and the expectations that everyone has from our team will not be met. It's that simple.
If you're happy with today's win, I suggest you re-watch today's game to see just how ugly it was.
We aren't jumping onto a "Fire Mora" bandwagon yet. After last season and today's game, No-O Mazzne may be a different story. But, like any season, we'll have to see how the rest of it plays out. If this year's doesn't at least win the conference with the amount of talent on our roster, that opinion may just change very quickly. That starts by winning all of our September games.
In order to accomplish that, our offense must improve drastically.