Tag Archives: Mini-column

On UCLA Athletics and the culture of Los Angeles sports fans

UCLA Bruins football

Note: The following blog post is NSFW considering it is laced with profanity. Parents, cover your kids’ eyes. Although this is a family-friendly blog about UCLA sports, this one is during a fit of anger over a lot of reading. 

We’re damned Philadelphia sports fans. All of us.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have a strong interest in UCLA sports, meaning you’re likely to have a strong interest in Los Angeles sports in general.

And if you’re like most other Los Angeles sports fans, you are, excuse my Internet, a complete asshole.

The culture of Los Angeles sports is sickening, and it’s gut-wrenching that it oozes into UCLA sports.

In what way are Los Angeles fans assholes? Well, we’re basically Philadelphia fans living on the West Coast.

First-year head coach has a losing season? Fire him. No championship three-peat? Blow up the team. Newly-hired UCLA football coach isn’t exactly anyone’s  first choice? Fuck that guy, while, oh yeah, throwing out some sort of back-handed, shitty and sorry excuse for “support.”  Win 10 games (10-2) in a college football season in the then-Pac-10 but get blown out by a top-ranked team widely considered to be one of the best in decades? You’re a laughing stock. (And this is coming from a guy who disliked Karl Dorrell as the UCLA coach.) More on that joke, BruinsNation, later.

Los Angeles-based fans expect winners or “GTFO.” (“Get the fuck out,” for those who don’t speak Internet.) Teams with “promise” are looked upon with intense scrutiny and undeserved skepticism. The city of L.A. does not know what the word “rebuild” means and, instead, knows only the phrase “recklessly and desperately reconstruct.” No Lakers’ fan would trade Pau Gasol for a couple of young guys that are nearly-guaranteed homeruns in about two or three years because L.A.-based Lakers’ fans can’t hold their wad long enough.

And because this is a UCLA sports blog, it only makes sense that this culture — one of insane impatience — is bogging down UCLA Athletics.

If you’re Jim Mora, the new head honcho at UCLA, you would like to receive immediate support from your fan base even if you weren’t exactly the students’ (nor alums’) first choice. Sure, the athletic director may be a clown, but it isn’t as if the school can unhire Mora. What’s done is done, and what this athletics program needs is a shot of some damn optimism or, at the very least, some support.

But being skeptical and demanding that Mora win the Pac-12 in his first season while publicly telling the dude, “Listen, you’re our head coach and we hate you“?  Screw that, man.

Of course, the majority of the links I’ve embedded are to Bruins Nation, a “blog” (I can’t even give that damned website the dignity of including them in the UCLA blogosphere*) which is run by some cowardly asshole (Nestor) who apparently thinks him and his cronies’ opinions are the voice of the entire UCLA fan-base. What a big head those fucktards have.

The point of bashing that crap-ass blog goes beyond spite (I’ve tried jumping on the ‘wagon for that website, you guys, I really have). What Bruins Nation embodies is everything that is wrong with the L.A. sports culture — radical change and unreasonable expectations. Of course, your typical L.A. sports fan will argue that “they shouldn’t be wrong because they expect their team/school to be the best they can possibly be.”  The problem is not having high expectations — it’s having ones that wouldn’t be met immediately, that take time to reach. Winning is different than “winning now” and though teams like the Lakers and the UCLA Bruins’ basketball and football teams have the potential to “win now,” the best possible result will involve patience and support.

What’s radical is far, far different than what is reasonable. Trade players to put yourself in a better position to win an NBA title the next year? OK. Blow up the core of a championship team after being a year removed from repeating as champs? Not OK. Fire the Athletic Director? OK. Over ten years of mediocrity is enough. Starting a Twitter trend to further publicize the vitriolic sentiments we have towards our new head coach, who had yet to even be announced officially? Not OK.

The Los Angeles sports culture needs to change. While the desired results are the same (we want the teams, including our UCLA teams, to succeed) the method in which we wish to pursue in attaining our desired results is currently crap. The majority of athletes and coaches whom we criticize so much will obviously lack in confidence if the support from the fan-bases are inconsistent. To succeed, the teams need a morale boost, something to be proud of, or, at the very least, to be the person to make the fan-base proud.

And some fucking support would be nice.

*Blogs are different from websites in that they encourage solid discussion from both sides of every story. They are an inclusive community that opens its ears (via comments) to any valid comment. Bruins Nation has repeatedly deleted comments that differ from what they believe is the dominant discourse and sentiment of the UCLA athletics programs. The majority of those bloggers also cannot “blog” (or spell, for that matter) for shit. (Mind you, there are a few respectable, smart bloggers on there who get lost in the shuffle.)