Tag Archives: UCLA athletics

To the greatest group of people on earth: You, the reader, deserve all my thanks

When I started this blog up back in November 2011, I was hoping just to mess around, rant about the UCLA Athletics program a bit, and possibly kill some time while the winter break was coming up. All the way through January, I didn’t do much to advertise, or even consider garnering more reads.

I always came in with the plan of coming up with an alternative to that sorry-ass excuse for a blog, “BruinsNation.” The narrative at that site makes me vomit, and I often mistake it for some crappy uSc blog, considering all they do is talk shit about our Bruins.

But, there are, of course, people and places to talk about.

It wasn’t until January that I had began posting links on Reddit (namely /r/UCLA and a few others) that I realized that the community was hungry for a UCLA blog that tried its best to be objective and let the story of our Bruins dominate the narrative (as opposed to the story of the blogger). Ever since I began connecting with people from /r/UCLA and other websites, I took the blog more seriously. Instead of considering it as some place to rant, I began to consider it a community, or at least the start of one. There is no fan-base as vocal as the UCLA fan-base, and there is no fan-base as proud as the UCLA fan-base.

I put up polls. You guys vote on them. I write posts that forces you to rebuttle, or even agree? You comment on those posts. My statistics tell me that the need for a UCLA athletics community — a place to rant without getting your ass banned — is one that’s very much needed. And that’s why I’m continuing.

So yes, the entire purpose of this blog post is to thank you, the reader, for keeping up and following along. I can’t post all the time (I’m a junior at UCLA and I’m taking 19 units!), but I can post as much as humanly possible, about basketball, football, or whatever other newsworthy thing going on the UCLA universe. If you’d like to help out around here, ask questions, show us some vids, I’d be happy to have you along for the ride. Hit me up in the comment section below, saying you want to be a part of this blog, and I’ll invite you via your e-mail. If you just want to keep reading and answering poll questions? That’s fine, too. It’s you’re prerogative.

GO BRUINS!!!!

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My hate for BruinsNation, and the point of this website

In case you guys did not know, I hate BruinsNation. And as far as anyone else can tell, so do other new UCLA’ers around the blogosphere, such as UCLA Football blog, “Bruin Pride” which is a fine football blog that hopes to be yet another “BruinsNation alternative” as the author puts it. And let’s not forget the UCLA fans that comment on other blogs (like Inside UCLA with Jon Gold) about their hate for that tunnel-visioned, crap-ass excuse for a blog.

Why do I hate that blog, you ask?

Because it isn’t what a blog is supposed to be. Sure, it has all the technical stuff like the ability to post constantly, write text, etc. I’m talking about some of the administrators failing to know what the essence of a blog is.  And what it is, is an opportunity for discussion between the blogger and the reader; for a multitude of perspectives to be considered, instead of the fixed mindset that BN embodies. A blog with the designation that BN has — to blog about UCLA sports and not be some sort of lame-ass collective action website — should discuss UCLA Athletics and not focus on a specific agenda.

Those who have read BruinsNation know: “Chianti Dan.” “Howlers.” “Neubs.” “Dorrelistas.” “#NoMoraDan.” And so on and so forth. For those that have not read BruinsNation? These are all examples of lingo the administrators force on their readers. Think Ben Howland deserves one more chance to prove himself in the form of one more evaluated season? You’re a “Howler” who has no idea what they’re talking about. Rebuttle by saying it’s your opinion and the administrator should accept it? You’re banned or your comment gets deleted while you’re lectured by some idiot who can’t use correct subject-verb agreement (but is somehow running a blog on SB Nation, an otherwise fine collection of sports blogs).

It wouldn’t be such a problem if the website didn’t represent itself as the voice of all UCLA fans. During the search for UCLA’s new head football coach, the admins were making it a point to delete and suppress all comments and posts that were in favor of a candidate the admins did not like. For example, Mike Belotti:

Speaking of “No’s”, another name that is repeatedly being mentioned is Mike Bellotti. We have repeatedly made the case here on BN about acceptable criteria for our next football coach, and Bellotti clearly does not fit. We are not going to waste another 3+ years with a retread coming out of the broadcasting booth who has been out of the game for several years.

Of course, when they mean “we” they are referring to the UCLA fan-base as a whole. A little odd that they want to speak on behalf of myself and other Bruins. Sure, Belotti would have been a shitty hire, but I would think they would want to have a say on that before having that forced down my throat.

And the day Jim L. Mora got hired? More of the tired-ass rhetoric that BN likes to push on its readers, this one from the douchebag behind it all, Nestor:

As for Mora here is his first official “message” to the Bruin community:

“As someone who has been around the game of football my entire life, I have always held the UCLA job in the highest esteem,” said Mora. “Given its location and its tradition, UCLA is truly a sleeping giant and I realize that an opportunity of this magnitude doesn’t present itself more than once in a career, so I jumped at the chance to be a Bruin.”

He talks about “jumping,” yet apparently UCLA is not important enough for him to leave a BS comfy big with the NFL Network. Looks like he is off to a Dorrellian start. Oh, I am sure he is going to serve up BS on Monday about how he has always admired Coach Wooden. Someone should tell him not to pull that kind of gross and predictable cheap PR stunt.

Couple things to notice. First and foremost, his link to the news about Mora leaving NFL Network links to a post written by, you guessed it, Nestor himself. In that, he quotes (and strategically emphasizes) Jon Gold about when Mora would join the team (again, emphasis his):

Mora last coached at the college level in 1984 as a graduate assistant at Washington, where he played defensive back from 1980-83. After a lengthy career as an NFL assistant coach, Mora took over for Atlanta in 2004, guiding the Falcons to an 11-5 record an appearance in the NFC championship game. Mora went 15-17 for the Falcons the following two seasons and was fired and spent one season with the Seahawks in 2009, going 5-11. He has served as an NFL analyst since then and is expected to join the team once he finishes his broadcasting duties.

Keyword, dumbass: “Expected.” Speculation. You know — when there’s no word from the proverbial horse’s mouth?

Of course, we all know Mora asked for a waiver so he can begin recruiting while the incumbent squad and coaching staff prepared for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. And after a pretty crappy recruiting class, Mora now has the tenth-best recruiting class of 2012 according to Scout.com.

And then, there was the possibility that Jim Tressel would be hired by UCLA pre-show-clause order from the NCAA. Boy, did they try hard as hellto convince the rest of the fan-base to get on board with their agenda. They even conducted multiple polls worded as such:

Do you think UCLA should hire a disgraced cheater such as Jim Tressel – facing possible show cause penalty from NCAA – in any capacity to coach or consult the Bruin football program?

The results of that lovely poll? Sixty-five percent “yes,” four percent “NO,” and 15 percent “HELL NO!” (yes, there was a “HELL NO!” option), with over 1700 votes casted. (They asked again in a post isolating Tressel’s NCAA violations. “Yes” received a 73 percent vote with over 1000 votes in.) The admins then proceeded to flood their own comment section with things like, “You are all morally bankrupt” and had told readers to “prostitute themselves” in relation to the Tressel hiring. Classy. (Funny, considering the same assholes thought it was so classless for tight end Joe Fauria to make fun of LSU. And those admins are supposed to represent UCLA as alumni? Fuck them. Someone needs to strip them of their “UCLA Alum” status.)

Which, after 1000 words of whining about that sorry excuse for a “bl_g,” leads me to the existence of this website: To provide just one of many alternatives to BruinsNation. The network effects of that “bl_g” have saturated the UCLA blogosphere, and readers are basically stuck with the shit those guys write on a daily basis. After tonight, I’ve ceased posting comments on that website. It’s time that the UCLA blogosphere takes back its objectivity and openness for diverse opinions, and time for BruinsNation to stop embarrassing our beloved university by disgracing the blue-and-gold and demeaning the values that we, as Bruins, hold.

This blog will not seek to become the dominant, go-to UCLA Bruins blog. Instead, it will join other great fan blogs — such as Bruin Pride — to give readers alternative places to interact.

So with that, we give you the middle finger, BruinsNation.

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.)

Want to fire Dan Guerrero? Here’s how

Ruined

Dan Guerrero. Ruining UCLA.

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero is kind of a “joke.” When describing him as anything here on the Sons of Westwood, we will also only use quotation marks because at this point, this dude does not deserve to be described with any sort of personifying traits. Because, you know, he “sucks.”

Anyway, the mass majority of UCLA alum and UCLA fans are pretty sick of Dan Guerrero — whether you are one of the fans who want Jim Tressel or not, want Mora or not, or want Rick back or, uh, not, we are pretty sure you want not-Dan Guerrero as our not-not-Athletic Director. (Get it?)

If you’re into el Facebook, you can join the Save UCLA Athletics — FIRE DAN GUERRERO group. Or if you like ‘liking’ things on Facebook, ‘like’ the Fire Dan Guerrero (UCLA Athletics) page. There’s something for everyone, you know?

Honestly, it’s not a big deal to set up Facebook groups and pages dedicated to some form of activism. It’s too easy to ‘like’ a page and talk a bunch of crap on social media. Trust me, I do that all the time.

Instead, someone — not me; I’m busy, OK? — needs to organize a formal, in-person protest at the Morgan Center. Internet activism is amazing at maintaining weak ties and for cheap activism, but when people feel strongly about something, they’ll show their faces in support. If someone organizes it, people will come. Hell, I’ll come.
That said, hopefully someone realizes the extent of the damage that Dan Guerrero has done. He’s on the brink of ruining the football program for four more years with shoddy hires and poor distribution of capital.
Let’s hope someone gets rid of this clown.