It’s not often that we Trojans agree on anything with Nestor and his BruinsNation cohorts. However, anyone with love, respect, and above all, gratitude for their Alma-Mater, can understand the anger and disappointment the BNers are feeling towards the lack of spirit, if not true apathy, of the current generation of UCLA students. Apparently the tired little schoolchildren were all busy sleeping in their baby blue pajamas Tuesday night while a small strike force of Trojan Commandos managed to sneak into the heart of the UCLA campus and prank the Bruin Bear statue right under their noses. The hippies up at Cal certainly wouldn’t have allowed it, so what’s wrong with these Bruins? In this post the Bruins Nation excoriates the slackers, and UCLA students give lame excuses for their "beat SC week" bungling.
This Thanksgiving morning my wife and I went for our usual brisk walk down to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. Another morning in paradise! We normally wear nondescript clothing, but in commemoration of USC-UCLA Rivalry Week, we were fully decked out in USC gear (even our dog wore an SC bandana). The number of smiles soon overwhelmed us, and there were plenty of cheers, and "Fight On!" salutes from passersby, many of them similarly attired even though we are having a tough year on the gridiron. On this glorious morning, the heart of "enemy territory" was covered in Cardinal & Gold, and spirits were running high.
As we trotted along, my wife (a wayward Bruin) remarked that despite the upcoming game almost no one was wearing powder blue. Bruins are everywhere in the Westside, but there's only a few UCLA license plate frames, caps, t-shirts, flags, or doggie bandanas to be seen; you'd think we were living in the middle of Nebraska.
Mrs. Loco wondered... "Why do Bruins have such a cool relationship with UCLA?" I said to her, "look at yourself you spent your last year of college at UCLA and you're wearing USC colors." Mrs. L paused for a moment and responded, "well... I just went there." How true, she was able to transfer to UCLA to complete the units she needed to graduate; she made a few acquaintances but the overall experience was cold and impersonal, it is an unfeeling government institution run by an entitled and entrenched bureaucracy that puts its own interests above all else. UCLA students can feel the disdain the institution has for them. Is it any wonder they're unwilling to sacrifice even a night's sleep for her? There has to be more to the story.
Back in the days when Nestor was a student, most kids understood what an honor and privilege it was to attend such a prestigious university, and they respected the fact that it was all thanks to the largesse of Mr. John Q. Public. Sure, the UCLA football team was better then, but Nestor and Co.'s fierce loyalty has nothing to do with that. It is all about thanksgiving (in lower case); plain old gratitude for the greatest gift a man can receive, an education; in this case of the finest order of higher education.
The brats that inhabit the Halls of Westwood look at their situation much differently. The previous generations know it; these guys are a bunch of takers. America's latest issue has been given absolutely everything, praised for every little accomplishment along the way, self-esteem through the roof, and thanks to grade inflation they've never gotten a B in any subject. They're absolute geniuses and they have an inalienable right to the finest education, and dammit the public has the obligation provide it for next to nothing.
Spending a night outside watching over a stupid bear statue is just not part of the plan. Aren't the cops in charge of that? It's no big deal, somebody will clean it up in the morning. Hey, what do you want me to do? I just go here. Since the children can't be troubled, the Bruin now sleeps in a plywood box, complete with seatbelt, airbags, cell and OnStar service. There is only one word for this: Pathetic. Thomas Paine said "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value." Somewhere on the East Coast, Nestor is nodding in agreement.
Happy Thanksgiving to Trojans and Bruins alike. We will settle this on the field come Saturday, with honor.