Being Open Minded

L

ast week into the weekend, I was my usual stupid football self. I get so caught up in the rivalry, and I recall many of the actions taken by Trojan fans that have upset me in the past. As a result, I was taken to task by a Trojan.

momototo: you know, not all usc people are like that. and there are ucla people who don’t really portray the best of ucla either. hope you are open-minded enough to see and accept that.

Now, momototo is a young Korean student who seems fine and level headed, and certainly not the image I have in mind when I start my rants against USC. My apologies, young lady. I refer to the USC football fans who resort to hooliganism. This is how Bill Plaschke or the Times described events at the game.

In the final seconds of Saturday’s backyard broil, an ingrate in the USC cheering section threw an orange that landed at the feet of UCLA linebacker Spencer Havner. He picked it up. The USC section jeered. He wound up to throw it back. The USC section howled.

Then he paused, as if thinking ・What did he have to prove? After a raucous Rose Bowl afternoon of wobbly legs and iron wills, what did any of the Bruins have to prove? That they could take a punch? That they could grab a handful of pulp and punch back?

Havner shrugged, and gently tossed the orange to the ground.

Good for Havner. I’m glad he didn’t lower himself to their level, or the level of some fans and basketball players in Detroit a couple of weeks ago. But I hope you understand where I am coming from. A significant number of USC football fans have acted like this for years, ever since my preteens. Their shenanigans often urged me to rededicate my loyalty to UCLA even before I was a student there.

But don’t get me wrong, girl. While in football I am rabid, I have nothing against USC as an institute of higher education and its students. You should know that my sister went their to earn a masters degree. And the one girlfriend from my youth that I remember with great fondness and warmth was a USC student as well. Imagine that! Indeed, as I wrote in the brief story of my youth–NLUTE–she changed me in many positive ways, more than any other girl or guy in my youth–I was 19-20, about your age I would imagine. So yes, I do know that not all SC students are hooligans, but when it comes to football… well, you know…

update:

You guys should go to momototo and congratulate her for taking me to task!

Extra points: More Weekend Tidbits

I forgot to tell you what I did on game day. I wrote that UCLA lost, but I failed to mention that I went to the local UCLA hangout to watch the game. All the UCLA fans in the DC area go to the Grand Slam, a sports bar in the Hyatt Regency. It was nice to root for our team even though we lost.

Before the game, the DC Chapter of the UCLA Alumni sold raffle tickets to benefit UCLA students who intern on Capitol Hill in DC. The money is modest but worthwhile. I am always willing to donate a few bucks for the starving students of my alma mater. During halftime, they conducted the raffle and I won an embarrassing number of times: three. There were only ten prizes in total. Last year, I also won about four or five things. I buy a lot of tickets–more than most others I think–and in previous years I have bought the same number and won nothing, but these past two years I was lucky. Last year, I got a wallet, a clock, a UCLA alumni license frame, Nautica gloves and muffler, and a UCLA calendar. This year I got a T-shirt, a large Vegas style game set–all wood with roulette wheel and craps/blackjack table–and an official NCAA basketball signed by UCLA coach Ben Howland. The Bruins are currently 4-1. If they somehow make it to the big dance in March, this basketball will have a wee bit of meaning…

Speaking of basketball–many of you are gonna really unsubscribe; I can feel it–our school (not UCLA, but the one I teach at) beat two ranked teams over the weekend. Thanks to that, we worked our way into the top 25. I have 4-5 basketballers scheduled to take my film class. I wonder if they’d give me a ticket to the games? Not that it would change the way I grade them, of course…

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