Saturday, September 01, 2007

Blue & Golden Memories

Football season started today, which made me extremely happy. After coming from a football high school and being a devout MN Vikings fan, one of the major pluses of choosing UCLA was that it big school with big sports.

I had season passes all four years and tried to go to all the home games. The camaraderie and school spirit provided a sense of family that most people feel is lacking at big public universities. Although there were ups and downs, football season has provided me some of my best memories during college (and even after I graduated). In honor of the start of the season, here are my top 10 memories:
  1. USC Game 2006: Even though my roommate and I were 3,000 miles away, had to watch the game on our tiny television, and should have been studying for our first law school finals, watching UCLA beat USC was amazing. I almost cried.
  2. Tailgating: The best part about home games at the Rose Bowl was tailgating before the games. From our hotdog and beer tailgates, to our more upscale tailgates with ribs, steak and shrimp skewers, and carne asada, it was so much fun to light up the grill and toss around the football before the game.
  3. Eight Claps: When we heard Geoff Strand, the crazy alum yell leader beckon, "Every man, woman, and child," we knew it was time to cheer. I loved seeing everyone do the cheer in synchronization. It looked great in the Rose Bowl, and it looks just as good when we all do it at the UCLA bar here in DC. My friends from other schools and my brother never understood the cheer, but that is another reason why it was great.
  4. Comeback Kids Season: The football season my final year nearly gave everyone heart attacks. I cannot remember how many times we came back at the very last minute from seemingly impossible deficits, but it sure made for an exciting 10-2 season. It was great to see so much spirit that year, and see Coach Dorrell thank the crowd after the games. And of course, coming back and beating Cal was great (especially getting to rub it in my brother's face).
  5. "Sooners": Our Oklahoma heckler will forever live as an inside joke for Faith, Ryan, Alex, and I. The DKE fraternity will pretend they understand, but they don't.
  6. My First Game in 2002: I do not remember much about that game except that it was really hot, and the student section was surprisingly uncrowded, but it was still fun watching the game with Megan and Robert, two high school friends who were also going to UCLA.
  7. 2004 USC Game: Even though the score board said we lost, it was one of those moral victories. UCLA played their hearts out in a very close game (we beat the spread), and all of us were very proud at the end.
  8. UCLA Commercials: They were oftentimes cheesy, but every UCLA fan knew those UCLA commercials by heart. And of course it was funny that my friends (Eric and Jay particularly) thought of me everytime they saw the Asian girl say "The city of the present . . . LA!"
  9. The Bruin Shuffle: The song, the shuffle, and me never getting the answer correct. Perhaps not a good memory, but a memory nonetheless.
  10. My first game at the Ugly Mug: It was great seeing so many people I knew from undergrad when I went to the UCLA bar for the first time; it was just like being at the Rose Bowl, except air conditioned and with sliders. A lot of people are surprised that there is a UCLA bar in Washington, DC, but there are a lot alums here. And yes, Bruin spirit lives forever.

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