UCLA Football finally got a heartwarming, if still slightly sloppy, win over a beleaguered Cal team this past weekend, 31-14. This still does not change the general consensus by Bruin Nation that there must be swift and decisive change in our Athletics Department, but it was of course nice to get a firm win over a traditionally solid squad.
But I – a Den Pass holder, even – wasn’t at the game. Why?
Well, due to some craftiness on my Cardinal brother’s part, I actually got a ticket to the USC-Stanford matchup at the Coliseum. And it was a crazy game – a shootout, really, with a combined 104 points scored, three overtimes, and late turnovers. It was interesting as well to see firsthand the way USC conducts itself – they got almost every call going their way in regulation and Lane Kiffin still complained, they blasted music directly at the visiting team’s bench during timeouts, and they actually booed the adorably dysfunctional Stanford band during halftime. I’m expecting much worse at our rivalry game there in a few weeks, so watch out if you’re going.
Finally, listening to the radio after the “win” while on the way home, I realized that I had to let our newer fans know a few important things about sports reporting in Los Angeles. First, never trust the sports section of the Los Angeles Times. Better yet, just don’t read that trash. They have a distinct Trojan leaning that is unbelievably unprofessional. In that same vein, don’t read ESPN (the UCLA blog is alright, I guess) or listen to their local radio stations if you don’t want to tear your eardrums out. This particular post-game show featured a former USC player justifying a penalty by perennial cheap-shot-artist and safety T. J. McDonald. Disgusting. This isn’t even a knock against our rivals (although they did get flagged for taunting, a late hit, and a helmet hit in one game) as much as a disgust for poor reporting practices and ethics. Avoid the above at all costs – big media does well when nationally recognized teams like USC do well, so they promote their “flagship” teams relentlessly, integrity be damned.
What does that leave us with? Well, as I have said before, head on over to Bruins Nation for quality, fan-based reporting. The community there, and even at the equivalent Trojan site, is mostly classy and respectful, while still maintaining their allegiances. If you’re into talk radio, switch to AM 570 KLAC for some more balanced commentary. On television, FSNWest does a pretty good job of covering the PAC-12 in general, even the non-revenue sports, with some more UCLA talk than you’ll see anywhere else.
That’s it for now. Until next time, peace and much love to ya.
PS – A “perfect day” for any sports fan is when your team wins and your rival loses – either to each other or in separate games. Mark down 10/29/2011 as one more perfect day for UCLA.