Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My Bruin Blogging Days May Be Over


I apologize for not knowing this before I dared to comment on UCLA basketball from a fan's perspective, but apparently a prerequisite for being a Bruin fan is a complete and unconditional hatred of Steve Lavin. There I was, week after week, sitting on my couch and rooting for UCLA to win, often followed up with a few paragraphs on this blog with analysis of what I'd witnessed, all the while thinking that rooting for the Bruins to win would be enough to call myself a fan. But I fall short, and finally someone let me in on the secret:
Sure it is possible "to believe the guy was a horrible coach, and to be glad he's no longer the coach at UCLA, and not hate his guts." That wouldn't make you as much of UCLA basketball fan as any casual observer of ND football fan who harbors no ill feelings towards Davies or Willingham. UCLA basketball ... heck everything about UCLA is a religion to us. And Steve Lavin - if anyone who has followed UCLA baskebtall closely online last few years would know - HATES UCLA basketball and its fans. He hates us. And it is simple black and white - you are either with him or you are either with us. Right now from your posts it sounds like you are making excuses for his subtle digs at Howland. Kind of odd for someone who comes on here to claim himself as a UCLA hoops fan. Perhaps you should stick to blogging about the Big-10 and enjoy Lavin's commentary on those tough, grinding out, moving chains in the snow games.

Thank you, bluestreet. For the last 3-10 years, I've been living a lie. I've been telling myself that I really wanted UCLA to win, and when people asked to know of which basketball teams I considered myself a fan, I almost always told them "UCLA!". But now I know. I'm a fraud.

See, I used to think that someone could root for a team without hating their previous coach. I used to think that if Steve Lavin wore a red tie on television, it meant that he was wearing a suit with which a red tie looked appropriate. But now I know that the bastard was wearing in support of U$C the University of Southern California (gotta be nicer to them now that I'm in the market for a new team), and it was a total dig at UCLA, whom he hates, along with their fans. I used to think it was possible to think he was a bad coach, but wasn't a complete asshole worthy of the enduring hatred of anyone who dares root for UCLA.

Let me tell you, I'm glad I found out about this when I did. I may have sat down to watch Saturday's Sunday's game and pulled for UCLA. But I can't waste time with that. I've got work to do. I've gotta get crackin' on my Lavin hate. I'm having someone create a program that will show various images of Lavin for two minutes per day while playing a hideous, grinding noise, as of some monstrous machine running without oil. If that doesn't do it, I'm afraid I'll have to give up the Bruins forever.

Oh well, Go Illini.


Looks like I've got a long way to go. Lavin expects the same things from UCLA basketball as pretty much everyone else who has written about them in the last year, namely the potential to go the elite 8 this year, and to compete for a national championship next year. See, I read that and kind of that it jibed with my own expectations. But I was wrong. All he was doing was setting expectations for the Bruins that were too high so that they would inevitably fail. That guy is one clever bastard.


The Chronicler said...

See, if you were a real fan, you'd know we don't play this Saturday. We play on Sunday. Jeez. Get with the program.

That guy was a real tool ... I almost jumped into that, but then I realized life is too short to worry about such morons.

Seitz said...

Fixed it.

Yeah, I didn't really want to engage him anymore over there. It wasn't worth it. But I had nothing else to post on today.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the Lavin hating. Was it his fault that he was totally unprepared for the job that fell into this lap. He gave it a try and was found lacking. Blame Pete Dalis for the length of tenure. On the bright side while we were suffering through Lavin, Howland was learning his craft. One could go on forever stating the difference between Lavin and Howland, but to me the biggest difference is that Lavin pleadded with his players to share the ball, play defense, etc. Howland demands it!

Your blogg is excellent!


Seitz said...

Thanks for reading, luap.

Anonymous said...

While Lavin /was/ unprepared for the job, it didn't necessarily /fall/ into his hands -- he sold out Harrick to the powers-that-be and maneuvered himself into the position. That he never improved as a coach is his own fault.

If only UCLA hadn't f'd up the Lorenzo Romar situation...

Seitz said...

First, if Lavin sold out Harrick to get rid of him, we should all be in his debt, because had Harrick stuck around, those no telling how much trouble the athletic department would be in right now.

Second, that's all irrelevant to the point I'm making anyway. My point is that it's possible to watch Lavin broadcast a game a not think everything he says is secret code for "death to UCLA and UCLA fans!".

As I've said, I'm glad he's no longer the coach, but so far, the only thing close to real criticism I've heard from him relates to Howland's scheduling, which is a criticism I share (my only criticism of Howland, based mostly on the schedule he played at Pitt and comments about UCLA's schedule being too difficult when he took over). I don't see how saying this year's team could get to the elite eight, and next year's could win the NC are "setting expectations". If he's set expectations, then so have I, and so has just about everyone else who has written about the Bruins this year.

Anonymous said...

I too was disappointed with Howland's comments about not wanting to schedule national TV games during 'SC week. I want to see UCLA play top teams from other conferences. That said, Howland is looking pretty good having eight days between games at this point for aches, bruises and sprained ankles to heal.


Anonymous said...

Setiz said: "First, if Lavin sold out Harrick to get rid of him, we should all be in his debt, because had Harrick stuck around, those no telling how much trouble the athletic department would be in right now."

I don't disagree with that at all; I was just pointing out in response to the "fell into his lap" comment from above that it wasn't all that innocent on his part. (though I may have put it like "if Lavin sold out Harrick to get rid of him so he could become head coash...")

Seitz said...

Yeah, I knew what you were getting at, and my comment didn't really address that. I think my last comment wasn't really clear on that.

Anonymous said...

This all getting to be ancient history, but as I recall it was Michael Holton (who left for Portland State) who would NOT lie and say he was at the recruiting dinner with the Collins twins that directly led to Harrick's downfall. Lavin wasn't part of that. For whatever reasons, the administration never took to Harrick and wanted him out. With Holton, Lorenzo Romar, and Mark Gottfried all hitting the road prior to this, Lavin was just the last one standing. Lavin may or may not have helped him out the door but there no way he orchestrated it...

The bottom line is Lavin's history let him talk on the TV all he wants (he only seems to talk in clich├ęs anyway) and thank goodness for Howland.