Six days ago the #2 ranked Oregon Ducks lost to the unranked Arizona Wildcats at Autzen Stadium, and my Why You Should Hate article made me look like some sort of imbecile. DURR. I’m still digesting those words I’ve been forced to eat. I took a lot of flack from the ‘Zona faithful and rightfully so. If you can dish it out then you best be able to take it.
But to all the Arizona fans that made it a point of emphasis to critique my work as a whole, let me respond with a favorite quote of mine to which I live my life by:
"I always appreciate constructive criticism about my job performance. I thrive on it." -Ryan Howard (The Office)
The Ducks take on UCLA this Saturday (thank you baby Jesus) because as we learned, Thursday games suck. The Ducks can very well lose this game. There, I said it. However, since UCLA looked just as atrocious in their last game, I say both teams have an even shot at winning this one.
They barely beat ACC doormat, Virginia in their opener. In week 2, they squeaked by Memphis. I couldn’t even tell you what conference Memphis is in. In week 3 against Texas, UCLA once again almost lost after Brett Hundley nearly snapped his arm in half early in the game. Fortunately for the Bruins, Jerry Neuheisel was there to save the day! Seeing Rick Neuheisel cheer on little Jerry sure was heart warming (barf). In their first game against a ranked opponent, they tore apart #15 Arizona State on the road, 62-27. Sure, the Sun Devils were missing their starting quarterback, but after this one, forget their consistent struggles through 3 games people! With this ONE WIN, the Bruins are clearly the contender we’d thought they’d be. This past Saturday, likely exuberant off the Oregon upset, UCLA was ready to make a statement that the conference was theirs and the following week they’d dismantle the Ducks in similar fashion. Welp, UCLA done messed up too. They lost on a field goal to Utah at home. Amidst all the upsets this past weekend, Oregon fans were likely hoping for a UCLA win so that when the two sides met, an Oregon win would boost their rank in the polls. Dammit UCLA, only Oregon’s allowed to lay an egg to an unranked opponent at home. NOT YOU, BRUINS. You haven’t been atop the Pac-12 mountain long enough to earn that right, sonny.
Their coach: The playoff’s guy’s offspring, Jim Mora Jr. Mora is praised for turning UCLA from conference whipping boy to national championship contender overnight but in reality he’s just a colossal prick who got everything he has now because of who his daddy is. Jim LOVES TO POWER TRIP, like when he’s belittling and berating members of the media to show them exactly where they stand, and to demonstrate how much power he truly has. He manages his team like a dictatorship and will go out of his way to emphasize how much he’s changing the culture of UCLA football. For instance, he cancelled the annual UCLA football ditch day. BOYS, YOU WILL LEARN TO RID OF ANY SENSE OF HUMOR YOU HAVE, JUST LIKE ME. ONLY THEN CAN YOU BE TRULY SUCCESSFUL IN THIS LIFE. He also recruits in a sleazy way that would make Lane Kiffin blush. As Mora put it, "I mean, we don’t have murders a block away from campus." Yes, Jim Mora stooped to that level in an attempt to lure in precious recruits (primarily from southern California’s inner cities). Mora said he wasn’t talking about USC. Yeah Jim, sure you weren’t. Keep in mind that a major reason why UCLA is able to recruit well and contend these days is because of the USC sanctions, not Jim Mora’s all worldly football wisdom. Jim Mora will openly tell people a big factor he tries to sell recruits on is the UCLA campus and surrounding area, highlighting its safety. Because that is definitely what an 18-year old star athlete is looking for in a school to play football! You know who else can promise this safety you speak of Jim? Pretty much 90% of the other schools you’re recruiting against. You shouldn’t go to Pullman son, there’s way too much organized crime up there. This pitch must work wonders on the player’s moms though. Moms sure do love safety. It still perplexes me as to why Mora is so intent on this method of recruiting. Look around you kids, you’re in Beverly Hills! Take a gander at all the surrounding luxuries you can’t afford because you’re still a poor college student! Fun fact: Jim Mora Jr. attended the University of Washington. Now that explains a lot.
*Their stadium: UCLA plays their home games at the Rose Bowl. There are so many things wrong with this. First of all, for their fans sake, the drive from the UCLA campus to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is 26 miles. One must then factor in L.A. traffic. Second, to the other 99% of college football, the Rose Bowl is seen as a stadium only worthy of playing in if you win your respective conference (Pac-12 or Big 10). UCLA get’s to play there at least 7 times a year. Even if UCLA earns the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl game, it won’t carry the same magnitude for them that it does for other teams. Teams spend the entire year working their butts off to get to the Rose Bowl. It’s just another home game for UCLA. How can a school that has such an expansive network of renowned alumni not be able to cough up funds for an on-campus stadium? Oh that’s right, being that UCLA is located in such a wealthy area, the residents vetoed the stadium plans probably due to noise concerns, and God forbid an influx of average Joe’s descend upon their tidy neighborhood for a football game and bring down the property value in the process. This left UCLA where they are now, which is merely renting the Rose Bowl.
Their student body/alumni: I know a good amount of UCLA students and alumni. A UCLA student was once that kid your mom always harassed you over because, why can’t you be more like Timmy?! Timmy never gets into any sorts of trouble, follows orders blindly, drinks his milk, and says, ‘shucks!’ when he makes a rare mistake.
Timmy is such a nice boy who wouldn’t steal a measly loaf of break if the apocalypse struck and anarchy ensued. He’s such a good kid! But he’s not a total loser like those Stanford/Cal wunderkind’s so he chose UCLA because he has charisma to go with those brains!
No one likes a Timmy. Scratch that. EVERYONE LOVES a Timmy. I hate Timmy because I’m an awful person.
These kids then grow up to be extremely successful because, uh… duh. A UCLA alumnus is the guy walking out of Whole Foods in his cross-fit attire to his Audi because he needs to go out of his way to show you how different he is than the Mercedes and BMW driving USC assholes. See? I’m still going to flaunt my UCLA alumni license plate on this luxury car but I’m so much more aware and humble about it (Gag).
UCLA people make themselves out to be the good guys and their school to be the university of the people in Southern California. But UCLA is just as elitist and snobby as their cross-town rivals, USC. It’s like when Red Sox fans complain about the Yankees buying all their players. UCLA people will play the ‘public university card’ to no end but will be the first to mention (while batting their eye lashes) how their campus is in suuuuuch a nice area. Allow me to name-drop all the celebrities I see around. Like most other elite universities, UCLA will say how they look for a diverse range of applicants for their student body whom possess different abilities on both ends of the spectrum and come from all sorts of backgrounds. However, if you don’t have north of a 4.0 GPA, belonged to every club at your high school, played multiple sports/instruments, or are of celebrity status, well then you can go to hell!
Most inglorious alumni: Matt Damon allegedly took classes at UCLA. My ex-girlfriend loved herself some Matt Damon. I would often tell her that Matt Damon is an average looking man with average talent. NOT THAT I WAS JEALOUS OR ANYTHING.
What you shouldn’t hate: Jerry Neuheisel’s hair. The kid belongs in an Herbal Essence commercial, not on the sidelines holding a clipboard. I know Jerry’s dad isn’t revered around these parts, but take solace in the fact that Jerry being a backup is probably killing his old man on the inside. Can’t you just imagine THIS unraveling at a UCLA football family BBQ? MY BOY CAN PLAY.
Their most awful YouTube video:
What the? What is going on here? I’d expect this from Oregon State, but UCLA? YOU’RE IN LOS ANGELES, which is the film and television capital of the world. Unacceptable.
Players to hate, aka key players: The golden boy himself, Brett Hundley. Not only is Hundley a phenomenal player on the field, but he’s also a stand-up guy off of it. I detest this. I want all opposing quarterbacks to be assholes. Why can’t you be more like Jay Cutler, Brett? Why? No one runs the rock on this team better than Paul Perkins. He’s tallied up 540 yards so far this season, averaging 5.7 yards per carry with 3 touchdowns. Jordon James is their other stud running back they use when they absolutely have to give Perkins some rest. Jordan Payton has been the Bruins best receiver, and has 31 receptions on 491 yards with 3 touchdowns. Thomas Duarte, Eldridge Massington, and Devin Fuller are their other main receivers who have combined for 5 touchdowns this season. Eric Kendricks is their highly touted linebacker and Deon Hollins has been their best pass rusher so far this season. Former five-star recruit, and defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes likely has the highest ceiling of all however. The Bruins secondary is solid, and led by Ishmael Adams and Anthony Jefferson. Perhaps the best player on the Bruin squad isn’t their Heisman candidate QB, but rather their RB/LB, Myles Jack. It’s rare these days for a player to play on both sides of the ball, but Jack has absolutely dominated both offensively AND defensively.
Oh, and Justin Combs (Diddy’s son) is on the team to take up a roster spot from a more deserving player because UCLA supports nepotism in all facets.
The loser of this game will no longer be eligible for the 4-team playoff. Believe it or not, Oregon is still playing for a national championship. Is this a national championship caliber team right now? Absolutely not, but the point remains that if Oregon defeats UCLA this Saturday their dream stays alive for at least for one more week. Lose, and Eugene will riot. Kidding, but despair will reign here at ATQ and with Duck fans everywhere. UCLA is simply in Oregon’s way. No additional reasons should be needed to hate them.
Up next: That team up north