Monday, April 03, 2006

Taking things for granted

Sorry that my beloved UCLA Bruins didn’t win the NCAA championship (I blame it on that one bad call) but couldn’t be more proud of them for getting that far. When I went to UCLA we won the national championship all four years and truthfully, I never fully appreciated just what a monumental feat that was. We got so used to winning that I almost took it for granted. You learn later, often too late, that that’s not the case. So in that spirit, here are some other things we may be taking for granted.


Vin Scully will always broadcast for the Dodgers.

Katie Couric will always co-host THE TODAY SHOW.

Email will be free.

That Twinkie you ate in 1993 will leave your system.

Major airlines will provide pillows and blankets for free.

Ryan Seacrest is straight.

Time won’t run out on Jack Bauer.

The Yankees will win because they have a higher payroll than General Motors.

Major sporting events will be on free TV.

You’ll be able to hear the Beatles on the radio.

There will be three new Woody Allen movies a year.

The Lakers will always finish higher than the Clippers.

Sharon Stone will think you want to see her naked in a movie.

Splenda is good for you.

There will always be one or two groups on tour calling themselves “the Beach Boys”.

There will be Marlins in Florida and Pirates in Pittsburgh.

You’ll love it at Levitz.

There will be a SAW III.

There will be a ROCKY XXVI.

There will be rainforests.

There will be a New Orleans.


Anonymous said...

Hey Ken --

As a Bruin in the Lavin time (could we have maybe replaced him sooner, eh?) I am so intrigued that your time in Westwood was filled with the magic of championships. Incredible!

Tonight's game, in my opinion, was not a huge disappointment so much because they lost (though, of course, it would have been better if they crushed the Gators!!), but because I feel as a fan of college ball that I, we were denied a great game - the referee's gave the game to Florida and as much as we tried to get into the game, we kept getting pushed back - we'd make a three and then get called for a bs foul, time and time again. Or Noah would foul someone as he 'blocked' a shot and nothing would be called. ETC.

I am so proud of the Bruins - their heart, class, dignity, and the fact that the team seems to actually be made up of athletes in college (do you believe Glen Davis 'Big Baby' is a Sophomore or whatever? Um, no). Jordan Farmar was exceptional - watching him play was fun, and, dare I say it, kinda like his namesake, Michael Jordan. Ryan Hollins also gave us a remarkable display of his soft touch and non-showoffy approach. I am soooo tired of seeing the Noah guy throwing his weight around under the basket and then being called a brilliant player. Yes, he is big. Good for him. What about finesse, the beauty of basketball as a game?

As a 2002 grad I can already look back at my time in Westwood and think of some of the things I took for granted about my experience - having David E. Kelley writing a script next to me while I studied for finals was a thrill! - for example, and yet I think the thing I miss most, which I didn't yet understand or fully comprehend, is the feeling of pride and class of having a lifetime association with a top notch university that stands for something in a time where it seems most things are smoke and mirrors.

Fortunately for us Bruins, the team will be back next year, battling the smoke and mirrors again, and what seems to be the norm in college sports these days. (Like, did the officiating remind anyone of Texas' 'dominance' of USC in the Rosebowl? - I see smoke. Lots of it!


Anonymous said...

Ken Levine's posts will make you grin, not cry.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Ken Levine will postulate on a blog.

Anonymous said...

i missed the game to be at petco and see barry bonds get a decent double and spend the rest of the night trying to ignore the jeering and taunting of the Petco crowd. my contribution to the snark was a juice box on a string and a stick and a sign saying "barry can't cut loose 'less he's got his juice." at least he remembered there's no crying in baseball.

The Donut Shop Social Club said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Donut Shop Social Club said...

You have me questioning your credibility with that whole Lakers/Clippers comment. Didn't happen last year. Won't happen this year;)

Stephen Gallagher said...

Sharon Stone naked I can still stand.

But one day the diet industry will discover that the sight of Mariah Carey in a string bikini is a powerful appetite suppressant.

Anonymous said...

Compulsive over-eaters who are not cured by the string bikini pictures may even require a dose of Glitter.

Anonymous said...

I was also at UCLA during their championship run and all I can say is John Wooden is the finest coach who ever lived ... in any sport ... at any time. He is also one of the classiest and finest human beings who ever lived.

admin said...

One bad call for UCLA? Are you serious? There could have been 10 bad calls and the Bruins would still have been run out of the gym. The Gators are just a better team, top-to-bottom. The other UCLA alums posting here can complain all they want about bad calls but the game wasn’t even close and wasn’t going to be.

UCLA had a nice season and simply ran into a better team. That is a fact. When Afflalo makes a shot let me know. Look, UCLA were beaten on offense and defense and the final score proved it. Be grateful Florida didn’t win by 30.

All this crying in the comments section from the likes of ‘Pascia’ just shows how diluted sports fans in general are when their team loses. Blaming officials doesn’t change the fact that UCLA has a pathetic offense to go with a wonderful defense. But Florida is better on both sides and it showed. The referees did not give the game to Florida; that is the most ignorant statement I have heard yet.

Florida ‘took’ the game – be sure to let me know when someone stops Noah and co. from dunking at will. Hey, take away Farmar’s nice game and the Bruins lose by 40. Trust me.

People who whine because their team loses to a better team are ridiculous. Maybe if they play tomorrow UCLA wins. But they don’t and on that particular Monday night Florida was simply the better team. The referees had nothing to do with it.

The only people who had anything to do with it were the Florida Gators who beat UCLA as thoroughly a team has been beaten since UNLV dismantled Duke in ’90. I don’t think Duke thought the referees gave the game to UNLV just as Bruin fans shouldn’t think the refs gave the game to Florida.

How Pascia can use the phrase ‘the beauty of basketball’ in reference to UCLA is hysterical. Their whole premise is about making the game ugly. They thrive on slow-down, ball control offense and stingy defense. Did anyone see the Memphis game? The excuses, people. It’s laughable. Poke fun at Noah all you want but the young man owned UCLA all night and they had no answer for him. Zero! That is the fact as the final score indicates.

There’s no conspiracy. There’s only a better tem wearing orange and blue.

And if you want to talk about refs giving the game to a team it seemed that call against Batista of Gonzaga in the last minute of the thriller against beloved UCLA wasn’t exactly a foul; Hmm… I suggest UCLA be thankful they even made it is far as they did.

There’s always next year. And if UCLA finds some scoring punch I have no doubt they will be in the hunt for the title. But until then, have the graciousness to applaud the Gators, a team that was the better team that night and thusly are the champs. Deal with it.

- Jeffrey

* Love the site, by the way.

By Ken Levine said...

Jeffrey, was a joke. UCLA was clearly beaten by a better team.