UCLA rocks, dang it!
Growing up, I was a big professional sports fan. My dad would bring me to Dodgers, Lakers, Raiders, Rams and Kings games. I mostly remember the Dodgers and Lakers games - those were numerous, and always eventful as they were big winning teams when I was watching them. I collected baseball and basketball cards, thinking their values would last forever.
As I entered college, though, I began to have more appreciation for college level sports and a more "for the love of the game" playing style. Perhaps I had become disgusted and disenchanted with pro player attitudes - the 1994 baseball lockout that ended the baseball season, the rampaging fights on the field, the snottiness of players refusing to autograph anything unless they were paid - made me look for some other sports that would be more in line with my philosophy.
Enter college sports. Besides my penchant for volleyball, I was paying attention to college football (UCLA, Notre Dame, and Miami Hurricanes to name a few) college basketball (UCLA, Duke, Kentucky), and hockey (Minot, Wisconsin, Boston College). Players were no-name - but they were no-names with talent to get into the pros. It was exciting to watch players that weren't dominating their sport, but had to play hard to get recognized to get into the upper echelons of the next level up - and to get paid!
UCLA was my favorite, the home team, basically - right in my backyard, I went to a few Rose Bowl games, tailgated, what have you. They didn't even allow tailgating for the Raiders/Rams games anymore - "too much risk of fire" in the dry parts of SoCal. Hmph. So college games were a haven of fun, of getting out and getting fired up.
Now that I'm a Kansan, I cheer for KU. KU as a school has a lot of things I like - compared to the other big name college across the border, which shall not be named, as they ungraciously robbed KU of a big win yesterday. Sad! But even today, I will cheer for UCLA when they play against KU - of which hasn't won me many friends around here. Of course, everyone around here takes sports sooooo seriously. ;-)
Go UCLA basketball! We'll see who wins on October 3rd and 6th. Hehe!