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SLIP OF THE YOUNG

“Reble” without a clue — Just when you thought ex-trojan Nick Young couldn’t be any stupider, he tries to get a giant back tattoo that reads “BORN REBLE”

When a Rap Star has to correct your spelling, you know you’re a trojan.

Current Los Angeles Laker and former trojan Nick Young has been a laughingstock of Pop Culture for a few months, after two humiliating recent incidents — not to mention his horrid play on the court that helped sink the Lakers to their worst season ever.  But apparently, getting caught making disgusting sexual gestures at a woman and her mother at a Hollywood intersection, and getting outed for basically saying he wanted to cheat on his fiancé, was just not enough for him.

This week, he decided to get a tattoo covering his entire upper back, with the words “BORN REBEL.”  Unfortunately for Nick, he attended u$c, where knowing how to write or spell is purely optional.  Thus, when he instructed the tattoo artist what to ink, the word rebel was outlined as “REBLE.”

This incident marks the third time a trojan (or wannabe-trojan) athlete has been caught making a big typo in Life — Once a trojan had his mother’s name spelled wrong (“Mable” instead of “Mabel”) in a tattoo, and another time, a trojan recruit was excited about becoming a “trogan,” as he wrote on social media.

Luckily for the apparently semi-literate Young, his fiancé — Rap Star Iggy Azalea — walked in on him before the tattoo was actually Continue Reading »

BRUINS HEAD FOR GLAMOR, TROJAN HEADS TO SLAMMER

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Did I stammer? — Bruins hear a clamor as they hammer home the message at the UCLA Football Spring Showcase that they will BUST OUT this season — something that ex-trojan Bryce Dixon would love to do, since he just got sentenced to 6 years in prison for Carjacking and Assault with a Deadly Weapon

It was NO CONTEST.  The UCLA Football Spring Showcase was NOT a scrimmage.  Score was NOT kept.  It was no contest.  Coincidentally, “no contest” was the plea that former trojan Tight End Bryce Dixon took, in order to attain a plea bargain for only 6 years in jail instead of 15, which is the usual max for the crimes he “allegedly” committed.

Dixon is doing a half-dozen years in the penal system in relation to carjacking, and assault with a deadly weapon, as he and his accomplice accosted innocent motorists with a knife, demanding money, and at least once, the vehicle too.

UCLA has had a few lawbreakers too, but when it comes to the total amount of criminals compared to u$c, it is NO CONTEST.  Also no contest is the fact that UCLA Football will be improved this coming season.  Going more for a Power attack as opposed to a Spread design, it looks like the new strategy will be beneficial for Quarterback Josh Rosen.

Rosen looked confident and comfortable during this Continue Reading »

DAY PRIDE

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Equality?  Sure.  But UCLA — and the Bruin Spirit Squad — have no equals

Last Saturday’s Bruin Day was a great opportunity to remember why we all have Bruin Pride.  All the majors and scholastic disciplines, all the campus organizations, and all the diverse groups — from the LGBT booth, to the Muslim Students booth, to the Spirit Squad area — were represented, and showed why UCLA is such an inclusive, exclusive, horizon-expanding World.

It was fun to see so many incoming (soon-to-be) Freshmen, some with their supportive parents, in a state of overwhelmment at all the different options and avenues about to be at their fingertips. But what was even more fun Continue Reading »

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY TO BE A BRUIN

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“Incoming!!” — Saturday was “Bruin Day” at UCLA, an event where incoming Freshmen get to see what this World Class University has to offer, including departments/majors, resources, sports, clubs, entertainment, activism, and best of all, the Spirit Squad

A college the size of UCLA can be intimidating.  For a 17-year old just finishing high school, the massiveness of UCLA can be overwhelming.  So as part of a necessary orientation, UCLA now puts on “Bruin Day,” where these soon-to-be Bruins can get a taste of the campus, and sample some of the opportunities that will be available to them next Fall.

All the different departments, scholastic groups, ethnic groups — even the UCPD and Powell Library — have booths, so that the new students can learn anything they want to know about what’s in store for them.  There was even a booth for “Gamers” — a social group for students who like video games, fantasy games, role-playing games, etc.  Many of these groups were actively “recruiting” new members.  The UCLA Spirit Squad also had a set-up, but Continue Reading »

THE ULTIMATE CLOSER

Exit Stratosphere — Kobe Bryant’s last game ever is the best last hurrah of all time, as he scores SIXTY points and hits the game-winning shot in the Lakers’ victory over Utah

Truly an “Exit: Stage Right Stuff.”  The people who paid thousands of dollars to see Kobe Bryant’s last game actually got their money’s worth.  At Staples Center on  Wednesday night, the Black Mamba did not disappoint, although at first it really looked like he was going to.  Kobe missed his first five shots, and the Lakers played atrociously, failing to score for about the first 5 minutes.  Then Kobe made a couple of good defensive plays, and it finally got him over his last-game jitters.

Settling down quickly, Kobe ended the first quarter with 15 points.  Phophetically, I announced:  “He’s on pace to score 60!”  And that’s exactly what he did.  In the fourth quarter, with the Lakers trailing Utah, Kobe really turned it up a notch.  He scored 23 in the final stanza, including 15 straight Laker points, and 15 of their last 17.  The Lakers were down by 9 with under 4 minutes to go, but the best closer in Basketball History proceeded to cement that exact legacy.  He brought them all the way back — against a team that beat them all 3 times this season by an average of 29 points (and 1 time by 50), including a lead-taking jumper with 31 seconds left.  His two free throws iced it, giving him a remarkable 60 points for the night — the highest output for ANYONE this entire season.

The unforgettable finale caps a career that brought immense joy to Laker fans, and to basketball fans around the globe.  Kobe played for ONLY the Lakers, for TWENTY years.  He was the MVP, the Finals MVP, an 18-time all-star, and a 5-Time NBA Champion.  He also scored 81 in a game (2nd most of all time to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100), and 50 in 4 straight games.

And I won’t argue that he was the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all time), because Continue Reading »

NOT-SO-DEADPOOL

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Lighten up, FRANCiS — While worthy cause Swim with Mike made over $1,000,000 this year, smash hit movie “Deadpool” has made over $750,000,000; So next time your soul feels dirty, don’t reach for Ajax, reach for your keyboard, go to Swimwithmike.org, and help physically disadvantaged athletes become Marvel-ous Super Heroes

The Green Lantern was my favorite comic book hero when I was a kid .  But when Ryan Reynolds starred in the role in the movie, it was NOT a hit, with me or with the public.  It looked like Reynolds’ days as a cinematic super hero were over.  Fast-forward to 2016, and those days are back, and this time, it works.  “Deadpool” is the raunchiest popular comic book movie of all time, and despite some hard-to-believe plot points, the film is thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining (and NOT for little kids).  It is by far the funniest flick of the genre, and Reynolds’ delivery and timing are a big part of that success.

Ben Affleck also takes a giant step forward this year, going from his “Daredevil” role to that of Batman.  He’s not bad at all as the Caped Crusader in “Batman vs. Superman,” which, like “Deadpool,” made a king’s ransom at the box office.  Not everybody loved this DARK, sometimes uncomfortable-to-watch film, but just about everyone Continue Reading »

A MILLION WAY$ TO DIVE IN THE WE$T

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Geronimo-ney! —Swim with Mike 2016 at USC raises over a million dollars for physically-challenged athletes, thanks in part to the bighearted USC Song Girls, who dived into the pool for this praiseworthy charity

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Welcome to the annual bury-the-rivalry-hatchet week, as I put aside my allegiances to praise the efforts of the Swim with Mike charity, and all the people at USC who contributed to putting on this fundraiser and making it a raging, 7-figure success.  It’s easy to temporarily suspend my die-hard loyalties when it involves all the lovely Trojan cheerleaders, who, as always, were real troopers, donning bikinis in front of a big crowd of people and photographers, and jumping in the pool for an innertube relay race, in which they partner up with Trojan football players.

There was another reason to throw my full support behind this worthy cause this year:  Former UCLA Bruin Football player Nick Ekbatani — who underwent a leg amputation after a horrible motorcycle accident — is one of the recipients of the Swim with Mike scholarship funding.  Nick attended USC grad school, with the help of this charity.  After his unbearable ordeal, Nick has found inspiration, and now is a motivational speaker, in order to share his overwhelmingly positive attitude and perspective on life.  The Swim with Mike charity was instrumental in Nick’s development into the admirable human being he is today.

Although this event takes place at USC and has thoroughly Trojan roots (“Mike” was a Trojan), the cause helps athletes who have attended over 50 other schools as well, including UCLA.  BUT… even if it were all for USC, this would STILL be a worthy cause, and I would still support it.  I recommend that you support it too.  And just because the event took place on Saturday, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a donation today.  Please go to swimwithmike.org and look into how you can help.  After viewing these 67 photos below, you may suddenly find yourself feeling charitable.

So without further ado, here are some more photos from the event, Continue Reading »

BEST McDONALD’S DISHES EVER

Amaze-balls!! —  UCLA Recruit Lonzo Ball dazzles McDonaldland and the whole Country with his spectacular Special Sauce passes, amassing a record-tying 13 Assists as his West team cruises to victory in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game

Lonzo knows winning.  Coming off his 35-0 Championship Season, Lonzo Ball notched another W, this time in the McDonald’s All-American Game.  His West squad was up by about 20 in the second half, and coasted to a 114-107 triumph.  Two of Ball’s teammates shared the MVP Award, but it was Ball that led the team, repeatedly setting up his fellow stars with eye-popping passes for easy scores.  Ball ended with 13 Assists, which tied Jacque Vaughn’s all-time record.  In the final minute, a blown slam dunk ended up costing Ball the outright record.

In these unstructured, playground contests, sometimes it’s hard to assess the relative talents of the players, and how those talents will translate to REAL games.  But just like 4 years ago, when you could tell that Tony Parker was not as athletic as his Duke/Kentucky/UNC-bound counterparts, this year you can plainly see that Ball is an outstanding passer, and an immediate difference-maker.  He will start from Day 1, and he will make the team 100% better than they are now, by creating an off-the-charts increase in Offensive Efficiency.  He will find open men by the basket, and lead them to the hoop with the ball.  And not only will he transform and improve the set Offense, he will also create (from scratch) a transition game.  He is one of the two best outlet passers you will ever see, even after a made basket — along with Kevin Love.

I don’t know if Lonzo will stay at UCLA more than a year, because Continue Reading »

SWAGGY P – BRAIN

The Mustard Falls Off the Hotdog — Current L.A. Laker and ex-trojan Nick “Swaggy P” Young gets accused of lewd behavior and sexually harassing a woman — and her mother — at an intersection in Hollywood

What a Swagoff.  You can take the player out of u$c, but you can’t take the u$c out of the player.  Ex-trojan showboat Nick Young, who currently plays for the worst Los Angeles Lakers team of all time, picked the wrong woman to harass at a stoplight.  When Young pulled his SUV up to a signal at the corner of LaBrea and Melrose, little did he know that the woman he was about to make sexual gestures at was a respected advocate against the very transgression that he was performing.

Well prior to the incident in question, the victimized driver had already been in contact with the NBA, to promote her campaign against the League’s players capitalizing on their celebrity status by their committing acts of sexual aggression and misconduct.  So when Young and his teammate went on the Offensive, they were really entering the lion’s cage, without a whip or a chair.

It’s bad enough to attack the woman leading the drive to stamp out this egregious behavior, but when you do it to HER MOTHER,  you are really just ASKING for it.  The Lakers quickly apologized and tried to sweep this under the rug, while Young — in true trojan fashion — totally denied the accusations despite two respected witnesses/victims.

So this whole thing will blow over and go away, as the Lakers and NBA will placate the victims by donating to and helping promote their cause.  So unfortunately, we will never know exactly what Young did.  Too bad there was apparently no traffic cam in place to capture it.  But we can speculate:  The first and obvious guess would be the time-tested and enduring Continue Reading »

NEVER MIND THE BULLOCK!!

osu16bb0315bbAnarchy in the NCAA –u$c punks choke in March Madness 70-69, blowing a 5-point lead in the final 2:21, with 2 consecutive turnovers, then 3 missed Free Throws in the final minute, and finally, a blown defense, on an inbounds play with 3 seconds left, allowing Providence’s Rodney Bullock to get the Rock, wide open under the basket, for the easy, game-winning lay-up at the proverbial final Pistol

All we need is ONE basket, Rodney!!

The trojans had this game won.  With Providence’s star player struggling and in foul trouble (on a couple of bogus calls), 8th-seeded u$c was able to take a 1-point lead at halftime, and build it up to a 7-point margin with about 7 minutes to go in the game.

The Friars couldn’t penetrate or get the ball inside sc’s defense, they couldn’t hit their outside shots, and they couldn’t string together any Defensive stops.  Still down by 5 with 2:21 left, the 9th-seeded Friars, who hadn’t won a Tournament game in NINETEEN YEARS, got the help they needed — from the choking trojans themselves.

At the 2:21 mark, up by 5, the trojans turned the ball over twice in a row, allowing the Friars to tie the game 68-68.  Then, in the final minute of the game, THREE DIFFERENT trojans EACH MISSED a Free Throw, so despite several missed shots by Providence, the Friars were still alive.  The last missed Free Throw with 12 seconds left was followed by the Friars’ 4th straight missed shot, but they retained possession.

With 3 seconds left in the game, Continue Reading »

TURN THE BEAT AROUND

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Go to the Matt — The Bruins’ odds of surviving are similar to Matt Damon’s in “The Martian,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t still hold out hope, enjoy the ride, and enjoy some more images from Senior Day at Pauley

I’m a sore loser, and if the worst happens tonight, I won’t be talking about it here.  I don’t even want to discuss the possibilities now, beforehand.  But I still have 100 photos from Saturday night that I want to share.  So here are 50 of them,  Continue Reading »

LOOKIN’ LIKE A MILLION IN PAULEY PAVILION

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From rags to riches — Even though it’s hard to watch the 2016 Bruin Basketball team sometimes, the UCLA Spirit Squad is always a sight for sore eyes

No matter the price of admission to see the Bruins play Basketball, it’s always worth it to be in the arena, thanks to the UCLA Cheerleaders, and their reliably stellar performance, that is always MONEY.  So even when watching the game makes you say “D’oh!” — your dough is still well-spent.  And here — along with a bunch of photos of the game itself — are dozens more examples of how enriching it is to be a fan of the Spirit Squad. Continue Reading »

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