$100 per person — Call it “Pricey Verve.”  And I’m sorry that today’s headline took such a dicey swerve (but I couldn’t resist).

On Sunday, April 11th, come meet and eat with unflappable Coaches, unstoppable Players, and un-croppable Cheerleaders, all to benefit the incomparable UCLA Spirit Squad

Save the Cheerleaders, save the World.

No, this is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke.  The UCLA Spirit Squad has requested that I INVITE ALL OF YOU to the “Spirit Squad Fans’ Afternoon Reception,” which is coming up on Sunday, April 11th on campus, in the James West Alumni Center, from 4pm to 6pm.

For anyone who has ever gazed at a UCLA Cheer photo on this site and come back for more. or for anyone who likes the fact that UCLA has the Nation’s most-respected Spirit Squad, or for anyone who appreciates all the hard work and effort that goes into staying the Best of the Best year after year, this Afternoon Reception is the perfect opportunity to show your respect and support.

Every Bruin Football fan should come to this event.  Could you imagine UCLA Football withOUT the Spirit Squad?  It just would NOT be the same.  And if you think I am overestimating the importance of Cheer to the Program, I’m not the only one.  UCLA Head Football Coach Rick Neuheisel and his Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow will both take time out of their busy schedules to appear at the event, each scheduled to speak about the upcoming season.  These Football experts know how important a home field advantage — i.e. LOUD fan support — is to the team’s success, and that the Spirit Squad plays a huge role in making it happen.  Also, they respect the tradition of the Spirit Squad — It’s not like going “Over the Wall.”

With Rick and Norm set to share inside information, Bruin fans with paranoid wives can still justify attending.  In addition to the main attraction of Cheer and Dance Performances and the speeches by Neuheisel and Chow, there will also be Bruin Players in attendance, as well as “heavy” hors d’oeuvres, a limited but “open” bar, a drawing for prizes, a cheer and dance clinic for kids, CHEER PHOTO OPS galore, and a silent auction with a John Wooden-autographed basketball and other Bruin memorabilia.  How can you pass this up??

Here is the Official Website Page for the event:


Proceeds from this event benefit the UCLA Spirit Squad, for expenses including travel, new uniform designs, supplies, scholarships, and Coaches’ salaries.  Every penny that they get is put to good use, because they are run efficiently, under tight supervision, by a wise decision-maker.  I personally can’t think of a better way to support UCLA Athletics than to help guarantee that UCLA will continue to have the Best — best-dressed, best-choreographed, and best-looking — Cheerleaders in the World.

And now, let’s talk about mingling with them.  After watching closely for 5 years as the UCLA Cheerleaders interact with Bruin fans, I have noticed a strange phenomenon.  The intimidatingly-gorgeous Cheerleaders repeatedly turn big, studly, outgoing football fans into shy little wallflowers.  For some reason, they suddenly pretend like they don’t want to talk to the girls, or take photos with them.  Then, you see them look forlornly, as other fans pose with the girls, smiling for the cameras.

Here’s the deal:  This group of students who make up the UCLA Spirit Squad happen to be selected not only on their beauty, grace, enthusiasm, and athleticism, but also their agreeable personalities.  Every time I have had communication with a member of Mollie’s teams, the student has been polite, respectful, intelligent, and most importantly, EASY TO TALK TO.   In other words, they may LOOK like Supermodels, but they don’t act like it.  It’s as if they know that it’s too “trojan-like” to be arrogant or conceited.  But really, it’s just that Mollie’s Selection Committee weeds out the evil ones, and chooses only down-to-earth, sweet human beings.

So, if you are lucky enough to attend this special event, you will find it painless and rewarding to actually converse with the members of the Spirit Squad whom you’ve been admiring all these months and (in some cases) years.

In honor of this exciting occasion, below are 4 more Cheer Pics, with many, many more coming between now and the 11th, as I do everything humanly possible to persuade you to join the party and support the cause.  But first, a quick SPORTS update:  Steve Lavin did indeed get hired by St. John’s — Was there SERIOUSLY no one better available?  Really?  Similar sentiments about:  Tim Floyd — New Head Coach of UTEP.  Some people think that this means that the NCAA has CLEARED Floyd of any wrongdoing in the O.J. Mayo SCandal.  These people think that the NCAA has leaked info to Texas-El Paso that Floyd faces no NCAA penalties, and is a “safe hire,” CONDONED by the NCAA.  Nonsense.  Former NCAA Investigators insist that the NCAA has NEVER leaked any advance info from a case, and that any “inside information” that UTEP — or Seantrel Henderson — thinks they have, is nothing more than pure speculation.   And speaking of “former,” Bobo Morgan and Donny Daniels are now “former Bruins.”  The back-up Center was “dismissed” by Ben Howland, with much mystery surrounding the details of that decision, while the Assistant Coach of 7 years has decided to take the same position with Gonzaga.  The only explanation:  Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few is constantly rumored to be a candidate for jobs at bigger schools, so Daniels is probably being groomed to take over for Few, whereas Howland might not relinquish his post for 20 years.  Sadder to see Daniels go than Morgan, as Donny was instrumental in 3 Final Fours, while J’mison tried but failed to be instrumental in the worst season of our lifetimes.  I still don’t like to see anyone part ways with UCLA on bad terms, and he seemed like a well-liked, jovial guy, so it’s too bad, all around.  He lost a lot of weight, but couldn’t move accordingly, so it doesn’t look like he’ll ever live up to expectations.  Maybe it was the hype that killed him.

Now, speaking of hype, here are the first 4 of a deluge of Cheer Photos, to flood the bandwidth over the next 10 days…

 What would you ask a UCLA Cheerleader if you had a chance?  (Besides “out,” that is.)

  A dilemma for Mollie:  What if a ketchup & mustard clad trojan honk shows up, but he wants to make a big donation to the Bruin Squad.  Does she let him in?

Knowing “trogans,” he’d probably buy everything at the silent auction, then burn it all in a bonfire in front of Pauley Pavilion.

Last one for today, but a better advertisement for the Reception I cannot imagine.