The gloom is off the rows — Selfish-bastard protesters block the bonfire, potentially creating gloom for hundreds of rows of Bruins, but Mora won’t hear of it — He makes the no-fire announcement with flair, forbidding fans from booing, saying we don’t need a f*cking fire, and having his players dance to entertain the crowd more than any fire ever could
Leave it to Jim Mora to take a bunch of lemons and make Lemon Meringue Pie. A small group of a-holes — oops, I mean “protesters” — tried to ruin a long-standing and cherished UCLA tradition, and they almost succeeded. I refuse to mention here what their cause was, because they don’t deserve the publicity. Let’s just say they are trying to help students, but their idiotic plan did nothing but HURT students — THOUSANDS of students.
The annual BeatSC Bonfire is a STUDENT-organized and executed event, FOR thousands of students and former students who still support UCLA. And these idiots tried to disrupt the enjoyment of these students and alumni. Morons. Why don’t they take their battle to the people they are fighting AGAINST, instead of pissing off the very people they are trying to help? Even if I was FOR their cause, there is NOW no way I would ever try to help their efforts. F*ck them, and the trojan-horse they rode in on, for what they did last night.
Because they would not vacate the immediate area around the intended bonfire site, the Fire Marshall deemed the area unsafe for a fire, and the UCLA Student Alumni Association was not allowed to ignite the flames. Security was told they couldn’t forcibly remove them, because the protesters were non-violent and had a 1st Amendment right to protest. Ridiculous. They couldn’t “express their views” from the other side of the quad? I can’t begin to tell you how mad I was. I read about someone else who brought their kid from very far away, to soak in the glory and enchantment of her first BeatSC Bonfire… and the kid was deprived of this seminal experience… all because some misguided, arrogant jerks felt like they couldn’t get their message across from 20 feet to the North.
But the evening was NOT a failure, despite this hijacking. The evening was actually a raving success, thanks to the UCLA Spirit Squad, the student performers, and especially Football Coach Jim Mora and his team. When Mora hit the stage, he gave a speech, introduced his Captains, and told the crowd that due to circumstances beyond our control, there would be no fire. But before anyone could react, he had said that he doesn’t want to hear a single BOO, and that, his team was full of great dancers, who would put on a show for us in lieu of the bonfire. Several players then proceeded to wow the crowd with all their nifty dance moves, cheered on by their enthusiastic teammates.
Team Captains Brett Hundley, Owa, Eric Kendricks, Ryan Hofmeister, and Jake Brendel each said a few words, and it was all sanitized. Mora had warned them not to give the trojans any bulletin board material, so the speeches were more about exhorting the crowd to show up at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, and be engaged and LOUD. The players seemed to be truly appreciative and aware of our crowd noise in the stadium, and were just asking for MORE. It’s nice to know that we MATTER.
Speaking of what matters, many people come to this site ONLY for the photos. With that in mind… here are 57 more photos from the rally, including some of the student singers and dancers, some of the UCLA Cheerleaders, and some of the Bruin Football Team, getting down and funky.