Will Coaching TRUMP momentum? U$C is on a roll, but Mora is 1-and-0 in Rivalry Games, and the trojan APPRENTICE Coach is 0-and-1, having lost to Notre Dame, and having never gone against the Bruins as Head Coach until this coming Saturday
If Tuesday night’s BeatSC Bonfire was any indication, the Bruins are going to have fun this weekend. I’m not saying they’re gonna win, but they are gonna go out there, and give it all they’ve got, and have fun doing it.
The Bruins were as loose as ever on Tuesday night, getting hyped up by Coach Mora and a few team leaders. Neither Mora nor the players said anything bulletin board-worthy, laying off the negative campaigning this year. The only negative thing said was when emcee Wayne Cook called the Coliseum a “dump.” Otherwise, the Bruins didn’t make it about sc, they just did an 8-clap, asked for fan support, and showed that they were fired up to notch their second win in a row over the trojans.
My personal favorite part of the Bonfire event was seeing the entire UCLA Spirit Squad rocking out freestyle to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” While the bonfire burned, the hit 80’s song (revived by “Glee” not that long ago) played over the loudspeakers. Usually when I see the Bruin Cheerleaders, they are performing with intense discipline, and structured choreography that takes focus and exhibits breathtaking synchronicity. But for the first time in my life, with the possible exception of when the band plays “Rover” after a Basketball victory, I got to see the squad members really just embrace a song they like, feel the rhythm, and dance and sing and enjoy themselves with reckless abandon, as they grooved to the sound of the music. As some of the photos below will support, I believe that in all the years I’ve been paying attention, I have never seen the Spirit Squad have this much unadulterated FUN. It was awesome. No forced smiles — only legitimate, sincere ones during this celebration.
If the Bruin players can maintain the carefree looseness that I saw last night, but still play with discipline and focus, then the Cheerleaders and you and I will all continue the celebration well into Saturday night. Here are SIXTY-SIX photos from the bonfire. Click on the pics to zoom in.