Will Rick do for Short Pants in Football what Angus Young did for them in Rock?  Hell’s Bells, yes.

Two heads are better than one, and Neuheisel and Chow are going to have to put their heads together to make this Offense productive.

The UCLA Spring Scrimmage shows that Neuheisel and Chow are starting the Neu Edition from Menudo, getting In Sync, and turning Boys 2 Men, while searching the Backstreets for more Beasties

Rick Neuheisel could make a Root Canal fun.  And it’s a good thing for 15,000 Bruin fans that he can.  That’s how many people showed up at the Rose Bowl on Saturday evening for the Spring Scrimmage.  That’s about five times as many people than normally show up to this annual event, which in the past has been held on campus.

But UCLA knew that interest is higher this year, thanks to the new Coaching Staff.  Season tickets are at an all-time high around 50K, a friend told us today, and many of those people were on hand Saturday before the event to upgrade their seats.  Everyone wants to get closer to the eruption of quality Football that is about to come to Westwood (via Pasadena).  Unfortunately, as of last night, that eruption has not come yet, and is not coming any time soon.

Yeah, we know that it’s only April, and you can’t tell anything from a Scrimmage, but the two most important things were fairly apparent from the outset:  The Offensive Line couldn’t hold their ground, and the three Quarterbacks left standing would NOT have been left standing, if not for the merciful “No Sack” rule that was in effect throughout the night.

Things got a little better as time progressed, with Kevin Craft throwing a TD Pass, and Osaar Rasshan and Chris Forcier both showing some good mobility and also hitting a couple of targets downfield.  The Bruins concentrated on short drops, quick passes, short slants, and Tight Ends.  After the Scrimmage, Neuheisel said that he wanted to say something to a guy in the crowd who was yelling at him all night to throw deep — That he IS going to throw deep during the Season, despite the short passes that dominated the Scrimmage.   Later, Neuheisel said that Craft was too rushed, and was practically hyperventillating.  Craft will get better, but we’d prefer the Ben Olson who threw Five TD’s in a game at Stanford.  THAT guy was awesome.  And with Pat Cowan now officially OUT for this Season, Olson should be able to get the job back when he’s healthy.

With Ben at the helm, the Blocking will have to improve from what was displayed tonight.  Of course, by the Fall, there will be several game-breaking Running Backs added to the mix, and the stronger threat of a Running Game will help Olson buy more time when he has to Pass.

Outside of the Defense’s Courtney Viney, there were no game-breakers on Saturday night, as Osaar was whistled “down” before he could go into his elusive escape act, and none of the Running Backs could find room to run.  The O-Line WAS able to get a push on a few short-yardage plunges, so that could be something for them to build on.

Speaking of fixing a few minor glitches, the Organizers of this event made some ergonomically-questionable decisions, most of which resulted in painfully long lines.  For starters. Check-In for the Kid’s Zone had a line about 100 people deep. 

Then, the crazy “system” for the free gifts was supposed to ease the pain and spread everyone out, but at our gate, everyone was directed to the same booth, where they were giving away Blue and Gold Crocs.  Lovely, but every person wanted a different size, so it was taking FOREVER for each person to be served.  The staffers would go digging through dozens of cartons, looking for specific sizes.  Meanwhile, the “line” grew to about 3000 people, and it wasn’t moving.  Tip for the Organizers:  It doesn’t matter if it’s free — Don’t give away stuff that comes in ten different, impossible-to-locate sizes.  All it does is create a mob mentality, fights, and a whole bunch of disgruntled Bruins and Bruin kids. 

The final absurd and unnecessary line was the one to get down onto the field after the Scrimmage.  For some reason, the aisles got all jammed up, and they all came to a standstill.  There was Security, but no one directing traffic, so people just clogged up the field entrances.  We hopped down over chairs, row after row, after row, and we’re glad we did, because more than 30 minutes later, we looked up from the field and noticed that there were still hundreds of people trying to get down to the field.

And unfortunately, no one organized the field activities either.  There was no method to the madness.  Players were just scattered randomly around the mobbed field, so there was no way to know where any particular player was, or how to find him.  They SHOULD have set up a whole perimter and assigned positions by name or number, or at least by position, so kids could seek out their favorites.

The final complaint is that the 15,000 fans were squeezed into 4 sections, so people were sitting all the way at the top, near the Goal line, 70 rows away from the action.  Meanwhile, the ultimate, perfect 50-yard line seats across the way were sitting empty.  We understand that they didn’t want to pay for Ushers and Concessions on that side of the Stadium, but why couldn’t those fans who don’t require Ushers and overpriced Food go over there and have a decent view of the gameplay?  WE UNDERSTAND — It’s all about extra Labor Costs, and we don’t want to PAY for a ticket, so it is what it is — but that doesn’t mean that we have to like it.

Don’t get us wrong:  We still had a great time on Saturday, and recommend the Annual Event to anyone who asks — We know how hard it is to plan something of this magnitude, especially when actual attendance is a mystery.  We just think that they can make it “even better” next year.

And speaking of getting better next year, the Bruin Basketball team just did, as Darren Collison has announced that he is RETURNING to UCLA for next Season.  Awesome — Now he is going to try to get some of his on-the-fence teammates to join him.  Good luck, Darren, and THANKS!!  By the way, Jordan Farmar had an excellent game, including FOUR remarkable individual plays, in the Lakers’ much-easier-than-expected victory in Denver.  The Lakers now lead the Nuggets 3-0, and no team has ever blown a 3-0 lead in the NBA Playoffs.  Let’s hope the Lakers aren’t the first.

Below are 30 Cheerleader, Player, and Coach photos — Click on them to enlarge, mouse-over them for captions, and come back this week for lots more photos.  Okay guys, Katie, Brianna, and Elise took the day off, but don’t despair — they left you in EXCELLENT hands.

See?  I told you that you wouldn’t miss the Holy Trinity.

We were wondering if “bangs” were allowed (we’re glad they are).

Out on the Recruiting Trail.

“Real-life Barbie” would probably be more comfortable with the USC Song Girls.

I’ve never wanted TV Timeouts so bad (because they would’ve given the Spirit Squad more chances to perform).

There was definitely more “precision” on the sidelines than on the field.

“Stranding Ovation”  —  Geof is always in mid-season form.

DURING the Scrimmage, Neuheisel brought out the two injured Senior QB’s, and praised them in front of the crowd.

The O-Line in action?

Theriot!  Touchdown Bruins!  In April!  In the Rose Bowl!  (Hope they can get one on Labor Day)

Kevin Craft heaves up a Bakersfield Methane Ball.

Forcier (pronounced “FOR-see-ur,” NOT “FOR-see-A”) throws an Out pattern with some force.

This was actually a long COMPLETION for Osaar.

If the Refs allow Holding this year, Ramirez will have plenty of holes to run through.

Craft on a short drop, and someone nicked his arm.

Ketchum couldn’t make the catch in the end zone, but was there a good reason?

Hope Springs Eternal:  With Olson watching, the O-Line creates a solid wall for Forcier.

But no one looks cooler than Osaar throwing on the run.

Just a guess, but Norm’s probably saying that he’s got his work cut out for him.

Can Kevin Craft make an immediate impact as did Kevin Love?

Brian Price is really going to put the bite on the enemy this year.

This is the year that Everett will really make his Marc.

All’s well with Harwell.

Micah Reed — The Eagle has landed.

The Moline Brothers are more fun than Parker Brothers and Joyce Brothers combined.

Trevor Theriot — The first Bruin to score on Saturday Night.

Sadly, Pat won’t be scoring this year.  (Chow don’t have a Cowan, man)

Thanks to hard-working guys like Ekbatani, the O-Line will get a “thumbs up” by September.

The Future of UCLA Football is HERE;  The Future of UCLA’s Spirit Squad is still a few years away.


6 responses to “NEU KIDS ON THE BLOCK PARTY”

  1. Robert Avatar

    I was actually encouraged by what I saw on the field last night – granted, the QBs couldn’t be touched, however the mobility shown by Kraft and Forcier was breathtaking considering how battererd Olson and Cowan have been the last couple years. Also the offense did not commit too many mistakes on the field compared to last year or the year before on their Spring game. It was great to see so many people turn out for the game, it was awesome.

    Switching gears, now I know why in the past you posted so many individual shots of LISA, she is absolutely adorable! I took picures with MICHELLE, KRISTLE, LISA and KRISTIN and I must say how pleasant and classy these girls are, they not only are beautiful, but are also down to earth. They truly are great representatives of UCLA and we are so blessed to have them.

    By the way, I know KATIE =) is injured, but what happened with ELISE and BRIANNA, do you know why they weren’t there last night?

    [T-H’s Note: I don’t know why they were absent — I was just happy to see the Girls who WERE there. And I think it would be kind of insulting to ask them where the missing Girls were, as it could unintentionally imply “disappointment,” even though really it is just “concern.”]

  2. Dan Avatar

    Not to be RUDE but where’s the BRIANNA pics??? Please don’t let this happen again it just doesn’t make any sense…

    ooOOO!!! it’s sunday and you decided to give her a day off, that’s sweet of you! Well can’t wait to see tomorrows pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go UCLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Go BRIANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [T-H’s Note: Not to be rude, but if you had read the captions yesterday, you would have seen that Brianna wasn’t at the Scrimmage. Neither were (Dance Team Captain) Katie, or Elise. But that didn’t stop us from getting some of our best close-ups ever. By the way, if you were reading the captions, you would have seen that the last Brianna pic was posted especially for you]

  3. mike Avatar

    Not having Brianna displayed really makes a difference! It just doesn’t feel or look right. Losing LOVE was a tragedy but losing Brianna would be catastrophic…I’d quit being a BRUIN.

    Go UCLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And go Mr. T.H.

    WE LOVE YOUR PICS (especially of…)

  4. john Avatar

    Thanks for sharing the “holy trinity.” I’ve been waiting for another picture of KARA — she’s a classic beauty! What else do you have?

  5. jp Avatar

    haha…I think at the end of the day, we all just adore these girls. I think it’s normal we all have our favorites. Can’t wait for tomorrow. Although I’m sure if 3 of the girls don’t make it, I’m SURE all hell will break loose tomorrow!!!! You better brace yourself, t-h!

  6. K Avatar

    How was the venue? In recent years, they’ve used the track stadium, the practice field, the Cal State Fullerton stadium, and now the Rose Bowl (at night). Which one provides the best scrimmage environment?

    [T-H’s Answer: There is absolutely NO comparison. The Rose Bowl is the Granddaddy of them all, and there is nothing like actually being on the Internationally-famous field. There was a line of 30 people just waiting to take a photo standing next to the Rose Bowl Goalpost standard. That doesn’t happened at Drake Field (no offense to Ducky).

    It’s also a great chance for some people who can’t afford good seats to finally sit at the 50 yard line. My main problem (besides the ones I whined about in the article) was that it’s almost impossible to take good ACTION photos at night. Most photos I’ve seen on line, including my own, come out blurry. So I hope that they move the event earlier by about 7 hours, but I would be very disappointed if they stop using the Rose Bowl, as it wouldn’t be fair to people who would never have another chance to step onto that legendary field. By the way, Swap Meets and Mettalica concerts don’t count.]