UCLA’s delusions of grandeur — the football monopoly in Los Angeles is not, in fact, over — have gone a full 180 degrees this week. After a pair of embarrassing defeats to BYU and Arizona, UCLA now finds itself begging for visiting fans to put their butts in historic Rose Bowl seats.
UCLA’s marketing wing (via THE WIZ OF ODDS) has placed radio and print ads in Fresno this week urging Fresno State fans to “say they were there” and buy tickets to the game between the schools. Consider linebacker Reggie Carter displeased:
“They were inviting Fresno fans to the game? I guess they want as many people there as possible. I guess the more the better. Hey, bring whoever you want. I’m going to play the same regardless.”
As usual, lawyerly coach Rick Neuheisel is pleading ignorant about what happened: “Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel said he was not aware of the ads until he was asked about it after Wednesday’s practice, and several players shook their heads in disbelief when the topic was broached.”
The LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS has a transcript of the radio ad that begins: “Bulldog fans. Don’t miss your chance to see history. The Bulldogs are ranked in the Top 25 and heading south this weekend looking for their first-ever win at the Rose Bowl against the Bruins of UCLA.”
UCLA’s at least being honest saying this is a cash grab, but it only adds to the clumsy UCLA football mystique while frustrating the fans and players. In my eyes, this does more long-term harm than good, adding to the program’s apparent mentality that it’s not really serious about high level football and willing to embarrass itself in order to pay the rent.