This year’s spring football game focused more on the fans. The coaching staff pulled some fans out of the crowd and had them participate in simple football drills, getting the opportunity to meet and play with some of the team. After the game, certain players and Head Coach Jim Mora stayed on the field to sign autographs. Watch the clip above for highlights.
You may still be recovering from the UCLA basketball team loss (there’s always next year?), but don’t forget there are plenty of other sports currently in season. Check out the list below for upcoming games at UCLA. Don’t care about sports? Well, there are other kinds of games you can watch … like, say, the new “Game of Thrones” season. Check back with us next week for a post about the “Game of Thrones” fandom at UCLA.
Whether you’re a football fanatic or just eager to see the halftime show (read: The Beyonce Show) and commercials, there’s plenty of places to go in Westwood to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday. Here’s a list of restaurants and bars where you can gather with your friends to watch the big game and take a study break from midterms.
1037 Broxton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
For a $5 entry fee you’ll get to watch the game on a huge big-screen television with food and drinks provided. Also there will even be a pregame party an explanation of how the game of football works for first timers. You must register through the site to participate.
Napa Valley Grille
1100 Glendon Ave., Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90024
He now stands sentry outside Pauley Pavilion with his trademark game program in hand, looking up toward the Hill, casting a glare on all of us coming down Bruin Walk. If John Wooden were still with us today, he might look just as displeased, wondering why anyone would think to make a statue of him.
“He’s probably shaking his head going ‘Oh, I don’t deserve this,’” said Nan, Wooden’s daughter, after the unveiling. “And I would say to him, ‘Well, it’s hard to be humble, Daddy, but you can do it.’”
The unveiling of the statue of the legendary coach came Friday afternoon outside the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion. The day included speeches from Chancellor Gene Block, USAC President David Bocarsly, booster Jim Collins (the main benefactor for the statue along with his wife, Carol), Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, and Nan and Jim Wooden. Hall of Fame basketball player Ann Meyers Drysdale served as master of ceremonies.
Each shared their favorite stories of Coach, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 99. Meyers Drysdale refers to him as “Pop Pop” to this day. Bocarsly still has collections of Wooden autographs he got from going to UCLA basketball games growing up. Jim Collins, a longtime executive with the restaurant chain Sizzler, told of Wooden sitting on Sizzler’s board of directors for nine years, never missing a meeting.
As far as the statue goes, it’s a sharp representation of the man who hung 10 NCAA championship banners in Westwood. Sculptor Blair Buswell pored over scores of photos trying to capture his likeness in three dimensions. One in particular stuck out: a shot from one of Wooden’s final games coaching with him in a plaid jacket, sitting down and sporting a confident and intense look before a game.
“I loved the expression,” Buswell said. “I thought, if I can capture that, I’ve got it.”
Wooden’s quotes are oft-repeated and still serve as inspiration to many. One quote was inscribed on the nameplate: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
His humility was a trademark of UCLA teams during his reign as coach from 1948-75 and was fondly remembered.
“He would have been against (the statue), unless his whole team could be out there,” grandson Greg said.
In fact, a statue of Wooden was erected earlier this year in Indiana, his home state and where he played college basketball. That one depicted him kneeling in a huddle with his team.
Guerrero said that a statue of Wooden was never mentioned while the coach was alive (Greg said he knew UCLA never asked because his grandfather would have vetoed the idea), but was immediately commissioned once the plans for renovations of Pauley Pavilion were finalized. Wooden was a lifelong fan of baseball, the sport Guerrero played for UCLA when he was a student-athlete in the 1970′s. Their relationship started back then, with Wooden often dropping by to watch the baseball team practice, and lasted until the day Wooden died.
“Everyone wanted to be a little bit better when they knew coach Wooden was in the stands,” said Guerrero.
Maybe when we walk by Coach on the way to class, we’ll be a little better as well.