Top 25 Reasons to Root for the UCLA Bruins Football Team

Yahoo Contributor Network

Even though the National Football League owns the rights to the catchphrase, "Are you ready for some football?," the same words can be asked of the many fans of the UCLA Bruins football team.

In anticipation of the new season starting Aug. 30, doff your fave blue and gold apparel and take a look at the following 25 reasons why you do -- and should -- love the sons of Westwood:

1. A rose by any other name still isn't the Rose Bowl: The Bruins play their first home game on Sept. 8 versus Nebraska at this world-famous venue.

2. Mora! Mora! Mora!: We'll finally get to see Jim Mora in action in his first season as the Bruins' head coach.

3. No bellyaching from these football players: MVP quarterback (and former head coach) Rick Neuheisel overcame food poisoning to lead UCLA to a 45-9 victory against Illinois in the Rose Bowl in his final game as a Bruin.

4. Star sightings: Celebrities' kids are rife around Los Angeles, and the Bruins are no different, as the son of Sean "Diddy" Combs shows up as a freshman recruit on the team roster.

5. Famous Alum: Former UCLA and NFL football standout Jonathan Ogden has been selecked to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame. He is the 14th Bruin to be selecked.

6. Very important cross-town rivalry record (1991-1995): When my twin brother and I were both attending college concurrently at USC (him) and UCLA (me), the Bruins won every single game they played against each other those four years.

7. A tradition of success: UCLA was recognized by the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Conference as the No. 1 overall Collegiate Athletic Program of the 20th Century. UCLA continues to lead the nation in NCAA titles, winning 108 at the end of the 2011 calendar year.

8. Power of Three: UCLA is the only university to produce an NFL player (Ken Norton, Jr.) who has helped his team win three consecutive Super Bowls.

9. QB Power: UCLA is the only university to produce the first quarterback (Troy Aikman) to win three Super Bowls in four years.

10. Super, Super Bowl Feeder Program: At least one Bruin has been on a team roster in 29 of the last 32 Super Bowls.

11. Pre-season Honors, Part 1:

Punter Jeff Locke named to the Watch List for the Ray Guy Award.

12. Pre-season Honors, Part 2:

Running back Johnathan Franklin is on the Watch List for the Maxwell Award.

13. New Years Hangover?:

UCLA has taken the field for the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl game an even 12 times.

14. Kindness Counts:

UCLA football players Jeff Baca and Johnathan Franklin visit children every week at Mattel Children's Hospital located on the UCLA campus.

15. Pre-party panache: Tailgating scene at the Rose Bowl is amazing!

16. Wish they all could be "California Girls"?

Well, most of the females are at UCLA home games, owing to in-state tuition.

17. Bear Wear:

Check out the most awesome shirts, jackets and sweatshirts to display your Bruin school spirit!

18. Traditional 8-Clap: This cheer is an easy way to show school spirit and not spill your beer.

19. The Victory Bell:

Second only to the Liberty Bell in many Bruins' minds, this symbol of victory is given to whichever team wins the Crosstown Rivalry.

20. Good-bye "pistol" offense:

This gimmicky offense that former coach Rick Neuheisel tried to install is gone, so the game is about to get interesting.

21. Someday My Prince Will Come (and he won't be injured):

Starting QB Kevin Prince had his jaw broken in a game versus Tennessee and played the final two snaps of the game.

22. Top Doc:

Dr. Gerald Finerman, MD, the Head Physician for the UCLA Athletic Program, which includes the football team, was the dad of a classmate of mine in high school.

23. Equal Opportunity Mascots:

UCLA has two mascots, Joe and Josephine Bruin. Josephine came on board in 1967.

24. Even our Mascots are Winners:

Joe Bruin has been on the final team for the Capitol One Bowl National Mascot of the Year team four times: 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

25. Blue & Gold:

Our team colors never fail to remind me of the color of the ocean and the promise of opportunity that can be found in the Golden State.

Sources:

http://www.uclabruins.com/

http://www.uclahistoryproject.ucla.edu/Traditions/

Deborah Muller attended UCLA from 1991 - 1995 and sat through almost every single Bruin Football home game. She even refused a Wisconsin Badger fan his $500 offer for her tickets to the 1994 Rose Bowl, which the Bruins went on to lose. But oh the memories.

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