Many of life’s endeavors reach a psychological end in advance of their formal conclusion. Take romance, for example! (If you must know, I do consider myself a master of the fleshly arts. As does your mom.) Long before a woman actually breaks up with you, there’s a winding-down period in which your emails go unanswered, your teddy bear bouquets are returned, and you’re forced to watch the object of your affections make out with some total dickhead at The Edison that night when she claimed to be hanging out with her aunt but you didn’t believe her so you followed her around and spied on her from a distance. All I asked for was a little honesty! Damn… chicks can be devastating, man. Let’s go shoot pool or something.
Sorry, where was I going with this?
Oh right: endings. My point is, relationships are over before they’re OVER over, you know? Same with certain pop songs. The Smiths’ classic teen anthem “Panic” clocks in officially at 2:18 in running time, but the last 45 seconds are just “Hang the DJ” over and over again. Why the drawn-out repetition? Was Morrissey just filling time because it’d be stupid to have a song that’s barely 90 seconds? Or is it a metaphor for the numbing cycle of failure in my dating life? I asked Morrissey himself when he was at my place watching soccer* earlier today, and he said the answer to both questions is yes.
(* = total lie. Morrissey and I don’t actually watch soccer together. We just drink and play Assassin’s Creed, which he sucks at by the way.)
Also: summer. Pretty good season, right? It’s easily in my top four. But for emotional and not-wearing-white purposes, it ends with Labor Day weekend, even though in astronomical terms it doesn’t end until substantially later. Not until November, I think. (What am I, a weather man? Go look it up. Oh you do too have time… you’re already reading Bru Velvet, so clearly your free time isn’t some rare and precious commodity.)
Anyhoo, somewhat along these lines, UCLA’s football season ended last Saturday with a 24-10 nutrolling by the Oregon Ducks. The season isn’t over in a technical, legally binding sense; there are games remaining on the schedule, and sources tell me the school’s going to sell tickets for them and whatnot. The marching band needs something to do, I guess. But the season’s very much done, in that the team has conclusively demonstrated itself to be bad, boring and nothing you should pay attention to unless you have a mental illness compelling you to watch anyone do anything so long as they’re doing it clothed in apparel imprinted with the letters UCLA. *raises hand*
Yep, the Bruins have expertly be-suckified another football season. Don’t get me wrong… it’s not some pants-shitting surprise that they lost to Oregon. That happens every year around this time. The many ways UCLA went about losing, however, vacuumed Bruin fans clean of whatever hope existed for the current season. All the Greatest Hits of Bruin Incompetence were on display, including many of your old favorites:
• Allowing 100-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns!
• Lazily thrown out patterns picked off and taken to the house!
• A first-and-goal possession at the opponent’s two-yard line that results in exactly zero points!
• Injuries to key defensive players, assuring even worse beatdowns in weeks to come!
Saturday made clear that the UCLA program is still a good recruiting class away, maybe two or three, from threatening the conference nobility. They’ve sunk to a very unsexy ninth place in the Pac-10 standings, a blighted and crime-ridden neighborhood I refer to as “Washington State Adjacent.”
So, nothing new under the sun and all that, but I must insist on asking: how is it possible that UCLA suffers a seemingly permanent talent deficit relative to motherfucking OREGON? Oregon isn’t even a real state. I’m not kidding… secret government documents obtained exclusively by Bru Velvet reveal that Oregon never legally joined the Union on account of its being a ridiculous, uncivilized backwater. The Lewis and Clark expedition is actually still there, trying to map the interior and exterminate godless natives. There might even still be dinosaurs stalking the land.
Maybe someday the Bruins will scrape together enough decent players from its puny L.A. recruiting base to compete with the fabled Eugene talent pipeline. In the meantime, I’m off to identify and expose the drank-addled coach who included UCLA in his latest top 25 ballot. Dude, what an ass! Whoever it was needs to be sealed in an oil drum and kicked into a river.
(Authorial postscript: the U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently promulgated rules requiring bloggers to disclose any cash or in-kind payments received in return for endorsing a business. With that in mind, I assure everyone reading this that I have received no such cash or payment from The Edison in connection with this column. Not that I couldn’t use it, ahem! In fact, I will happily endorse any product and compromise my integrity and the integrity of Bru Velvet, such as they both are, in return for shockingly meager compensation, which if you like can take the form of leftover fried chicken.)
(Authorial postscript II: Shit, the FTC just called. I also have to disclose that my editor Matt Sussman gets paid 10 grand and a bottle of delicious Crown Royal whenever you click one of the Amazon links on this page. So GET TO CLICKING, FLUNKIES.)