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UCLA Football Points and Laughs at the SEC

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Here at Bru Velvet world headquarters, we get torrential amounts of email. Many of the messages we receive are hawking OxyContin from Central America or pills to help me gratify ladies in the bedroom; these are the ones I attend to personally, and my staff of interns has standing instructions to print them out for my immediate consideration.

Most other emails, which tend to be from university presidents offering me sickening amounts of money to work as their athletic directors, get an auto-generated “no thank you” response, often including a hilarious photo of a disapproving bunny. Hey, I’m a busy guy! Those Doctor Who episodes aren’t gonna watch themselves.

Following UCLA’s stunning road upset of Tennessee this past Saturday, a somewhat different mix of correspondence has been pouring in. In many cases I’ve heard from prominent figures in the college football world, whose requests that I keep their names and missives confidential I’ve decided to ignore. What are they going to do, send a squad of lethal assassins after me? It’s widely known that Internet columnists wield unchecked power and rule the sports industry like genocidal Serbian war-criminals. No one’s about to mess with yours truly.

So please, enjoy this glimpse behind the scenes of a glamorous “Internet Web Blog.” I assure you that none of the emails reprinted below have been invented to serve as a column gimmick. If necessary, official Bru Velvet fact-checker Stephen Glass will testify to this under oath.

Dear Mr. Fishmore: Holy crap! UCLA beat Tennessee in Knoxville?!? Does this mean that the Bruins are better than every team in the SEC and that if I win another national title this year, it will be a tainted honor because I didn’t have UCLA on my schedule? Halps! ~Urban Meyer of Gainesville, Florida

Yes, I’m afraid that’s exactly what it means, Coach Meyer. That UCLA would go undefeated in the SEC is now a received fact and will remain so even if the Bruins go 4-5 in Pac-10 play. Florida might go undefeated and win the BCS title game, but history will long remember that you didn’t have to face this mighty edition of Bruin football. You should have thought of that before you refused to play UCLA, in that famous schedule-dodging incident I just made up.

Dere FisHMORe GUy: I r BAD at Teh quaRTerbakKiNg. i can Haz job at bRu vELVET iNsTed? ~jOnatHAn crOMPTOn in biG TENNesEEe STAyT
I’m not sure that’s such a great idea, Jonathan. Your propensity to throw interceptions at the worst possible time has brought me considerable joy this past year, but it also indicates an inability to ascend learning curves at a rate normal for adults. I recommend a career in which substandard performance is willfully overlooked or, when too obvious to ignore, tolerated indefinitely. Maybe the L.A. public school system is hiring?

Dear Mr. Fishmore: Is your name really Dexter Fishmore? It sounds kinda made up. ~Chad Farthouse of Mianus, Connecticut

Of course it’s my real name; I’m a little hurt that you’d insinuate otherwise. If you’re pissed off that your name isn’t as cool, I suggest complaining to your parents or the Witness Protection staff who crafted your current identity.

Drfm Tmph Dcmrpcg, gurgle fhbs rrumbt malncth quzngh plotsr thrungll? ~Kwewann Pwinth

(Let me explain: this arrived from the email account of Kevin Prince, the UCLA quarterback whose jaw has been wired shut after he injured it against Tennessee.)

First of all, Kevin, you should stop using voice-recognition software to draft emails, at least until your jaw heals. If you can handle the Vols’ D, you can deal with a QWERTY keyboard.

Second, wear your mouthguard next time! It’s there for a reason. Remember: safety first, kids. Unless safety means not picking up that crucial first down, in which case safety is most definitely second.

Finally, in response to your question, Kevin, my favorite Whit Stillman film is The Last Days of Disco. I recommend buying the recently issued Criterion Collection DVD. The commentary tracks are most enlightening.

Wait, Kevin’s injured?! Does this mean it’s my turn to start? Any chance I’ll get to stay QB1 even after he’s back? ~Richard Brehaut in Westwood, California

Yes, yes and yes are the answers.

Richard, for those who don’t know, is a true freshman who, like USC starter Matt Barkley, was an elite high-school recruit and who, like Barkley, enrolled in college early last spring. All indications are that he will start this Saturday in the Rose Bowl against Kansas State, and Neuheisel has not ruled out the possibility of his keeping the gig even after Prince is healthy again.

Which is exactly the right posture for Neuheisel to take. Nobody wants to see Prince, who’s performed well in the first two games of his career, get buried on the depth chart because of injury, but rebuilding programs don’t get to be sentimental about such things. The best players need to be on the field regardless of how they got there. If Brehaut rips it up against KSU and Stanford, he will keep the job, and we’ll all have to learn how to pronounce “Brehaut.”

Dear Monsieur Fishmore: I find American football to be violent, primitive and in violation of the League of Nations charter. Please advise on the progress of UCLA teams in other sporting entertainments. ~Some European Somewhere
But of course! Anything for my readers.

Bruin squads are spreading destruction all over the place these days. The women’s volleyball team is ranked fifth in the country and recently notched a historic road upset against Nebraska. Over 13,000 fans were in attendance, setting an NCAA record for regular-season women’s volleyball, and the victory snapped Nebraska’s record 90-match home winning streak. Tasty!

The soccer season is under way as well, and the UCLA men are ranked sixth nationally in the Soccer America poll. On September 4th, they rang up a 2-0 road upset of then-top ranked Maryland. The UCLA women are ranked fifth by Soccer America and have won four in a row.

Bruins men’s water polo is undefeated and ranked fourth. The women’s water polo team isn’t in season but deserves mention because they’re an unstoppable behemoth. Last May, they won their fifth consecutive national championship. (Freshman year at UCLA, my dorm room overlooked the pool where the water polo teams practice, which meant they always woke me up at some traumatically early hour. Hmm. Now that I’m remembering this, the water polo teams can go fuck themselves.)

I guess that pretty much clears the ol’ BV mailbag. I hope you’ve enjoyed–… wait, another email just hit. Let me see what this is about.

Dear Dexter: Karl Dorrell has added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Karl in order for you to be friends. Thanks, The Facebook Team

Goddamn it. How many times do I have to ignore this guy before he takes the hint?

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