Dante Moore, not Martin… come on, how can you get that wrong?

Expand full comment

By being a huge wrestling fan who has talked a bunch about Dante Martin in recent weeks and not much of any about Dante Moore, obviously.

Expand full comment

The lack of a spring game feels like a self fulfilling prophecy for the apathy surrounding the football program. They don't care about the product which leads to fans not caring about the product which leads them investing less into the product while extracting what value the product has (which is a bloated number from the mythical "CFB LA Market" which you can say exists but it exists because of transplants coming in with prior allegiances).

I'm not excited to go to home games once the B10 era starts, the home crowd will be outnumbered the first eight years (or whenever the first cycle of pod play ends) because of the lack of meaningful engagement and willingness to create something worth dragging our asses out to Pasadena for.

Look at the before/afters of the crowd for Colorado's spring game. They're creating something, granted it's all based on hype at the moment, that people want to participate in.

UCLA football is becoming the equivalent of the traveling roadshow Yankees from Interstellar except we don't leave LA and if you think we're the Yankees in this scenario then pass the blunt because we're the Washington Generals, for the likes of OSU, Mich, MSU, PSU, Wisc to beat the money out of the pinata of road ticket sales in a city where a lot of their graduates move to (see Rutgers, NYC's college football team).

Expand full comment

..yeah, but The Kellster's ol' catering biz is a real barn burner. Here's the October 27, 2020 LAT exposé of the beyond-obscene grub being fed to the FB team. Not that I don't think athletes should be nourished, it was, at the time covering a program whose cumulative record was 7-17.


Here's a quote from the article:

"Kelly started providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for his players, using UCLA Catering & Conference Services most often. During four months starting in July 2018, for example, the program spent $2.2 million on meals. The price per head ranged from $40 to $53 a meal, according to invoices reviewed by The Times, plus occasional late-evening snacks at $29 a person. The meals were usually catered for 170 people, and the bills included $50 fees for renting umbrellas.

"Players also received prepared meals to take home on weekends. One frequently used outside caterer charged $15.99 each for to-go meals, providing entrees such as free-range turkey skillet and grilled grass-fed steak, according to invoices from the summer of 2018."

..from the pics of Kelly, it looks like he was siphoning a goodly portion of the grass-fed long horn steer haunches for himself!

Expand full comment

In re Men's VB:

"Anyway, with the #1 overall seed, UCLA earned a bye into the semifinal round of the NCAA Tournament. I’m guessing it speaks to the relative lack of men’s volleyball teams in the country that the men’s tournament bracket only consists of seven teams while the women’s bracket is 64 teams deep. Either way, UCLA has a pretty straight shot at winning National Title #121; they’ll face the winner of Long Beach State and Grand Canyon on Thursday, May 4, and a victory puts them in the championship game on May 6."

The NCAA bracket (such as it is) can be seen here:


It's a PDF and more lucid than the "interactive bracket".

Expand full comment

Let me add that the Women's Beach Volleyball team (and it's either the worst thing for me or the greatest thing for me that this program didn't exist when I was as student) also secured the #1 seed going into their post season tourney. UCLA = #VolleyballU!!!

The 17 team tournament starts on 5/5 and is held in Gulf Shores Alabama (why???), and the Bruins kick off against the winner of the play-in between UT Martin and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The quarters and semis are the following day and the championship will be on 5/7.

You can see the bracket and game times here: https://www.ncaa.com/brackets/beach-volleyball/nc/2023

Go Bruins!!

Expand full comment

Hiya Greg! To answer your question, the sand at Gulf Shores is wonderful, although the courts play differently than a typical west coast beach court. I’d compare it to the difference between playing football on grass and turf.

I’m definitely not a fan of fixed sites for NCAA tournaments. The competitive advantage to teams that are playing close to home & in familiar surroundings is significant, as we’ve all seen in particular with softball.

That said, these championships are not huge profit engines for the NCAA like football and men’s basketball are. Having fixed sites is economical, especially with tournaments like baseball & softball that require extensive facilities. I believe these tournaments could be hosted elsewhere at a reasonable cost, but it’s clear that the NCAA isn’t motivated to move away from its fixed site model.

Our beach volleyball team has a really nicely balanced squad. If the players can adapt their game to the conditions at Gulf Shores, they have a very good shot at the title. I still believe our strongest title contender is our men’s volleyball team though. They have been very impressive in closing out the regular season and crushing opponents in the conference tournament. We play Long Beach State on Thursday for a place in the championship final.


Expand full comment

NCAA Men’s Volleyball Semifinal 1: UCLA vs Long Beach State

Set 1: UCLA 25, LBSU 16

The Bruins established an early 4 point lead and never allowed LBSU to make a run. The Bruins pulled away behind some outstanding serving, scrappy defense, and smart attacking decisions. UCLA looks very confident but LBSU played a disappointing first set and will likely provide a stiffer test in set 2.

Expand full comment

Set 2: UCLA 25, LBSU 14

LBSU continued to struggle to run its offense, primarily because the Bruins are applying so much pressure with their serve. But LBSU cleaned up its block in set 2 which kept them in touch early. Then UCLA turned up the intensity and jumped to a comfortable 8 point lead which later increased to double digits. The Bruins are playing superbly while LBSU is subpar. Unless LBSU wakes up, this match will be over very soon.

Expand full comment

Set 3: UCLA 25, LBSU 19

LBSU starts set 3 with a service error but immediately fires back with its best offense of the day. But the Beach has no answer for the Bruins’ offense, and only keeps pace early with a couple scrappy attacks.

LBSU is finally playing well, but so far it’s only keeping them in touch with the Bruins. UCLA keeps inching further ahead; up 4 after 3 straight kills by Rowan, the UCLA setter, and then up 5, 15-10, at the timeout.

LBSU fights back behind a string of strong serves. But UCLA recovers after a timeout and trades points with the Beach to reach 20 first with a 3 point cushion.

The Bruins then close out the set (and match!) confidently. UCLA sweeps Long Beach State to advance to the National Championship against the winner of semifinal 2 between Penn State and Hawai’i.

Expand full comment

It would be extremely difficult to pick an outstanding player from the semifinal. This squad is a true team with each player knowing and performing their roles; it’s a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. That said, freshman setter Andrew Rowan is so steady and smart in his quarterbacking of the UCLA attack, it’s hard not to see his contribution as the key to UCLA’s success today.

This UCLA team is such a joy to watch. I hope Bruins fans will tune in for the final.


Expand full comment

To view a full match replay,


To view the match highlights,


Expand full comment