Thursday, March 30, 2006

Final Four!

The UCLA Bruins advance to the Final Four this weekend.

The last time UCLA advanced to the Final Four was in 1995.

Joe Bruin circa 1995
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Times sure have changed in the past 11 years . . .

Back in 1995, I was single, working my first job as a teacher, with time and money to spare.

So as UCLA wrapped up a victory in the Western Regional final against the University of Connecticut, thus advancing to the Final Four, my friends and I began to talk.

"Okay, if UCLA wins this game, we're going to Seattle (sight of the Final Four in 1995), right?"

It was a rhetorical question. None of us were married. We had no kids. No mortgages.

In short, absolutely no obligations.

Heck, most of us were still living in the same Westwood apartments in which we had graduated from UCLA.

So as soon as the UCLA's victory over UConn was complete, we put our plan into motion. We split up to our respective apartments to begin making calls (remember, no cells phones in 1995).

One of us secured plane tickets.

One of us secured hotel rooms.

Yet another person arranged for a rental car.

I was in charge of finding tickets to the game.

After some effort, I found five tickets through a ticket broker for $300 each -- that was for three games: the semi-final games on Saturday April 1, 1995, and the final game on Monday April 3, 1995.

Our $300 Nosebleed Seats
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The seats were horrible. Nosebleed City. But we were going to the Final Four!

All the flights from Los Angeles to Seattle were sold out. We secured plane tickets to Portland, Oregon.

All the hotel rooms in Seattle were booked. We found lodging at a "Comfort Inn" in Everett, Washington, about 30 miles north of Seattle.

We flew into Portland the morning of Saturday, April 1, 1995. We got our rental car (a minivan if I recall, because all the other cars were sold out), and drove the three hours to Seattle.

Our seats were horrible. Just about one step away from sitting on the roof. But we had a great time. UCLA ended up winning the whole thing, and we had a great time hanging out and partying in Seattle.

Back when we had money to burn, no kids, and no mortgages!
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Final score: UCLA 89, Arkansas 78

Go Bruins!
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U-C-L-A Fight! Fight! Fight!
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Fast forward 11 years.

UCLA is returning to the Final Four for the first time since 1995.

I did manage to get to the Regional Final this year in Oakland, to watch the Bruins defeat Gonzaga and Memphis.

Right after the game, I called one of my friends who travelled with me to Seattle in 1995.

"What'd 'ya think? Road trip to Indianapolis (Site of this years Final Four)."

I'll admit -- we thought about it -- for about five seconds.

But then we started thinking about:
  • Our kids.
  • Our mortgages.
  • Our kids.
  • Work.
  • Our kids.
Indianapolis is just too far, when you consider the cost of going to the game will pay for at least one month of house payments, not to mention other small items like: diapers, college savings accounts, and -- oh, yeah -- FOOD.

No, we'll be better off at home ordering a Costco pizza and rooting on the Bruins in front of the television.

Hopefully, though, in about five years, with the kids a little older, UCLA will be back in the Final Four, and then who knows?

Final Four? Who cares about the Final Four? We want peas and applesauce!
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Amy said...

I really kept waiting for my husband to surprise me with tickets. Just yesterday, I said, "So, can I completely quit entertaining the idea of somehow going to Indianapolis." He said, "I thought we covered that already." A girl can hope. We'll be at home, too. Good luck. But not really.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Nice win. Take it easy on poor Amy.

Amy said...

Congratulations on your massive victory. Now I hope they go all the way. I will be pulling for them :)