Thursday, May 26 , 2016, 4:43 pm | A Few Clouds 70º

She Said, Z Said: UCLA Fields Far More Than a Football Team

Bruins Nation includes Olympians, tailgate parties, cheerleaders ... and you get to drive your car on a golf course, too

By Leslie Dinaberg and Zak Klobucher, Noozhawk Columnists | @lesliedinaberg |

She: UCLA football games are way more fun than Harvard’s.

Z: You’ve never even been to a Harvard football game.

She: Hmmm. 80-degree weather with 50,000 people cheering or 8 degrees in the snow with five people shivering. Which would you choose?

Z: Harvard has some great rowing.

She: Last week’s UCLA game totally reminded me of what I like about football.

Z: The adrenaline? The pre-taped end zone dances? The men in tight pants?

She: Well, sure, but I’m talking more about the pre-game stuff.

Z: Ah, the tailgating.

She: Nothing wrong with a 10 a.m. beer, as long as you keep a nice steady pace all day. But the fun started even before that. I’ve never driven a golf course before.

Z: I’ve driven lots of fairways.

She: Sure but how many have you driven on in a Honda Accord?

Z: The Rose Bowl parking lot on the golf course was pretty fun.

She: Whee! It was my favorite ride of the day.

Z: It was pretty cool not having to stay on the cart path. In a Honda Accord.

She: I’m sure the golf course lot was much, much better than the elusive lot H.

Z: I hear that lot H of the Rose Bowl parking lot is paved with gold.

She: And UCLA cheerleaders cheer you back to your car after the game, as opposed to my dad’s car-finder app.

Z: Which worked surprisingly well. At least until we got to hole 15.

She: He hooked us up in the “Now, Then and Forever” varsity club tent, too.

Z: That was sweet. Where else can you get shade, free beer and free food? Not to mention Olympians and world record-holding sit-up champions.

She: You’re the only person I know who would meet an Olympic gymnast and ask her if she watched, Make it or Break it?

Z: How was I supposed to know they were British and Canadian Olympians? All NBC ever showed us was Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney.

She: That was pretty funny when our tailgate buddies showed up on the field at half time and were introduced as UCLA Olympians Danusia Francis and Peng Peng Lee. Until that I was secretly feeling sorry for them that they were 18 years old and all they had to show for their training were gymnastics scholarships to UCLA.

Z: I know.

She: Being a freshman in college is like being a senior citizen in the gymnastics world.

Z: I was really tempted to ask them if it sucked to have such a bad Olympic birthday.

She: And I was really tempted to ask Rafer Johnson if he was ever worried he might drop the Olympic torch.

Z: You should have asked him if he’d take you out on the field with him at half time.

She: No kidding. That was the only downside of the day. I thought I was finally, finally going to get on the football field this time. My father was a football coach for my entire childhood and every other kid in the world got to go down on the field except me and my sister. I thought Saturday was finally the day.

Z: Sorry, dude. Look on the bright side, we had a great time, we didn’t get sunburned and we met Olympians and Guinness World Record holders. Plus you got to brag to our son about the one thing UCLA does better than Harvard.

She: And we finally found our car again.

Z: That, too. It was a really fun day.

She: Totally. But there was one downside I almost forgot about.

Z: I wasn’t going to remind you that UCLA actually lost the game to Oregon State.

She: It’s still a better football school than Harvard.

Z: Yes, dear.

— Got a favorite tailgate party memory? Share your football follies with She and Z by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow She and Z on Twitter: @lesliedinaberg. Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns.

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