Campouts at Pauley

January 26, 2007 at 11:36 pm (Uncategorized)

As I was watching the brilliant UCLA Bruins beat the Bears last night, and revelling in the fact that we are ranked 2nd in the nation, I started recalling all of the wonderful memories I have of UCLA basketball games. The day before a big game against Arizona my freshman year, I walked by Pauley Pavillion and noticed a number of people in sleeping bags outside the entrance. They didn’t look homeless, and definitely seemed as though they were enjoying themselves immensely. I quickly learned that there was a system for sitting in the front row of UCLA basketball games invoving spending one, two, or three nights (and days) outside the doors of Pauley until they handed out the priority passes at 6am the morning of the game. My friends thought I was crazy, but I ran to my dorm room, grabbed my sleeping bag, pad, and homework, and headed back to the camping party. My first basketball campout ended up being one of many, many nights I spent sleeping on the concrete with a couple hundred other student fans. We did cheers at midnight, listened to Wagner give speeches, watched Hoosiers one too many times, and delighted in the knowledge that we were devoted enough fans to forego our beds to eat, study, and sleep at Pauley. Games were always worth it, and Jason Kapono and Earl Watson made for some exciting last second, game winning shots that easily validated an entire season worth of campouts. The Bruins were decent, and definitely had spectacular moments while I was in school there from 2000-2004. I’m quite jealous of Bruins who are attending UCLA right now. I can’t imagine if we had had a season like UCLA is having now, if every game was a win, and no win was a surprise. Some of my fondest memories and best friends in college are from campouts at Pauley.

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