Saturday, April 01, 2006

UCLA "Faces" The Music In The Final Four

Photo: MIKE WINTERS/daily bruin senior staff - UCLA coach Ben Howland has an 8-4 career record in the NCAA Tournament in five appearances with three different programs.

We wish UCLA well against LSU today in the Final Four.

While watching the game I will be watching for the faces that exude the best of what it means to have an Ugly Sports Face. We have seen them throughout our viewing of sporting contests, however, they are never better than when everything is on the line.

This from the Washington Post -

The Ugly Sports Face: We're So Not Ready For Primal Time
Hank Stuever
Washington Post Staff WriterSaturday, April 1, 2006; Page C01

Feel like a winner? Then, please, make a face like the Devil's: Bare your teeth and open your mouth in a triumphant, testosteronic "Yeahrarrrgh!" Squint your eyes and furrow your brow with the cruel, overbearing certainty of your complete dominance. Be Mel Gibson in "Braveheart" and Howard Dean in Iowa and Ozzy Osbourne in 1981 all at once. Clench your fists and punch the air. Let the world see your best Ugly Sports Face.
Ugly Sports Face (USF) should not be included among the freeze-frame oofs and grimaces captured when the ball is in play, when an athlete has no control over what his face might be doing. We all understand the exertion there, in midair or mid-catch or mid-tackle or mid-serve; getting or giving the punch, coming into the final lap, colliding with the catcher at home. Those are moments of pure intensity, and in many obvious ways, they are beautiful contortions. The twisted masks that are athlete's faces only begin to hint at what kind of intensity it takes to play the game.
Rather, USF comes after the score. It is a phenomenon of end zones and victory laps, when an athlete is more in control of the face he shows the world -- the swish of a three-pointer, or the overtime squeaker, the winning difference of milliseconds.
But what is more commonly seen in all competitions, in young men and women, even at chess tournaments, is Ugly Sports Face. Every last person is now a gladiator. The Beast has been loosed -- forget the Gatorade; get the holy water. That young man at the dinner table who manages to catch the olive tossed by his father at his mouth -- even he entitles himself to some USF.
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I pray for many USF opportunities in this coming political year. USF for our efforts in Iraq - USF for a fence on our borders - USF for the defeat of Rob Reiner's Proposition 82 and etc!!

Maxine wishes one and all USF opportunities, especially for UCLA as it plays LSU today.

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