In this blogger's humble opinion, this is the Most Beloved Bruin. Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

UCLA Athletics history, March Madness Style: “The Most Beloved Bruin”

Since our UCLA Men’s Basketball squad has been doing terribly as of late, and since there probably won’t be much to talk about for Bruins faithful in the month of March — dammit, Ben Howland — we here at Go Joe Bruin decided it’d be fun to have a little tournament of your favorite UCLA Bruins as it pertains to athletics.

Of course, the alarming buzzing sound you hear in your brain is telling you this isn’t a good idea — relax. This is not about finding out who the best Bruin is. It’s common knowledge that all Bruins are still Bruins, and there is no varying degree of “Bruinness” between them. (Although John Wooden and Jackie Robinson are totally more Bruin than I am.)

Instead, it’s just a fun way to gauge just which one of our UCLA alum in the field of athletics is the most commonly favorite Bruin.

We’ve had a lot of UCLA athletes and coaches come and go, so it only makes sense to have a fun way to find out which of our Bruins gets love from the most people (even though we love all Bruins, as I have to keep emphasizing).

Of course, there are going to be 64 UCLA Athletics figures, and not all of them will make it.

Here are the Automatic Qualifiers, in no particular order:

  • John Wooden, greatest coach in the history of sports, be it professional or collegiate.
  • Jackie Robinson, baseball player and MLB barrier breaker.
  • Troy Aikman, arguably the best QB UCLA has ever had and NFL Hall of Famer.
  • Reggie Miller, soon-to-be NBA Hall of Famer.
  • Arthur Ashe, member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic gold medalist many times over in track and field.
  • Michelle Kwan, world champion figure skater.
  • Bill Walton, NBA Hall of Famer
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), record for most points accumulated in an NBA career.

Of course, the fact that these guys got in says nothing about the others that aren’t. Everything I do is arbitrary, because, hey, if I could do it objectively, I would.

That said, there are 55 spots left to fill this bracket. We know how lazy our readers are sometimes (because, hell, I’m a lazy blogger), but we encourage you to nominate anyone and everyone you feel belongs on this list. If you don’t, we won’t know who you love.

So what’re you waiting for? Comment. Nominate your favorite UCLA Bruins through March 1!

Tags: Arthur Ashe Bill Walton Jackie Robinson Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Michelle Kwan Reggie Miller The Most Beloved Bruin Troy Aikman UCLA UCLA Bruins

  • USMale7

    Oh man, this is a tough one; IF you leave out coaches. Otherwise, the stellar cast has to include Rafer Johnson and CK Yang, Kenny Easley, Jimmy Connors, Wendell Tyler, Gary Beban (our only Heisman), Eric Karros, Gail Goodrich (from my HS alama mater), Walt Hazzard, Bob Waterfield, Karch Kiraly, Billy Kilmer, Kenny Washington the Jackie Robinson of the NFL; Keith Wilkes, Ed O’Bannon, Sidney Wicks, Ann Meyers, Marques Johnson, Evelyn Ashford, Willie Banks, Kermit Alexander, Freeman McNeil, Mel Farr Sr., Mitch Gaylord, Sinjin Smith. There are many, many more. Keep it easy if you include the coaches. It’s Wooden’s school with Al Scates, Ducky Drake, Tommy Prothro, Red Sanders, Terry Donahue, Jim Bush among other luminaries.

    • carlosatUCLA

      @USMale7 Wow … I told you, there are literally hundreds more. Too many to choose from…

  • quinalty

    Lisa Fernandez, Florence Griffith Joyner, Ato Boldon, Tyus Edney, Chase Utley, Troy Glaus, Jordan Farmar, Sigi Schmid, Cobi Jones, and Arthur Ashe.

    • carlosatUCLA

      @quinalty Aww, NICE LIST. Duly noted. MORE NOMINEES.