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Booin' of the Bruins: Are These Real Fans or Just Front-Runners?

October 01, 1994

I would like to ask the people masquerading as UCLA fans at the Rose Bowl last Saturday for a favor. If you are unable to support the Bruins when they are struggling, please give your tickets to someone who can and watch the game at home, which is where many of you were on Jan. 1 after selling your tickets to Wisconsin fans.

The Wayne Cook you mercilessly booed off the field Saturday is the same Wayne Cook who last November courageously played with a bruised kidney to lead UCLA over USC and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Like you, I was disappointed and frustrated by UCLA's performance against Washington State. However, as long as the Bruins are on the field, I will give them my unqualified support. That is what being a fan is all about.

PAUL C. BAUDUCCO, Moorpark

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The remarkable innocence of jocks and their coaches continues to astound, the latest dramatic example being the reactions of Wayne Cook and Terry Donahue to the booing of Cook during the Washington State debacle.

Poor Terry couldn't even bring himself to address the issue. Cook, for his part, manfully admitted he "stunk," but rather than leaving it at that, the quarterback felt the need to unburden himself. "I don't want to lie," he went on, then enumerated the ways in which he was personally hurt by the booing, concluding with a heartfelt, "The hell with everybody."

I don't want to lie either, Wayne, so in the interest of furthering your education at a great university, I'd like to explain the principle of booing:

Since the fan invests his heart and pocketbook primarily in the team, not in particular members of it, he reserves the right to express his feelings about what's going on on the field. A particular player might be having a bad day and the coach chooses to leave him in the game. That player is likely to hear some boos. It's an American tradition.

CHARLES CHICCOA, Reseda

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Willa Hockett (Viewpoint, Sept. 24) suggests Terry Donahue should be fired, in part, because he has never recruited a black quarterback. Wrong. Bernard Quarles started two games for UCLA during the 1979 season and Bert Emanuel was the Bruins' third-string quarterback during the 1990 season. Both transferred to other schools when Tom Ramsey and Tommy Maddox, respectively, emerged as stars-to-be in their freshmen seasons.

Nevertheless, I must agree that Donahue should be axed immediately since my exhaustive research shows that he has never recruited a Jewish nose guard.

ROBERT M. STOCK, Calabasas

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