Retired broadcaster Bill Walton was, of course, a pretty good player at UCLA and he served as an honorary captain at the Bruins' final game at Oregon's Mac Court last night.
Events like these call for some reminiscing, and Walton delivered on cue. The Oregonian asked about UCLA's stunning back-to-back losses in the state of Oregon in 1974, the year the 88-game winning streak was ended.
Walton cringed when the subject was brought up, then unleashed a string of hyperbole that only Walton could muster.
"Our world had fallen apart. … we look back at those with embarrassment and shame, dismay, that we did not get the job done," Walton said, wearing his original UCLA letterman's jacket. "I will forever have that stain, that stigma on my soul. I’m looking for salvation. I'm looking for some way to rinse it off, but it just won’t go away."
Wow. Back then in the John Wooden era, it was the first time in eight years the Bruins had lost back-to-back games, earning them a Sports Illustrated cover and the headline, "UCLA's Lost Weekend."
Walton only suffered four losses during his UCLA career, so you can only imagine how he feels watching this year's 9-11 UCLA team, which lost in overtime to Oregon and now heads to Corvallis to take on an Oregon State team that just beat USC.