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Bruins party in Newport Beach

From The Sports Desk

June 09, 2011|By Steve Virgen

I asked him if he was at the event to dance when Flashback Heart Attack started to belt out hits from the 80s.

"You're going to dance with me?" he asked me, jokingly, I hope.

We had a good laugh.

It's not like I didn't know anyone at the event, and besides I was there to meet people. People like the members of Flashback Heart Attack are good people. They said they love playing events like the one in Newport Beach because early in the evening it may seem the rich folk are stuffy, but later in the night they party like everyone else.

They were right. Flashback Heart Attack, who are at The Harp Friday night, played at the event last year. They were so good, they were asked back. And, once again Neuheisel got on stage to play guitar and sing with them.

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It looked like everyone was having a good time, even a couple of Bulldogs. Bernard Berrian, also of Fresno State, was in attendance. It's not as if he's busy since the NFL is amid a lockout and he doesn't need to be with the Minnesota Vikings anytime soon. But don't ask me why he was there.

There were more friendly faces in attendance. I saw Terry Smith, whose daughter Madie Smith (Corona del Mar High) plays volleyball at UCLA. John Ursini of Newport Rib Co. and Patrick Senske, a Corona del Mar High parent and Daily Pilot Cup coach, were also there, as was Eric Lohman, who played golf at UCLA and is the director of golf at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine.

Yes, the big names were there, too. In addition to McNown, Barnes, Howland and Neuheisel, Rafer Johnson, Jamaal Wilkes, Tyus Edney, Terry Donahue and Sinjin Smith were there among others.

"I love Orange County," Howland said. "We have the Ware twins [David and Travis] coming in and they are from Orange County [Huntington Beach] … There is support here not only in terms for supporters but in terms of recruiting."

Saywitz said he wasn't sure if he'll continue to be the host of the event. He just wanted to enjoy the 2011 edition. He noticed the former UCLA athletes who were at the event last year came back again, because they had such a good time.

Ann Meyers Drysdale, the former UCLA basketball star, wanted to make sure she was there. She lives in Huntington Beach, so it's convenient, but she said she also enjoys being around people who love UCLA.

"This [event] is like a fraternity or sorority," said Meyers Drysdale, president and general manager of the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA. "You just want to keep all the Bruins together. We all love where we went to school and we want to celebrate with everyone. It's like going to church."

It wasn't really church, but you get the picture.

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