In October, even the morning light is golden. The sky is blue and on a Saturdays can smell Cal football in the air.
(In some recent years one could really smell Cal football, but that’s another story).
Today, it’s not like 2004 when we were 1:33 seconds and on their 9 yard line ready to punch it in and defeat the despised Trojans. It’s not quite like 2005 when we were #1 in the country for 20 minutes and a tackle away from being ranked #1 for the first time in half a century.
But being on the verge of going 5 and 0 has a certain je ne se qua (whatever that means). Hope is in the air.
Emily Dickensen said, “Hope is a thing covered in feathers.” Woody Allen said she was wrong. “The thing covered in feathers is my nephew and he’s in an asylum in Zurich.”
But I digress.
On a fall Saturday morning with a DAY TIME home game, one springs out of bed: the coffee is hotter, the Green Sheet is greener, and the bloodies are merrier. Then it’s time for breakfast.
One dresses quickly, sifting through those boxers for the “lucky blue ones,” finds his cleanest dirty shirt off the floor (my wife’s back east with our two grand children), and skips down the stairs to pick up the paper on the curb.
I know: We are 19 point favorites and have just been teed up for the classic Cal let down, but that is the destiny of the Loyal Golden Bear.
We’ve been there all our lives. Just when we get up the guts to ask the home coming queen to the prom, and against all odds she says yes, she calls to say she’s come down with the measles. Even worse, she got them from the Varsity football captain. That is the lot of the Cal fan.
Cal football let downs are like finding your wife’s e-mail address on the Ashley Madison website. Devastating—but not entirely unexpected.
But I digress, again.
Weed, (Kenny Wiedaman--he of the 16 career interceptions) got my juices flowing Monday night with a call that he and Penhall (he of the Sweeny last touchdown, on the last play of the last Big game, for the last win) would be up for the Old Blues Reunion at the Colombo Club on Friday night. Alas, I had to announce the St. Helena Saints football game and would miss the boys, but the juices were indeed flowing early.
All hail fall. The leaves are turning and the creeks are beginning to fill up as the trees of the forest shut down and stop sucking up ground water.
The harvest is in full swing and the vines are sporting yellow, orange and purple tunics.
The pass happy Bears appear to have learned to tackle—somewhat. The D looked good against the Huskies. Our overall defensive stats may not impress, but on certain occasions we are making plays—key plays which not only keep us in the game, but keep our opponents at bay.
Who would have thunk that nationally, we are tied for 2nd in fumbles recovered; tied for first with 9 interceptions; tied for 7th in defensive td’s; after having recovered five fumbles and getting 9 interceptions, we are 1st in turnover gain with 14 and tied for third in turnover margin with 6. 11th nationally in passing offense; 24th in completion percentage; 15th in passing efficiency; 11th in 4th down conversions allowed; 24th in completion percentage.
Two years ago one would have given his right arm (well maybe his mother-in-law) for just one of those stats.
OK. We haven’t played a real power, yet. Come Utah we may learn what big boy football is all about. But until then, we can pretend that that home coming princess is actually going to go to the dance with us. Even if we know deep down she’s going to leave with someone else.
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70