Monday, December 18, 2006

HEADED TO HOLIDAY BOWL

Bear Fans,

This is a bit droll, but the season is sapping my strength. Like some of you, I waffled, but happily, we are headed to the Holiday Bowl. To be a big time program, it’s important that we travel well and show that we are major players. I’m gathering from my e-mails, that many fence sitters have come around and are falling off and are going down.

There’s quite a “booster” luncheon on Wednesday (already sold out), the Alumni Tailgate on Thursday, and a post game party at the House of Blues—among other things. If anyone needs a room, we have one extra room at ground zero, where the team is staying. It’s the Manchester Grand Hyatt ($188 a night for Wednesday and Thursday).

No charge if you look like a Playboy Bunny and sport a bumper sticker: “I break for flabby old white guys, who think they still got it, but ain’t got a clue.” SC cheerleaders who make U-Tube, screaming with joy when the opposition scores, also come under this latter category.

Following the game Mike McHugh’s band will perform at the House of Blues in the Gas Lamp district. Admission is $15. In addition to the main room there is an adjacent room that reserved for SF Grid Club members and guests. This room includes food and a private non-hosted bar. Passes are $75…………………But it if for Grid Club Members and their guests.

Go Bears and Merry Christmas,

Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70


Some amazing news on the academic front published in The Chron:

When Randy Bundy turned in a 30-page paper Tuesday, his college class work was officially complete.

The celebration will have to wait.

"It was a relief, because it's been a long-time coming," the Cal senior cornerback said. "But I haven't had a party yet. I just got ready and went to practice."

That scenario encapsulates a special group of 13 Bears who this month will complete their course work or will be able to participate in graduation ceremonies because they are within a class of graduating. They've managed to keep things in perspective while juggling football and scholastic duties.

"Being my first recruiting class, it will always have a special place in my heart," coach Jeff Tedford said. "They've set the foundation for this program."

The number of players who graduated in 4 1/2 years is even more startling when you consider that students without the extra rigors of football responsibilities are increasingly taking five or more years to get degrees.

"When we came in, this was a 1-10 program, so we weren't necessarily choosing a school based on football," said senior tight end Eric Beegun, who will take his last final Monday. "Of course, we wanted to help rebuild the program, but we knew that this was an academic institution that we were taking seriously."

They've done both.

They've won 42 games in five seasons, they're the first senior class to earn berths in four consecutive bowl games, they got the school's first share of a conference title since 1975 and they find time to go to classes.

The most recent graduation rates released by the NCAA reported that Cal's 1999-2000 football class graduated only 33 percent of its players. Admittedly, that number is flawed in a variety of ways, but as a comparison, 83 percent of Tedford's original 18-player recruiting class will be graduating within five years.

"When we got here, the graduation rate was terrible," senior defensive lineman Steve Kelly said. "Guys were taking the full five years or longer or not graduating at all. The coaches have really changed the team's focus on academics."

Tedford harps on studies and established the "Academic Game Plan," which allows players to meet regularly with coaches or counselors to review coursework and assignments. The message finally sinks in when players watch their teammates fail.

"We've seen some people come and go that didn't finish," Bundy said. "That kept our group motivated to keep pushing toward our degrees."

In the most recent Academic Progress Rate, which is released annually by the NCAA, Cal scored a 94.5 to rank second in the Pac-10, and during Tedford's tenure, 57 football players have earned conference All-Academic honors.

Along with Bundy, Beegun and Kelly, the list of graduates includes three offensive linemen: left tackle Andrew Cameron, left guard Erik Robertson, right tackle Scott Smith.

Cameron had three surgeries in a 10-month span and has played this season on sheer guts. Robertson is a true Renaissance Man. Smith is the definition of a philanthropist with his commitment to charity projects. While waiting his turn to start, Storer earned two all-conference honors as a special-teams player.

The skill-position grads are receiver David Gray, tailback Marcus O'Keith and cornerback Tim Mixon.

Gray is an Oakland native who has been unlucky with a list of injuries. O'Keith has accepted his role as a backup to 1,000-yard back after 1,000-yard back instead of transferring. Despite his season-ending knee injury, Mixon helped Syd'Quan Thompson develop into a freshman All-American.

Defensive line mainstays Matthew Malele and Abu Ma'afala, fullback Byron Storer and reserve punter Taylor Kunzi round out the storybook group.

Beegun wraps up the thought process of the group with comments of appreciation.

"This community has handed me everything, and I'd like to give something back," Beegun said. Before he heads to law school, however, he's got one more thing to accomplish.

"You want to leave without that sour taste in your mouth," he said. "You never forget it if you lose your last game, and I don't want that to taint my memories here."

Maybe Bundy's party is contingent on Cal beating Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28.


This is old news, but Important:

Atheltic Tr4aining center ok’d by Regents

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/06/BAGK6MQ3RS1.DTL&hw=UC+athletic&sn=001&sc=1000


From CeCe (for those of you who were wondering who Professor Dundes was)

Check this out.
I was in a class a few weeks ago about historiography & types of history and
one of the handouts was something from Professor Alan Dundes!!!!!
I was very excited about that but of course no one else knew or cared...
Sadly I checked and he passed away last year. :o(
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/03/31_dundes.shtml

Cheers!
ccf


From Si on Hoops

On the Hoops front, according to the CC Times this morning, Jamal Boykin, who was the 2005 Gatorade California Player of the Year and signed with Duke out of Fairfax High School, is on the Cal campus this week and is expected to transfer soon. He would become eligible to play for the Bears in Jan. 2008. He's a 6''7" 235 pound small forward, Parade All-American in high school. Averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 blocked shots as a senior at Fairfax - breaking several Southern California high school records formerly held by The Bopper. Duke has given him a release so he is free to sign with the Bears.


From Coleman:

Yea!!! Daymeion Hughes just won the Ronnie Lott Trophy as best defensive player in the country "for his impact on and off the field".

…..and personal character. The Ronnie Lott award is unusual among the end-of-year accolades because is requires the recipient to be both a great on-field performer and an individual of high personal character at all times:


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A CAL FAN’S NOTES: BIG GAME & PROFESSOR DUNDEES

Just seconds after the final gun Saturday, phones were ringing off the hook. Shrinks every where were calling their wives and telling them to make arrangements for tropical vacations.
They were setting up extra couches and preparing for late night sessions. The football gods had delivered them a double whammy—a narrow, herky-jerky victory over one of the worst teams in the county—and the news that SC was defeated by a team we had dispatched with aplomb—the second such snub to each old blue's manhood.
The conflicting emotions inside each Bear Fan’s head will severely tax the capacity of Bay Area psychologists for weeks to come. And make them rich in the process. How to make sense of it all?
Why couldn’t we be happy with a win?
Why were folks “disappointed” to be Co-Pac 10 champs?
After suffering through 7 Big Game losses in a row, why weren’t fans jumping for joy at our fifth consecutive drubbing over the Stanford State Indians?
And how does one deal with the admiration he felt for the Indian athletes who stood up, fought hard, gave it the Old College Try and nearly pulled the upset off? That’s why God invented post game tailgates.
The excuse is to “wait for the traffic.”
The reality is that unable to cope with conflicting feelings of pain, pleasure, sadness and joy, Old Blues have religiously turned to pay homage at the alter of the plastic beer cup try to come to grips with the incomprehensible.
That’s why we need the Shrinks—preferably Freudian.
For football and Old Blues is about Sex—always has been. We’re interested in conquests, domination, and scoring on Saturdays. We don’t get why “illegal motion” should be a penalty—let alone “backfield” in motion.
We’re consumed by making passes, “end zones”, and swoon at illegal use of the hands and blocking below the waist.
We’re into holding, unnecessary roughness, and like turnovers more than we care to admit.
And of course, we are pre-occupied with “tight ends.” (This was just a test to see how many of you actually took Professor Dundee’s class).
That’s why UCLA’s win, which should have been an “upper”, giving us our first share of the Pac 10 title since 1976, was such a downer.
The Bruins besting the Trojans, was like a friend getting in the back seat of a Volkswagen Bug with the Big Game Queen (do they even have that anymore?), who would only park with you on Panoramic as long as you promised to stay in the front seat.
We nailed (pun intended) OSU and UCLA—yet they conquered our “Dulcinaea Del Toboso.” How could that happen?
The truth is, we must be the least sophisticated fans in the country. Like little children our expectations were way beyond our capacity to understand (the game). Big time College football is so much tougher than we think.
Building a program is so much more difficult than we imagine.
Blame it on Lee Corso (who picked us to win the National Championship), or ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit who picked Deshawn Jackson as a Heisman candidate.
Or Sagarin who’s computer had us #2 in the Country for a while. Like Flounder in Animal House, we screwed up. “We trusted them.”
There’s no need to criticize our quarterbacking. Some of it was outstanding, some of it not. But the poor lad was in his first season. Name the team (not you, Bush or Stoney) which won the National Championship with an untried, first year Sophomore QB? He’s an outstanding young man and a fine talent, but isn’t that a lot to put on the shoulders of a 20 year old who had never completed a college game?
We were favored over Tennessee for God’s sake! Back there!
Who broke into the cool aid?
I know a tall good lookin’ guy who said we’d be favored over SC. He wrote that after we played our best game of the year, demolishing a fine Oregon team. He was reinforced by the quotes from the WSU guys who said we were “relentless” in our physicality and would take SC.
Well, Saturday, we came up against an inferior Stanford eleven which came to play. Good on ‘em mates!
After the game some had tears in their eyes, as they knew the Holy Grail was within their grasp.
In fact, when we were up by just 6, (long shot that it was) had Schneider’s kick been blocked and run back for a TD—had we fumbled, or had any of Longshore’s 4th quarter tosses been picked and run back--we were constantly, one bad break away from defeat.
Give our kids credit. They hung in there and won. That’s huge.
They’re young—and extremely talented. Hopefully, they’ll learn that in the grown up world, talent only goes so far. Character takes teams into the national spotlight—not talent.
Look at Tennessee. Is there a better team, talent wise, out there?
Does anyone think UCLA “out talented” SC?
There’s not much to say about the game. It was difficult to throw as the wind was roaring. It was difficult to catch balls—and we dropped some—as did they.
The conditions on the West Side were extreme. Kids had their shirts off in the Eastern sun, while we froze as the icy winds cut into us in the shade.
(Can’t blame Corso for that one, I guess).
A quick re-cap for those of you in the South Seas:
Cal deferred and Stanford ran 15 plays, picking up only 48 yards, and held the ball for almost 7 minutes, before eschewing a first quarter field goal and turning the ball over on downs.
For some reason, teams all year long have moved on us in the first quarter. Schnieder (Pac 10 Special team Player of the week) then hit a 55 yard field goal to make it three love.
Neither side could move the ball (though Larson had a 72 yard punt which was downed at the Indians 3) and the quarter ended 3 to 0.
After a couple more three and outs, the Indians went 74 yards in 11 plays and tied it 3 all.
We went 74 yards in 9 plays to the Stanford 6, but three incomplete passes led Schnieder again who gave us a 6 to 3 lead.
Thompson thenpicked up an Ostrander fumble (forced once again by Follett. He made his first start and was everywhere), and ran it in for a touch.
We were up 13 to three, but hadn’t scored and offensive touchdown. McCutcheon returned the kick off 68 yards, and soon Ostrander hit Sherman to make it 13 to 10.
We couldn’t mount a drive with 1:10 remaining and the half ended. To start the 2nd half we put together a nice 11 play 80 yard drive with Longshore finding Hawkins down the middle for a 32 yarder to go up 20 to 10.
The game seemed in hand.
On the next drive, however, Ostrander found Moore, who made a one handed grab while pushing DeCoud off with the other hand for a 51 yard TD, and the Indians just wouldn’t go away.
After hitting a 35 yarder, Schnieder was forced to kick a 40 yarder due to a penalty. He hit that one too and we were up by six with almost 5 minutes to go in the third quarter.
It stayed that way until the beginning of the 4th quarter, when Lynch first dropped a pass, then fumbled on our 14. Stanford was poised to go ahead, but settled for a 19 yard (practically and extra point) field goal attempt instead. Miraculously, it was wide left and we took over on the 20.
Lynch was to see no more action. Sadly, it is likely his last play in Memorial Stadium was a lost fumble.
Forsett carried the load and picked up 67 yards in the 4th quarter, until Schnieder hit his 30 yard field goal with 58 seconds left to provide the 9 point cushion, 26 to 17. Probably Tedford said it best (I’m paraphrasing) when he said it is just so hard to get up for a game, after playing for a place in the national spotlight—and then having to come down off that high.
One small sad note, is that Tedford really wanted to play his Seniors, especially Ayoob and Levy. But he had to win the game. And unfortunately, the kids never gave him enough cushion to get those guys, safely, in.
The emotional roller coaster is just too tough in a physical game like football. What we have is a coach. What we have is a staff. What we have is a program. What we lack is some maturity on the fan front.
We need to grow up and understand just what kind of commitment is involved in being a top 10 team, year in and year out. We need to exhibit some character.
Anyone who can’t be happy with a Pac 10 co-championship—who can’t be happy with the 5th win in a row over Stanford—who can’t be happy with a bowl bid—who can’t be happy with a chance for a 10 win season—had better see a shrink.
It’s like relationships. Anyone can do it. It’s just that some folks know how to do it right—and some don’t. And as we all know, the most important ingredient in any relationship is simple: Commitment. The question is: Are Old Blues ready to step up and make that commitment—or are we destined--and do we deserve--to see the object of our dreams always leaving the dance with someone else?

Go Bears, Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70 `

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"GIVE 'EM THE AXE"

Give 'em the axe where? Right in the neck, the neck, the neck. Right in the neck. Right in the neck, Who?"
Well, we all know who. The Stanford State Indians--that's who! I guess today, that yell is proba­bly not too politically correct. Axing the opposition in the neck is no doubt a little too grue­some for the parents of many of today's tender-eared college kids.
We know the name Indians is frowned upon—which makes some of us want to use it even more.
Saturday is the Big Game.
Thank the Good Lord for giving us fallible memories. Were it not for our inability to remember, women would never have more than one kid; DB’s could never cover after being burned; no one would go on more than one blind date; and my wife would have left me long ago. Since none of us can remember what happened last Saturday, this Saturday is huge. It’s Big Game.
Red Staters think we are so arrogant. No one in the country understands how two schools, one of which has one win this season, can refer to their contest as The Big Game. Folks assume that for a game to be labeled Big something tangible has to be on the line--you know, the Conference Championship; the right to go to the Rose Bowl; or the holiest of holies, The BCS (whatever that means) championship.
That, of course, is to miss the essence of what College football is all about. Despite all the bad press, scandals and under the table activities we read about, first and foremost, college football is about stu­dent athletes competing against one another.
Sure, there are some thugs. And, yes some kids are there just to go on to the pros. But for the vast majority of seniors out there, this is the last football game they will ever play. And the combination of adrenalin, coupled with the "Ya' ain't got nothing to lose" mentality inherent in one's final game, makes for some extraordinary moments in sport.
We're not talking about a rivalry where each year Heisman Trophy Candidates rise up to accomplish feats of Olympic proportions.
No, from Hart and Patton stopping Skip Face short of the goal line on the last play, and sending the Bears to the Rose Bowl a millennium ago (ok, it was only 1958), to Kevin Moen knocking over the Stanford Trombone player to win the '82 Big Game with no time left on the clock--the rivalry Is rife with "ordinary Joes" accom­plishing extraordinary feats of heroism; and athletic agility.
Does the name Levy ring a Bell? (Quasi-modo. Now there’s a name that rings a bell—but I digress).
It's what makes it great. Is there any finer expres­sion of athleticism and beauty in sport than what was once referred to as "The Old College Try"? The Big Game is nothing, if not a show case for “TOCT.”
And the Beauty of "The Old College Try" is that it is not dependent upon physical prowess alone. Heart, determination, courage, guts and grit are the ingredients of "TOCT". Each kid who takes the field has the opportunity to give it or eschew it. It's not dependent upon genes or nature. It is simply a state ' of mind, dependent solely upon the depth of one's character and the size of his heart.
"The Old College Try" is not delivered in a vac­uum. It is witnessed by family. One of the finest "fam­ilies" one could ever be associated with.
You see, as you read these words, I will have dis­appeared from the earth as you know it. Thursday, I leave the Valley to join the "family” and do not re-sur­face until Sunday. My days and nights are filled with other rummies like myself.
There are dozens of reunion lunches throughout the City. Wherever one gathers, it is the best lunch of the week. For us, The Mother of them all is the Friday Men’s lunch. It was started by about 7 contemporaries some 29 years ago at the now defunct New Pizza. It was mostly ruggers, and former footballers—boys, Coach Joe Marvin once called “The fellows who fought the Battle of Berkeley back in the 60’s”. We know what he meant.
That’s when our school yell went from “Roll on you Bears” to “Ashes to ashes/Dust to dust/We hate to go on strike/But we must, we must!”
No one wanted their kids to come to Cal back then. We were considered a bunch of Commie, Pinko, Weirdoes. Actually, worse.
But Franz defined the lunch with this classic: “No invitations. That means no jerks (Ok, maybe he used another word). Just good guys inviting good guys."
We always have a “Speaker.” This year it’ll be Mike White.
We gather to re-tell the same old stories--laugh way too loud--and return to the halcyon days when everything was possible, and no one could best us--neither footballer nor female. (In truth, we lost way more times than we w0n--in both areas--but who's counting). In our minds we gave it "TOCT".
Ours is a friendship held together over all these years--not through our triumphs, but through the re­hashing of our failures. For that's where the laughs are. In the screw ups. In the errors in judgment; in the vain attempts to be more than we thought we were.
Had we been suave. Had we succeeded each time--in class--on the field--with girls--we'd have nothing to talk about.
When the sentence begins with "How 'bout the time......." I can guarantee you it has nothing to do with a personal triumph. Mostly it has to do with some humili­ating failure which the PCer's would consider a lower­ing of self esteem--and which we consider too funny for words. It is good that we are off by ourselves. For the world would never approve of our past shenanigans. It certainly wouldn't approve of the way we laugh about them now. We were not nice boys. On the other hand, we were just that--boys. Doing things that boys do, and grown men can look back upon and laugh at. Maybe it's a guy thing. My kids don't believe me, but no truer words were ever spoken than when we tell them at their moment of failure, "Don't worry. We'll laugh about this later." If only they knew that it's not succeeding that matters. Giving it the "Old College Try" does. Go Bears. “GIVE ‘EM THE AXE! “
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70 www.jeffwarren.com


From Hal on the Stanford band http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/16039382.htm?source=yahoodist&content=sjm_news

From Greg;
Per Jay Heater below, on Tuesday sixteen teams were put on hold for the 10 BCS slots. Cal, ranked No. 18 by the BCS on Sunday, was released, as it was deemed the Bears stood no chance of moving up to No. 14, which is the final qualifying spot. Unlike 2004, when Cal's players felt they were robbed of a Rose Bowl berth after going 10-1, this year's Bears seem excited about the opportunity to play in the Pac-10's No. 2 bowl game. "We're fortunate to be in the Holiday Bowl for the second time," said Cal coach Jeff Tedford. "It is a quality opportunity for us. They have a rich tradition and they do a first-class job of putting on the game." Tedford informed his team after practice that it would get a second shot at the Holiday Bowl. In 2004, Cal lost 45-31 to a Texas Tech squad that ran up 520 passing yards. Cal senior cornerback Damien Hughes said it should be a different experience for the Bears this time around. "This is a different team," said Hughes, who was named the Pac-10's defensive player of the year on Monday. "We felt we were cheated (out of the Rose Bowl) last time. This time, we put ourselves in this position." If Texas A&M (9-3) is invited, it would set up an interesting match up. The Aggies just upset Texas last Friday. "A&M is a big, physical team that loves to run," Mebane said. "They've got that whole 12th man thing going. They will be wanting to show that the Big 12 is better than the Pac-10, and we will be trying to show the Pac-10 is better." Don't forget CAL fans, CAA's bowl site is www.alumni.berkeley.edu/bowl . It lists awesome travel packages, probable events, FAQs, a link to game tickets on calbears.com, etc. Bear fans should be visiting there for Cal bowl information. Don't also forget Big Game Week is upon us! See the link at www.alumni.berkeley.edu/biggame , which includes Viewing Parties. If you know of any TV viewing parties, send info. to Erin of CAA at erin.proudfoot@alumni.berkeley.edu Heater’s Columnhttp://www.holidaybowl.com/2006matchup.htm


A Big Game Blog from Bob Hernandez

Cal Fans...

Given that this week is traditionally Big Game Week, I am honoring my
annual commitment now going on for - what, 6 or 7 years? Who's heard
of a Big Game in December anyway? True to my traditions, I stay away
from the sports analysis and report on all the other stuff that makes
Big Game great.

I did actually began posting about a week ago with a description of
the Big Cook Off (Cal won, of course). Then I was off to Denver for
nearly a week. My buddy Ken told me that I was staying across the
street from Elway's restaurant. At least the rest of my week went well.

The blog is unchanged from last year: http://biggameweek.blogspot.com/

I'm still re-configuring the site, so stay tuned. In the meantime,
for those more technologically advanced, my RSS feed is http://
biggameweek.blogspot.com/atom.xml

This is your only notice (warning?). Go Bears and Beat stanfurd!

Bob '83

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN




Sunday morning it was like a death in the Family. Only Edward Albee could adequately describe it.
Friday night in LaLa Land was an orgiastic delight—fit more for Dominick Dunn than Haywood Hale Bruin.
In between came Saturday. The type of day that will try men’s souls and empty their wallets if they followed their hearts and not their heads.
Will we never learn? Are we destined for ever to push that rock up the hill, just about reaching the crest, only to watch it slip away from us and roll back down to the bottom again?
Sisyphus had it easy compared to being a Bears fan.
I guess we are so naive that we set ourselves up for disaster. This was the first time since I was a kid in 1958 that I sat in the stands, secure in the knowledge that, no pollsters, no commissioners, no computers could deny us the Holy Grail. One win. One simple victory and the coveted Golden Fleece would be ours.
Friday night set the tone, and the stars seemed to be in alignment—at least they were all out.
Gary’s son, John Rogers was our host. He seems to own L.A, and just leases it out to the Jack Nicholson’s, Madonna’s and Jay Lo’s.
Like two years ago, when we are out with him, it’s like going on safari. One’s head is on a swivel, looking for “sightings.” The hope is to bag one of the big five, Rhino, Lion, Wildebeest, Cheetah, or Leopard. Remember—the big 5 only come out after dark.
(You have to understand that when you live in a town of 6,000 people, it’s exciting to go to Hollywood, where one can lie on the sand and look at the stars and vice versa).
Well, it was dinner at Il Solei, and sure enough Rod Stewart was dining next to us. (One assumes he helped his date with her homework before bringing her out to din din). It’s not that she was young, but we over heard her ordering a scotch and wah-wah.

Next morning, we bagged Harry Connick Jr. and Neil Young. But the sun was up so they don’t count.
After dinner it was off to the Sky Bar in the Mondrian Hotel.
I’m not sure we spotted any of the big 5 there, but there certainly some big things on the deck—and this before the FDA ruled that implants will be legal again.
The 30 somethings wanted to head off to the uber-exclusive “Hide.” We oldsters hit the sack, satiated with our gawking tourist evening.
Alas, had we tagged along, we’d a-bagged-a-biggie. Paris Hilton showed up and partied on with the group. No doubt she was disappointed we were back closing down the Bel Aire Bar. But let’s face it. We were all wearing underwear that evening. So, I’m sure she would have considered us sooooooooo 90’s.
We awoke wide eyed with anticipation. The victory was ripe for the plucking.
5pm starts are not good for one’s heart. Too much time.
We headed to the Beverly Hills Hotel for some tennis, and then fortunately had the OSU/Michigan game to take our minds off our delayed start.

And was that ever a football game. Two teams rising to the occasion.
How do the players pass the time when they have to wait all day to play?

We drove through Crenshaw (had rarely seen it without smoke) and made it to the Alumni Tailgate.

Memo to Tuck: You’re the best. Congrats. We need you as President. Now, please take note. This is not just from me. No more tailgates where you charge $65 and then charge $5 per beer—and then have only two kegs and long, long lines form. Cal fans deserve better.

Folks like Krepps came from Tokyo, Watson from New York. People come a long way for a good experience. It was great seeing everybody, but the food and beverage has got to get cleaned up.
Anyway, after Oregon, we knew we had more players than SC. After the WSU players were quoted as saying we were more physical than SC we knew this wasn’t just a fantasy of our own making.
We had the coaches. We had the players. We had the physical toughness to emerge victorious.
What happened?
First: Were this game played three years ago, we win. Two plays which were ruled TD’s on the field, were overturned by TV review. The fix wasn’t in. It’s just that the human error which allowed UCLA’s Dennis Dummit to be called in the end zone--when his knees touched at the three yard line back in the day—has been somewhat eliminated.
Bring in Jackson’s questionable sideline tap of the previous week, and without replay, the Bears are suddenly a one loss team.
I know. It goes both ways. It’s just an interesting sidebar to a dreary day.
So what did happen?
Since you didn’t ask, my guess is that the weather beat us.
One couldn’t tell from TV or even in the stands, but a heavy fog had rolled in. I was on the field in the third quarter (Jeans avers that that is what jinxed ‘em) and it was unbelievably wet, dank and soggy. The fog had turned a fast field into a quasi-quagmire. Both QB’s threw wobbly passes, as they were unable to grip the ball. Lineman couldn’t get off their blocks, nor mount a pass rush—and backs seemed to be treading water.
It was equal for both teams, but a slow field always favors the team with less talent, as it “levels the playing field.”
We had two turnovers in the first half (one leading to a safety against them), and still led 9 to 6. We lead in every statistical category.
Then came the dreaded third quarter.
We’ve scored only 51 points in 11 third quarters—4.6 points per game. In fact, we’ve scored only 114 points in the third and 4th quarter all year—10.3 points per game.

A touch and a field goal vs. 21.3 points in the first half. Three touches vs. one.

Are teams in better shape than we are? Are teams making better adjustments than we do? Do we just relax because (with the exception of Tennessee) we are ahead?

We’ve actually been outscored in the last two quarters 118 to 114 points—against 106 points vs. 235 in the first two.

How do we score over twice as many points as our opponents in the first have, and get outscored in the second?

Note that (statistically) the D has performed consistently for all 4 quarters.

I have no answers, but were I a staff, I’d try to figure that one out.

So what did happened?

Fans bitched (and Tedford remarked) that we couldn’t make less than a yard on two plays in that all important third quarter.

Fans around us wanted razzle dazzle. They questioned whether Tedford had lost his audacity.

Those of us who are old school, like taking it straight to ‘em. It shows confidence in the line and in your team. And if you are the most physical—which we were, we should have made it—either by Lynch or on the QB sneak.

On the other hand, with 4th and one, Carroll threw for an audacious TD.

We weren’t out coached as so many said. Reverse it, and we’d have been screaming for smash mouth football.

Both are proper calls. Why one work and the other did didn’t? My guess is the weather. It was too slippery to make the short yardage, and the slipperiness did not work against the play action pass. Take it for what it’s worth.

They blanketed Jackson. Often a third DB moved towards the centre third of the field so that someone had him short—deep—and down the middle to the post. That did mean that down the middle towards the off side was wide open—and I was sure we’d see one of those—but if it was called, it wasn’t executed.

The only true breakdown from an armature’s point of view, was the TD to Jarret. We all saw him in single coverage near the goal line. Though the safety put a monstrous hit on him—it came after the catch!

Where was he earlier? Wouldn’t one have been shading that side and doubling on him?

This is not Monday morning quarterbacking. We all remarked on it before the ball was snapped.

Longshore had a tough day. But he was hurried.

An interesting visual: Terrified of Jackson returning a punt for a score, in the 4th quarter, the SC punter faced the sideline at a 45 degree angle to the line of scrimmage. He punted 10 yards and 19 yards—but the ball went out of bounds and Jackson never had a chance.

Lynch ran some 60 yards for a score, late in the game, but the review showed that his knee had touched. It appeared to be correct, but pre-replay?

Lynch also dove for a first down when it was all but over. He showed a lot of heart, and as an aside, the paper said he’s got a 3.0 and is awfully proud of that—as are we.

As a further aside, apparently after the game he said “They” when referring to the team next year—a dead give away that he won’t be back.

Thompson has come a long way from the Tennessee game. Not only can he cover, he’s a hitter.

Well, we (the fans) brought it upon ourselves.

We are not worthy. We let our expectations get too high. It was a down, down day. However. At least, we’ll always have Paris.

Go Bears,

Jeffrey Earl Warren ’70

www.jeffwarren.com


Here’s a nice bit from the website regarding academics:

BERKELEY - Eight members of the California football team have been selected for the Pac-10 All-Academic Teams, the league announced on Thursday. Senior fullback Byron Storer and senior cornerback Randy Bundy were both first team honorees for the Golden Bears. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant substitute.

In addition to Storer and Bundy, sophomore center Alex Mack, junior defensive lineman John Allen and junior linebacker Greg Van Hoesen were honored as second team picks. Three Bear offensive linemen collected honorable mention honors: seniors Erik Robertson and Scott Smith and sophomore Noris Malele.

In Tedford's five years at the helm of the California program, 50 of his players have been recognized by the conference for their combination of athletic and academic excellence. Storer, Mack, Robertson and Smith were also among the eight players honored last season. Storer, Robertson and Smith were also among Cal's nine in 2004 while Storer is the lone active player to have also earned the honor in 2003.


From “Jeans”

Cal was ahead of the Condoms while Gary was with us on the sidelines. We lost the lead and then the game after you took his place. Coincidence or cause and effect?


From Don

As for the game, we are -- literally and figuratively -- a year away. . . . Then the problem will be how do we deal with the fact that this year USC is loaded with freshmen and sophomores?

USC will be a nail-biter for as long as Tedford is at Cal and Carroll is at USC. It will be a classic test of skills and wills -- as it should be.


From Hal on the Stanfurd band

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/16039382.htm?source=yahoodist&content=sjm_news


From John (Is there a theme here?)

Warren I did not get your e-mail before the Arizona game and blame the lose completely on you, I feel much better this week. See you Sat., one thing about blue collar college graduates you have to be optimistic.


From Dave Bush (regarding the out of bounds hit on Bates back in the 50’s)

Mike McKeever......doing the bidding of the SC line coach Al Davis.....
have a blast...db


Monday, November 20, 2006

A CAL FAN’S NOTES OFF TO SC


It doesn’t get much better than this. Of course, I’ve said that each weekend this year. But here we are. Leaving the land of Eldridge Cleaver—headed for the land of Elder Cleavage.

Pundits think it’s Tedford vs. Carroll. DJ vs. Jarret. Longshore vs. Booty. But we know better.

This is class warfare. A study in opposites. Public school vs. Private. It’s Mao, Che and Fidel vs. Biff, Buffy, and Binky. Where Levis meet Louis Vuitton. It’s the unshaven vs. the shaven—and that’s just women’s legs.

It’s the bra-ed vs. the bra-less. Brainy vs. the brainless. It’s the “lumpin prolatariet vs. the bourgeois. Where the sustainable's meet the disposables.

This isn’t just a football game. It’s what Bill O’Reilly’s been writing about—a true Culture war.

For a thousand years, it’s been the dumb jocks vs. the athletes who had to go to class (even if it was Professor Belquist’s Speech class or Hurst’s grade yourself ed class). The scholarship athlete whose job was to make sure the parking place didn’t move vs. the scholarship recipient who had to pine tox the toilets and rake up the garbage in Memorial Stadium.

This is the game where recruits who meet bunnies at Hef’s joint, take on recruits who met Earl at the Fern.

This is the game we too often almost win—only to lose it in the last second—or fall short in the waning moments.

It’s Pete Canamella breaking Johnny O’s leg or the McKeever twin (I forget which one—all those yuppies look alike) breaking Bates’ jaw after he was out of bounds.

It’s for all the marbles (or as they say at mummy’s country club: “Point milkshake.”)

My favorite writer said after the Oregon game that Cal would be favored by 2 to 7. Alas, he believed that song “There is no Arizona

SC is favored by 6. It ‘s their field. It will be nosier than the Pi Phi sleeping porch late on a Saturday night as they compare dates.

They’ve got the Mo.

But they haven’t been slowly boiled alive in Tennessee. We have. It says here that that horrible afternoon will put us in the Rose Bowl tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Power to the People!!!

If you need to get psyched up listen to James Bethea

From Dave Bush, some corrections to keep idiots like me honest

This shows that I am reading.....When cal played Illinois in '74, Mike White
was our coach...he didn't go to Illinois until `1980.....The only "planes''
of Champaign" fly over it...I think you meant to say "plains''....And Rip
Engle didn't "lose his job'' after Hunt to Bradley. He was an institution,
and left on his own terms ...but you are correct that he quit at the end of
that year,and the idea of getting beat on what was obviously offensive pass
interference was a factor in his decsion. Also, Mike McCaffrey tells me that
as an assistant in the "Bradley" game, Joe Pa was abusive to opposing
players....See you next weekend

From Greg, some awards:

California's 2006 Award Semifinalists
Daymeion Hughes - Jim Thorpe Award (Top Defensive Back) - three finalists named Monday, Nov. 20
Daymeion Hughes - Ronnie Lott Trophy (Top Defensive Player) - three finalists named Monday, Nov. 27
Daymeion Hughes - Chuck Bednarik Award (Top Defensive Player) - three finalists named Wednesday, Nov. 23
DeSean Jackson - Biletnikoff Award (Top Wide Receiver) - three finalists named next week
DeSean Jackson - Randy Moss Award (Top Return Man) - finalists announced Wednesday, Dec. 13
Nate Longshore - Davey O'Brien Award (Top Quarterback) - three finalists named Tuesday, Nov. 21
Marshawn Lynch - Doak Walker Award (Top Running Back) - three finalists named Tuesday, Nov. 21
Marshawn Lynch - Maxwell Award (Top Player) - three finalists named Wednesday, Nov. 23
Jeff Tedford - George Munger Award (Top Coach) - three finalists named Wednesday, Nov. 23
Jeff Tedford - Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year (Top Coach) - winner announced Saturday, Dec. 16

Eight Golden Bears Earn Pac-10 Football Academic Honors Eight members of the California football team have been selected for the Pac-10 All-Academic Teams, the league announced on Thursday. Senior fullback Byron Storer and senior cornerback Randy Bundy were both first team honorees for the Golden Bears. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant substitute. In addition to Storer and Bundy, sophomore center Alex Mack, junior defensive lineman John Allen and junior linebacker Greg Van Hoesen were honored as second team picks. Three Bear offensive linemen collected honorable mention honors: seniors Erik Robertson and Scott Smith and sophomore Noris Malele. In Tedford's five years at the helm of the California program, 50 of his players have been recognized by the conference for their combination of athletic and academic excellence. Storer, Mack, Robertson and Smith were also among the eight players honored last season. Storer, Robertson and Smith were also among Cal's nine in 2004 while Storer is the lone active player to have also earned the honor in 2003. 2006 California Pac-10 All-Academic Selections
Byron Storer, RB, Sr., Mass Communications (First Team)
Randy Bundy, DB, Sr., American Studies (First Team)
Alex Mack, C, So., Legal Studies (Second Team)
John Allen, DL, Jr., Political Science (Second Team)
Greg Van Hoesen, LB, Jr., Art Practice (Second Team)
Noris Malele, OL, So., Social Welfare (Honorable Mention)
Erik Robertson, OL, Sr., Scandinavian Studies (Honorable Mention)
Scott Smith, OL, Sr., English (Honorable Mention)

.

Jeffrey Earl Warren
James Warren & Son
1414 Main St.
St. Helena, Ca.
94574
707-963-2748

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A CAL FAN’S NOTES WASHINGTON



The sun was up at 7am. Oranges dominated. Trees were dancing, but it didn’t seem like much. Hit the courts at Clairmont by 8. Tossed up first ball to serve, and ball jumped two feet. Don’t let this game come down to a field goal, was all I could think of.
Unbelievably, it was 15 years ago this weekend when the Berkely Hills exploded. My host, and opponent this morning, TGR lost his house and everything in it back in ’91. Oddly, we played Washington that same weekend back then. It was Palowski’s Citrus Bowl bound squad, and that was one of the great games of all time.
“Eerie” was the only word for the hours that led up to the tailgate at Kleeburger.
As 22 point favorites, I wasn’t much concerned about it coming down to a field goal. On the other hand, it was Willingham. He never lost a Big Game to Cal. (And I carry a special spot for him in my heart, as he allowed my kid to walk on and be “Rudy”, the 6th string QB for two years back at Notre Dame).
Willingham teams are always prepared, and they always hit. We’ve been doing a little hitting ourselves, lately, so we were all optimistic.
Where we tailgate (the Kleeburger lot), will be a creek again some day. The new Stadium plan calls for Strawberry Creek to be opened up again (I guess it goes underground now). How cool will that be?
A new TV was set up at the eastern end of the parking lot. Slowly, we are becoming more fan friendly—credit Sandy Barbour.
Ditty got, their starting QB was out, so odds were in our favor.
In the parking lot the “insiders” told us Lynch would be rested to give him three weeks off his ankle. Sure enough, Forsett started.
Washington deferred on the coin toss. Longshore was sacked for a 7 yard loss on the first play. Intentional grounding was called as well, so we started 2nd and 22 from our own 8. (I knew those winds were a bad omen).
Forsett picked up 6, but a pass to Jackson fell incomplete so we punted.
They marched down—Bonnell not looking like a rookie QB—and kicked a field goal. With the exception of Tennessee, had we been behind before?
We put together a mini 6 plays, before Larson had to kick again.
Lynch came in for one play, and picked up a yard. So much for resting the ‘ol ankles.
Washington runs 6 plays for 20 yards before kicking. We do the same—5 plays for 17 yards, before punting. We’re hoping this is not on National TV.
All I can think of is the wind. Back in the day the Big 10 was three yards and a cloud of dust. Why? I learned when Bartkowski took the Bears back against Mike White’s Illini team. He didn’t complete a pass in the first or third quarters. But completed all of them in the 2nd and 4th. Why? The wind. It knuckle balls, a football, and not only is it impossible to throw, it “jumps” and receivers have a hard time catching it.
We were on the planes of Champaign today.
They were 7 plays for 50 yards—and a punt. We were 4 for 35 and a punt. The stadium announcer asked the stands to keep it down so the rest of us could sleep.
We did attempt a 50 yard field go, but like my serves—wide right.
Bonnell hit Russo on a slant and he took it in for a 49 yard TD. Could this really be happening? 10 zip.
Starting with 47 seconds left, Longshore hit 3 straight bringing it down to their 4. Five seconds left. Time for one pass?
Tedford played it straight and kicked the field goal to make ti 10 to 3 with 2 seconds left.
They went three and out to start the second half. Hobbling Lynch carried for 16—caught a pass for 26—carried for 4—and then carried for 14 down to the 2. In two plays Forsett took it in to make it 10 all.
Tedford had put the game on Lynch’s shoulders (ankles) and he’d responded.
D continuted to play tough. They kicked and we marched down until Schnieder hit a 50 yard field goal. 13 to 10.
Follet (that kid can play) made a diving interception, and for the first time this year. We ran 6 straight running plays. Alas, the last one was on 4th and short, and Lynch was stopped—so the Huskies took over at their own 14.
The 4th quarter began with Washington completeing an 86 yard drive to take the lead 17 to 13.
We went 68 yards in 9 plays and this time settled for a Schnieder field goal from the 29. At 17 to 16 all I could think about was serving with that wind. With 10:21 to go, time was becoming a factor.
The Huskies punted and we took over with 6:50 at our own 18. We put together an impressive 12 play 82 yard drive mixing passing and running with Lynch going the final 17. At 22 to 17, we lined up for a two point conversion. Tedford always throws on third and short, yet he ran Forsett right up the middle for a crucial 2 point conversion. Brilliant.
The rest is history: They started on their 22. Got to our 40, and took time out with 6 ticks left.
Hey, St. Helena’s own Jimmy Hunt did it to Jerry Bradley with one tick left back in ’65. (As a side light to Hunt’s game winner to Bradley, the Penn State Coach lost his job and was replaced by a kid named Joe Paterno).
Well, Bonnell flung it deep down the middle. Bishop was poised to go up and knock it down. He was hit from behind by two other Bears who were trying to make a play.
After the game, he said he didn’t know whether to intercept it or just bat it down. His indecision caused the ball to carom backwards, and Marlon Woods plucked it out of the air and carried it into the end zone.
Tie game. No time. Overtime.
Washington wins the toss, but wisely goes on defense. Lynch takes it in from 22 yards out on the 2nd play and we are up by 7.
After three plays, they’ve got a first at our 6. Then Thompson and Mebane combine to tackle the runner for a five yard loss. On 2nd and 11 from the 11, Bonnell is picked off by Bishop who runs it all the way back to the Washington 16. (As a sidelight, had a fumbled I think Washington gets the ball there—first and 10). But I’m not entirely sure.
Old school guys know the law is, on 4th down the ball is batted to the ground with both hands, like an illegal volley ball hit. Kids now-a-days intercept on 4th down. A Hail Mary, is no different.
If one is taking this as a “teaching moment”, the lesson is two-fold. One never 12 to intercept a Hail Mary—drive the ball into the turf. Two: Db’s must talk to one another—never hit another guy off the ball. It’s like knocking a rebound away from your own player. If you see the guy in front of you go up, never knock into him. It’s his play to make.
Others will say, “heat of the battle”, or you can’t take away initiative etc. etc—but smart football is smart ball.
Of course, who can criticize a guy like Bishop, who says he learned his lesson. All he had was 16 tackles, and the pick which one the game. He’s such a good kid, and such a throw back (He likes Butkus and Singletary) that you just have to pull for him.
Oddest stat: What would you have said the score would have been, had you been told before the game, we’d get 5 picks and were favored by 22?
As Art Arlett used to say, “It was a great day for California.”


For the longest drive of the day, click here to watch Lynch after the game.

From Greg:
RSVP for Cal's pre-game tailgates at Arizona and USC! The California Alumni Association (CAA) hosts pre-game tailgates before every away football game, so don't miss the parties before Arizona and USC! Full details including price, menu, maps, RSVP info, and more are on our tailgates page: ARIZONA, Nov. 11: The tailgate starts 2 1/2 hours before game time (TBA) on Gittings Lawn, located on the east side of campus at University Blvd (UA Mall) and Campbell Ave. The tailgate includes 2 free adult drinks! USC, Nov. 18: The tailgate starts at 2:30pm (game time is 5pm) at Jesse Brewer Park, which is on the corner of Exposition Blvd. and Vermont, on the grounds of Exposition Park, adjacent to the Coliseum. Don't miss the biggest tailgate of the year at over 2000 people! RSVP online today for significantly cheaper prices. Prices will go up by $10 on November 4 for *both* tailgates, and the walk-up price will be $10 more.

Erin from CAA sent me a post and said that Sandy sent the following e-mail regarding the Nov. 11 Arizona game, making it look like a probable 4:15pm game time in Arizona (that is 3:15 California time): "Actually, we already have an agreement with Arizona that one of us (either FoxAZ or ComCast (or both)) will broadcast the game at 4:15pm. Obviously, given our Pac 10 tv package, we've needed to learn to be a little more proactive. We were a little slow out of the gate, but I think we've got it covered now. FYI, we may not know about the AZ game and the ABC selection until 6-days prior to the game. Go Bears! SB" Note that ABC could pick up the game at 12:30pm, but it's improbable as this game is Arizona's Homecoming.


More from Greg:
A good article is sent in to me by Walt and is posted below, "Interesting article from USA Today regarding the PAC 10. Note that Sagarin ranks the Pac as stronger than the SEC (So Easy Conference)." Also a good one sent in from Dave, a CAL alum living in Oregon. This one is also posted in full below. Dave says, " here is a local article on a Cal recruit [from Oregon]. Maybe the next Lynch?"
FOOTBALL Bear Bits ... this year marks the first time since 1950 that Cal has opened 5-0 in conference play ... Cal leads the nation with 18 interceptions this year ... the Golden Bears lead the Pac-10 in turnover margin at #10 ... Daymeion Hughes is tied for second in the nation with seven interceptions ... the Bears have been over 50,000 fans for 16 straight home games - the Oregon sellout was just the fourth non-Big Game sellout in the last 50 years ... Cal lost its season opener each of the last two years it won the conference championship (1958 and 1975).....Despite missing the second halves of both the Oregon and Portland State games due to injury, Lynch still leads the Pac-10 in rushing (113.4 yards per game, 12th in the nation) and all-purpose yards (153.0 per game, eighth in the nation). ....California is now 5-0 in Pac-10 play; it is the first time the Golden Bears have opened league play at 5-0 since the 1950 season, the third of three straight undefeated conference seasons - as well as the third of three straight Rose Bowl appearances. Since 1950, the Bears have won more than five conference games just five times, including the 2004 season under Tedford, who has never had a losing season in league play.....since posting the worst record at Cal in 104 years (1-10) in 2001, the Golden Bears have rolled to five straight winning seasons since the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford. Last year, Cal won eight games and so far in 2006, the Bears are 7-1, marking the first time the Golden Bears have had five straight winning seasons in over 50 years (Pappy Waldorf's juggernaut teams reeled off six straight winning marks from 1947-52)........Arizona tailgate: all info is now up at www.alumni.berkeley.edu/tailgates then click on Arizona


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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Cal Fan's Notes: Loose in the Palouse


I heard the rain drops falling around 4 am. When I awoke at 6, it was dark and rainy. The Cougs’ only chance to win was the Curse of the Palouse. Lousy weather. Were the Gods against us again?
Alas, the rain was falling on Sunday morning, not Saturday. I had forgotten it is the Tedford, not the Levy era. It took a moment, but I could relax. When I had awakened on Saturday morn, the sun shone bright and the weather was autumn perfect. Nine hours later, we had beaten and shut down the Cougs 21 to 3. There may have been a few questions about the game, but one answer was for certain.
The happiest man in America this weekend is Phillip Fulmer, the Vols head coach. Tennessee caught Cal in the Diaper stage—not today, after they had matured to Big Boy Pants.
He would not have liked these quotes from The Spokesman-Review: “They kicked my butt on every aspect of the game. They came out and they hit me and hit me and hit me. Every play of the game, they hit me. I got shut out in the sack department, but like I said, they hit me in the mouth every single play.”
That was Defensive end, Mkristo Bruce—he said it was the most physical game he’d been a part of.
When asked about SC and Cal, Bruce (a sure all Pac 10 and maybe All American) said, “Cal wins. They’re relentless. I think Cal is a more relentless football team.”
O linemen, Sean O’Conner and Frampton agreed and choose Cal.
Before these words were uttered, it appeared few were going to fly to beautiful downtown Pullman just for a football game. But just under two hours away lays the fable city of Coeur d-Alene. And that’s where we lit on Thursday night.
Coeur d’Alene has a storied history. President McKinley sent in the Buffalo Soldiers (the all black Calvary troop from Brownsville) to quell a union riot. Eugene Debs showed up, Ethel Barrymore performed there at the opera house, and Walter Johnson pitched an exhibition. It was a favorite spot for prize fights, as well. It was a destination (like San Francisco) for folks from the East. When the silver played out, it died. There's a great book about it's history called Big Trouble, which goes into the assassination of the Governor by the "anarchists" (union guys) and the Pinkerton detective, Mcparland (who tracked down Butch Cassidy), comes in to solve the crime. Clarence Darrow defends the killers.
It is a box we hadn’t checked.
A train ride sounded like the perfect idea, but I couldn’t put aside two weeks to insure that we would arrive on time. So we settled for Southwest—that gave them two days to get us there.
However long it took it was worth it to read the words quoted above, by the Cougar players.
No need to read this screed any further, unless you want to hear about a couple of days in the land of the Hitler Youth.
Thursday night, we had dinner at Brix—not near Yountville, but on Sherman Ave. in the Heart of Couer D’Alene. It was short walk from the Couer D’Alene resort, where our upgraded room (formally a photographer’s dark room and telephone booth) awaited us. What did we care?
We were in beautiful country with a remarkable past.
Brix was hardly what one would expect in Idaho. It was more like San Francisco—lots of precious salads and yuppie dishes. It did not disappoint.
As we left, (yes, we were the last ones there) I went over to give an extra tip to Red-Tie-Mike, our waiter. He, a chick and a waifish guy were chatting over a book at the bar.
As I approached, Mike took another book and covered up the title of the book they were talking about. The little guy with the thin mustache and moppy hair (I’m not making this up) realized that I had seen the cover.
I can’t describe the look he gave me. I didn’t get the title, but the Swastika couldn’t be hidden.
Mr. Metzger may be dead, but clearly his Hitler Youth are still around.
Little did we know that that was just the beginning?
It was up to the Iron Horse—a bar, restaurant and dancing joint. It was a Thursday night, and it was, if not packed, crowded.
Looked like most of the men had just left their Militia meetings.
Who were these people? Who were we? They considered us freaks. But they were nice about it. Cindy and I were clearly the only quasi-hetero-sexual married couple in the place. But they weren’t prejudiced—though I’m sure they wouldn’t have liked people like us moving into their neighborhood, though they might have allowed us to marry their daughters.
The “toos”, piercings, spiked hair and skinned heads exposed our flaws. It was Christopher Isherwood and Berlin before the War. Decadence was everywhere. But we danced with them, and they with us. Cindy asked if I minded when she danced with the creepiest human being I’ve ever seen up close.
“No prob.” I said. “As long as you don’t mind spending the next 8 to 10 years chained to a spike under a stair case, and wearing a dog collar.”
We were not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
The Brian David Mitchell look alike was giving the gals the eye. I wondered if his wives knew he was thinking about cheating on them?
Babes with bellies bigger than their boobs (and that’s saying something) pranced about. I hadn’t heard the music, but at some point Rod Serling entered and for the rest of the night it was Twilight Zone. Our group was dancing with everything that moved—and everything on them moved.
The weirdest part was the cleanliness. We consider ourselves connoisseurs of dive bars. This was a dive bar—but spotless. The restrooms were immaculate. One couldn’t help but go back to psych 101 and think of Freud: Berkeley-ites are Anal Explosives—hair flowing from the head, ears, nose, eyes (you know, like our blind dates back in the day), and these “revolutionaries”—totally anal retentive—clean, shaven, neat, meticulous.
Our den mother, Linda, kept putting beer bottles on the floor just to see what would happen. By the time she returned from a dance (I guess that’s what these kids call it); it was picked up and mopped clean. We were blown away.
Conversation was a little different: “Yep. Had be a good saw once. 48 incher. Lost it in the divorce.” Now what kind of a woman would take a man’s saw, like that?
Friday, was free skate. We hit a dive bar, the Sundowners. Tell them I’m from the Napa Valley. “Good place to get drunk,” says one of the cousins sitting at the bar. After they decided they liked us, they offered us the special spot—up the stairs out the back on a hidden picnic table in the sun. Don’t think they noticed that it was right on the freeway, next to the rusted car and trailer. To them it was special.
Saturday morning we headed out as nervous as Leni Riefenstahl on her first shoot.
The drive down took us through acres and acres of freshly cut and disked wheat fields. As we neared Pullman, we were with good people. “Neighbor’s got 7 feet of topsoil. Gets 90 bushels per acre,” one fellow told me.
Despite Starkey’s ravings about the Curse of the Palouse, the Cougs bring up only fond memories for me. As a freshman, back in ’66, playing for Truck, I remember listening to the radio as Stewie (Wayne Stewart) picked off three—running one in for a touch. Donnie Guest, who joins us every Saturday, and was a winger on Doc’s rugby team with me (notice how I drop record holders), set a record which will never be broken—108 yard field goal return for a touch. (See end why it will stand forever).
The wide receiver on that team—the Bird—Jerry Bradley—joined us for drinks on Friday night (after dinner at Wolf Lodge—the most cowboy of restaurants—in the entire world).
So I wasn’t carrying the baggage of those who were focusing on the fact that we hadn’t won up there since 1979.
We were up at 7am in Warren’s room watching Game Day. Cal is clearly building a brand, as Jackson was featured as possible Heisman Candidate.
Spent the pre-game in the WSU field house, watching other weekend games. Then into the Stadium where Jim Patmount spoke of the ‘66 game. As his late dad was the team doctor, he had been a ball boy—no more than 8 when Bradley, Guest, and Stewie were performing their heroics and now he was up here with his kid. How cool is that?
On the first carry, Lynch knocked off 42 and was caught from behind. Did the safety have the angle, or was it Lynch’s ankle?
We were moving, but they got a pick. (We were to learn after the game that Longshore was sick).
They were three and out, but Nu'u Tafisi blocked Darryl Blunt's punt and recovered it on the WSU 5. Two plays later, Lynch ran 2 yards for the score.
They moved down to our 29, but on 4th and 11 Brink threw to Hill covered by (What’s his name?) oh yes, DaymeionHughes—and the pass was incomplete.
We then went 71 yards on 11 plays to take a 14 to zip lead.
The quarter ended 14-0, but they soon completed a 13 play drive to make it 14 to 3.
They kicked off. We punted. They were driving and then that kid, Daymeion Hughes s intercepted his 6th of the year. I'm pulling for him, but it saddens me that he will break Weed's long standing interception record of 16.
We went 88 yards in 12 plays with Lynch taking it in from 8 yards to go ahead 21 to 3, with 3:27 left in the half. Oddly, that would be the end of the scoring.
It’s easy to criticize Cal’s play in the second half, but don’t forget that the Cougs are a very good college team. They played well, and our defense was outstanding—especially on third and 4th downs.
They had had only three yards on offense the entire day, when Darrell Hudson broke away for70 yards and a first down at our 5. Thompson, who had a tough time at Tennessee, saved a touch down by running him down when it seemed like a sure score.
They “scored”, but it was overturned by review. On 4th and one, they tried a sneak, and we held.
Bottom line: Go back to the top of the page. Our D was awesome, especially on third and 4th downs. Longshore dropped the ball from center on two (maybe three occasions). Me thinks they were long passes, and he might have hurried it, but only they know.
WSU is a fine team. They played us loose (As Tennessee did) so no one could get deep. We do need to figure out how to throw short, when folks are playing back on us.
For the first time this year, on a third down (and 10, no less) we ran it and Lynch picked up a big time first.
The O line is awesome. WSU led the nation in sacks with 27, and got one.
Once can only imagine what plays Tedford is holding in abeyance for SC.
How big was this win? We heard upon arriving back in Oakland that shock waves were felt all the way to the Big Island of Hawaii, where Dzura lives.
In an only at Cal moment, Stoney brought this tall guy up to me. It was Daryl Imhoff. Last time I saw him was in black and white when we had to go to a neighbor’s to watch the NCAA finals on TV. Said he was coming down in December for the Dedication of a Stature for Pete Newell. Now there’s a Bear who should be forever bronzed. Apparently, he will be near Pappy in Faculty Glade.
Imhofff had just walked up to Stoney, and said, “You look like you’re from Cal. I’m from Cal too.” Fortunately, Stoney was wearing his brown colored trousers.
When the game was over, some (alas, but not all) of the bears came down and doffed their hats to the fans.
(Bradley said that the Cougs were upset that we didn’t travel well—that we had returned 1500 tickets).
Bishop took up the baton and conducted the band. Lynch waved the huge flag, and then discovered that it was heavier than he thought. One of the gals gave DeCloud her pompons. It was a Bear moment. One we will never forget—even though my good friend Joe Starky will now have to look for some new pre-game palaver—that the curse of the Palouse is doused forever.

Go Bears,
Jeffrey Earl Warren '70
www.jeffwarren.com

P.S. Guest's record of 198 yards will never be broken as the NCAA no longer keeps track of yardage greater than 100 yards--at least on punt or field goal returns.




From the Website

Nate Longshore completed 17 of 31 for 176 yards with two interceptions and a rushing TD for Cal. DeSean Jackson and Robert Jordan combined for 116 yards on 10 catches to keep WSU's defense off balance.

Lynch, the Pac-10's leading rusher, later ran untouched for an 8-yard score after Daymeion Hughes intercepted Alex Brink's pass on the WSU 12. Hughes' interception was his sixth of the season.



From Tom Wright on the Oregon Win:


And to top off the day the national champion rugby team was introduced between the 3rd and 4th quarters!!

GO BEARS!!!!!!




Forgot to mention last week that up at OSU, Sand Barbour was named NCAA athletic Diretor of the Year. Not bad for a school noted for geeks and Nobel Laureates.











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