Friday, September 21, 2007



Winning does funny things to a man (or men). Now that the Bears are experiencing success, guys who once sucked it up, puking and dropping 10lbs in a sweaty afternoon session of double days, have now become the bitchy, cranky housewives we never wanted to marry.

Nothing is good enough for us anymore. Why is that?

We find ourselves watching games (to wit: Louisiana State-Tech-A & M or whatever they were called) and little joy comes from a resounding win.

We can’t flap our jaws without moaning about the ineptitude of young 19 year olds, or the mistakes of perhaps the finest coaching staff in the country.

I’m the worst offender.

The bottle is always half full (Ok, not the one in our hands. That one is empty and we are frantically looking for a re-fill).

We question the Bears’ focus. Desean’s hands. The Coaches’ calls. Why Best doesn’t touch the ball more. Why Longshore is missing on long ones. Why we don’t go deep more to Desean. The D backs’ lack of open field tackling. The questionable pass rush. Why we didn’t go for it on 4th and short. Why we don’t run more. Why we don’t pass more.

Poor Tedford. He’s become Dagwood to 60,000 howling Blondie’s each Saturday.

His crime? Bringing success to a group of alumni who are used to chronic failure.

Being true Bear fans we are certain that the bubble is going to pop. Like an orphan who’s been adopted by the crown prince, we can’t believe that we are deserving of this fairy tale existence, so we focus only on the negative, that we might not be too hurt when the clock strikes 12 and that Golden coach reverts to its proverbial pumpkin status.

Our fears are not entirely baseless. When the Rose Bowl was finally ours (after almost 50 years) who knew that a clever Mac Brown could whine on TV, make a few phone calls and gip us out of our birthright? He was simply smarter than we were.

Or who knew that SC would lose to UCLA, meaning that if a receiver hadn’t stumled on the one yard line; or a ref hadn’t called a bogus P.I. penalty in the endzone; or replay hadn’t been invented (so Desean’s foot could be called on the line), that we would have been in the Rose Bowl last year as well?

We know the Gods like to toy with us.

They send us Ayr, Burlap, and that famous SoSueMe Indian Chief, Zachary Running Wolf, just to torment us like locusts of old.

No doubt the open sores are on their way.

To torture the women they send plastic, ordorific porta potties with urinals about face high. (On the internet, “executive”, clean ones can be ordered for $1,000 per). Wouldn’t 10 of those be nice—now that the stadium is close to capacity with paying customers).

Opps. See. We bitch about everything.

Anyway, getting home to the Rose Bowl, or the Game in New Orleans (looks like nothing short of a National Championship will suffice), is going to be like Odysseus’ Odyssey.

There will be lots of baptisms by fire, and many tempting sirens which will attempt to lure our ships of hope between Scylla and Charybdis—that those monsters may once again, dash our dreams to pieces.

My guess is that the football Gods are going to continue to test us until we prove ourselves worthy—and the first step in that direction is to drop the bitchy gambit.

Strategy is fair game—hey, we are fans after all, and no one is smarter than we are.

Constructive criticisms are fine as are basic differences of opinion.

But to make the grade, all this has to be tempered with loyalty, propriety, and a sense of gratefulness for what has been put on our plate.

We’ve been given a glimpse of what we’ve always wanted, and at some point we’re going to have to grow up and earn the right to be as classy as our program appears to be.

It ain’t gonna be all wins, all perfect, all the time.

‘Nuff said.

See you tomorrow in the parking lot, and if my glass appears half full, please fill it up so I can ease my pain if things don’t go right.

Go Bears,

Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70

Per the blog below, the injuries to the defensive lineman now do not appear to be as serious as originally feared...............The Bears are a 16-point favorite over the Wildcats this Saturday, in what the USA Today is claiming to be "redemption game no. 2".......... article below from the Daily Cal on the stadium hearing, which starts today and is scheduled to last two days.

"Sign of Relief" - CC Times CAL Blog by on September 18, 2007

It looks like the injuries to defensive lineman Matt Malele and Rulon Davis aren't as serious as originally feared. Malele has a strained muscle in his foot while Davis has a sprained foot. Coach Jeff Tedford said each is day-to-day, and was unsure if either could be ready by Saturday's game against Arizona. But it doesn't sound like it will be an extended period of time out of action for either. Tedford also reiterated that linebacker Zack Follett is day-to-day with a neck stinger.

From the Cal Grid of Sacramento Eric Bachman sent this piece from The New York Times.

Tree Story

Sandy Barbour letter:

> Subject: letter from Sandy Barbour and Nathan Brostrom
> Dear Friends,
> For the first time in recent memory, a group of people...that would be
> you...came together to do the hard work it takes to support the
> University and stand up for what you believe. Usually, people are too
> busy, too overworked or overbooked, to step up when needed. You did so
> and you have our everlasting gratitude.
> In early August, this was a one sided battle, with
Cal's detractors
> controlling the airwaves, news pages and websites. By last week, we
> had at least brought the City of
Berkeley to a place where they
> recognize the enormous outpouring of support
Cal enjoys in our
> community. We believe it was a wakeup call for the City. And we hope
> it will serve to improve the relationship between the City of
> and the University in the future.
> There will undoubtedly be more opportunities for all of you to come
> forward and support
Cal again. We needed you this time and we'll need
> you again. The good news is we know we have your support and can
> count on it in the future..
> To all of you who wrote letters, sent emails, displayed signs, talked
> to friends and neighbors and city council members, came to meetings,
> helped at Fan Appreciation Day, the Tennessee game and the City
> Council meeting, thanks for all you've done in the last six weeks to
> support Cal and our student athletes. We couldn't ask for better
> friends.
> Go Bears!
> Sincerely,
> Sandy Barbour and Nathan Brostrom

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Cal Connection

CAA supports Memorial Stadium Campaign

A message from CAA President Darek DeFreece

Today, the Board of Directors of the California Alumni Association unanimously passed a resolution in support of the University regarding the Memorial Stadium Campaign. The campaign is ambitious. It will retrofit and enhance an historic structure, it will build a state-of-the-art training facility for student-athletes from thirteen different disciplines and it will set forth a plan to completely change the face of the south-east quadrant of the University campus.

The timing of the CAA resolution is important. Tomorrow, in an Alameda Superior Court Room, a judge will preside over a hearing pitting the Berkeley City Council against the University and its plans for Memorial Stadium. The Berkeley City Council rebuffed numerous attempts by the University to settle the issue short of this hearing date. Alongside of this hearing occurs another trial of sorts—the continued occupation of a grove of oak trees by
Berkeley residents in front of the stadium. While as the occupation of the trees makes for an interesting, and media-friendly, circus in effect it has sidetracked the real issue. Lost in the headlines is the University's consistent proposal to replace trees planted mostly during a 1923 landscaping project on a three-to-one ratio. Arguments for and against the trees have replaced the question of seismic safety for hundreds of student-athletes and conceivably, thousands of spectators.

The larger issue of course is of the future of the stadium. The Memorial Stadium Campaign must continue and must succeed. Our beloved stadium, while majestic and arguably one of the most beautiful contest fields in all of collegiate sports, is aging. Seismically suspect, its facilities are comfortably at the bottom of the Pacific-10 conference. In order for Memorial Stadium to receive its much-needed facelift, student-athletes and staff must safely relocate to another location. The opportunity to build the training center for the first phase of the campaign is therefore present and makes unarguable sense.

Alumni from all over have already spoken on this issue. They believe in the diligent work that the University has done to show that its proposal is sound and principled. It is with the voice of the alumni firmly backing the Board that the Board passes and introduces its resolution is support of the University. The CAA urges the Berkeley City Council to come to the table for meaningful settlement discussions. The CAA urges our 424,000 alumni to raise its collective voice in support of our beloved alma mater.

Fiat Lux,

Darek DeFreece '93
California Alumni Association

Read resolution.

Get Involved

Read the CAA resolution

Get the facts by reading about the Memorial Stadium Campaign

Current news

Speak out by telling the Berkeley City Council to negotiate with the University

Join an online petition*

Discuss the issue in an online forum*

Contribute and financially support the Memorial Stadium Campaign

*unaffiliated with and not specifically endorsed by CAA

© 2007 California Alumni Association. All Rights Reserved.
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Berkeley, CA 94720-7520

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