Friday, August 29, 2008

Cal vs. Michigan St.

Most men dream of lucre and power. But when you’re a Bear fan, one has different fantasies. You know it’s that time of year when your dreams turn from red corvettes to secret liaisons with Dumpster Muffin and Burlap. It’s not the amore which excites one. It’s the sheer thrill of removing the splinters afterwards that counts.

Dendrophilia (look it up) should be legalized between consenting adults.

In my dream, just at that crucial moment, Mayor Tom Bates arrives and whisks sweet Dumpster Muffin away. They exchange pants suits. Alas, the So-Sue-Me tribe’s, Zachery Running Wolf, appears on the scene and proposes marriage—to Mayor Bates. It’s then that I wake up in a sweat and realize that the season is about to begin.

To love Cal is to awake often in the middle of the night replaying horrors of games past. Mac Brown is often featured, as is SC losing to UCLA (despite UCLA losing 7 fumbles) and DENYING the Bears the Rose Bowl in ’75. Speaking of SC, dare we mention someone’s fumbled punt in ’69 with 1:32 seconds left? Sometimes it’s Grieb tackling Dummit on the five and watching the ref (on his back) signaling Touch Down! It can be Brad Williams getting out of bounds to stop the clock so the Indians can kick a game winning field goal, or DeShean stepping on the line at Arizona State (Why bring up the P.I. penalty?)—we can go on, but it is why we don’t have dreams—we have nightmares.

Still, Pollyanna’s that we are, we start each season filled with hope and grinning ear to ear. (I’ll never forget esteemed professor, Ken Jowett, appearing at Stoney’s tailgate on opening day in Blue Blazer and Cal Tie to make a statement that this was the year we were headed to Pasadena. Ken’s a brilliant political scientist—but prognosticator he’s not. That year we barely beat Rutgers in the last game for our one win of the season.

Of course, Tedford was the result, so maybe Ken was on to something.
Alas, the game is at 5pm (we need the TV revenues) so our body clocks will be a little out of whack, but at this age, most things aren’t working the way they once were, so what’s a little bad timing?

I get all my knowledge through rumor, but by every account of anyone who knew anything, Tedford was sticking with Longshore up until about 10 days ago. Either Riley has had a wonderful camp, or Tedford has handled the situation masterfully. Either way, we are on our way and it is in the hands of the gods.

Those who know much more than I have repeated that Tedford has abandoned the 5 star recruits and all the baggage (agents, possee’s, ESPN, parents etc.) for good players who can fit the system, and team concept needed to win at this level. A total stranger told me on Maui last Christmas (in an unsolicited conversation) that Tom Osborne A.D. at Nebraska was doing just that.

Word is Tedford has loaded up on lineman and is letting them duke it out like gladiators to find the furstest with the mostest.

Remembering the O line we had with Rogers and Aarington? If the above is true, that may not be a bad way to go.

One of my spies says that Running back Coach Ron Gould had two offers (one for a perennial BCS contender) and turned them down because he has the best two backs in the country. Time will tell.

Greg points out last time we played Michigan St. was back there. It was Tedford’s first year. They were ranked 15th and we walked in and whomped ‘em 46 to 22.

The Big 10. So much better than Sac State or William & Mary. Real Football, on a real Saturday , a real opponent, with real tailgates, real fans, real expectations, and real appeals still going on about fake issues. Ah Cal—Emily Dickensen said Hope is a thing with Feathers. Woody Allen corrected her saying the thing with feathers was his nephew and he’s in an institution in Zurich—but I digress.

For 48 hours at least—hope is ours--and no one—not even Ayr-- can take it away.

Go Bears,
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70

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