Why we go to Cal games:
1). At Stoney’s tailgate John Siamas(Si) pulls me aside to inform me that Oregon St Freshman, Jacquizz Rodgers, who led the upset of USC on Thursday night, should get a trophy for most Scrabble points in a first name. “It’s the Double Z that clinched it,” Si whispers. What? Syd’Quan Thomson’s chopped liver?
2.) Each time Roulon Jones makes a stop, Kingwell Tuck leads a cheer up in CC, Ruuuuu Lonnnnn…..you Bears….. Ruuuuuuuu Lonnnnnnnnnn, you Bears.” (In another “Bears only” tragedy, time runs out in the half, players run off the field, officials review the last play and decide to put one second on the clock, Cal defense comes back on the field and stuffs the Rams for a loss, but Davis gets hurt and is out for 2 months). He will be missed—as he was last year.
3.) A lost, distinguished looking gentleman (that’s code for even older than I am) struggles up the hill at Bowles Hall to Buddy and the group’s tailgate and says, “Is that you Jeff? I’m looking for (former tackle) Ernie Voight.” Turns out to be Coach Ray Willsey. He’s out for a Pappy’s Boys (soon to be Pappy’s Boy) function.
Ray was amazing. He was our coach in the 60’s when the Cal school yell went from “Rollllllllllllllllllll on you Bears….” To “Ashes to Ashes/Dust to Dust/ We hate to shut it down/But we must we must.”
Imagine what it was like trying to recruit a kid to Cal in the late 60’s. Parents just wouldn’t let their kids come--Too many commie, pinko, wierdos. Today’s posers, Zachery Running Wolf (no doubt on a Ward Churchill scholarship), and Dumpster Muffin, despite her flirtations with Mayor Tom, couldn’t hold a Garf Wilson candle, to the crazies we dealt with daily, back in the day. As Ackie boy said years ago, “There’d be no football at the University of California if it weren’t for Ray Wilsey.”
We reminisced how there was a time when second string qb’s (My memory’s hazy, but I recall #2 QB’s-- Gabe Arriaga, Gus Gianulias, Larry Balliet, Jim, Hunt, and Jerry Walters,all getting a chance to start on defense while also being the second best QB on the team.
In irony of ironies, Ray (who was the first coach to truly integrate the Cal football team in 1967) kept with the tradition and started Bernie Keels (a qb from South Carolina) as a defensive safety. With 1:32 left in the SC game, he fumbled a punt, and SC kicked the winning field goal.
Hey. It happens.
But what was worse was a kid took the mic from the cheer leaders after the game and ranted and raved that it was racism which prevented Bernie from being the starting qb, and we’d have won were he #1. A nice young kid, Bernie was actually #3 or #4 in ability that year, and was given every opportunity to start. How Ray was able to take the abuse back then, is beyond me. He had his critics, but he did so much and got such little credit.
Of course an actual football game broke out in the middle of all these reminisces over beers in the various parking lots (does anyone in the country have worse tailgating facilities than we do these days?) and, as Art Arlett used to opine over the loud speaker, “It was a great day for California.”
Special teams dominated (which is so often the case when you just have more athletes than the other squad). Tedford has really increased the numbers of excellent athletes now wearing the blue and gold.
Speaking of which our unis were blue on blue this week after wearing Gold tops and Blue pants in the opener, against MSU. It was white on White on the Road against WSU, and White on Yellow back east against Maryland. Who’s our fashion consultant? Gold swooshes are all the rage. Always a hint of color. With changes each week can the bumble bee stripes be far behind?
Speaking of which, nice to see Curley named to the Bay Area Hall of Fame. (If you thought the train trip to Maryland was an ugly story, don’t ask about the 43 hr bus ride I took from NY to Dallas for Morton’s wedding back in the ‘70’s). Now that was an adventure. I think I still have the can of “Billy Beer.”
Syd’quan Thomson (another competitor for the all Scrabble squad), is dominating. His punt return for a TD showed how well he sees the field. With three pics so far, he’ll be playing on Sunday’s next year.
Riley’s a gamer and can scramble, but something’s just a hair off. Longshore came in and showed well, though with a 28-0 lead there was no pressure.
We’ve got ASU at home on Saturday and are 121/2 point favorites. How scary is that?
Maryland and Michegan St. are knocking on the door of the top 25. Cal is a good team. How good, is tough to tell.
Jahvid’s dislocated elbow is not likely to heal as fast as they’d like. He’s quite a kid.
In a touching gesture the Bears wore BB on the backs of their helmets for Bob Briggs (Cal Band's legendary director). There was a moment of silence as we all said good bye to one of the greats.
On the issue of travel and cement legs (not criticizing—just think some grad student ought to really look into it), Bob sent me this:
I just did some checking and and found out from an L.A. Times article, dated August 28, 2008, that the Trojan's charter arrived Thursday evening in Charlottesville. There's no doubt in my mind that if what the Bears did was truly the way to go, then SC would have done it too.
I enjoyed your trip description.
Great people. Great stories. Great wit. Great weather. Great Stadium. Great Day. Topped off by great football.
We’ve got more than we ever deserved.
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70
Sons of California Reunion Bar-b-que is Saturday before the ASU game at 10am.
Matt's Golf Tourney is Friday at Tilden. RSVP if you haven't already.
Here's an article on the game from a real writer