Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A CAL FAN'S NOTES/ THESE ARE NOT YOUR FATHER'S BEARS

These are not your father’s Bears. If you don’t believe it by the number of athletes on the sideline—you should have seen the half time show. A group of students recited a military oath to defend the Constitution. These students were volunteering to enlist in all four services. We’re all so proud of them. They got a standing ovation from 62,000 fans. Definitely not your Father’s Cal Bears.
Can’t stand these 7pm starts—though playing under the lights is awfully sexy. It brings a certain high school excitement to it. (Did I just write that?)

Went to the gym to try to pass the time. Saw replay of Blount’s sucker punch more times than I could count. Ducks let down Pac 10—bad! Then to a yoga class—not my idea—not my area of expertise. Left 30 minutes into it to go watch the Giants. My idea of “Stretch” is Willy McCovey at first.

Tried to watch college games on TV—Ohio State and Navy, Minnessota and Syracuse (at least the Gophers pulled it out meaning the bears will play at least one team with a win this year). Nervous as Elizabeth Taylor in a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, at 1:30 I jumped behind the wheel and hit the road.

The Goobs had to go to a wedding of a friend. It’s in our Pre-Nup. On Saturdays in the fall, she does the Brides—I do the Bears.

Tailgates lived up to their billing. Great to get back in touch with so many Beers—er, Bears).

Daughter Cody (she graduated in June but is still in school—go figure) came by to mooch some tickets. She was one of the youngest fans I saw. Actually, it was interesting that there were none of the older—grandfathely fans—one is so used to seeing. All I saw were young people like us—and younger ones still. ‘Tiz a puzzlement.

Didn’t see Kapp before the game which was probably just as well. Can you imagine him (off tequila) waiting for his kid, Will’s, first game in Memorial Stadium? I’m sure the ADHD ward was alerted at Cowell. Where is Cowell Hospital these days, anyway? It used to be near where we were tailgating.

An hour before kickoff, head for the cyclone fences that are protecting the hole in the ground which will one day be the Athletic Performance Center, and enter the Stadium.

Burn some incense for Dumpster Muffin, Burlap, and Oak, and then head up to my seats at the top of D. (See Pics)
Tavecchio kicked off to around the five. He was criticized after the game, but it was a pretty stiff wind—which changed directions as the game went on.

Terps went three and out with a couple of penalties.

Best picked up five, then ran an up route and Riley hit him on the money, maybe a step short and it was broken up, but the ball looked nice. In fact, I’m not sure Riley missed any obviously open receivers. It wasn’t one of those games where you shouted “He’s open deep” or “he threw to the wrong man.”

(Four words you always wanted to see in the same paragraph but were afraid wouldn’t—and hope you will see often? “Riley. Four Touchdown passes.”) Riley threw for 298 yards and th0ugh he was 1 for 5 in the first quarter, for the most part he looked calm and composed as he slowly dissected the Terps’ D.

Another change from last year: Receivers made at least 4 outstanding catches—making Riley look even better, as they are supposed to do. Marvin Jones looks like he can really play.

The Terps went three and out and then punted again.

We started at 10.06 left in the first quarter and at 9:54 Best had crossed the goal line from 73 yards away. Anyone who thinks Best takes 12 seconds to go 73 yards better check his Timex.

It was an amazing run, but for the first time in my life I think the free safety actually gained ground on Best and almost stopped him. Pre-game jitters forced me to forget to TIVO the game, so I couldn’t check that out.

Best ran the ball only 10 times for 137 yards. (Of course, his last moment on the field was with 10:03 to go in the third quarter. So he had 178 total yards (23 receiving, 18 on one kickoff) in less than 40 minutes of play.

We greedy fans wanted him back in (HEISMAN, HEISMAN), but protecting him from injury was the right move—and Shane Vereen is a big time player. He got 10 carries for 48 yards.

O line on a roll—244 yards. Dominated after the first drive. Good pass protection.

D? No ints, but some nice “defenses” as they call breaking it up these days.

Five kickers: (two punters one field goaler, and two kicker offers—performed well—though kickoffs didn’t reach end zone.

Best (pun intended) indication that Cal may have what it takes? #30 Linebacker Mychal Hendricks. Not only did he have 12 tackles (7 solos) he bent a couple of Terps backward with some vicious hits. Ultimately, football is a physical game and if we can be known for knocking the snot out of some of these running backs and receivers—folks on the national scene will start taking the bears seriously.

Next week is a flag football contest against Eastern Washington. No sense putting on pads and getting anyone hurt.

We are not the only ones guilty of this, but How ‘bout the BCS says anyone plays a Division III team (don’t give me this Division I Football Championship Subdivision stuff)—if I want Orwellian obfuscation of language, I can turn on Senate Hearings on CSPAN—they automatically forfeit their right to a BCS Bowl Bid? Think that would affect Florida’s or Boise State’s choice of non conference opponents?

Anyway, we are lucky. Who knows how the season will unfold.? But right now we have a LOT of good young players—playing very poised ball (only three unimportant penalties—not bad for a first game).

It’s waaaaaaaaaay to early to say whether Joe Kapp will get to hit that Tequila in the first week of ‘010, but this one could be a fun ride.

(Come to think of it, my father’s Bears went to Three consecutive Rose Bowls—maybe I should re-think this).

Go Bears,
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70





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


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