“It's Better to Lose than to Win at the Sacrifice of an Ideal,"
We now know what separates Cal from other Athletic programs in the country. Can you picture an Athletic Director like Pat Haden (USC), or Bill Battle (Alabama), or even Stanford State’s Bernard Muir—any one of them standing in front of their school’s most loyal donor base--Grid Club, Buck Club, Condom Club (SC)—whatever they’re called—and telling them he won’t take any questions?
Can you imagine those words coming from Pete Newell’s lips, John Kassar’s or Sandy’s predecessor, Steve Gladstone? Can you imagine anyone of them daring to say that to the folks who pay their salaries?
(From Sandy’s Contract: “This position is funded 100 percent by athletic department revenues and private fundraising” )
Well, it happened yesterday right in Memorial Stadium (the place the 2014 Big Game is likely not to be played) during a special Grid Club luncheon.
(This is from another source. My friend realizes we are hardly Wiki leaks, but maybe, due to my age, wee, wee leaks would be more appropriate).
The Grid Club met—Coach Dykes spoke—the A.D. was introduced, paid lip service to tradition—and then said she would take “no questions” regarding her plan to move our Home Big Game to Great America Amusement Park in 2014. Something about being tired after her boondoggle to China.
Whose dime was that on?
Whose dime was that on?
Good on ya’ mate, Sandy. At least, now we know who has the cojones and who doesn’t. Hopefully, those old meat eating males behaved like good little boys the rest of the meal, and then rushed home to watch re-runs of You Porn in the hopes of seeing a real pair or two. How times have changed.
If the Cal Grid Club (fervent donors, all) allows you to dictate the terms of the debate, we all deserve what we get.
Sandy and her team in Eshleman Hall (isn’t that where the Athletic Department still is?—just joking) have declared war on Cal Grads—we are dismissed as an annoyance. Some don’t even bother to hide it any more.
Members of the Athletic Department now actively recite the refrain, “You know. We are never going to win over the traditionalists.” It’s become a mantra.
(Sort of like our Mantra “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, we hate to shut it down, But we Must, We must—back on the streets in the 60’s).
So “the traditionalists” have now been boxed out. We have become (as a tall good looking guy wrote back in 2010, “Quaint.”) (BTW it’s not just old folks. It’s any kid who went to Cal and bleeds Blue and Gold).
Because they never went to Cal, they have no Idea why we are so snotty and uppity about having graduated from the (Once) Greatest University in the World.
Though all College experiences on all campii can be fantastic, we arrogantly believe no one knows what it is like to have made it through Cal, unless one has done it. What makes us different besides our egos? The institution, that’s what. Despite Red Scares; loyalty oaths; financial Cut Backs; Peoples’ Park; Riots in the Streets; gas dropped from Helicopters; sit-ins, teach ins, Anti-War strikes, Draft evasions; marches on every cause known to man; third world shut downs, Racism, Reverse Racism; bloated administration; touchy-feely classes; sock doll classes; women’s issues; gay issues; Naked men; Dirty Speech; tuition hikes; pacifists, environmentalists, communists, Young Republicans, Mario Savio, the selling out of local tax payers to out of staters; and a Rose Bowl drought since 1959, we have not only muddled through—we are stronger for it. And that’s not even mentioning getting slapped down by co-eds on a regular basis.
NO ONE has had to endure what Cal Students go through to get that parchment, We are proud of it—button busters, as we should be.We are most often referred to as “Loyal old Blues” or “Loyal Golden Bears.” No one talks about the “Loyal Trojans” of SC or “Loyal” Indians (or however they refer to themselves) at Stanford or the Loyal Irish.
“Loyal” isn’t our middle name. It’s our first name. It's a concept these new folks haven’t seemed to grasp.
Loyalty is earned—not granted. And once earned, it is a sin against all that is holy to destroy it.
When you want people to be loyal to you, you have to send some love back. Loyalty assumes (actually, requires) reciprocity.
Why do we no longer matter? Why are we treated with such distain?
It’s simple: With the exception of a few major donors, (most of our) donations pale in comparison to the Pac 12 TV contract (over $20,000,000). They don’t have to care what we think.
They pigeon hole us like the Democratic Party pigeon holes the Tea Partiers , or like Republicans pigeon hole progressives as “socialists.”
Oh, they pay us lip service, but as soon as our backs are tuned they go at it—laughing at us all the time.
Otherwise, they might pay attention to the fact that The Cal Blogs are on fire with anger. A cursory look at the articles which appeared on line in the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, and Contra Costa Times shows that the overwhelming number of “comments” are negative to her idea.
This idea has been test marketed in the public arena and flopped—yet no one is paying attention.
It becomes a numbers game: Let’s see, there’s that pain in the neck (or wherever) and his Luddite friends. “They might raise a ruckus, but if you think about it, they will be dead in a fear years so, who cares.”
Here’s why Sandy doesn’t have to worry about Cal tradition. Her contract runs through 2016 According to her contract (approved by the regents September 16, 2010)
Range of Total Incentive/Bonus Awards:
$64,776.25 - $240,598
Total Cash Compensation:
$434,926.25 - $610,748
This is not including tips, or her membership at Claremont Country Club, leased car or “benefits.”
None of this is coming from the State.
We saw the administration’s attitude, of course, with the demotion of Rugby—arguably the most meritorious sport at Cal. Instead of rewarding excellence they demeaned it.
(To his credit, when introducing Mr. Dirks to the Trustees, outgoing Chancellor Birgeneau joked, “My one bit of advice? Don’t cut any sports.”)
I’d give in to Sandy’s arguments if it made business sense. Okay, I’m lying--but I’m trying to be reasonable.
Is getting an extra x-hundred thousand dollars (Even if it’s a million dollars) worth alienating such a huge group? (Maybe it is. Perhaps they have done the numbers and decided that those who have given to Cal over the past half century will be dead soon, so we don’t have to worry about what they think).
Gratitude has not been the hallmark of this administration.
But what if it’s a one time hit which causes bigger losses over time in anger and ill will.
Has no one ever taught them that this is a long term deal and turning off Cal fans today just might result in fewer Cal fans in the future?
I can’t prove that’s the case, but why would anyone take the chance.
Like municipalities mortgaging the tax payers’ future by granting bloated retirement benefits to be paid years down the road, they are risking depleting the future fan base by alienating a HUGE constituency of fans today.
College football works, not because of the excessive athleticism (there is much more in the NFL) but because local communities, cities, counties, states, regions, identify with them. It’s generational—handed down from father to son, mother to daughter.
School spirit actually exists and adds to the pageantry and the game day experience.
That being said, it is clear she and her staff are smarter than I am (who isn’t). They know that we can raise hell for a day or two, but it will die off and then they can do what will benefit their personal careers to the detriment of what we once knew as “Cal.”
They have a plan that disdains us, but what if they’re wrong?
Cal will become Berkeley (Dan Mogolof gave a presentation at the Lair stating this is the goal). Big Game will one day be played in Beijing or Paris (for the money, of course).
My grandfather graduated from Cal in 1912 with Bob Sproul. My parents graduated before the War, and my three kids graduated this century.
We have a stake in this school, just as you do.
This is not over.
Papa Warren’s favorite poem is always a perfect way to end:
You don’t go down with a short hard fall you just sort of shuffle along
Till you lighten your load with the moral code, Till you can’t tell right from wrong.
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70