Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Sandy was perturbed.

She hadn't even received the final deal from the Niners, when some jerk put it out on the Internet that Cal could sell tradition and change their home BIG GAME to Great America in Santa Clara--a nine iron from the Stanford State campus.

.  She met Tuesday night with her financial advisers (a voluntary group--no idea if they carry any sway or not) to fill them in in what she had hoped would not come out--fair enough.

I know no one believes my drivel any more than they believed it the time I wrote that Sandy was going to demote Rugby.  They thought it was just the typical Warren BS.

What I'm writing (except opinions) is true.  You don't have to believe it.
The news you’ve read about Cal giving away its home game to Stanford in 2014 is accurate.  It just wasn’t published anywhere else.

 Perhaps as some have said, I rejoice in creating mischief.  But no one can deny that we love Cal and that we are doing what little we can to keep it the premiere University in the Country, if not the world.  We (the tapeworm and me) give you this information in the hopes you will carry it to the administrators of the School we all love.

The facts are, that due to my kids and their friends, we know kids on the team,--some have come up to the ranch to shoot skeet—we know coaches, medical staff, MAJOR donors, administrators, and people who work in the Athletic Department.  

Most of them want the best for Cal—that’s why they reach out--even though they want no attribution.  They fear what is going on at Cal.  

They all want to get their story out.  My job is to get the truth out.  No, that’s not true.  My job is to advocate for the beauty of attending the University of California (Cal, not  Berkeley) that  my grandfather, my parents, my uncles, my aunts, myself and my kids went to—is not stolen from us by some short timers (who may be good honest people) who just don’t understand what the Cal experience is.

Here is what took place  Tuesday around 6pm..  You can believe it or not.

According to Sandy the 49ers approached them. I have not talked to them, though Jed York wants to come up and share some cab—just joking--not sure he's old enough to drink.

Cal would like to balance their schedule.  In even years we have Stanford, UCLA, Oregon and Washington—plus Stanford--all tough teams in today’s world.

That means on odd years we have less attractive teams—meaning  less revenue  Of course, maybe if we wouldn’t schedule the Presbyterian Blue Hose, we could have a better schedule those years—but that’s an aside.

So to Cal’s credit, they would like to “balance the schedule”. 
“It’s a great recruiting tool.”  Sandy told the group. “Kids want to play in a stadium where the Super Bowl will be played.

OK.  I buy that.  Let’s do it in  fall of 2015 because Super Bowl will be played down there in 2016..

So here are the deal points as articulated by Sandy and Solly (a good guy BTW).

Last October our net, net, net for the Big Game was $1.750.000  If we go down there we will get $2.400,000 (as will the Indians) plus a possible additional $400,000 to cover the ESP people—no I don’t understand it either, but that’s the deal.

Ergo:  On the face of it, we could get maybe close to a million more dollars more than last year if we sell our soul to Stanford.  Hey, I’d do it.

Alas, (and I think I've got this right, but if not you will get the picture) this only included 1250 tickets for students at $25 per ticket.

(Don’t shoot me if I’m wrong  or sue me because some of the numbers may be off by a hair).

Last year there were 10,000 tics, sold to students @ $25 a pop.  Oops.  If we subsidize them (using $71 as an average price, depending upon how they negotiate it, that could take half a mil off the table.  Paying for buses to get them down there etc. the million dollar figure dwindles.

Another (interestingly not talked about point) is that the price of an AVERAGE TICKET which was $71 last year will be $101 this year.  Everyone has to make a profit off  those traditionalists..

Are casual or even rabid fans going to fork out $100 for Big Game?  Maybe.
Plus, as several of her advisers asked her—why are we basing these numbers on the Big Game that was played in October last year?   What were the numbers from 2004, 2006,2008?  Her team apparently had no answers but “get back to them”.

Sandy was adamant about not apologizing for looking in to this.  Fair enough.    It is her responsibility to check out every and all opportunities to raise revenue for Cal.  She shouldn't be criticized for it.

However, as one of Cal's biggest donors e-mailed me , "I would have thought she might have checked with us:")  Not exact, but you get the point.

But what about the people who e-mail or FaceBook me and say “If this happens, I’m  changing my will?”

I know they mock us (see yesterday’s post) because we are old, but is there some gold there that we are about to give away?

Every decision by the athletic department comes up against this wall.    “Fire Tedford and I’ll take you out of my will.  Hire Tedford and you will be disinherited.”  This happens all the time and should be a part of the calculus.  

Are we going to gain enough money from this one shot deal (remember we can do it in 2015 just as well as we can do it in 2014) to off set the loss of revenue from people who are angry?

 All they presented was the number from the October game.  This should make you all suspicious.

Ergo:   it may sound like a million dollar delta , but when compared to a normal Big Game, and when the dollars are subtracted from subsidizing student tickets, it is going to be a LOT less—and could cost a LOT more in ill will and changing of wills.

Also what was discussed was that people who give to football, also give to the University in general.  So when one upsets them—forget them cancelling their season tickets—what about that money they were going to give to the new Chemistry building?

This has not been thought out.

Well, actually it has.  Last night, Sandy asked her committee (this is not  binding) to okay $500,000 of the revenue from the Big Game move, to go to help pay down the nut on the stadium and Simpson Sports complex. 

Now we're getting to the nub.

So they want to do this game (not to finance women's gymnastics, or woman's volley ball) but  to make up for the shortfall that they created in the way they marketed and (failed) to sell the tickets.

It turns out that over 130 people (alas, sadly we are two of them) have cancelled their ESP Tickets.  They claim they've added new folks so it's a 'wash" but that is still revenue lost.

So this game will help make up that short fall.  

I don’t understand why we should have to pay for this!

This is not our problem.

The group which met last night, decided that they didn’t want to make the decision in public, but I gather from folks who have called me that they urged Sandy to make the decision sooner than later.

If you have any  thoughts (and trust me, numbers of e-mails matter—not that they read or would dain to respond to them) let her know:

More important, let the new Chancellor know

In fairness, Sandy has said the decision has not been made.  Her committee (advisory only) asked her to get the numbers—to make a compelling financial case for why this should be done.  

I guess if there’s money involved—nothing else matters.  Not sure that’s what we tried to teach our kids, but maybe I got it wrong.

Cal was/had been a shining light for meritocracy and character—not money.

Go Bears,
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70 

P.S.  Jay Torchio ( a good guy) and President of the Grid Club sent out an e-mail and then called me to say I misrepresented the truth about Sandy’s comments to the Grid club.  Also several people found it sexist that I said that Sandy was the one with the Cojones (because she refused to take questions) and the Grid club wimped out by letting her get away with it. 

Not sexist folks—a compliment to Sandy ( for having guts) and a put down of the Grid Club for not calling her on i.t.

I was not there, but several of the Club’s distinguished members told me what I wrote was accurate.  Jay said it was not accurate because she promised to take questions “individually” –but not publicly.  She stayed after and did so one on one, he said.  I assume what Jay says is true.


Loretta said...

I hate to say it, but I really think I don't care anymore. It really started when they dumped us out of section CC Loretta Tuck Monaco

Terry O'Reilly said...

If the game is on TV and the Bears have a mediocre season AND Stanford does well, we will have one of those games where the cameras never show the stands. If Sandy needs a sellout to cover her mistakes, she is making a huge false assumption.
Terry O'Reilly

Robocheme said...

I guess that I don't mind this move too much, since we delaying our Big Game in Berkeley, not giving it up.
And if this game in Santa Clara is not part of my season ticket package since I'm not going to go.
And if there really is a net increase in revenue. I really can't see Cal providing bus transportation for the students or providing cheap tickets, but I hope they do.

Anonymous said...

I think of u as the Drudge of Northern Cal. I agree w almost all of what u bring up and I enjoy it. Thanks.

But I wore out a Lexus driving down from Incline on Saturdays. Sandy's been at my house several times. She spoke and we raised money for Bears in the Woods. (tonite @ Garwoods 5 pm lots of wet woodies folks).
BUT I quit going to FB with the seat license. She had to do it or we were going to be out of Strawberry. She gets kudos for the effort. Unfortunately it hasn't worked out as well as it should have. I had a close friend which was one of the financial advisors and he was good but not all onboard were.... I have to wonder about some of her advisors and staff.

Your point about the dollars is the key. Unfortunately that won't change until we get it back under control. Seems a little like the national picture to me.

Anonymous said...

I have been a season ticket holder since 1974.
I am have been "Bear Backer" for most of that time.

I also live in the "wine country", and unless a Big Game in Santa Clara, at the 49r's stadium (stupid idea)has a Rose Bowl, on the line.
I am not driving 6+ hours, (like I did for the NCAA's), spending an extra $200.00+ for EXTRA tickets, plus whatever price gas is at, spend a lot of money for pro football consession stand prices, ($10.00 beers anyone?) And parking?

I can get free beer and almost free parking at my fraternity house 1 block from CMS stadium.
Most of my Cal friends, have said they would not go.
And no Top Dogs!
I will watch it on TV and make my own "wet woodies".

Sandy, it is a dumb ass idea!