Kudos to Sandy Barbor.
This from today’s Contra Costa Times:
"Fan response was at the heart of the decision to keep the Big Game at Memorial Stadium….. 'The feedback and the input was useful," (Sandy) said."
That was kind of her to say and we should all congratulate her.
She listened. Apparently, the hundreds of e-mails (Maybe thousands when you count blog posts and comments) sent to her and the Chancellor helped them to come to the right decision.
And thanks to all of you who acknowledged the efforts from here. But it was Loyal Golden Bears who made the difference not some arrogant, sexist, self indulgent, supercilious writer of drivel.
As we used to say back in the day, “Power to the people.”
To all of you who wrote in, all of us are in your debt—especially the kids.
(As one professor wrote to me):
“Who was consulted about this proposal? If this is a student activity, was student government consulted? Why do Cal fans have to find this out through the media?”
Can you imagine their final Big Game and they have a choice of piling on to a bus (being searched for booze, no doubt) and then riding a couple of hours to Great America to play in the new Niners’ Stadium—or playing beer pong, doing shots and watching the game on a flat screen TV?
It appears eventually the kids were consulted and the probably influenced the decision as much as anyone.
As to whether the “process worked” that is an open question.
In Sandy’s defense, she is obligated to look at any proposal (no matter how outlandish) and make a decision.
But I wasn’t the only one who’d been told it was a “Done deal.” CBS seemed to agree as well and the Chron reported that "both schools are expected to accept" an offer from the 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority to shift the game from Cal's Memorial Stadium to Santa Clara.”
There are e-mails out there that indicate this was much more dire than many of you will admit.
That being said, I honor Sandy for doing the right thing and listening.
And as a gesture of good will I promised my friend, I will try to check with Sandy to get her side—though that was impossible in this case.
If nothing else, I hope this fiasco will, if not change the culture in certain parts of the administration, at least give them pause when they say, “We will never win over the traditionalists”.
I know we are old and will be dead soon (not soon enough for some of you apparently), but someone handed down these traditions to us. It enriched our lives. It made us what we are. And we feel that it is a moral imperative to hand it down to the next generation and all the generations which follow.
(This aside is appropriate on the 50th Anniversary of “I Have a Dream”).
Remember, it was Cal which educated an impoverished white kid from Bakersfield and gave him the sagacity and character to one day grow up and write the words “Separate but Equal is inherently unequal,” thus ending state sponsored school segregation which eventually led to that march in Washington half a century ago). And he was a Republican to boot!
That’s the kind of kid Traditional Cal is capable of producing.
Of course, former Chancellor Birgeneau honored his place in history by tearing down Earl Warren Hall a couple of years ago in favor of a Cat that gave Berkeley more money. (Like the discussions regarding the Niner’s stadium it was done with no notice to the family. We weren’t even given the offer to match the other guy’s bid). As though we could....
This is why some of us worry about the dangers of not adhering to traditions. Should we forget that those words were written by one of our graduates? Maybe students to day might take some pride in going to a school which produced such a man of Character?
(And no. No one can blame Sandy for that one).
It may be difficult to maintain Cal traditions in the ESPN world of today. But (some of us feel) we must resist with all our fiber, any attempt to destroy (even inadvertently) the traditions which have made Cal (I know soon to be re-named Berkeley), the Greatest University in the World.
Power to the people!
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70