Friday, August 29, 2014



            This is coming from the Napa Valley where early Sunday morning my wife and I were awakened by a quake which rattled us more than Loma Prieta ever dreamed of.   Though my wife is used to Hemminway’s concept of having the earth move, I was more than a little shook up.
            Fortunately, we were extremely lucky and were remarkably unscathed.  (Though a linen closet door found my nose—not hard to do—as I attempted to run down the hallway in the pitch black). Not a bottle of cab was lost.

            Speaking of Cab, tomorrow thousands of loyal Cal alumni will fall off the wagon and hit the sauce once again—or not. Maybe an upset is in the making as our Bears take on the S.E.I.U Wildcats—formally known as Northwestern.

There’s always a chance this union shop will go out on strike due to unfair coaching practices—too many wind sprints or maybe a qb “barking” audibles in a loud voice, which offends the sensibilities of certain gender undetermied linepersons—but if the chant of “On Strike, Shut it down” is not echoed (as it was by us back in the 60’s) a game will take place. 

And we will be in it, daring them to fake injuries like last year to slow down our hurry up attack.

The Wildcats are only favored by 11 (and we played them tough last year) so an upset is a distinct possibility.

Don’t know about you, but I awoke around midnight last night and felt that little chill run up by leg as I pondered taping the game, watching it live, then watching it again to savor the sublime joy of unexpected victory.  Cal football in the fall is a special time of year.

Goff is clearly the real deal and so are his receivers.  Last year our offensive stats were incredible—but statistics are like bikinis:  What they reveal is tempting, but what they conceal is vital.

Are we hitters?  Are we physical enough to compete at this level?  We’ll get a clue in about 24 hours.

I know I’m a dreamer—and my dreams are all wet—but hope springs eternal every fall for Cal lovers.

College football is at a crossroads.  And the signposts are not necessarily pointing in positive directions. 

However, first the good news for Cal:

Though the Stanford State Indians are mentioned in several categories as well, check out these rankings from The 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU):

Cal looks pretty damn good.

Now to the Sandy Barbour Legacy:

Once again we are humiliated in the National Press.  The following article and graph are from yesterday’s Wall St. Journal.

It is headlined:  “The Grid of Shame.”

They devised a grid to rank the most powerful and deplorable teams in college football.

Though “shame” is tough to quantify (academics, suspensions, NCAA violations, arrests etc.) they gave it a shot.

Needless to say, Cal comes out not only worst in the Pac 12, but
In the lowest quadrant possible—higher than only a handful of the 128 teams ranked. 

How did the (Once) Greatest University in the World, ever let this happen?  Once again, it’s why we drink.

Speaking of drinking:  On a last note, the Journal did a study on the demise of student attendance at football games across the country.  Major programs like Michigan and Ohio State are witnessing dwindling student support as well as Cal, which is off the charts in no shows.

An average of 2,590 students attended games last year (59th out of the 79 Schools from which the Journal was able to obtain data).

Our average attendance was down from 3,396 in 2012, when we only won three games.  A drop of some 24%--the worst in the Pac 12.  Clearly a one-win season had a lot to do with that.

Of course, we know TV is mainly responsible for the increase in no-shows, as the unpredictability of start times degrades the game day experiences for everyone.

But once again, the Cal Administration is shooting itself in the foot.  Due to political correctness (under the guise of “safety”) they are brethalizing students before they enter the student section.

Spirit clubs (like Sons of California and Daughters of California) are being profiled (As a sign of support they wear ties to games—tipping the cops off that they’ve probably had a few bears before hand—something we and my parents and grand parents never did).

If one doesn’t pass the Breathalyzer, she gets a “ticket,” is tossed from the game, and it “goes on their permanent record.”

Not sure I (or any of my friends) EVER attended a Saturday afternoon game in Strawberry Canyon alone—that is without a few beers before hand.

Now, these are campus cops causing this disruption—not Berkeley police or the Sheriff’s department.

So all the administration has to do is say, back off—let the kids be kids.

It’s a bad policy all around, for if a kid has had too much to drink, what better place to keep him than inside a stadium, alcohol free, for three hours?  Is it wise to send him back to his apartment, Henry’s or his fraternity house to watch the game on TV and no doubt consume more booze?

And of course, the breathalyzing stalls the lines so the kids have to wait 45 minutes to an hour just to get into the game.  Not exactly a fan friendly experience which is designed to win friends and gain future ticket holders.

Wins may or may not bring back kids—one would think yes.  But if they fear being profiled and busted for booze—we’re going to leave a lot of future paying customers back in the bars and frat houses.

Call me crazy, but we should be busting hump to make the experience as pleasurable as possible to develop in them, the same habits which were developed in us—Beer is for drinking, water is for fighting, and fall Saturdays are for Cal Football.

Stop by for some Cab if you get up this way—no breathalyzers, I promise.

Go Bears,
Jeffrey Earl Warren, '70


JackF said...

But hey, over across the way the adults in the club section get free liquor and no hassle. Former Cal graduates who put vodka in their orange gremlins? College is supposed to be fun. Not a constant hassle.

Anonymous said...

You're a bit behind the times:

But what the hell, it's easier to live in the past.