Students from the Hidden Valley School in Orinda, CA, gather to witness the strange spectacle of Cal Fans Painting (in the far background). The two teachers accompanying this lively group assured me that these are "future Cal students".
Matt Terwilliger: (Cal Marketing): It's all about a unity - and the Bear community. There's a symbolism at work here, a revitalization of the Bear community by revitalizing the stadium. We're not just painting gold, we're painting spirit. We're talking about community here - we had 150 volunteers sign up - it gives a great sense of family to see students here, staff, and alumni with their whole families.
My name is Megan, second year, almost done with my finals and I'm here because I'm very excited to help out with the stadium project. I hope it lasts at least a couple of years so that it can be here when I come back. Then I can say - look at those benches over there in section V-V where I painted row 55 through 64.
Brett Kanazawa: It's a lovely day for painting and since I'm putting off painting my own house I figured I may as well paint the Bear's house.
Tommy Rivera. We are volunteering here, helping out by painting for of the Cal Bears. We always come to the games and want to support the team. I'm here with my whole family - my mom and dad, my brother and my girlfriend.
Oh no! You can't interview me! You'll put me on the spot! ... Oh well .. My name is Erin Medina, and I am here because the benches really need some help. It will be nice for the Cal fans to have some more vivid color when they come to football games. It's fun for everybody here - we're all pitching in and volunteering - having a good time. Hopefully more people will show up for our football games.
The Miura family: we like Cal football any wanted to help out.
Galen Henderson: I'm a member of Rally Comm, where we believe it is good to give back to the University, so we're out here, trying to do our best to give something back. We've gotten so much from the University that it's just really good to help out. I also think that events like this definitely help to build Cal spirit. I mean, we're out here with people we don't even know, we're working together, we will eat lunch together, hang out, it's just really great.
Katie Aguin: We're here to paint the stadium. It's lots of fun, we're painting the bleachers gold and blue. We're doing it to support the football team and Cal Athletics - and we're having lots of fun!
Gary Moore: (GldnBear71). We're here to paint the stadium mainly because it is badly in need of a paint job. And of course because it helps to participate in and help build Cal spirit. And not only do we get parts of the stadium painted, we will get some good publicity for Cal as well.
Tyler Frederickson: (Cal FG kicker): Ultimately, I think this is for the players, to help support them. This was a great idea by the marketing team to create lower-cost season tickets in these areas of the end zone, and to help build the reputation of these areas by having these Blue and Gold Zones.
Ultimately I think that will help transcend to how we play on the field, just to have that support, you know how Coach Tedford stresses that we need fans in the stands. So a thing like this is just a great idea - plus of course it will just help the stadium look nicer.
Today's event allows everybody to come out, to participate, to talk to other Cal fans - and to listen to Cal band music. As a player I don't get very many opportunities to hang out with the fans and talk to them. That's why we came out -- and besides, it's a beautiful day to be here. It's really nice to see all the families that bring their kids.
I asked Tyler about the moment when the players got the word about the Kansas State game. He said that the coaches had been mentioning the possibility of an early game, and that several teams had been contacted, so it was not a total surprise. But when it finally came down to Kansas State, and the negotiations were going back and forth, Tyler wasn't sure if it would happen at all. But when the announcement came, Tyler says everybody was pumped - really jazzed. Tyler said that playing a team with the name and reputation of Kansas State really put a buzz on everybody.
Tyler then turned to look around Memorial Stadium for a moment, at the fans working, the spring sunshine, the green hills in the distance, and said, "You know it's really very special for me just to be here now - as a senior - knowing that this will be my last year to play here. I want to absorb every possible memory of it, it's been such a great experience and great place to play football".
Look at Tyler when he next lines up for a field goal in the Kansas State game, and while you watch him, remember that he was here today, along with a lot of other loyal Cal fans, painting Memorial Stadium.
Tom Sawyer Never Had It So Good
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