My relationship with Kate is hard to describe. Maybe it can be summed up as sitting outside a cheesecake factory in Bellevue (Seattle) WA, with some friends from the Dance Team, and Mic-Man Dan, and leaving her twenty-three prank voice mails asking about the cherry red '92 Honda. But then again, maybe that's a digression …
I arrived last Saturday at Memorial Stadium on a beautiful afternoon, marching in with the band, with just thirty minutes to go before kick off.
As students streamed in there was ample evidence that the Moratorium [Editor's note: the alcohol ban] had been lifted. After the worst Welcome Week in the existence of this great university, we owed it to the freshmen to show them a good game day.
Tardiness to the game: Usually this warrants a fifty-point penalty, but under the circumstances I’ll let it slide.
Game days and the student section are a great way to get to know people, yet many seldom capitalize on the opportunity. What other time in your life are you going to scream at the top of your lungs next to someone for three hours without knowing their name? Or see your shy four-foot roommate screaming “RIP HIS HEAD OFF!” ?
It’s an environment that brings out sides in people you’d never see anywhere else. Don’t think I’m advocating just walking up to someone and introducing yourself. There are established rules that must be followed in game day situations.
The path most people choose to follow is the ‘first touchdown awkward high-five.’ We’ve all done this after a Cal touchdown. The band is playing, everyone is screaming and you’re high-fiving all of your friends. Then comes the moment when you turn and there is that slight awkward pause because you realized you just went to high-five some guy you don’t know. It happened fifty years ago, it happened two weeks ago and two minutes into Saturday’s game after a Justin Forsett touchdown… it happened again.
But what's wrong with meeting new people you ask? Nothing, and maybe when you go home and check your e-mail after the game, you'll find that the guy who pulled out the "HEY REF YOUR MOM CALLED" chant atthe end of the 2nd quarter, has now listed you as a friend on The Facebook.
Awkward high-fives & increasing your Facebook status: + 75pts.
I’ll admit, I was a tad concerned Saturday while standing next to a football team that was more or less held together by a sea of ace bandages, medical tape and pinky casts. As the first half stumbled forward, the student section became concerned as well. Metaphors aside, the fog began to fall in as a cold chill blew over a confused student section. Watching the Illinois cheerleaders doing push-ups on thirty-foot letters that spell out "GOLDEN BEARS" was just about making everyone sick. I think I speak for everyone when I say "Stay the hell out of our end zone."
Seriously, stay the hell out of our end zone: - 40pts
The second half was an all-together different story. After an 81-yard drive, the Bear’s got one in the end zone that let lose a big celebration in the student section.
Then amidst the roar and screaming of the student section after a Golden Bear touchdown, a scenario that happens too often unfolded: a 250-pound student emerged on top of the crowd and began crowd-surfing his way to the top of Memorial Stadium. You glance over to your left and see that in about fifteen seconds that 250-pound guy is about to crowd-surf into a patch of sorority girls that weigh no more than a sack of rice cakes.
At this point there are two options. The first - you can run over and help the guy out before he goes crashing into the girls. The second - you can sit there with a smirk on your face and watch people tumble like bowling pins. But like the somewhat sadistic bunch of people that the student section is comprised of, they choose the latter. Yet Saturday the student section stuck it out and there were few casualties.
Not dropping students being rolled up: + 50pts
Finally came a moment that to me defines college football. In mid-celebration of a touchdown in the second half, twenty members of the Cal Band ran down to the south end zone in front of the Illinois cheerleaders and begun doing push-ups.
(Seriously Illinois, stay the hell out of our end zone.)
Received by a standing ovation from the entire stadium, it was at that moment there was no doubt in anyone's mind we were going to win, sending the student section into a frenzy.
Cal Band Great! + 75pts
|Sandra Crosby, Bill Murry,
Walking out of the stadium, I think everyone was feeling pretty good about the turn-around at halftime. However, I'm going to have to say after seeing Illinois fan Bill Murry, depressed, walking out of the game Saturday, I too was a little taken back.
Making Bill Murry upset after his team lost: -25pts (I'm a Caddy Shack fan)
Finally, I ended my evening at a post-game party with someone screaming "STANFORD LOST TO UC DAVIS!!!"
Kicking Stanford while they're down: + 600,000 pts
For Kate, and until next time,
Roll On You Bears!
©Copyright 2005, BearInsider.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.
If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this very active online Cal community and get access to the members-only content from the nation-wide Scout.com network.
Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.