View from the Student Section

It must have been the lights. Or maybe the fact that both teams were in "desperate" need of a win. I put desperate in quotes because of its several possible meanings. Here in Berkeley it meant, "win or have the recruitment of Ayoob officially questioned, the future of the program placed in doubt, and the end of the world deemed painfully close."

Whereas in Pullman, I think the cliché meant something more like, "Can we puh-lease not blow a second-half lead for the third straight week? Seriously though, can we not?"

To which we all now know the answer. "Well…um…no. But thanks for trying!"

Whatever the reason, Saturday night's down-to-the-wire dog-fight appeared to be just what the plethora of chilly Cal fans needed to get the ol' "Go Bears!" juices flowing and the faith that I wrote about in last week's "View" truly restored.

Funny how a close game against an unranked opponent who has lost its last four games can do that for a top-25-team on the verge of its own mid-season collapse.

A young man I ran into at half-time put it best while discussing the 28-10 lead: "You know, sometimes it just feels really good to kick a team when they're down. Especially when you're down. ‘Cause after you kick ‘em, then you're not as far down as they are, so at least you're on top of something."

My sentiments exactly. I think.

As if sneaking out of Memorial with a last second victory wasn't enough, there were a number of other crowd-pleasing activities on Saturday night for the students not studying for mid-terms to enjoy.

The first 10,000 fans through the gates received complimentary Enterprise Rally Towels, a spirit item that has always left me feeling like – well - a confused wanker.

I understand the visually motivating factor of the towels. It has to be awesome – as a player – to be able to look up in the stands and see 10,000 fans swinging their arms in a unified show of triceps-flab flapping support.

But for those same players, when they're on the field awaiting the deafening claps and screams of the fans to help psych them up for a big hit – that's 10,000 less people involved in the noise making.

For those of you having trouble following me, the equation is simple. Towel twirling usually equals a closed mouth and – obviously - no chance of clapping whatsoever.

If the towels made noise that would be a different story.

Some of the male students who managed to snag one of the sticky wickets understood completely, as evidenced by their sudden regression into the pre-pubescent seventh-grade boys they once were - known from poolside to locker room shower as the best towel snappers this side of a Lake Minnetonka love boat.

For those not lucky enough – or sober enough – to make it to the stadium in time for a free towel, Bud Light produced some spirit items of their own during pre-game festivities at the Bear's Lair, namely the balloon-like bangers Major League Baseball made so disgustingly popular a few years back.

Lucky for those of us who think the blow-up spirit sticks have and always will sound like bloated seals trying to clap, the walk up to the game proved fatal for the majority of them.

Giving the boys and girls that possessed them – along with the towels - little more than another fun toy to smack their friends around with.

As the offensive-shootout-game wound down, the promotional pompons were thankfully subbed out for some good old-fashioned fan noise - due in part to an amazingly emotional Coach Jeff Tedford.

Not since his first year as a Bear has JT flapped his arms, pumped his fist, and blinked as much as he did this past weekend. To which the crowd responded, and did so with pleasure.

Coach Teddy's final fist pump - which came following the game while he stood on the bench in front of the student section - could prove to have multiple lasting effects of a positive nature in a contextually relevant sense.

As I frequently tried to convey to the athletes I cheered for – thanking the fans even just once guarantees you an entire season of all-out support. So when Donnie McCleskey made an interception and sprinted to the Cal sideline – while pointing directly at the students – the section went even crazier than it would have were it reacting just to the pick.

And players are one thing. When a coach gets into it – especially one who is so lavishly annointed with our respect – the response can be game changing.

Exhibit A? Cal vs. Washington State.

By simply walking over to the bench after the game, stepping up onto it, and shaking his fists, Tedford said to each and every fan that witnessed the act – "Thanks for coming, we couldn't have done it without you, Go Bears!" In other words – you matter.

Those two words can morph a mediocre cheering section into an impassioned army at your service each week.

One can only hope that three weeks from now the Bears show as much emotion as they did in the fourth quarter against the Cougars - when the Trollies – I mean – Trojans - make their way back up to the Bay.

And with that I have successfully inserted three of the four words a die-hard Bear fan from Britain so graciously asked (challenged!) me – her favorite columnist from California – to place in this week's write-up. The fourth word will be arriving shortly.

[Editor's note: can you identify them?]

Dear, I am now looking forward to watching you figure out a way to come through on your end of the challenge. Of course, getting Tedford to sit on the 50-yard line for a post-game lap dance shouldn't be too hard. Especially when we're only playing – oh that's right – USC. Nope, shouldn't be a problem at all.

I believe the correct response is, I win.

Until the next View, here's to having permanent lights at the new stadium. Thus forcing my parents – and the majority of non-student age Cal fans - to stay up past midnight more than once a season.

Hey, if wombats do it, why can't we?

Word insertion complete. Enjoy the bye week Cal fans. And for those traveling in a few, I'll see you in Eugene.

You matter.


©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 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.


BearTerritory.net Top Stories

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Whereas in Pullman, I think the cliché meant something more like, \"Can we puh-lease not blow a second-half lead for the third straight week? Seriously though, can we not?\"

To which we all now know the answer. \"Well…um…no. But thanks for trying!\"

Whatever the reason, Saturday night's down-to-the-wire dog-fight appeared to be just what the plethora of chilly Cal fans needed to get the ol' \"Go Bears!\" juices flowing and the faith that I wrote about in last week's \"View\" truly restored.

Funny how a close game against an unranked opponent who has lost its last four games can do that for a top-25-team on the verge of its own mid-season collapse.

A young man I ran into at half-time put it best while discussing the 28-10 lead: "You know, sometimes it just feels really good to kick a team when they're down. Especially when you're down. ‘Cause after you kick ‘em, then you're not as far down as they are, so at least you're on top of something.\"

My sentiments exactly. I think.

As if sneaking out of Memorial with a last second victory wasn't enough, there were a number of other crowd-pleasing activities on Saturday night for the students not studying for mid-terms to enjoy.

The first 10,000 fans through the gates received complimentary Enterprise Rally Towels, a spirit item that has always left me feeling like – well - a confused wanker.

I understand the visually motivating factor of the towels. It has to be awesome – as a player – to be able to look up in the stands and see 10,000 fans swinging their arms in a unified show of triceps-flab flapping support.

But for those same players, when they're on the field awaiting the deafening claps and screams of the fans to help psych them up for a big hit – that's 10,000 less people involved in the noise making.

For those of you having trouble following me, the equation is simple. Towel twirling usually equals a closed mouth and – obviously - no chance of clapping whatsoever.

If the towels made noise that would be a different story.

Some of the male students who managed to snag one of the sticky wickets understood completely, as evidenced by their sudden regression into the pre-pubescent seventh-grade boys they once were - known from poolside to locker room shower as the best towel snappers this side of a Lake Minnetonka love boat.

For those not lucky enough – or sober enough – to make it to the stadium in time for a free towel, Bud Light produced some spirit items of their own during pre-game festivities at the Bear's Lair, namely the balloon-like bangers Major League Baseball made so disgustingly popular a few years back.

Lucky for those of us who think the blow-up spirit sticks have and always will sound like bloated seals trying to clap, the walk up to the game proved fatal for the majority of them.

Giving the boys and girls that possessed them – along with the towels - little more than another fun toy to smack their friends around with.

As the offensive-shootout-game wound down, the promotional pompons were thankfully subbed out for some good old-fashioned fan noise - due in part to an amazingly emotional Coach Jeff Tedford.

Not since his first year as a Bear has JT flapped his arms, pumped his fist, and blinked as much as he did this past weekend. To which the crowd responded, and did so with pleasure.

Coach Teddy's final fist pump - which came following the game while he stood on the bench in front of the student section - could prove to have multiple lasting effects of a positive nature in a contextually relevant sense.

As I frequently tried to convey to the athletes I cheered for – thanking the fans even just once guarantees you an entire season of all-out support. So when Donnie McCleskey made an interception and sprinted to the Cal sideline – while pointing directly at the students – the section went even crazier than it would have were it reacting just to the pick.

And players are one thing. When a coach gets into it – especially one who is so lavishly annointed with our respect – the response can be game changing.

Exhibit A? Cal vs. Washington State.

By simply walking over to the bench after the game, stepping up onto it, and shaking his fists, Tedford said to each and every fan that witnessed the act – "Thanks for coming, we couldn't have done it without you, Go Bears!" In other words – you matter.

Those two words can morph a mediocre cheering section into an impassioned army at your service each week.

One can only hope that three weeks from now the Bears show as much emotion as they did in the fourth quarter against the Cougars - when the Trollies – I mean – Trojans - make their way back up to the Bay.

And with that I have successfully inserted three of the four words a die-hard Bear fan from Britain so graciously asked (challenged!) me – her favorite columnist from California – to place in this week's write-up. The fourth word will be arriving shortly.

[Editor's note: can you identify them?]

Dear, I am now looking forward to watching you figure out a way to come through on your end of the challenge. Of course, getting Tedford to sit on the 50-yard line for a post-game lap dance shouldn't be too hard. Especially when we're only playing – oh that's right – USC. Nope, shouldn't be a problem at all.

I believe the correct response is, I win.

Until the next View, here's to having permanent lights at the new stadium. Thus forcing my parents – and the majority of non-student age Cal fans - to stay up past midnight more than once a season.

Hey, if wombats do it, why can't we?

Word insertion complete. Enjoy the bye week Cal fans. And for those traveling in a few, I'll see you in Eugene.

You matter.


©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 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.

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