[Editor's note: This article was first published in the January 2005 issue of the Bear Insider magazine. The article is reproduced here in two parts - look for the second part Sunday morning.]
There are just a few people in the stands, generally sitting in the donor seats on the west side. But no security personnel are lurking about, there are no closed barricades, so you take a seat and begin to focus on what you see on the field.
|"So I threw the kicking
tee into the stands.
I didn't want a tie."
Then, from the corner of your eye, you notice a somewhat elderly but burly gentleman rise from his seat in another section of the stadium, and begin slowly making his way along the rows of seats in your direction. As you continue watching the field, you see he is also working his way up the rows, again, angling in your direction. Pretty soon it is clear that he is headed directly towards you.
You are about to have your first encounter with Deputy Dog.
"Practice is closed," says Bud Turner in a gruff voice as he arrives at your location. And then, with no futher words of explnation, "You'll have to leave."
And unless you have a good reason for being present, like if you are family member of a player on the field, or a football recruit intent on attending Cal, you will follow Dog's instructions or find yourself subject to the gentle ministrations of campus security.
But for now let's suppose you are a journalist, reporting for a legitimate news organization, one that understands the rules about closed practices: no reporting except for that which is approved by Cal's Media Relations department. With that identification, Dog admits you to the stands.
"Go over and sit in section G," he says, "I want to keep track of who is here."
Later as you sit in section G, you see Deputy Dog repeat this drill, walking over to encounter new visitors as they arrive, screening each for passage to a treasured Section G seat.
Then comes a break, a time when the Deputy Dog has no intruders to deal with, and he eases his frame into a seat in Section G and strikes up a conversation with friends, coaching staff members, or journalists that he knows well from years of attending Cal practices. At this point you see his human side coming out.
So you decide to take a shot at it - and you ask if his nickname is really "Deputy Dog".
It appears that you've been doing this for a while - when did you first make a connection with Cal football?\
"My first connection was when I was in high school at Acalanes when I used to usher games when Pappy Waldorf was coach. I ushered for four years, section DD and E right over there," he says, his arm pointing. Turner later started doing field-phone work to assist the public address announcer Art Arlett, because from the sidelines Bud was better able to see the action and used the phones to relay information like who was the ball carrier and who was the tackler.
Bud Turner first met Mike White when they were in the Lafayette Grammar School together, later both attended Acalanes High. Then when Mike became the head coach at Cal, Bud volunteered to help. "I told Mike I wanted to be a part of it - and I've been a part of it ever since."
Initially, Turner helped the football staff on game days, working with the trainers and the equipment people. After allowing for time spent in the military and forest service, Bud's tenure at Cal now amounts to 39 years of active service, with most of those years including work both on equipment and support for the trainers, primarily Bob Orr and Paul Mohler. For the last three years, at the request of Mike McHugh (Director of Operations under Coach Tedford), Bud has worked with Media Relations and assisted with field security.
"But I still do a lot of equipment work when they need me to," says Turner.
We asked if "doing equipment" meant getting the right equipment on and off the field, making sure that needed facilities were always available.
"Well, it's a lot of little things now. It used to be that I got stuff on and off of the field. I guess I probably did some work then that I shouldn't have been doing, like fitting, which I should not have done because I'm not actually trained for that."
But you picked up and did whatever job needed to be done?
"Right, whatever they needed. I can still make the best ice bag in the Pac-10, and I've done a lot of those."
Bud Turner's contributions to Cal football have all been voluntary. He has lived in the Bay Area all his life except for a brief few years he put in with the U.S. Military and the Forest Service.
"I was with an Airborne outfit, you know, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. I was stationed at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and later Japan, and Germany in 1955 through 1958, then again in 1960 through 1964."
Each time Turner had a break between his other obligations, he returned to Berkeley to re-make his connection to Cal football.
"It all started a long time ago. The first game I remember here was the Navy game in 1947. I sat right over that Toyota sign down there (beneath the scoreboard at the north end of the field, just above the north tunnel). The Toyota sign wasn't there then, of course."
"That was the biggest crowd they've ever had here, 84,000 people. And Cal beat Navy, who was highly rated at the time; Cal won the game 14-7, I remember it very well."
We asked Turner about the seating configuration that would allow 84,000 fans in Memorial.
"They had bleachers around the entire back of the student section, and temporary seats on the field, all the way around the sides, right up to the edge of the team benches.
Didn't that result in a lot of fan harassment of the opponent's team, sitting that close to them?
"Of course they did," said Turner with a grin, "though actually, the harassing in those days wasn't anything like it is today. People came out to enjoy sports a lot more in those days than they do now. I think now you've got too many idiots, especially at the pro games. I've been to one of those (a pro football game) in the last 10 years and I'll never go back.
We suggested to Bud that one of the great things about college football is the family atmosphere.
And the kids, the grandmothers, everybody comes out to enjoy it.
With a view of Cal football stretching back over 50 years, Bud Turner has seen some memorable games. We asked him to dredge up a few favorite memories.
"Well, I was here when Frank Brunk ran the ball back. I believe it was 1949. He still lives in Orinda. Cal was playing 'SC, we were down by about four points I think, but 'SC had just scored, so they kicked off towards the north end zone."
As he describes this, his arm reaches out to point to the spot on the field where the ball came down to Brunk 55 years ago.
"Brunk ran straight up the middle of the field. No cutting or anything. And a guy named Frank Gifford tried to tackle him. Brunk knocked him right on his rear end and kept right on going for a touchdown. Gifford talked about that for years on Monday Night Football.
What was Pappy like? Do you have any sense of him as a person or as a coach?
"Well at that time I was really young. I remember that he always seemed to put something into the team that fired 'em up for every game.
"I won't ever forget what I think was the greatest play I ever saw at a Big Game - and it wasn't The Play. It was back in 1972, I think, when Steve Sweeney caught a ball over in that end zone there, with the mud just dripping from him.
"We could have kicked a field goal to tie that game, and I had Ray Wersching's kicking tee in my pocket. I threw it into the stands - I think Coach White saw that.
"I just didn't want the tie. And in those days there was no overtime. Anyway, Sweeney made that catch and we won the game. I think that was by far the greatest finish because The Play was just something that happened. On that day of the Sweeney catch, we worked our way all the way down the field to get into position to make that score.
We asked Turner about some of the greats he has watched on the Cal gridiron over the years, starting with Chuck Muncie.
"My best memory of Chuck was in the 'SC game in '75. We were up by two touchdowns. He came out of the game. So he's hurt, sitting on the bench. And all of a sudden, 'SC scores. I run over to tell him. I almost had to get on my knees to look in his face, because he had his head down. I said, "Chuck, those guys just scored."
"He said, 'What?'" He jumped up and ran onto the field. They kicked off into the end zone. He carried the ball every down, as I recall, and scored two touchdowns. Put us back up by two touchdowns and that was the winning margin."
So you played an instrumental role in that game?
"Yeah, I guess I did. One of the few I ever did," Turner said, laughing.
What do you remember about the first time you saw Chuck Muncie run?
"When I first saw him, I'll never forget it because I was standing over by the team bench, looking across the field. I was standing next to Mike White and I asked, "Who's that big guy walking on the other side of the field?" Mike said, "That's my franchise."
End of part one.
©Copyright 2006, 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.