Busing to Victory

Having just arrived at my temporary Southern California dwellings late Friday night, one immediate question popped into my mind…

At what point did anyone think busing to Pasadena was a good idea?

Budget crisis and all, Cal's decision to embark on the seven and a half hour journey to the Rose Bowl for its bout with UCLA was an interesting one.

Jeff Tedford said Tuesday that the Bears are doing their part to help the department save money, and logic would have you believe that busing is probably the cheapest transportation option.

But factor in the extra night's stay in the Pasadena Weston for about 100 guests, and perhaps Tedford and co. aren't saving as much as originally anticipated (the staff didn't decide to leave Thursday night until the 12:30 p.m. game time was announced).

But hey, the intentions at least seemed genuine…that is, up until Tuesday afternoon.

Berkeley's most intense rain of the year took its toll on Memorial, transforming Strawberry Canyon into California's largest turf-lined swimming pool.

Practicing at the stadium was a disaster waiting to happen, so the Bears did what any team in their situation would do—chartered four buses to take them five blocks to the campus' Recreational Sports Facility.

So ya say there's a budget crisis, huh?

Well, there's got to be a list of other pros that would facilitate the trip.

Cal's coaches were able to conduct extra team meeting sessions while on the highway, so lack of preparation shouldn't be an issue against the Bruins.

And when was the last seven-plus hour bus ride you were on where there wasn't some serious male bonding going on?

Check.

Now what about the list of cons?

Think Mike Tepper likes the bus? Or worse, how about the guy in the seat next to him?

A two-foot square isn't necessarily where I'd enjoy spending a third of my Thursday.

Instead, I would probably opt for what many of the Bears did…sleep the whole way, wake up at 1:00 a.m. upon arriving at the hotel and completely throw off my sleep cycle for the weekend.

While such scenarios may or may not prove influential in this afternoon's outcome, the question continues to linger: why the bus?

Cal obviously has enough in the budget to finance a one-way flight (they'll fly back to the Bay on Saturday night), so why not use the plane for pre-game instead of post?

Is Tedford searching for a way to change the Bears' luck on the road and, most directly, at the Rose Bowl, where Cal hasn't won in nine trips?

Did the coaching vet want to provide an opportunity for some soul searching on the lonely, late-night freeway, as the Bears head to Pasadena for what has most certainly become a must-win ballgame?

Regardless, I guess we'll find out what kind of impact, if any, the trip had.

Perhaps this will start a trend…anybody see the Bears bussing to Tempe in two weeks?

Cal Sports Digest is the new home of lead writer Jon Doss' award winning Daily Cal column "Who's the Doss". Jon will weigh in on hot topics pertaining to Cal and the Pac-10 conference throughout the season.

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