Top 10 Big Game Weenies

This article was originally published in the 1997 Big Game edition of The Bootleg. The list goes on and on - we're sure we missed a few worthy candidates.

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Original Publish Data:
Nov. 21, 1997
Vol. IV, Nr. 11


Top 10 Big Game Weenies

Generations of Cardinalmaniacs™ have had the privilege of taking solace in the knowledge that however inept our beloved Cardinal (read: Indians), there will be Cal bears ready to lower the bar in a perversely inverse version of one-upmanship. Like players in an epic tragedy, Big Game compels Cal denizens to add to the ignominious weenie legend. The 100th renewal of this tragic tale once again provides us with that familiar warm glow that comes from the metaphysical certainty that no matter how severe the pain and suffering inflicted by Cardinal miscues and frailties, a Cal weenie will always provide us with a performance even more classless, more comical or just plain more awful than even the most optimistic Card Backer could ever imagine! Here are a few of our all-time favorite weenies and their "reason 'd weenie":

(10) Mike White and Roger Theder. White and Theder are a classic case-study on the curse of weeniedom. As the offensive brain trust for John Ralston at Stanford, they helped produce two Rose Bowl wins, a Heisman trophy and a 7-2 Big Game record. As the coaching staff for Cal from ‘72-‘81 they produced zero Rose Bowls, no Heismans and a 4-6 Big Game record before being serially ushered out of weenieville. Special weenie credits for their prevent defense in ‘74 that allowed Guy Benjamin, Brad Williams and Mike Langford to pull off their magic.

(9) Steve Mariucci. As Bruce Snyder's O-Coordinator in ‘90, "Mooch" called a pass play on 3rd and 7 with 2 minutes to play. The incompletion stopped the clock and left Stanford with enough time to stage an historic comeback. As Head Coach in ‘96, Mariucci didn't get the opportunity for a truly weenie call, as Stanford smoked the bears.

(8) Russell White. Poor Russell had a credible career both academically and on the gridiron. Too bad in the one Big Game that his team had a chance to win (’90), he was the last weenie to allow the ball to trickle through his fingers, allowing Stanford to recover its desperation on-side kick.

(7) Doug Brien. Missed three FGs early in the ‘91 game. Any one of these could have changed the momentum in a game that turned into a Vardell-led Cardinal rout. Brien earned graduate weenie credits for botching multiple game-losing FG attempts in his brief tenure with the 49ers.

(6) John Belli. A senior who had never beaten Stanford, Belli took two full steps to hit Jason Palumbus late on an incomplete out-of-bounds pass with :05 seconds left in the '90 Big Game. The resulting 15-yard penalty set up the winning field goal for Stanford’s Hopkins in "The Revenge”!

(5) Weenie Fans. Berkeley followers have a Big Game blotter that would do Manson proud. From petty vandalism and larceny, to almost single-handedly causing alcohol to be banned from Stanford Stadium with their pathetic performance at the ‘89 Big Brawl (seven arrests), Cal fans always find a way to reach new lows and inspire their team to do the same. They would be a real menace if their ugly celebratory outbursts weren't so infrequent and short-lived.

(4) Ike Boothe. After being toasted more than a few times by Justin Armour and muffing a punt that led to a touchdown, Mr. Booth decided to pull an Ike Turner, slugging a Stanford yell-leader after the game.

(3) Anthony Washington. Attained the exalted heights of weeniedom by being disqualified from the only two Big Games in which he appeared. In ‘77, he put a late hit on James Lofton in the end zone after a Benjamin to Lofton TD-pass and in ‘78 he took a flagrant foul out-of-bounds against Darrin Nelson. In classic weenie fashion, Washington was stopped in his quest to go 4-for-4. He flunked out of Cal and completed his eligibility at Fresno State.

(2) Brian Treggs. King of the trash-talking weenies, Treggs was flagged 15 yards for talking smack on Cal's first offensive play in the ’90 game. In ‘91, he insured his weenie status for all-time by being personally responsible for three unsportsmanlike penalties. Never did move to Palo Alto.

(1) Kevin Moen. What else can we say about someone whose sole claim to fame is an association with a well-documented illegal act? G. Gordon Liddy, Ollie North and Larry Flynt all at least served some time for their illegal deeds. Of course they didn't spend time at Cal.

Time and space doesn't permit us to present the unabridged list here. Some (red: not all!) honorable mentions include Mike “Insurance Man” Pawlawski, Isaac Curtis, Leland Rix, Joe Kapp, Ray Wilsey, Marv Levy, Dwight Garner, Mariet Ford, the paid-off refs in ’82, Joe Starkey, Oski, Gilby and Chuck Muncie.

The 100th renewal of the Big Game is likely to inspire an as-of-yet unknown Cal weenie to commit treachery, a physical miscue or a mental gaffe that will become the next entry in the weenie legend.


[Written by “Died in Red,” with inspiration and suggestions from fellow Bootboarders, especially “Orange Mark”]

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