Friday, November 20, 2009

Go Bears!

no chicago bearsNo, not those Bears. 
These Bears. go-bears

Last weekend, I had the lucky opportunity of attending a Cal football game with my friend Short Artichoke.  She, like Mr. Trizzle, is a Cal alum, so this was a much bigger deal for her than for me.  Although, maybe not since she has season tickets and this was the only college football game I’ve been to. (Maybe I went to one at my undergrad, but that hardly counts.)

The game was at a really weird time because the tv networks decided it would be.  And there were random weird long breaks during the game for the tv network to show their advertisements.  All in all though, it was still a football game.

The stands were less than packed (the team has been less than stellar) and we were able to easily slide on into the students’ section.  I had heard from Mr. Trizzle that this was the place to be on game day, so I was pretty excited about the seats.

The students have some interesting traditions.  One really neat one is where they each have a stack of colored pieces of paper and some instructions.  Someone calls out a number and they all hold up the card that matches that number on the instruction sheet.  The result is a giant picture in the stands!  Pretty neat.  Many of the pictures had to do with insulting Stanford, even though the opponent that day was Arizona, not Stanford.  (What kind of a mascot is a tree?!)

One of the less neat things was this guy with a microphone at the bottom of the stands that was sort of a modern day version of the old cheerleaders with the megaphones.  He led cheers, but he didn’t always do it well.  Still neat to be in the cheering section though.

Most of the game was watching the teams trade punts back and forth, but then at the end it got interesting.  The game was really close, and ironically, Cal almost lost by scoring a touchdown.  Cal was up by 2 points with a minute forty left on the clock when they got the ball back.  So what did they do?  Immediately ran it in for a touchdown, and missed the extra point.  Now, there was a minute thirty on the clock, the other team had the ball and only needed a touchdown and two point conversion to win the game.  They came very close.

My favorite part was when Arizona was within field goal range, going for a touchdown and got a 15 yard penalty, which took them out of field goal range, because they had thrown the ball forward twice on one play!  That almost made up for Cal throwing interceptions in the end zone two drives in a row.

When we arrived, it was a gorgeous sunny day, but the sun soon set and it became blistery cold.  Mmmmm, just like home, memories of watching high school football games.  Even though I was freezing and huddled deep into the Cal sweatshirt Mr. Trizzle had so generously leant me, it felt good.  Yes, I hate being cold.  But I’d forgotten some of the loveliness that comes with being cold.  That tingle all over your body when you go inside.  The sharp air in your nose as you take a deep breath.  The complete awareness of every part of yourself that comes into contact with the world outside your clothing.  Drafts through knits, gusts that send chills up loose sleeves.  You know you’re alive.  It’s wonderful.

I had a wonderful time with Short Artichoke at the game and am very happy she convinced me to brave Berkeley for it.  Maybe I’ll get to go again next year. :)
cathy and me at cal game

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