Shoot me now, the sad Bear edition

Blame my halftime premonitions. My brother might argue that all went south when South Central and I started saying we were going to party in the Big Easy at the BCS championship. In any case, our Bears finish with an overall 6-6 record and slim hopes of playing in the Emerald Bowl.

What went wrong? Should we blame Tedford and his inability to get us to the Rose Bowl? Longshore and his inconsistent passing? Desean’s injuries? Justin Forsett being too darn small? That obnoxious guy who stood behind us at the $C game? In sports, as in life, there are winners and losers. Cal had the Axe for 5 years and tonight the Rally Comm turned it over to the Furd folks. It was our turn to lose and it doesn’t feel good. I have to remind myself we haven’t been winners in decades and perhaps it’s not our time yet. But we’ll get our chance.

In the meantime, I have a medal to win, despite a sore leg and upset tummy. I am a Golden Bear and we don’t quit.

(Though I hope we don’t go to the Armed Forces Bowl. I have had enough allusions to the military this year.)

Shoot me now, the Big Game edition

Oh I know it’s halftime. But after spending 7 hours at Oakland International and not getting to my hotel till 1:30 in the morning, I’m not sure I could handle a Bear loss. Nate’s passes are actually being caught but the boys continue to struggle. How could we got from No.2 to a 6 and 5 record?
Gotta keep hoping.

Mad props to my Cal Bear crew

To my bro whose schaudenfruede is hidden by his huge heart and rosy cheeked chuckle. To Watts and South Central for their Cheshire cat grins and homeboy loyalty(Watts is still dying to know what happened in Nashville this summer). To Beautiful for being fodder for gossip and for getting my cousin’s number the other night. To Babo and Q for being our glue. To my sister in law for standing in the rain with no coat. To Lisabet for the highfives and having my back. To Slim and his wife, Smiley, for leaving at halftime like we did so we don’t feel like suckas. To and for everyone in our crew.

No joy in floodville

The rain began falling at 2 in the afternoon as we made our way down the Ave to the crew’s pregame spot. It was a light drizzle, one we did not mind as we chugged Hefe(ok so I brought a Peruvian Cristal in my water bottle again) and chowed on Cajun spiced fries, onion rings, and sandwiches on the famous homemade bread. Then it became a shower so we store-hopped until my bro bought a $100 parka. As we trudged uphill, the gentle shower became rain. And it never stopped. It became a steady downpour. I started to think about pairs of animals and olive branches. By the time the boys had thrown several incomplete passes, I could feel all three layers I was wearing sticking to me and I could wring my sleeve. “I feel like a load of laundry.” And those boys of Troy hung our boys out to dry.

At first, all seemed promising. My hero Justin made a touchdown that felt smooth and precise. Then pass after pass sailed way over its intended receiver. Soon we felt cold and wet. Even the band couldn’t inspire us to stay. So we took swigs of $1 tangerine liquor, took a pit stop in Wheeler Hall, and made it to the BART train. I got home just in time for me to peel off all articles of clothing and watch the last awful minutes in my jammies.
So no roses for us this year. Maybe a bid to Vegas or SBC park in SF. At least I finally got my bear head cap. There’s always next year.

On the Bears falling out of the rankings

So the boys didn’t do so well Saturday night.(Who in the heck did? To quote an old flame, what a disaster!). They are now gone from the top 25 and unlikely to get a decent bowl bid. But I loved Cal football when it was embarassing to do so. I won’t stop now.
At least Kentucky and Tennessee aren’t ranked either.
And we are still the best public university.

Shoot me now, the college football edition

“oh the humanity…”

It was a no-joy-in-Mudville moment. Babo’s crestfallen expression said it all. Our 5 Latino beer buzz had worn off and in 14 seconds, we saw our hopes to be Number One vanish. Now Cal is down to Number 10/12.

Cal football means a lot to my crew. It is a time for camaraderie and family. A time to reminisce on the good old days of Wolf House parties and kegs and the new old days of showing up at Chuppie(Chicano and Yuppie=chuppie)tailgates with paper bags in hand and drunkenly debating whether or not to approach Ben Braun. We stick with the Osos Dorados because we are proud and loyal.

I was pumped up about yesterday. I had broken my fast from alcohol at the SF Greek Food Fest a few weeks ago but Homecoming was going to be a return to my legendary shenanigans. Dutifully, I filled my water bottle with Peruvian beer and then Lisabet and I took on the 24 oz. Coronas. By the time, we took a break at Hillel House, I was singing the chorus from “Pedro Navaja”, “la vida te da sorpresas, sorpresas te da la vida, ay Dios!” as strangers lauded me for my customized shirt.

The game got to be more of a nail-biter as the game went on but the Bears held on. And then they lost it. We lost it.

But rankings and losses aside, Cal football games will continue to be the stuff of stories. This fall has already had some classic moments: devilish South Central offering me a sip of snakebite at Raleigh’s, the Army parachuting into the stadium(now that was a shoot me now moment), me passing our section because the Army recruiting table distracted me, some random white guys telling me “You look good standing next to the Axe,” Slim telling us hilarious anecdotes about the Gamma’s drunken escapades at Mario’s La Fiesta(and Lisa’s comment “how come Mikey is in every story?”), and me running back and forth between the games at Alma Mater and the Cal vs. Oregon game on TV in my friend’s classroom.

We will prevail.

"You know it, you tell the story…"

Forget a bum leg. I’ll brave the hundreds of stone steps to get into the Lair of the Golden Bear, Memorial Stadium, on any hot Saturday afternoon. Finish trudging up the hill and you push through the drunk white folks in the parking lot, haul your cute woman of color booty past the grease-painted kiddies and winking men. You can feel the energy as you hear the band play and the crowds roar. Yes, that’s testotorone and adrenalin and serotonin(and probably plenty of alcohol though this Bear is still clean.) You make your way to your bombass seats in the Young Alumni section(Row 22, y’all, better than anyone in the Crew). And the fun begins.

I love Cal Football. Christmas isn’t the happiest time of year. Cal Football season is. I’ve got sunshine, my Crew, my bff back in town, some new Cal gear. I’ve got no drama with any of the boys in the Crew(though Beautiful acted a fool Friday night and my bro got mad when I asked about Elbow and Mrs. Elbow yesterday.) Saturday’s opener against the Tennesee Vols proved to be a fabulous kickstart to what promises to another winning a season. More importantly, I’m sure to make more memories with my Crew.

The game was fun, despite the pain in my left leg and my still-sore right foot. As usual, a fight broke out next to us, this one between a drunken Bear and an angry Vol dad(the Bear took the daughter’s orange and white pompons and flung them down the stairs.) We were surrounded by our usual neighbors, Billie* and his wild Afro, baby Dorian* and her parents. DeSean Jackson continued to prove he’s our star but our boys(love the Cal Football Women’s Huddle!) Justin Forsett and Thomas “Dimples” DeCoud also contributed. Grr-rah!