Last night Cal lost to the Northwestern Wildcats in a wild game in Berkeley. Normally an opening game home loss to a ranked team on national TV. where we got jobbed on a couple of calls by the refs and where the opposing team used some questionably ethical tactics, would leave me in a poor mood. But not last night.
Cal is coming off a tough season. Make that a tough few seasons. Last night in the spectacular confines of Memorial Stadium in Strawberry Canyon, a new era of Cal football began. Last night reminded me why I love Cal football so much. I’ll let other dissect and report on the plays – the folks at California Golden Blogs do a great job! – but here are my take-aways.
College football is incredible for bringing together friends. Was great seeing everyone at Bryan Harland’s awesome tailgate. You are the wind beneath my wings. Seriously man, on behalf of everyone, thanks for doing that! Was great seeing Andrea and Erik, Sam and Kristin and Sam’s dad from the class of ’71, Aram, Rico, David and Sheen, Ron, Dan, Nick, Matt and on I could go. Then getting in the game and seeing Dave Tien and his son, Emmett was awesome. Saw my old college roommate Robb Dunn who is not Assistant AD at Navy. Met his young family. Been too long… but you get the idea.
Loved the Northwestern Fans who by and large were awesome. Just really nice people. Talked with some at half time and they were effusive about how beautiful Memorial and the campus were. Such gracious people.
Cal faked a field goal… and scored a TD as a result… it was all so new and confusing. WE LOVED IT!
Our true freshman QB Jared Goff is a stud.
Our receivers are studs.
The crowd. FRICKING AWESOME turnout. 58K+ and it was LOUD. Great job by the students and micman. And I think here I should mention one person. I think a special call out should go to former Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford. Though is tenure ended ignominiously, and it was time for it to end, last night was his true legacy. In 2002 in his first game, the team was coming off a 1-10 season. The “announced” crowd was 27K. Tonight in Sonny Dykes’ first game, the team coming off a 3-9 season, and 58K+ people were in Memorial. Jeff Tedford helped make Cal relevant in the Bay Area in a way it never has been. And for that he deserves a nod and a thank you.
I love what the future looks like.
So while I would have rather won, I’m not “unhappy.” Great things lie ahead for the California Golden Bears. A Saturday night in Memorial Stadium is one of life’s great pleasure.