ARE YOU EXCITED FOR CAL FOOTBALL!!!!
SPOILER ALERT – I AM!!!
It’s time to kick-off this humble blog for another year… I’m going to get into all the game and spirit stuff in later blogs because i think this is going to be an amazing inflection year for Cal… but today I want to talk mainly to the women about a really cool event that’s been going on in one form or another for about 12 years, Pigskins and Pearls, previously known as The Women’s Huddle… In the last two years the event has raised $30,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland! Thirty-thousand-dollars! Now listen, I’ve heard from some of you that for various reasons you don’t like the name of the event, and prefer Women’s Huddle… I get it… and you know what, Kate Dykes gets it… I was talking with Kate this week and she’s totally open to changing the name, it’s just that for this year everything was set in motion for Pigskins and Pearls (it’s something she’s done for a while) so do me a favor and just for this year get over that…
I gotta tell… I really like Kate… she is more involved in the community than I can remember any spouse of any sport in recent memory being…For me the first sign was when she and Sonny decided to locate the family on the WEST SIDE of the Caldecott Tunnel (no offense, of course, to my friends in Orinda or Lafayette or Walnut Creek or Danville… full offense intended to those living in Moraga!). It’s a small thing, but I think it sends a great signal.
So about Pigskins and Peals, in the last two years, this event has raised more than $30,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland… Read that again… $30,000!!!! That is pretty awesome and all the women who have attended the event at Memorial can be proud of themselves for helping to support such a great organization… One that a certain Beast Mode has said made a huge impact in his life.
Kate and I recently got together and I thought you’d be interested in her thoughts about Cal, Berkeley, football and most important, ICE CREAM, PIZZA and TOP DOG!!! Although I didn’t “interview her” i thought it would be easiest to present it that way. Kate had just got back from a cross-country drive from Texas, with a pit-stop in Disneyland and this is the first thing she told me “True story, On our road trip home, my girls saw a guy with a UCLA shirt on and said ” oh, (with a punch of potty in her voice) he has to go the that other school!” We have trained them well.” I don’t know about you but I love when the coach’s young daughters talk smack about UCLA (or USC or Standford or….)
FiatLux: I know that a lot of Cal fans appreciate that the coaches and families are such a part of the community – including living by Campus. What it’s been like for you and the girls?
Kate: The transition has been much easier than I had anticipated. The Cal community – professors, staff, fans, students, former athletes and more – has constantly reached out to our family and helped our move become much smoother than normal. We are a very active family and try to take advantage of all the Bay Area has to offer! There should be no complaints when you live somewhere as wonderful as the Bay Area!
FiatLux: How did you get involved with the Boys and Girls club of Oakland?
Kate: Sonny and I have both been huge advocates for any local Boys & Girls Clubs along our journey. They give unconditionally to the youth of our area that are in such need. We were both members as kids and believe in what they stand for. It is our pleasure and honor to do this event in their honor.
FiatLux : Let’s talk about this event… All the women I know love hanging out with the guys on the team… What can they expect his year?
Kate: This event is solely to give all the incredible Cal women an opportunity to be around our program, players, staff and to raise money for a very deserving Charity. I love that the women get to meet so many of the young men who represent the school… they’re great kids. It is a very exciting event for me, as I love meeting all the women who love sports as much as I do! These women are fun… and they are LOUD at games… I want their husbands or boyfriends or partners or kids to be as loud as they are! I mean, if every fan brought the passion that people like Ellen Abbetecola, Linda Cogozzo and Diana George bring, Memorial would be even louder than it already is! This will be the 6th consecutive year for our clinics and all 6 years we have given to the Boys & Girls Club!
FiatLux: College football in the Bay Area is very different than it is in Texas or the South… We think it’s better, nothing beats Strawberry Canyon after all… What’s it been like for you?
Kate:It is very different, and that’s a good thing! I appreciate that our fans are there every game wearing their Blue and Gold with pride. It’s been a tough few years before we got here and it’s great to see how much they believe in their school and want the best for the programs of Cal. The stadium is stunning and the weather is incredible!! Trust me, I am more than happy to miss the 100 Degree games in September!
FiatLux: What’s your favorite tradition you’ve experienced at Cal?
Kate: Without a doubt The Big Game Bonfire Rally is my favorite. It encompasses everything I love about college football. Rivalry, tradition, passion and school spirit! (And of course you as the Emcee!). Sonny’s dad was here last year for it and he said it’s as good or better as anything he’s seen in Texas. To see the Greek just packed – all the way up the hillside – with Cal fans means more to the players and coaches than you can imagine.
FiatLux: OK, now we get into the important stuff… favorite item at Fenton’s?
Kate: Chocolate cookie dough, hands down. I will say the girls love mint chocolate chip. I hear that you challenge everyone to a Banana Special… we’ll definitely take you up on that.
FiatLux: Careful here… Blondies or Fat Slice?
Kate: Fat Slice (At this point I hang my head, just a bit….)
FiatLux; Now be REALLY careful…. your favorite Top Dog?
Kate: I love the hot link, but I also love the chicken Apple sausage
FiatLux: We know Stanford would top the list, but who annoys you more, UCLA or USC?
Kate: Is it OK for me to say both?! Should we even mention them….clearly we are the BEST California school! Go Bears!
Fiatlux: That was actually a trick question and you answered it perfectly!
Kate: I really want to make sure this comes across… I want to thank all the Cal fans for their support… I remember our first game against Northwestern in Memorial and we knew we had found home. It was simply breathtaking and the energy of the crowd was amazing. The student section is hands down the best in the country… We love watching you all game… I’d love to come join you and stand but I’m afraid my student days are a bit in the past! Hey, we do have one request – can you all get there on time before kickoff… the players appreciate that so much, coming out of the tunnel to see the student section filled… I’ll work on getting the alumni in their seats too! But the students are simply amazing… and what can i say about the band… the absolute best… Last year all of you were great… When we played Northwestern in Chicago, we could not believe how many Cal fans were there, it really did feel like Bear Territory (by the way we LOVE LOVE LOVE that cheer!). We can’t wait to see you all again in Texas!
So there you go Cal fans… pretty awesome if you ask me. Don’t forget, you can click here to sign up for the event.… This is happening right after the main event on Saturday so let’s see if we can get a huge turnout for the team.
OH MY GOD! You realize we’re under three week ’til KICK OFF!!!!
Let there be light and