With the A's falling out of contention, our local sports focus just may gradually move toward that of our California Golden Bears football squad, who kicks off the 2007 season today, in a much-awaited, nationally discussed, game against the Tennessee Volunteers.
For the third consecutive season, Kristine and I have season tickets, and will be donning the blue and gold, pumping our fists in the air along with Oski, yelling "Cal Band Great!" and telling everybody around us who cares to listen how much we hate Stanford, regaling them with tales of victory and defeat from the decade gone by - even as my own memories become less and less relevant to today's students and fans. After all, it was 10 years ago that I was entering my junior year at Cal, and 12 years ago that I first started attending classes at UC Berkeley. That means some of this year's freshmen were in first grade when I was attending my first political science 1 lectures. Scary.
Cal, largely expected to challenge the national leaders in football last season, opened with a dud of a game against Tennessee, a 35-18 flop that put their season in dire straights early on, reducing expectations. Eager to avoid a similar fate for the second consecutive year, the university has called on fans to swarm en masse to Memorial Stadium today and overwhelm the Tennessee squad and its fans with sheer noise, in hope of contributing to victory. In fact, early reports say the school will distribute no fewer than 50,000 megaphones for fans to pierce the eardrums of the hated Volunteers, when they are on offense.
We're excited to get it started. We're ready to revisit "The Play" from 1982. We're ready to debate AP Top 25 and BCS Rankings again. And despite the A's quasi-dramatic win last night, we're almost ready to focus elsewhere. Unlike last season, when we would see both the A's and the Bears on the same day, we've already sold our baseball tickets and are headed straight to Cal.
Follow along at Sports Blog Nation site The Band Is Out On the Field and wish us luck! Go Bears!