Friday, January 02, 2009


There's something special about college football. While money is always a factor, for most of the athletes, college is the last time they'll get to play in a stadium in front of a crowd. For many of the seniors, there is no "next year." They seem to want to win for the sake of winning and will lay their bodies on the line for a trophy as simple as an Axe, a Bell, a Cup. And if they get to play for larger stakes--a shiny silver trophy awarded on national television--so much the better.

The play-calling is more creative, the coaches more willing to try a stunt play. The Song Girls/Dance Team/Pom-Pom Girls look like the girls next door and often cry when the team loses. The Cheerleaders/Yell Leaders and the Mascots give their all to rally the audience behind the team.

This year Cal was invited to the Emerald Bowl, located a mere 1.5 miles from my office. The Bowl sponsors were thrilled: they got their first sell-out. The Cal Seniors were happy: they played their last game in front of a home crowd. And Cal fans were excited: it was cheaper to see the Emerald Bowl than the Big Game versus Stanford. Cal fans bought up their allotment and all the tickets the University of Miami turned back in. Ten members of my family attended--thanks, Mom! And Happy Day-After-Your-Birthday, too. :)

The only Bowl Game that would have made us happier would have been the Rose Bowl.

Jahvid Best, who played for the local Catholic High School in my neck of the woods, gave the right answer when asked about next year's Heisman Trophy: "We want the National Championship!" Turns out the Rose Bowl hosts the BCS Championship game in 2010.


The game turned out to be closer than it seemed like it would be. Miami's team is young and I foresee great things for their young quarterback. I wouldn't be surprised to see another Cal vs. Miami match-up at a Bowl Game next year. Meanwhile, I hope Tedford finds the answer to the passing game: a QB who can throw accurately and Wide Receivers who can catch consistently.

The Pac-10 is now 5-0 in Bowl Games this season and will gain some respect among the football pundits.

Nah. Don't think so.

Other games are on, allowing Hubs and I to watch dispassionately, analyzing strengths and weaknesses of the various teams. Next week it will all be over and I'll reading about the Giants and the A's, their bullpens and the stadium plans of the A's.