Going to AT&T park to watch a football game was a unique experience . It had its positives: that giant, gorgeous HD replay screen (which they didn't actually use much for showing replays); normal bathrooms; ability to buy alcohol at the venue and bring it into the student section; being so close to the field (if you were lucky enough to get good seats). It also had its downsides: I couldn't hear a word the announcers or refs said; the layout was problematic (dirt in an endzone, substitution errors); the bleachers felt very wobbly (I thought they would collapse during the Follet-forced, Jordan-recovered, game-saving fumble). It was a great experience though.
The bleacher section was great. The bleachers themselves were very wobbly. It was kind of like standing on a large, festive boat (party yacht?). It was mostly students (at least a third of whom were drunk) with a few old blues, including one guy who spontaneously helped lead chants. I meant to tell a guy with a Devon Kennard sign that I liked his sign, so if that guy is reading this, thanks for making a great sign. I'm not sure if it was alcohol-induced or what, but the students were especially excited. This translated into lots of noise, lots of chants, and (unfortunately) lots of boos for Nate. The refs got the worst of it though, especially when they led Miami down the field on one penalty-filled drive. We went wild when we recovered the fumble in the fourth quarter. All the drunk people were hugging everyone around them, high fivers were clumsily flying into high fivees, and the bleachers wobbled like a yacht in a hurricane. It was a great atmosphere when Cal was doing well and a somewhat hostile atmosphere when we weren't doing so well (some players on the bench had to try to get people to stop booing Nate).
Anyway, this post needs pictures, not words! So here are the pictures.
As always, click the link below the photo for a significantly larger version.
I arrived just as the Cal band marched across the stadium and into AT&T park. The Party Yacht is conspicuously absent from McCovey Cove.
Nate and the Brock warming up. Kevin Riley didn't look like he participated much during warm-ups, which further validates Hydro's statement that he was too injured to start.
Cal stretches and Kevin fully participated.
More Cal stretching.
Cal huddles up.
Now, I'm not going to say that the Miami color guard was fat, but, well...
Miami band came out and did its thing.
The first of three parachute men came in. This one represented Cal.
This one represented the U.
And this one represented America.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Brian Anger skips down the field. Shortly after, the bleacher fans yelled for him and cheered. He sheepishly acknowledged our existence.
Most of the Cal team runs out onto the field. Nate practices in the foreground.
The team comes to the bench.
Nate: O hai guyz
Nate goes back to warming up. Riley didn't look to be hobbling here.
Some bears, some nuts, and some zebras walk into a hurricane...
Gregory and some assistants talk with the defense.
Gould talks to Best after Best's first TD. Ta'ufo'ou got a lot of recognition from the coaches, players, and press following the game. He was a beast out there.
A happy-looking Nate comes over to congratulate Best and Will.
Because the teams couldn't move down the field to watch the game, they had to watch the giant screen to see what was going on. This was during the drive when we held the U to a field goal.
Brock was paying a lot of attention to what was going on today. It seemed to make it clear that if Nate had to come out of the game, Brock would be sent in instead of Kevin.
Nate and Kevin have an extended conversation.
Kevin gesturing about something. I would have loved to hear what they were talking about. This was not long after the third down when Nate was stepped on and fell.
Again, I'm not saying the color guard was fat, but...
Miami color guard during the halftime show.
The greatest band in the land performs during halftime, but more importantly, I think I found The Maharg's uncle. He had his jersey tucked into his cargo pants! He was also wearing some protective glasses that looked like they belonged in a chem lab.
Tedford gets a pleasant shower.
Best and Ta'ufo'ou prepare another gatorade cooler.
And Ron Gould gets the cooler dumped on him. He certainly deserves it. Gould has been fantastic as the running backs coach.
The players were thrilled with this win. I can't blame them, this was one of our more dramatic wins in recent memory.
Tedford is awarded the Emerald Bowl trophy.
Best hoists his MVP trophy.
The Pain Train holds his MVP trophy.
Intense fan is intense.
There was no official scoreboard, so this is the best I could do. Go Bears! 2009 has potential to be a great year!