On Friday, August 1st, the 5 of us traveled into Berkeley to learn from the best -- Jeff Tedford and the Cal Football team. We learned all sorts of things, like how to get in proper defense stance, how to appreciate football players in the proper defense stance, but especially how to stay hydrated. Yes, especially the importance of hydration...So he's a review of what we most appreciated from AndBears, OskiWeeWee, RemorsefulBruinBabe, Kittwin, and BearBallCarrier.
After $35, a free t-shirt and guide to college football, free food and drink (I was 2 beers in before we started running) Jeff Tedford gave us a warm welcome and we gave him the highest-pitched 'Go Bears...' I'd ever heard.
Ladies love the Tedford
RemorsefulBruinBabe: I was a little hesitant to come at first (OskiWeeWee: That's what she said!), fearing that I'd be totally obvious as the Cal Fan Newbie, but the ladies (and the football players...oh the football players) did not seem to mind. Once I had my blue and gold t-shirt and a few glasses of wine (and let's be honest, football players), I was feeling like a true Cal fan and shouted "Go Bears!" with no hesitation. Before the event, honestly, I was just excited to get a little football education. I can count on my hands the numbers of games I've been to, but the more I go, the more I like it...and I was actually looking forward to learning something about formations and stances...and football players. And let me tell you, I might still suck at throwing a football, and my tackling skills would not take anybody down, but I have a newfound respect that can only come from attempting a field goal kick that went about 6 inches into the air before bouncing pathetically on the ground.
AndBears: Yes, even those of us who go to a lot of games really enjoyed seeing more detail, and even bringing some of that detail back to our obsessive-fan menfolk. I really felt like a football genius telling Ragnarok how many plays a Cal QB has on his wrist (150 apparently!). By 'a lot of games' I mean, for instance, roughly 1/3 of the away games and every home game for the past 7-years (except for that one homecoming where I was volunteering and had to watch the last quarter at Bear's Lair with OskiWeeWee...)
OskiWeeWee: Oh AndBears, I remember that awesome Homecoming spent watching the game at the Bear's Lair, with fanbana fans aplenty. That might have been the first home game I missed watching in person (not due to a wedding or funeral, my usual ONLY excuses for missing home games). But I digress - the Women's Huddle - it is my single most favorite event of the year. Who does NOT enjoy all the booze and food and booze you can ingest before hanging out with coaches and football players and more really cute football players? (Cougars anyone?)
Perhaps the most famous cougar of all. Sadly, Demi could not make it to the huddle. She would have had a field day.
Kittwin: I went in expecting to be disappointed as it could not possibly be as good as last year. But I was wrong, because it was just as good if not better! Hooray! I think the Women's Huddle is the perfect way to get psyched for the new season. The guys can talk 3-4 defense (is that right?) and new recruits and rankings and debate QBs all they like, but personally I'm for getting liquored up and spending some quality time with some men (boys) in uniform! And of course all of you ladies! RemorsefulBruinBabe was a great addition this year, as she not only was totally game to pose for "awesome" pictures and mob Tedford on sight, she also kept up on the white wine consumption! You'd hardly know she went to fUCLA.
Thanks to OskiWeeWee for driving me to and from, and for getting us in to all the secret special places! I was never more tempted to steal anything in my life than when I was all alone with rows and rows of shiny Cal jerseys. But even in my drunken stupor, I refrained. I feel so moral!
OskiWeeWee: Kittwin, you are very welcome for the ride as well as the super secret places! I love showing off my Cal Power, haha. The equipment room was an unplanned bonus, but I will definitely make sure to get that on the list for next year as well. Oh the pressure to find an ADDITIONAL cool thing! I hear it's not too hard to get to the top of the scoreboard...
Kittwin: Are anyone else's calves really sore? I don't know what I did to my calves. Was it crouching under that tarp? All the stairs? Anyone?
AndBears: Yes, I have some sore calves and a nice bear-claw shaped bruise from a football to show for it. Also, my tackling skills ROCK. Now THAT'S something to bring home to the men-folk.
RemorsefulBruinBabe: I have calves of steel, but my shoulders and neck were in so much pain the next morning that I could barely turn my head to either side! I don't know how that happened...a little too enthusiastic on the tackling and slapping, I think.
OskiWeeWee: Um, I know how it happened. It was when your shoulders and neck (and the rest of your body) accidentally collided with a glass window. But you totally avoided the big metal beam and that's what counts. :)
BearBallCarrier: My calves were sore too! I think it might have been that extra run up the stairs for another bottle of wine. Or all my excellent work striking the Heisman pose!
RemorsefulBruinBabe: I don't know about you guys, but when I came home I showed CBKWit all of my sweet new moves, posing like a running back (?) with my butt up in the air and my hand on the ground (granted, the big, burly, tattooed football players do it better) and rattling off all the things I could remember ("and we learned that you have to keep the ball in your breadbasket, which we realized means 'under the boobs' if you're a girl"). I felt like such a pro, even if I don't quite remember what a tight end was...they all looked tight to me.
OskiWeeWee: Let's breakdown the player's personalities and cuteness factors. Who cares about how good they are or what silly formation name they might play in - we need to be able to talk about them to our girlfriends and make funny comments about their pictures with us on Facebook!
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Wow, OskiWeeWee, you have a one-track mind. Personally, I think it's just demeaning to rate football players on their cuteness, and we should be talking instead about their abilities on the field. Ha! Gotcha! Let the rating begin!!! This is just like a junior high slumber party, only way, way better.
OskiWeeWee: First, #18: Wide Receiver Drew Glover. Adorable! 8 out of 10 on the cuteness scale. He's also a bit of a goofball, which I definitely like. He doesn't take himself too seriously (like other wide receivers we might know?), was willing to sign his name on a variety of, um, t-shirts, and seemed to love to pose in pictures. A plus for our friend group of 25 gals!
Silly boy collage!
AndBears: Yes, Drew Glover definitely very high on cute scale. Really having a good time teaching us how to run-turn-catch. And he did a little 'defense' on the cute girls. He's welcome to defend me anytime!
OskiWeeWee: That's what she said! But wait, that's really what she just said. Is the joke still funny?
Drew Glover uses the open-mouth defense.
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Sadly, I didn't get to experience Glover's "defense," since I wasn't in that line. I don't remember who was manning (ha. ha. ha.) our line, but he just let us all run past him. I felt pretty badass running, turning, catching, and then running towards the imaginary end zone (we were in the middle of the field) though - I was doing a touchdown dance in my head for sure. Oh, and OskiWeeWee, it's still funny. It's always funny.
On a different note, why didn't we get to tackle any actual football players? I mean, those dummies were nice and all, but how about letting us run and tackle and push (or whatever it's "actually" called) the guys? Let the women loose! Woo hoo!!! Oh wait, never mind. I think I know why...
AndBears: Well, see, it's because we like our players in prime condition. I'd be afraid we'd inflict too much 'enthusiasm'. They don't train against us, so they wouldn't know what they'd be up against. I did have a lot of fun with the tackling (Sean Cattouse and Bob Gregory gave us that lesson -- no, I didn't ask about Bend-But-Don't-Break, but I really had to hold back).
Bob Gregory lays hands on the Cattouse Caboose
OskiWeeWee: Moving on to #77: Defensive Lineman Michael Costanzo. Media guide says he's a freshman, but he looks like a senior or senior +, and the guy scared the living crap out of me! Monster tattoo, creative goatee/beard, and girly sunglasses that looked badass on him. He did smile eventually once he warmed up to us. Cuteness factor only 5 out of 10, but 10 out of 10 badass factor.
Kittwin: Are you serious? That's way harsh, Tai! (For any guys reading this, that's a Clueless reference. That's for all your Simpsons references.) I give him a 7, at least, for his attitude, his shaved head, and his awesome tsunami bicep tattoo. Also I believe he's not so badass as he pretends to be, as he totally broke character and blushed when we tried to get him to reverse angle on his demo so we could take pictures of his ass.
Demo the reverse angle? Hey, I think they want to see my ass!
RemorsefulBruinBabe: And please note that while he blushed at first, he totally reversed his angle. Modesty, my ass! Well, his ass...wait, am I being inappropriate?
AndBears: Michael Costanzo was a bad-ass but I'm sure he's a teddy bear inside, I'll give him 8.5 of 10. But I have to say, I really enjoyed his station and his coach: Tosh Lupoi - Defensive Line, a really sweet cute young coach who taught us how to get in the proper butt-in-air stance, which RemorsefulBruinBabe will be demonstrating on demand. They also had my favorite 'ball on stick' toy to train us not to flinch until the ball (and only the ball) moves. Then we hit a bunch of stuff, some with body hits some with slaps, which was REALLY fun. Hey guys, send your ladies to the huddle where they really can learn how to tackle and slap!
From the people who brought you Hot Dog on a Stick, the newest accessory craze for the blind and football obsessed.
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Oh so THAT'S why the ball was on the stick! I was a little confused, but I thought it was a hilarious little toy. I am so stoked for football season!!! You're so right, Kittwin; I might (ha. unlikely!) understand what the boys are talking about this year with their technical sports jargon, but I'll have more fun watching my new favorite football players run up and down the field in their tight pants. Oh, how I love football uniforms. :-) Tosh (Toshie?) was very sweet, but I'll have to give him a 7.5 on the cuteness scale.
OskiWeeWee: Seems totally inappropriate to rate a coach on the cuteness scale, so I'll hold back. ;) He did put up with us crazy over-hydrated girls...
Kittwin: What do you mean it's totally inappropriate to rate a coach on the cuteness scale? Where did you get your information? Tosh gets a solid 8 from me! You can say it's for his "coaching abilities" if that's your thing. I mean, look at this picture, I'm totally thinking, wow, Tosh is a solid 8! Maybe an 8.5 for being so tall!
Aww, Tosh is so dreamy! Those dimples! That perfectly square head!
RemorsefulBruinBabe: And seriously, OskiWeeWee, coaches can totally be rated on cuteness! I also totally thought that both the recruiting guy and the video tech were cutie patooties - especially earning cutie pie brownie points for trying to seriously tell us something (um, they try to recruit guys who are smart and funny and good at football...or something...and...um, they swap videos with other teams in the pac-10...) while we just kept "hydrating."
OskiWeeWee: OK, OK, I'll be inappropriate! Jeez! While I don't think Tosh is quite as dreamy as Kittwin clearly thinks, I will give him a 7. That's right, a lowly 7. :) But, he was a good sport.
Totally not attacking Tosh
AndBears: For those taking notes, that would be Andrew McGraw - Recruiting Assistant (also Cal Band alum!) and Matt Fox - Video Coordinator. We learned that our facilities are definitely a key recruiting fact that other schools (U$C, Oregon, UCLA) like to use against us and that Pac-10 schools are required to share film and must be there 10 days in advance of the game.
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Thanks for clearing that up, AndBears. You must have been less hydrated than I was.
Trying to pay attention to Andrew McGraw at the recruiting/hydration station
OskiWeeWee: Before moving on, check out the TV - it's a bear on a golf course! OMG!
OK, #34: Placekicker Jordan Kay. Super nice and totally distracted when we started taking pictures with him while he was talking. We told him just to keep talking, but somehow he felt that was rude. How sweet! :) I have a special affinity for kickers, coming from a soccer background, so 8 out of 10 on the cuteness scale. ("Really?" asks Zoonews. "Yes, Really!")
Nice legs Mr. Kay!
BearBallCarrier: Jordan Kay, 10 out of 10! He should take off that helmet more! Oh so hot. I stand by it.
AndBears: To make this scale more probable, I'm going to have to agree with zoonews, as ridiculous and unbelievable as it is. I would only put Jordan Kay on a 7. He's nice, and totally a good sport with all the interrupting we did, but he just doesn't do it for me. Great, now I feel like a traitor because I want to jump him slightly less than our other fantastic Bears.
Kittwin: I agree with zoonews and AndBears, you people are crazy. Kay is generously a 7, but I have to deduct a point for his goofy I'm-playing-the-jerk-in-an-80s-movie hairdo. Also he is what us tall people like to call "not tall."
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Seriously, guys. He looked like a little spiky-haired adolescent. Cute, but more like your friend's kid brother than a crush-worthy hunk. Maybe I just like my men with a little more facial hair though...
BearBallCarrier: Woot, he's all mine! The hair adds like an inch. See, now it makes sense.
OskiWeeWee: Every inch counts! (That's what *I* said!)
Jordan Kay, a 10? You be the judge! Kay says, "Hey Bro! I'll kick this ball!
OskiWeeWee: #10: Linebacker Devin Bishop, little brother to Desmond Bishop (we got them confused last year, but we got it this year!). Very open to taking pictures. Cool shades - Mr. Cool - 7 out of 10 on the cuteness scale, although I would say he's more "hot" than "cute". Nice butt!
AndBears: I do think Devin Bishop is awesome. I later stalked his locker. Why go for the obvious ones like Riley and Longshore!?
Are you SURE he's not a tight end? Damn! Devin says: I got it and you like it.
OskiWeeWee: #56: Linebacker Zack Follett - so goofy!! 10 out of 10 on the goofiness scale. Very helpful and I can't believe he's the awesome player that he is, but I'm glad that he is. Meeting all of these players makes you realize that they are just regular, young, college guys. Cal fans expect so much... too much?
AndBears: Zack Follett also showed us this crazy padded thing with a helmet. So, as a linebacker you need to respond quickly and push back using only your hands and they had this pad with two sides and a helmet on top which when you slid the helmet to the right, the right-pad would pop out. They practice pushing back one side using only their hands which apparently takes 300 lbs of force!?! That's pretty damn strong! Needless to say, we could not do it. It was hilariously pathetic.
RemorsefulBruinBabe: I didn't get a chance to try that one, since we spent so much time taking pictures while they were explaining, but I bet I would have been really, really good at it. Oh wait, it looked really, really hard. Or maybe I'm thinking of Follett's buns of steel. A while ago, I wondered why they don't make a Men of Cal Football Calendar...of their butts. I am now wondering more than ever.
BearBallCarrier: I barely recognized him without the crazy hair. He was #1 on the list of players to be there. Well, #2 behind my former BF DeCoud, of course. Goofy works for him, I bestow an 8 upon his adorable head.
Buns of Steel not pictured
OskiWeeWee: #22: Running Back (different from Running Wolf) Tracy Slocum. L-O-V-E the little dreads, they will definitely increase the cuteness factor. He tried to jab us with a boxing glove while we ran over these triangle things - how mean! He was willing to give hugs (bonus!) while also looking adorable. 9 out of 10 on the cuteness scale!
Slocum is ready for battle, but the mighty leaping powers of the female were not to be challenged!
OskiWeeWee: #51: Center Alex Mack. We are sooo glad the Mack is Back, baby. (That must have been said a million times.) Even though he's quite a big dude, he has boyish charm. He LOOKS super sincere and nice and he really is. He must take on an alternate personality when he's out there protecting the quarterback. 8 out of 10 on the cuteness scale - truly love this guy!
You can run, but you can't hide...
RemorsefulBruinBabe: I definitely stalked Alex Mack a bit, but that's mostly because CBKWit likes him so much (ask him about the 2007 Washington State game), and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about (although it occurs to me know that he probably likes him more for his mad skills than for his cuteness. or maybe not, I don't know). You can't tell from that picture, but I was totally chasing him too (chasing football players seemed to be a theme of the evening).
AndBears: I can't believe you left out the best part about Alex Mack!! He can lift 375 lbs from floor to shoulder and uses the largest dumbbells in the weight room at 175 on each arm!!! Not to give away too much but that's one of me on each arm and some change! That's CRAZY!!! I'm not making this up, this info came from John Krasinski - Head Strength and Conditioning Coach.
RemorsefulBruinBabe: No way! I never heard that!!! When did we get that delicious nugget of information? (also, John Krasinski?)
AndBears: That was in the weight room after re-hydrating. I believe you were holding your own bottle of wine at that point.
Kittwin: Something like this?
She's clearly thinking, "step off my wine, biatch!"
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Oh. Right. Moving on...
OskiWeeWee: Last, but definitely the best, #13 Quarterback, the one, the only... KEVIN RILEY!!! (Crowd goes wild!) All the hype is definitely deserved! I asked one of my "inside guys" how the players were picked for the huddle: very selectively by the coaches based on their ability to interact with people and that they won't get in trouble. They see it as a reward! That's right - they like us! Oh, and they also get paid
My question to my inside guy: "Was it strategic to have Riley and not Longshore out on the field?" Apparently not as Longshore was out of town - but having Riley there definitely did Longshore no favors. Riley was sweet, funny, interactive, and seemed to genuinely like hanging out with us (as you can see by his goofy pics). If we weren't sold before, we are definitely sold now! Slam dunk 10 out of 10 on the cuteness scale!!! He's my fake boyfriend. Ladies, hands off!
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Personally, I am now a huge Riley fan. Sorry, HydroTech, but Longshore didn't show up (as OskiWeeWee noted, supposedly he was out of town...whatever.), and Riley was just so charming. Ok, maybe Tedford's worried that he's not "serious enough" or something (says CBKWit), but he didn't seem to mind when we chased after him for pictures instead of learning to throw (or whatever it was that he was trying to teach us), and that gives him brownie points in my book. When I pushed that "sled" of dummy football players, I did it for you, Riley! (Please love me!) And I know I wasn't the only one that thought his little band-aid was just adorable - I heard the collective female sigh ("He got a mole removed? AWWWWWW!") from a crowd of very well-hydrated ladies.
OskiWeeWee: LADIES, HANDS OFF! HE'S MIIIIIINE! (We are already facebook friends. That totally proves it!)
Riley gives us the thumbs up. Right back atcha, kiddo.
BearBallCarrier: Even with that weird band-aid on his face, super cute. Rates an 8 in my book. Longshore would get a 5. He should think about coming to the huddle sometime. I'd add another point just for that. I also wished Longshore was there for a side-by-side comparison.
Kittwin: Riley gets a 10 from me! I've always been a Longshore apologist, but Riley is adoooorable. I don't mean to brag, ladies, but Kevin totally took me to the prom! I have photographic evidence! (BearBallCarrier went with Drew Glover.)
Prom 2008: A Wonderland of Blue and Gold.
AndBears: 10 of 10, easy. Good hugger too. Also, I heard a rumor that Longshore recently got married, as recent as this summer. Maybe someone can confirm or deny that rumor, but is it creepy to rank a married player? Does that put him off limits? (she said, ignoring her own husband Rags...)
BearBallCarrier: He was engaged last year, so I would say that's probably true. I guess he stopped waiting for Jessica Simpson to show up.
OskiWeeWee: Thank goodness I don't have to start lusting after Longshore and I can keep lusting after Riley. BFF!
Kittwin: I believe you've missed several players, OskiWeeWee. For instance, how can you not mention #72 Offensive Lineman Mitchell Schwartz? I know he redshirted last year, but come on, the hair alone must be worth an 8 at least! Plus he could push those tackle dummies around like nobody's business!
AndBears: And he's the one with the size 18 shoe! You know what they say about guys with big feet... big socks...
Photo does not contain size 18 shoes.
RemorsefulBruinBabe: And we haven't mentioned yet that there were some totally creepy guys in the stands, watching like pervy stalkers as we tackled and passed and drank our way to women's huddle glory. So awkward. Especially when we realized that they were our husbands and boyfriends. I guess they didn't trust us with the studly manly men of Cal football?
Kittwin: Luckily my only boyfriends are my fantasy football boyfriends, so I was only embarrassed for you guys. But to give them some credit, at least they did not hover around the reception like some of those sad menfolk who looked like they had no idea what to do without their wives, even for a few hours! That should not be allowed! And, also, I wouldn't trust you with the studly manly men of Cal football either!
AndBears: Yes, watching from the stands with a high-powered zoom is way less creepy. We were pretty sure they weren't going to kill us, but not sure what they'd do with the evidence they were gathering... eww... But I suppose that's what you'd expect from the guys who brought you Stalking Ben Braun (the slideshow). I'd like to say - in the tradition of Freud - that they have 'vagina envy'.
RemorsefulBruinBabe: I totally agree, AndBears. I think they were less worried about us with the football players than they were jealous that they were not down there on the field too.
OskiWeeWee: Stalkers Suck Balls!
Boy those distant figures look familiar...
AndBears: So, we left out lots of fun players and definitely those smart and patient (oh, oh so patient) coaches, and we didn't even mention the ref we talked to! But we did play football, and learn football and feel-up football... so I think it was a very good day. Thanks for the Women's Huddle, Cal Football! Now, will you call us in the morning?
Fun was had by all...some more than others.