112th Big Game Photo Essay I: Pregame Festivities

I use pregame festivities in the loosest sense of the word.  Because not only do the festivities start directly before the Big Game, but they stretch well before the Big Game.  Up to and including the night before, when a huge throng of Cal fans pack the SF bar Royal Exchange.  Why do they pack that place?  Well, if for no other reason, then to sing along to one of the greatest songs of all time, "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.  I had briefly stopped believing up to that point, but a variety of amateur singers singing along to parts of the Cal Band, well, if that doesn't get you going, you are most likely a vampire and I really hope for my marriage's sake you never make any more movies:


No crazzy adventures this year.  Just classic old fashioned "hanging" combined with "shooting the breeze" with a dash of "chillaxing" thrown in.  And, of course, The one, the only, the truly incomparable CALIFORNIA MARCHING BAND!

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Lots of fun again.  The band coming out.  Band alumnus breaching the various rules of conduct.  Here are the 2 main rules of band alumnae etiquette:

1.  Try not to get involved or appear anywhere close to the band for about 3-4 years after you graduate.  Wait until enough people are gone from the band that nobody will really know you.  You don't want to be like that guy in college still hanging out at the high school parties.  But lamer.  And you should trust me on this one, because nobody knows more about being lame than me. 

 

2.  Never ever EVER play the instrument you actually played in the band.  Or, in the alternative, if you do pick it up, don't even come within 4,000 notes of playing what you are actually supposed to play.  If you played trumpet in the band, grab a pic and go to town.  Or just start banging randomly on a drum.  If you actually do pick up the trumpet, start practicing scales or just shmucking around.  If you pick up the same instrument that you used to play and start playing along with the song the rest of the band is playing, that shows you cared enough during marching band to really memorize the songs SUCH that years later you still got it!  Those people are embarrassing to themselves.  And you should trust me on this one, because nobody knows more about embarrassing themselves than me.

 

So, if you follow those 2 simple rules, you'll avoid being a lame embarrassment like me!

Speaking of things that aren't embarrasing:


That was Friday night.  Then, on Saturday, people gather to tailgate ahead of the game.  At Cal home games, people tailgate in parking lots.  At Stanford, you tailgate in a Rodin Sculpture Garden:

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They even have The Thinker:

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It's unclear to me whether this is an original or a cast or what.  I know the Legion Of Honor in SF has one, too.  Also, oddly enough I visited it just a few days later. 

I'm not a big art scholar, although I did attend the opening for Jamal Boykin's art of President Obama.  All of Rodin's sculptures always seem so depressed.  Is that because they are so woefully endowed?  I know if I was packing that downstairs I'd look just as depressed and spend a lot of time thinking about how pathetic I am and what I could do.  Was Rodin projecting?

Anyway, I'm not big enough of an art dude to know what's going on with Rodin.  So, I left to go check out some other tailgates.  On the way, I noticed this giant balloon hovering over the campus:

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If you can't read it, you can either click on the photo to increase the size or take my word for the fact that it said "STANFORD FANFEST" with an arrow pointing down.  Basically, they were telling their fans how to get to the big Stanford Fanfest.  Was this because they knew that many of their fans that day had probably never been to a Stanford football game before and needed clear directions?

Yes. 

We actually went the wrong direction, lured by the Marching Band dancing its way to the Stanford Stadium.

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We wandered by the Big Splash, which had about 10 seconds left, Stanford up 5-4.  Just as we were passing by, a HUGE cheer arose from the crowd.  No, not that they had banished the awful lemon tree forever, because it was haunted.  But actually because Cal had scored the game-tying goal.  Apparently, Stanford ended up winning in OT, but it was a very exciting moment to hear from about 500 feet away.  GO BEARS!

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We headed over to the Eucalyptus Grove where some major tailgating was going on.  It was insanely packed with cars and humanity.  And cornholing.

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So much cornholing.  The Grove was incredibly packed.  I, unfortunately, don't have any more photos that I feel comfortable posting here, but take my word for it when I tell you that it was a solid scene there.

This guy needs to take a step back, look at his life, and make some important changes:

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When we got into the stadium, the Stanford band was doing something.  I can't even begin to describe what they were doing here:

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IMG_9383 (via Monica's Dad)

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IMG_9387 (via Monica's Dad)

Cal fans were less than enthused:

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IMG_9370 (via Monica's Dad)

Then, the flyover:

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IMG_9395 (via Monica's Dad)

And we got our initial sight of the man we would later fluster with boos. 

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IMG_9421 (via Monica's Dad)

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Oski wanted to fight Tiger, I think.

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IMG_9414 (via Monica's Dad)

Watch out Oski or else Tiger will mistake you for a fire hydrant or, in the alternative, a tree.  Then, you'll REALLY be screwed!

Players were finishing up some final warm ups right before kickoff:

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IMG_9431 (via Monica's Dad)

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IMG_9382 (via Monica's Dad)


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IMG_9432 (via Monica's Dad)

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IMG_9448 (via Monica's Dad)

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IMG_9456 (via Monica's Dad)

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IMG_9438 (via Monica's Dad)

And we got our first look at the object of our unending lust.  This is probably where I would have made a "My Precious" joke.  If I was a writer for Addicted To Quack.  I also briefly thought of making a joke about how RallyComm looks like extras from The Matrix, but decided to not further the alienation of RallyComm that CBKWit started.  As such, here is the Axe with the AxeCommittee, a Committee that we respect very much here:

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IMG_9476 (via Monica's Dad)

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