In talking about the final game-winning series against ASU, especially the controversial call of the Vereen pass on second down, I've been surprised by how many people have noted how anxious they were watching this game, with comments like, "My heart can't take another one like this!" Why?
I know well the anxiety of powerlessly watching the Bears snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, or vice versa, such as the final minutes of Oregon and OSU '07, or Washington and Arizona '06. But those games all carried significant implications if Cal lost. I don't want to suggest that I've given up on this season, but right now I'm just enjoying the ride, one game at a time. One loss is exactly that, one loss--the difference, perhaps, between 9-3 and 10-2 (yawn), not a lost ticket to Pasadena.
Am I alone in no longer feeling, at least for the remainder of this season, that the outcome of Cal football games are a "life or death"-type of experience? I'm thrilled Cal won in Tempe, but I can't honestly say I would have been crushed if the Bears had lost. Only the Big Game this year still carries that kind of emotional weight for me, as it does every year.