2009 Women's Huddle Roundtable
Participants: BearBallCarrier, Calnet, Kittwin, OskiWeeWee, RemorsefulBruinBabe
Note from RemorsefulBruinBabe: I have tried for the last two hours to adjust the formatting so the captions will be centered under the photos. Even with Engineer Troatie's help, and after two hours of "playing" with html, it still won't work. SBN, you need an alignment button in your Visual View. Or you need to make your HTML View work for me. Thanks. Anyway, ignore the fact that the captions are all left-aligned, but please revel in the glory that is center-alignment for photos!
Without Further Ado...
It's the day we Cal women look forward to every year: The Women's Huddle! On July 31, 2009, we all made our way up to Memorial Stadium to mingle with the players, coaches, and staff of the Cal Bears. It's the best $35 you'll ever spend: all you can eat, drink, and ogle! Plus a free t-shirt! Read on for our roundtable review of the 2009 Women's Huddle. (And check out our 2008 post for a review of last year's festivities.) Go Bears!
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Overall, this year was a teensy bit mellower than last year, but there was still plenty of debauchery to go around. I appreciated the addition this year of the players hanging out in the pre-huddle eating and drinking area, even if they did take up half of the tables. Hey guys, what happened to chivalry? Stand up and give your seats to the ladies! We took advantage of the try-on-a-uniform station, and wriggled in and out of the jerseys with ease. Mostly. One large hot dog (that's what she ate), a piece of chorizo quesadilla, a large chocolate-dipped cookie, and oh yeah, 5 glasses of wine later, it was time to hit the field!
Your 2009 Golden Bears: Kittwin, BearBallCarrier, RemorsefulBruinBabe, OskiWeeWee, Calnet
OskiWeeWee: Don't forget little Golden Bear Proudfoot holding the football! :)
Kittwin: Getting into Memorial Stadium was an adventure in and of itself this year! Kind of like a rat maze, with the reward being food, wine, and football players! One thing I felt was lacking this year was a chance to really talk with the players--the drills go by sooo quickly and only Fullback Brian Holley showed up at the post-Huddle reception. Breaking up the big circles of football players at those tables would have been a good thing! I know some of the ladies went up to them anyway, but I didn't have the courage. And I may have been too busy getting chardonnay refills!
Calnet: I thought the try-on-a-uniform station was fun. And at least a few players actually mingled with the ladies. Offensive Lineman Mike Tepper in particular really seemed to make an effort to talk to people. There was a big contrast between him, surrounded by ladies in the middle of the room, and the tables of players keeping to themselves off in the corner.
BearBallCarrier: This was my first time putting on the pads and jersey. Pretty sweet. I went for the darker color, more slimming! I wished I had mingled more with the players at the beginning. But my liquid courage didn't kick in till Sauvignon Blanc #4.
OskiWeeWee: My first time too! Luckily, jerseys can fit over pregnant bellies. Back to Tepper... he is a sweetheart. I friended him on Facebook last year after the huddle, and he actually started a Facebook chat with me! He learned that I worked for CAA and attempted to attend the Emerald Bowl tailgate party, texting me asking for directions and such. Luckily for me, he didn't make it. :D (sidenote: tailgate was a disaster!)
Kittwin: Tepper is great! Glad to see him back in action this year--at the Huddle and soon on the field as well! His pecs look fully recovered to me! I also did a tactile inspection, as you can see by the photo below. I'm no doctor, but I think he's good to play!
We love us some Tepper!
OskiWeeWee: The Huddle was different for me this year because I was completely sober at 6 1/2 months pregnant. Besides not imbibing, I didn't participate in most of the drills, but watched and took pictures. I probably should have paid more attention to the football part, but that didn't happen. ;)
BearBallCarrier: Well, my camera only took 130 pics! Seems awfully low by huddle standards, but I might have done more of the drills this year. It was pretty sweet that other huddlers recognized us from the post from last year. We are Huddle famous! I think I'd like to claim Brian Holley as my fake BF this year. Totally cute pics with him. I got my football signed by a lot of the players, but in my "fuzzy" state ended up getting most of the sharpie on myself, and all over the ball. If only I could remember more...refresh my memory!
Does this refresh your memory of Brian Holley's tongue, BBC?
Kittwin: The pictures definitely brought moments back to me! My camera took 406 pictures this year; down from 770 in 2008. Does that mean this year's Huddle was 42% less photo worthy?
OskiWeeWee: I only had 240 pics, which seems way low by Huddle standards. And, since I didn't do most of the drills, I should have taken more pictures. Oh well. Maybe we are getting old or something and didn't want to embarrass ourselves so thoroughly? Nah, that can't be it....
OskiWeeWee: Oh, also don't forget that we didn't visit Tedford's office (he was in there, wtf!) or the equipment room (jerseys haven't arrived yet since we are sort of a week early) this year. That's at least 100 pictures per camera!
RBB: I took zero pictures, because I figured there would be 1,000 pictures from you ladies...and it looks like I was right! I did a lot of participating as well...I think there was less fawning over the players this year--maybe because last year was my first year and the novelty had (slightly, only slightly) worn off? Maybe because I wasn't drinking wine straight out of the bottle during the drills this year? Maybe because it finally hit me that these
guys kids are like, 18 years old? Ok, so maybe some of them are 21, and yes, they're still legal...but wow they are totally still in college. I think I'm too young to be a cougar.
OskiWeeWee: Never too old or too young or too pregnant to be a cougar, I say. Me-ow.
Kittwin: Can we get beyond this whole cougar thing? Having PG-rated fun with hot football players does not make any of us cougars! Personally, the only thing I was downright predatory over was the chardonnay! And that was flowing in such abundance it was like shooting fish in a barrel.
A wine predator in action!
RBB: I was more of a Sauvingnon Blanc Predator myself! Anyway, on to the football! I missed the "push the sled" station with the offensive line this year--bring it back next year, oh Huddle-planners who totally read this blog! I also missed the "tackling" station. But hey, it's not every day that Quarterback Kevin Riley laughs at your toe thumbs as you try in vain to hold a football! I did throw it over the practice net though--that's better than making it in one of the holes, right? ;-)
Riley has a proposition for us all: Get a grip, girls!
Calnet: Of course! At least, it is definitely better than throwing the ball under the net like I did. Anyway, I didn't mind being terrible at throwing, since I got to ask Riley for tips.
OskiWeeWee: Just the tip?
RBB: That's what she said. (Still funny!)
Kittwin: Ahem, ladies! Did we like Riley's hair better this year--the emo Caesar--or last year--the soft buzz cut?
Which Riley hairstyle reigns supreme?
BearBallCarrier: Definitely last year. And the adorable band-aid!
Calnet: Yeah, I vote buzz cut. But I don't think these pictures accurately show how cute he is in person (unless the wine goggles ruined my judgement). (OskiWeeWee: nope, they didn't!)
RBB: I think Riley lost weight--he looked leaner this year to me.
OskiWeeWee: Riley is adorable every year. Hands off my fake boyfriend, ladies!
Kittwin: Riley gets us all riled up! Haha, I slay me!
BearBallCarrier: I think what makes the event so much fun is how much we get to mingle with the players and all the hands-on drills. I mean, after four huddles I still can't explain the nickel defense to you, but I have countless good times to remember. We are afforded this inside look at a world we usually just cheer for from high up in the stands. Every year we discover new blood, and we cheer for them even louder when they make it on that field. Safety Sean Cattouse is a perfect example of that from last year.
Kittwin: Totally, I would never have known to root for Cattouse if not for last year's Huddle. And it was so great to see him all grown up this year! He really looked like a football player! But he still has that sweetheart smile.
RBB: Agreed! Last year, he earned the nickname Cattouse Caboose, but this year I barely noticed his caboose at all! He was really friendly and I think I remember what he was teaching us? Something about bending over and running backwards? No? Ok, maybe there's a reason he got that nickname...
We love you Cattouse! And not just for your Caboose!
Kittwin: Cattouse taught us about ball scoopage. How to pop the ball loose and then scoop it up. Scoop those balls, ladies! Scoop!
BearBallCarrier: There is nothing I enjoy more. Duh!
Some Huddlers demo the "Pop and Scoop"
RBB: Bryan Anger was really helpful when I unsuccessfully tried to kick a field goal. Three times. I never got it more than 6 inches off the ground, but he patiently gave me tips to improve my kick.
Just kidding, Anger, we know this wasn't your fault!
Calnet: Anger was great! No wonder Tedford called him a puppy at Pac-10 Media Day. I didn't spend a lot of time taking pictures and chatting with the players (didn't want to miss any of the drills!) but I'm glad I made an effort to talk to Anger.
Kittwin: I totally scored a field goal this time! Woot! It was the highlight of my Huddle career! OskiWeeWee makes them every year--even 6.5 months preggos--but I've never even come close! Until 2009! It may have been a line drive that barely cleared the crossbar, but it still counts. Now I know what the kickers feel when they accomplish this feat. Like me, in that moment, times a thousand! I'd like to thank Bryan Anger and OskiWeeWee for making this happen!
OskiWeeWee: Props to Kittwin for joining the field goal kicking team. RBB, that attempt at kicking a field is just sad. I'm going to have to hold my own clinic next year...
It's not just her baby who can kick!
Calnet: I am jealous! The kicking station was my favorite, even though all of my kicks went below the crossbar. The wide receiver station was a close second--it was way fun running into the endzone (and watching everyone else do their victory dance).
BearBallCarrier: I seriously need help with kicking. I might have broken a (toe) nail. And I need Jahvid Best to choreograph me an endzone dance!
RBB: I liked learning about the 3-point stance and running at the blue thingies...I don't remember what it was all about, but I had fun pushing and running. I didn't like the one where we ran at the guys holding the blue pads as much--the guys were awesome (guy in the glasses? adorable!), but it kinda hurt my weak little wrists. (OskiWeeWee: At this point, RBB was heard saying "I'm just a dumb ol' Bruin..."--that's literally What She Said!)
Calnet: Yeah, I definitely don't have the upper body strength for all that shoving. I was surprised to find that my legs could handle all running and crouching, but my arms were sore the next day.
Kittwin: It was funny how, at several of the stations, they said we could use these techniques for self defense. Good to know, but I hope I don't have the occasion to try it!
"Defending" ourselves from the Blue Sleds of Evil Intent!
RBB: I missed most of the equipment/locker room station this year, because Calnet and I somehow got lost, going the wrong way around the belly of the stadium and popping accidentally into the Athletic Training station. Whoops! I blame the wine. Any highlights from the Locker Room?
OskiWeeWee: I missed most of it as well as I decided to take a long, relaxing bathroom break in the men's bathroom. Turns out a pregnant lady can get pretty tired by running around and acting like she's 25.
Kittwin: Umm, there was a demo on the two different types of shoulder pads. I got distracted by the awesome Gatorade dispenser--like four different colors of Gatorade! I had a glass of the blue.
BearBallCarrier: Go Blue! I skipped most of this and instead went to hunt for the gold "gatorade." No, not that kind. The white wine kind!
Calnet: Wait, I missed a Gatorade dispenser? At least I made it back in time for the training room. Most of the people in our group were preoccupied with asking about the hot tub at that station. But, now we know where to take OskiWeeWee if she goes into labor at the USC game.
OskiWeeWee: Yes, I had that cleared with the training room guy! He says the EMTs at the games are great and they could shoot me up with morphine pretty easily. Memorial Stadium baby, here we come!
Kittwin: He really did seem sincere about how easy it would be to deliver a baby at the stadium, which was hilarious! This was from the same guy who was so excited about not killing anyone last year.
RBB: I didn't run into a glass door this year, so I think the training room visit was a success! (OskiWeeWee: although you did think 2600 + 2400 = 5400...Silly Bruin!) (RBB: I was just repeating what Kittwin said! Guess I'm silly for parroting, anyway...) But hey, what happened to the station where they teach us about the recruiting/videos? I didn't pay enough attention last year, and I was looking forward to learning something!
OskiWeeWee: Basically, the room where the videos were shown last year is under construction this year. I hear they are constructing some kind of fancy new Student Athlete Performance Center--although I thought it was supposed to be completed already? Ha. Back to me...Baby Golden Bear Proudfoot got to lift a dumbbell, so that was pretty cool. Maybe a bored ZooNews can photoshop the weight stand/thingy out of the picture and some weights on to the ends of the pole so it actually looks like baby GB is doing the heavy lifting? ;)
It's the strongest fetus in the world!
Kittwin: The locker, training, and weight rooms are pretty interesting. But it's still all about the players and coaches for me! I thought the difference between the Huddle veterans and virgins was marked. The Huddle veterans were so much more relaxed and outgoing with us crazy ladies. I think they knew more what to expect, i.e., a drunken flurry of females. In fact, Tepper told us at the reception that he loves this event because "women get a little too inebriated, and after an enthusiastic group moves on to the next drill, we look at each other and say 'what just happened?!?'" For more of Tepper's views on the Huddle, check out his awesome blog.
OskiWeeWee: Yeah, I agree, they seemed to know the drill. The newbies thought they were actually going to teach us football plays or something. ;)
Calnet: As a huddle newbie myself, I can sympathize with the new players. No matter how many stories you hear beforehand, it is impossible to imagine the awesomeness of the huddle until you experience it for yourself.
Kittwin: Kudos to these Huddle veterans: Holley, Riley, Tepper, Cattouse, and Cornerback Darian Hagan. Also coaches Jeff Tedford (of course!), Bob Gregory, Ron Gould, Tosh Lupoi, and assistant Tag McCurdy. And to Director of Operations Mike McHugh, who does such a great job coordinating this event, despite being totally air horn happy!
OskiWeeWee: Mike is awesome, I have to give him major props. He lets me set up my own group, has us start on the field where I want, and for the last couple of years has done a private tour of Tedford's office (which always makes him super nervous). Thanks Mike! :)
Kittwin: We've talked about the veteran players a lot already here, because they are awesome! But I'd also like to highlight some Huddle newbies. For instance, both the linebacker and tight end stations were, somewhat sadly, filled with new blood. At tight end, we had #45 Spencer Ladner, he of the glorious platinum mane; #44 Tad Smith, the shaved head/dark goateed dude; and #89 Garry Graffort, the other shaved head/dark goateed dude. (Seriously, I didn't even know there were two of them until I looked back at the pictures.) These guys all did a great job lobbing us easy TD catches!
Tad Smith, who should be starting this year, gives us the "Tight End Experience"
BearBallCarrier: I'm pretty sure it was the first huddle experience for Tyson Alualu as well. (#44 is my favorite number too!) Pretty sweet score for the ladies. Love the hair! He can tackle me any day.
OskiWeeWee: When the players announced themselves at the beginning, I think he got the biggest ovation from the crowd. He's definitely a fan favorite.
Kittwin: I was excited to see Alualu for sure! He's so dreamy! Nice smile and such big hands! (I don't know how those two things go together necessarily...) Also, he was at the pushing-the-blue-sled-dummies station, which was one of my favorites.
Alualu = Adorable in Hawaiian!
OskiWeeWee: How long is this blog already? Are people still reading? Have we lost everyone except for Twist who reads every inch of this blog approximately every 10 seconds? Don't we have some fancy awards to give or something? Kittwin, help us!!
Kittwin: Okay! Last year we rated a lot of the players on a cuteness scale from 1 to 10. So shallow! So 2008! This year, we've given out some awards. Based on a very complicated set of parameters. And similar in prestige to the Heisman trophy.
OskiWeeWee: Phew! Another awesome Huddle. Next year, I plan to win the wine-drinking contest and have someone else drive me home! (BBC: Not it!)
Kittwin: Only ~359 days until the 2010 Women's Huddle! I can't wait! Good thing we have the 2009 football season to tide us over. Go Bears! Beat the Terps!
Calnet: Go Bears! I cannot recommend this event enough. I had an amazing time and I am already planning on coming back every year. Forever.
BearBallCarrier: Seriously, this is still the best event around. It combines my many loves: Cal, football, wine, endless yards of ankle tape, and boys. You can't ask for much more. Can't wait for Huddle 2010! Go Bears! Kick some butt in 2009!
RemorsefulBruinBabe: Thanks again to Mike McHugh and his team for another awesome Huddle. Thanks to CGB reader Troatie for helping me with some late-night coding to make sure these photos are beautifully centered, even if the captions still wouldn't work. ;-) And a big thanks to you, for reading our humble recap. If you've gotten this far, we have a special treat for you (sort of)!
For your pleasure, please enjoy these anonymous quotes:
- "Red meat and whole milk. Get him big!"
- "I'm not going to open my mouth."
- "It's not only a football lesson, but a life lesson."
- "In and out, that's how you got there."
- "You're like a bolt of lightning!"
- "Just bend over and throw it between your legs."
- "Don't want it too hard, don't want it too soft."
- "We're going to start fast and finish strong."
So, so true. Roll On You Bears...