I have now lived long enough to remotely consider being pleased with a Cal loss in the Big Game. Call it maturity, call it big picture thinking, call it temporary insanity produced by the prospect of no Italian food for the rest of the year (in memory of Oregon game events) - I can't get the thought out of my head that we will reap many long-term benefits from sending the Ax south for just a year if the other games fall into place. Maybe someone can rescue me from this craziness by running the numbers based on the following:
Holiday Bowl payout vs Sun Bowl or lower bowl payout (plus I assume better swag for the players)
trip to San Diego vs trip to El Paso
Cal's share from 2 Pac10 teams in BCS games
So how many hundreds of thousands of dollars will a Cal Big Game victory cost this year? You can't deny the Athletic Dept could use the extra cash with the projected drop in revenue next year from the temporary stadium situation and perhaps continued economic climate. Could we work an equation Cal Big Game loss = baseball and rugby restored to varsity status? How much money are we really talking about?
Since next year will be the second in a row that we'll be playing without a seasoned quarterback with more than one year of remaining eligibility we could be looking at another up and down season with accompanied attendance drops. I hope the Party Yacht gets going full steam ahead but if not it's a rebuilding year unless we get a big surprise from the other QBs.
So, will the extra money come in handy for construction overruns or increasing our recruiting budget? Yes, that other school will get extra money too, but after their coach is poached and players realize that their fun-sized stadium is still less than full even with the team in the top 10, I don't think their money will matter much. And look how long it took them to recover from their last Rose Bowl appearance.
My freshman year I spent money I really, really could not afford to spend on a scalped Big Game ticket for my girlfriend - the year was 1982. I suffered a bit, but it was a great investment. I'm thinking about considering it an investment if I pull against the Bears just this one time. I love Cal and Cal Football. My stomach turns at this dilemma, can I still love a team and want it to lose? Or is it just oregano withdrawal? In the meantime, I'll try to earn enough money to make up for the shortfall if we win, and if we lose it's always easier to take if it's part of a master plan.
Go Bears, Beat Huskies!