Here at CGB we have many posters who have personally witnessed the high points of California football (e.g. The Play) and the lowpoints (e.g. 2001). I figure it would be interesting to see everyone's viewpoints in what they thought was the best and worst Cal football game he or she attended. By this I do not necessarily just mean the outcome or the quality of the game played (though that certainly plays a part). Instead this is more subjective.
My opinions after the jump
The first game I attended was vs. Minnesota in 2006 so my answers will be from that era only.
There's a lot of options for me here having seen some devastating losses. But by far this goes to Oregon State 2007. I'm sure I don't have to explain the circumstances behind this game for most of the folks but I will anyway. I was skeptical of Cal prior to the Oregon game. Even our win against Tennessee made me concerned and almost choking the game away at Colorado State or against Arizona didn't help. But after the Oregon game I (mistakenly) forgot about that and bought into the hype big time. So needless to say I ignored all the bad signs (including the very obvious one: Longshore's injury). I cheered like a madman when LSU's loss was announced (though I didn't participate in the "We're #1!" chant) and when Forsett broke free on the first play from scrimmage. In the back of my head I ignored the warning signs in Riley's first start, defensive struggles, the inability to score from the 1, etc. I was totally high on euphoria and the last minute drive by Riley and The Hawk did nothing to cool me down.
Of course then the infamous happened and I felt it all crashing down in a matter of seconds. Seeing the Oregon State players run to their fans made me miserable beyond belief. I think I was so frustrated with this game because I saw the signs and I chose to ignore it and instead got sucked into the hype train. That along with the fact that I knew we just lost our chance of a potential National Championship (and soon Rose Bowl) bid on what amounted to a dumb play by a freshman quarterback just made this the worst game I've been to. The last few minutes of the game was just amazing but the overall experience was downright terrible.
This is an easy pick for me because this game is what made me into a hardcore maniac Cal fan from a casual one. I'm talking about Oregon 2006. I went into this game with surprisingly low expectations (a product of the Tennessee blowout) despite destroying a ranked ASU team the week prior. We were going up against an Oregon team that just beat Oklahoma with a quarterback in Dennis Dixon that was literally on fire. Prior to the game Oregon fans boasted about how their few thousand fans would overtake Memorial and Tedford personally asked the fans to bring their noise.
So when on the first drive (and I think the first play) Dante Hughes picked off Dennis Dixon and Memorial erupted I knew I was in for a great night. The game itself was a one-sided thriller of epic proportions. It was the first time I saw the ESPN hanging camera that went up and close to a huddle and the mustard-yellow jerseys that I adore. And who can forget Longshore's amazing performance, Desean's punt return and TD catch, Marshawn's stiff arm and Forsett's manly performance.
But by far the best part of that game was the atmosphere. I can honestly say that I've never seen a better Memorial and a louder Memorial than that fateful day. The sound from the student section was almost deafening during the aforementioned plays. And to top it off Tedford personally thanked the fans for bringing it. This game more than anything made me into a true Cal fan for life. Therefore it has to be the best Cal game I've attended.