Hey Cal Fans,
I'll keep it short as I can. This is going to be a tough year for the fanbase. After the first five games major flaws with multiple aspects of the Cal Football team have been revealed. You can probably think of several off the top of your head, most glaringly, a very inconsistent offensive line, scheme-related question marks, a depleted defensive unit, and a quarterback with major accuracy problems.
I'm not writing this to defend anyone, or make excuses for how bad the team might be, or justify our record. I'm writing this to request three things:
1. Trust Sandy Barbour
2. Support the team
3. a) Know what to expect, b) take deep breaths, and c) unrustle your jimmies.
Number one, the reason I ask that you trust Sandy Barbour is that she is our athletic director, and more than anyone, is responsible for putting the entire athletic program on a positive vector. She will be made well aware of the woes of the football team by multiple sources at high levels, and will make (or not make!) the changes necessary to put Cal in the best position to have a successful football team. Don't waste brainpower wailing and gnashing your teeth about who is in charge of the team--that is Sandy's job. Whether or not you trust our coaches to make the best decisions about the team, please trust that Sandy will make the best decisions about the coaches.
Number two: many (all?) of us are Cal alumni, and hold great pride in our school. We want the best for our team. The shrillness of constant negativity does very little to accomplish this, and instills a depressing vibe over the entire program. You may not support Tedford right now, or Maynard, or any number of individual figures for several reasons, but your support for the team is the foundation on which a successful future is built. We just signed a fantastic new TV contract and have had the glory of sitting in a brand new stadium. Let's not leave in droves; we'd be cutting off our nose to spite our face. You might be thinking 'but my voice could be the one that pushes us to the point of hiring a new coach!' I respectfully disagree, and refer you to point number one: please trust our AD to make that decision. In the meantime, the worse the team does, the more love we need to give them, because you can be certain that the team really needs it.
Number three a) may be a confusing way of saying that it benefits you to remember the flaws this team has. To me, knowing that we have a really poor offensive line does much to soften the blow of each sack Zach takes (and trust me, Maynard is getting the worst of those, not us...) I'm not saying that we should desire poor play, but I do think that adjusting expectations to reflect reality prevents discord that can lead to real nastiness towards the team, which brings me to b) breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. If you find yourself swearing uncontrollably at the TV/refs/Tedford/Oski, step back and inhale some perspective. These are amateurs. They're age 18-22. They're throwing a ball around trying to win a sports contest. All of them want to win that contest, and sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. Shit happens. Breathe in, breathe out, and c), unrustle your jimmies. I've been on these boards for four years, and nothing brings out the hate like losses. Don't let losses do that to you. Say no to loss-stoked hate! Do what you need to do; dream of next year, watch the 2006 Oregon game highlights, imagine Dan Fouts' voice saying "COLVIN" again and again and again, whatever you choose, Unrustle those Jimmies!
In conclusion, it might be difficult, but do your best to enjoy the rest of the year. We may not win many more games, but you know what? Cal is still your team. I'll be at Memorial every remaining home game, even if we do not win a single one in the interim. I really hope I see you there too.