Cal Football is back in Memorial! But, Fan Appreciation Day was not. Instead, it was held at Haas Pavilion and Spieker Plaza. Cal players and coaches took time on August 25th, 2012 to meet with fans, get autographs, and just hang out and have fun. The seniors, Keenan Allen, and Jeff Tedford were inside Haas while everybody else was outside at the plaza. The separation of the team wasn't ideal, but it was still a great afternoon!
Giant inflatable Oski says hello! More pictures after the jump.
There were lots of giveaways, food, and things to do, but I honestly didn't pay much attention to that; it was just cool to interact and laugh with the team, who seem like a really friendly, awesome group of guys.
Here's Ted Agu joking around:
Chris McCain reacting to his "Inspector Gadget" nickname? Whatever it was this experienced Cal fan said to Chris, it must have been HI-LARIOUS.
Ikem Okwudiafor must think I look funny because he's staring right at the camera.
Mark Brazinski sees more Cal fans than he can count. Also, if you're not following him on Twitter, check him out because his Twitter is the most hilariously random thing ever.
Of course there were plenty of fans taking pictures with the team, and who wouldn't want to take a picture with this telegenic group of guys? Here's Spencer Briare.
The one thing I took away from the entire event is that it's socially acceptable to be photographed wearing sweatpants in public. Here are Maurice Harris and Richard Rodgers taking pictures with a family and looking good in sweatpants. Random factoid: Richard Rodgers' dad threw the SECOND and FOURTH laterals in The Play (hat tip, Ohio Bear).
Of course there was plenty to do besides hanging out with football players. This girl put the pads on and is getting ready for a hand-off.
I was going to paint another picture of Oski, but I knew I couldn't one-up this bear.
Near the entrance were a few cannoneers and, of course, the cannon. It's always nice to see the cannon up close, but I think there was an age limit on who can sit on top of it.
This cannonneer demonstrates the mechanics of an explosion.
Even the cheerleaders stopped by. Here they are showing a girl their pom-poms.
And taking pictures with Oski and fans!
Fans and players alike were throwing footballs at targets in this set-up. When there weren't any fans throwing footballs, the players couldn't help themselves. Brendan Keeney shows off his quarterback skills here while Mark Brazinski admires. I like Brazinski's cap.
Brian Farley and his pornstache took a turn. I think he missed with this throw, though.
There was a pretty good turnout, or at least the plaza was crowded. You couldn't turn your head without seeing another player. I could see why they'd shut the seniors inside.
Players would take a break from the action on these steps. It was a good place to observe. I have no idea what Adrian Lee is pointing at.
After being outdoors for awhile, I decided to wander into Haas and see the seniors, KA21, and Coach Tedford. Here's the view of the inside. It was sparsely populated and not as fun as being outside. They used caution tape to organize the lines, which I thought was less than classy. The stuffiness of being indoors was apparent compared to the care-free air of the plaza. Having to wait in line added a level of formality, and shutting the seniors away prevented a lot of direct interaction. Finally, it looks like there would have been plenty of room for Keenan Allen and the coaches. Too bad.
Here's Zach Maynard at the end of the line.
And the defense side... these kids must be comparing the rightward slant of Marc Anthony's autograph.
One benefit of being ground level is you can admire Haas from a different perspective. This guy was snapping a picture of Jason Kidd.
I had to leave the main floor to find the line for Keenan and Coach Tedford. Not only was it long and cramped, it was shut away from even the seniors, like a back room to a back room.
I didn't feel like standing through it, so, unfortunately, my afternoon went Keenan-less. The indoor set-up was a little disappointing for me, but maybe it was worth it for the people who did get to meet the seniors, Keenan, and the coaches. I just thought it could have been arranged better.
And, that little downer ends this set! On the next (and FINAL) installment, more pictures on the outside! Plus, the seniors finally get some fresh air! GO BEARS!