Cal football fans, what are your coping mechanisms for a down year?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears look like they're headed for their second straight losing season. That hasn't happened since the dreaded Holmoecaust. How do we ride it out?

It looks like Cal is back in the cellar for the first time since Holmoe. We need help from the older CGB commenters here; how do we cope with watching a young, hurt, dysfunctional football team?

TwistNHook: Go to the games to be with your friends. I mean caring about the events on the field is cool and nice. You have no control over that. You never will. Even during the best of times. This is advice I would give to people as much during the 2004 season as the 2013 season. Sporting events are social opportunities, like meals, weddings, and parties. If you view it that way, you'll be happy 10/10 times whether quarterbacks are racking up hundreds of yards for Cal or against Cal.

Ruey Yen: I guess I am technically a Holmoecaust survivor given that was my first two years of Cal Football, including the year of 2001 which I jokingly said that we just need to win that final game of the season for the year to be successful but 9/11 happened and the last game became Rutgers (which Furd ran their streak to 6). Fortunately for me, I wasn't that invested in Cal Football (I really only cared about Cal Basketball my first couple of years though I did enjoy going to the Football game for the game environment) until the Tedford era.

If you are disappointment by the results of Cal Football because of all the losses, it's time to lower your expectations. Instead of focusing on the W or L in the final results, focus on the positives (if any) in the game. Don't be disappointed when Cal lose but go crazy when we do finally beat a FCS team (hopefully that will be this year). Cheer and show your Cal pride and spirit when the Bears score (and despite our offense being turnover prone lately, they do still put up points); just look away and try to forget when the D allows another big play to the opponents.

atomsareenough: How do we cope? Acceptance. None of us realized or could have predicted the scale of the problems we have had this year. The team is simply bad. Good teams can play above their heads and find ways to make key plays that win ballgames. Right now we're a bad team that digs itself into holes and seems to have a knack for finding ways to lose. Now, that's not to say the team is without promise; I can see a lot of potential still, but it's pretty clear we have a lot of obvious deficiencies to work on and fix before we start realizing that potential.

One more thing; I just want to follow up on what Ruey said and also to what Vlad wrote in his write-up. I'm also technically a Holmoecaust survivor, as I was at Cal then and that was my first introduction to Cal Football. This team is way more watchable and less hopeless. If we were healthy nobody would even be making the comparison. I still think a competent offense and problematic defense is more fun to watch. But yeah, it's a young team, lots of growing pains, so try to value process over results and look for smaller-scale wins on a play by play or drive by drive basis.

Sam Fielder: Every thing I learned about being a Cal fan I learned from my Dad, Old Bear 71, who has watched more seasons of terrible Cal football than I've been alive. And yet, he still tunes in to watch the Bears. He texted me during the game yesterday as I was talking about how terrible this current iteration of Bears was and said "I like to watch the Bears. Winning is good, but as you know I am an Old Blue." He loves to see the Bears take the field in Blue and Gold, he loves to see shots of Memorial and to wish we were there, he likes to see Tightwad Hill, and he likes to look for the little things, like unknown players making good plays, amazing individual efforts, and more than anything, he loves to see a team with Cal on their helmets play football no matter what happens.

So I think atoms and Ruey are right. Lower our expectations and accept that we are not a good football team. I for one am hoping for improvement in the fundamentals, namely ball security, tackling, and less penalties. If this team can make some progress in those three areas, then I think we'll be moving in the right direction and can see better days ahead. And I'll try to be more like my dad this season and just enjoy the fact that I can watch Cal play.

Vlad Belo: You rang? Coping with this is easy. We lived through teams like this time and again. The way to deal with this is to live with the old mantra: wait til next year. Yeah, I know it's hokey. But you go through a season like this looking for small things like improvement from game to game, something to make us look forward to the future. Also, watch for the chance to pull off an upset. Teams worse than this one have managed to pull upsets or steal a game we had no business winning. It happens, so keep watching. And look forward to the Big Game. That's the one we live for this year.

You watch because you're a Cal fan and you like football. And when it someday turns around, you can carry the badge of pride that you stuck with the Bears in lean times.
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