Oh, the joys of being an actor. Sure, the hours are long and the pay is negligible, but sometimes you have Thursday mornings free! And what better way to use that time than to cheer on your basketball team before they head down to New Orleans and the FINAL FOUR!!
There was no wait to get in - though hopefully that'll change in years to come. Everyone sat in the season ticket-holder area; there were probably a couple hundred fans in all - everyone VERY excited for the event.
The media came out in pretty full force, which was great to see - especially since local sports radio, which you'd think would be ALL OVER this tournament run, only deems men's sports worthy of any mention at all. And the saddest part is, they don't care! But I digress. TV and newsradio were indeed covering the event - KTVU's Sal Castaneda was interviewing a proud player's mother.
Then we heard the glorious opening strains of "Fight for California" - and out came the Cal Band!
Did I mention that Cal Band was, in fact, GREAT? Cheerleaders completed the portrait of school spirit!
After the band, the mic-man came out and gave a strong rally speech. We were all amped from the band, so it wasn't hard to keep us going. Meanwhile, the media and others waited patiently for the team to emerge. (Down by the door, you can see that KPIX Channel 5 showed up with a camera too.)
Hard-workin' man. Don't miss that shot!
The first person to speak to the crowd was Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour. It's always good to see that she shows up for these events!
Randomly noticed faux pas. COME ON BEARS, why is there RED on your video screen!! Get that fixed - TAKE OFF THOSE RED PIXELS!!
After Sandy spoke, the team was set to come out. We waited (im)patiently while the mic-man gave a rousing intro, and the team waited in the wings for their entrance. Look, there's Justine Hartman!
Coach Gottlieb was the first to come out to the cheers of the crowd. She spoke, and we ate it up!
Then... YOUR PAC-12 CHAMPION CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS!!! Coach Gottlieb talked about the season and the players, and then Mikayla spoke for the team:
They played the video for "Started From The Bottom" for the crowd, while the team watched it again. It's so great to see that they're still having so much fun with it! You can see everyone having fun with their part of the song, and Talia singing along, Layshia lovin' it, Reshanda gettin' down - Afure's even doin' the Bernie for a little bit! Great to watch.
That was gonna be the only video I took of them watching the video, but they were having so much fun I got one more clip. Layshia was just out of shot when they were all enjoying her "nerd" part of the video - rats!
Coach Gottlieb had a few closing remarks, and the team left for the bus!
The rally was over, but the fans were SO excited for the game on Sunday! Out in the hall, KCBS Newsradio did a really interesting interview with a couple of fans who were women's basketball players when they were students (in the early 60's, I believe!). Good stuff.
My friend and I ran into Sonny Dykes outside Haas. Nice guy! I don't know why I expected him to have an accent (he doesn't):
My friend asked about the Women's Huddle, and he confirmed that it IS happening on Friday August 2nd - mark your calendars!
All in all, the rally was a rousing success and a really fun time. Definitely made a great start to the day. To top it all off, when I got back to my car, I found a ladybug on my antenna! If that's a good sign, I don't know what is.