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Think back to January 1, 2008.  Coming off an exciting victory in the Armed Forces Bowl to cap a disappointing year, the next step in our shared Cal history seemed so far away.  August 30, 2008.  Might as well say August 30, 2028. I mean, August 30, 2008?  Would they have flying cars and Martian vacations?

But day after day of this brutal offseason went by.  At times frustratingly boring, at other times just plain frustrating, we never thought today would come.  Like the Director's Cut of Lawrence Of Arabia, we have just marched through scene after scene of arid desert.  For what?  Why did we suffer through the Carolyn Jonses and the Saint Dumpster Muffins?

For today, Bears. For 5 PM, August 30, 2008.  For that first time hearing Fight.  For walking through the gates into the stadium today.  For kick off. 

It is, inevitably, those moments of stillness that we remember most of gamedays.  That might seem like an odd sentence to write.  Stillness?  At a gameday?  When you think of gameday, stillness might be the last thing you think of.  Rabid fans and marching bands.  The frantic energy of Memorial Stadium does not often lend itself to stillness.

But it is those moments when everything stops that are most valued.  When the pigskin whistles through the air and the fans, slackjawed in anticipation, do nothing but stare.  The collective breath held by the collective. When the entire game rides on the destination of that small oblong ball.  Think USC 2003.  Those are the moments you never forget. 

Will we see one today?  Who knows?  Probably not.  But to even have the opportunity to chase those moments and create more shared history with 70,000 of your best friends?  Now, that, is better than all the flying cars and Martian vacations in the world. 

This will be the first Open Thread of the day.  Since all of CGB West will be in attendance at the game and all of CGB East might be at a bar enjoying the game, we might not be able to be at a computer to manage these open threads.  So, try to use them responsibly now.  When this gets to about 200 comments and starts to slow down, go to Open Thread II.  GO BEARS!