Woo wee! What a game! Cal wins a taut one over a ranked opponent. Shows some grit. Shows some moxie. Shows some gaddummitness. And lord did we need to show some gaddummitness.
But we almost didn't have these photo essay posts made. Because Monica's Dad got a little confused. Went to take photos of the wrong Bears. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
IMG_8146 (via Monica's Dad)
Fortunately, we managed to get the correct information to him in time. Cal Bears, not Chicago Bears. Whew! Disaster averted! Follow me after the fold to check out all the pregame and first half game action in the Cal v. Arizona 11.14.09 game.
Here's the thing that you have to know about Cal fans. Unlike USC fans, UCLA fans, Stanford fans, Oregon fans, Oregon State fans, and pretty much every other fanbase out there, we're classy. And not just regular classy.
Giant Parrot Bay bottle level classy.
Now, that's classy!
And, hey, I get it, you don't think that's sufficiently classy. You play Fight For California on your cello. You enjoy Masterpiece Theatre instead of Marshawn's Yardbarker Blog. I get that. Well, in that case, let me classy it up for even further. You might want to put on your Double Monocles for this bad boy:
Ragnarok drove to the tailgate in his motorcycle. He got off the hog in his sweet leather jacket and took off his helmet. As he shook out his hair, he looked like the biggest badass on the face of the planet. I swear the hair shake out should have happened in slo mo with a Whitesnake song in the background. How do I look that awesome? How?
What was depressing for many was, I believe, the initial turn out to the game. It took a while for the stands to fill up. I'll be honest. I was part of the problem. I was feeling very depressed before the game. Especially after I heard the Stanford-USC score. I fully anticipated Arizona would give Cal the thrashing of a lifetime, C. Montgomery Burns style. So, when the choice is staying at the party for an extra twenty minutes or heading up to the game super early to catch the warm ups, it wasn't much of a choice. I didn't get there until the game was just starting. Monica's Dad doesn't have any warm up shots, either. So, perhaps he too was caught up in a depressing funk.
But he does have some great first half action shots of the Arizona mascot!
IMG_8833 (via Monica's Dad)
He needs to see a dentist and stat!
It's not just action shots of the mascots that Monica's Dad managed to snag, either:
IMG_8810 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_8819 (via Monica's Dad)
Even Tedford got in the action, show some emotion instead of going into hibernation throughout all home games as many intelligent fans claim:
IMG_8831 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_8870 (via Monica's Dad)
A few weeks ago, on our podcast, we lamented the continuing corporatization of Cal football. Certainly, we understand that Cal has to get as much money as possible. But when these things cut into the marching band's opportunities AND this is what we get:
MY MONEY IS ON THE PURPLE ODWALLA! GO PURPLE ODWALLA GO!
Seriously, they have Odwalla racing now. Odwalla racing.
IMG_8898 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_8912 (via Monica's Dad)
Jahvid Best was there, cheering on his team!
And we learned that Shane Vereen is giving Monk a run for the money.
He has to put his left sock on first, then his right shoe. I don't know how he puts his right shoe on before he puts on his right sock. Bearvision was conveniently silent on the matter. DAMN YOU, BEARVISION! DAMN YOU!
Vereen was running pretty good on the day:
IMG_8960 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_8962 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9007 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9063 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9064 (via Monica's Dad)
At halftime, I went over to see NorCalNick, AEE07, and rollonubears. On the way over, I was deep in the heart of Arizona territory when some Arizona girl ran into me. I was sort of stunned for a moment and then a security guard grabbed her arm very firmly. He leaned in towards her and said something I couldn't hear. She yelped "I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!" I quickly excavated myself from the situation, but those Arizona fans are out of control. So not classy like us Cal fans with our wine cozies!
On the way back from dodging Chris Hansen, I decided to introduce myself to Monica's Dad. During the OSU game, I had seen him sitting there in his location (oh, I'm so good at vague, aren't I?), but I wasn't sure. So, I stood about 3 feet away from him and yelled "MONICA'S DAD!" repeatedly and loudly. He didn't make a move, so rather than further annoy the people in his area, I decided to just move along. But this game, I felt that I should be sufficiently a nuisance to get his attention. It's not difficult for me to be that annoying, believe you me. We spoke briefly about how awesome being a Cal fan always is. Which it always is. And I told him how great his photos are in comparison to mine. For example, while he brings you delightfully crisp action shots, I only have this impressionist painting of a Cal touchdown. This is kinda like what you'd see if somebody took a photo of a Joe Starkey description of a play:
"Joe Starkey describing a Monet painting of a Cal TD celebration"
And onto the second half, where Cal had some chances at the goal line:
IMG_9184 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9186 (via Monica's Dad)
In the second half, Vereen was also a big part of the game plan:
IMG_9263 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9274 (via Monica's Dad)
He even had that rather epic touchdown run, leading fans to look kinda like this:
Soon, we were looking at this unbelievably sweet receipt:
And soon, the field looked like this:
Monica's Dad has some on the field action shots:
IMG_9294 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9308 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9310 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9313 (via Monica's Dad)
Even Jamal Boykin was down on the field:
IMG_9319 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9321 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9322 (via Monica's Dad)
IMG_9325 (via Monica's Dad)
And with that, another successful home season is over. Sure, we had 2 rough losses, but we also had 4 great wins! And tons of laughs along the way.
On the way out, I ran across the most perfect way to end this season of Photo Essays. The perfect encapsulation of the Cal football season: