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Ask the California Golden Bloggers: What Red Stuff Do You Own?

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    Last week's trivia:

    I was a five time Pro Bowler under a coach who would go on to win a Super Bowl (though with a different team). I had the same nickname as a certain fire breathing pro wrestler who stole the show at Wrestlemania III. I was also named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade team. A proud Golden Bear, as well as one who met his current wife while studying in the stacks due to good fortune and having an extra Coke in my bag, and a current high school head coach, who am I?


    Congrats to Twist, Scootie, and Mogg415 (who emailed us) with the answer to last week's trivia question - that was indeed Hardy Nickerson. And to think I was so excited so long ago at the possibility that the Eagles would sign him after they let Jeremiah Trotter go (the first time)...and then they ended up with Mark Simoneau and Levon Kirkland. That worked out well.

    This week:

    A quote machine, I played at Cal for two years in my college career - but not two straight years - nor did I end up graduating from Cal. I had a ten year NFL career that included one Super Bowl appearance and was highlighted by a play known in one city as "The Fumble", though it is more commonly known by a much more glamorous name in the city that I played for. A former NFL head coach for two different teams, you probably know me better for telling the world WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME. Who am I?

    I know I gave that one away, but I don't think many people even realized he played for Cal and won't get it otherwise. First question!

    What red stuff do you own? ~ okaydo

    CALumbus Bear

    Blood, that is all. And I'm quite ashamed of it. I try to cover it up whenever it starts to come out. Oh, the shame...


    I used to work for an organization that had its colors as red and silver. So I have about 3 polo shirts and another 10 t-shirts with the company colors on it. It was really disgusting. I rarely wear that stuff anymore - maybe on a super hot day for golf, so they get really sweaty.

    As a 36 year old, I can still wear a different Cal shirt every day for about 3 weeks - I think a few of my Cal t-shirts might be older than FrankCohen or GeoFreak.

    Ohio Bear

    I own 3 red ties. In my defense, one of those is overrun by blue stripes and another is riddled with blue dots. I also have a red Ohio State sweatshirt that I never wear (I got it as a gift).


    I have a lot of red items. I have a lot of Niners clothes. I have a power tie. I have a red thin scarf that I tend to double as an ascot. I have some red Alabama shorts for running. I have a red cardigan I got at goodwill that is hella chunky. I have a red turtleneck that layers really well, especially with a blazer. I have a sweet pair of red shades. I own a Houston Astros hat and a House Of Blues hat, both of which are red.

    Red is an important color in any wardrobe.


    How is it that we haven't banned you yet?

    Three of my spinning reels are red. They were on clearance and it was an incredibly good deal...$200+ dollar reels for $50 each. A few of my baitcasting rods have red trim. Again, they were good deals. I also own quite a few red hooks because they're supposed to be better and inducing fish to bite. (hangs head in shame)

    However, I do not own a single article of red clothing. Some friends gave me a red shirt once for my birthday as a joke. It was subsequently disposed of. As were the friends.

    I'm fairly certain I could do a different Cal shirt per day for at least three weeks...and I think I still have a couple of sweatshirts that carbon-date older than our interns. Challenge accepted!


    I've got a red t-shirt from a computer game I worked on back in the 90's called "People's General" about some futuristic war with communist China. My name is in the credits!

    Also, after the Red Sox won the series in '04, my Massachusetts cousins sent everyone Red Sox t-shirts as Christmas gifts. I got Johnny Damon.


    I have a few red items, but most of them were given to me. Let's see... I have about 3 or 4 red ties. I only bought one of them in high school though; the rest were given to me by my father, and one is from a cousin's wedding where all the family members were asked to wear matching red shirts and ties.

    So, that's also a red shirt, which I don't think I've worn since the wedding. I have one short sleeve button-up shirt that's red-white-and-blue (U-S-A! U-S-A!), but that doesn't really seem so bad. I have another that's red-and-white, which was a gift. Another gift from a family friend (from several years ago) was a deep red muscle-shirt kinda thing, which I never wear because it's red, it's kinda tacky, and I'm not very muscular. I may have given that one to charity. I have 2 red t-shirts from high school, but that's because our school colors were cardinal and gold :-/. I also have 2 red sweaters, one of which is kinda Christmas-y that I bought at a thrift store for a holiday party, and the other was, you guessed it, given to me.


    I have several red shirts including a University of Georgia shirt.

    I probably have 3 or 4 times as many Cal shirts as red shirts. I've always wanted one of those red Cal hats, just for the novelty. It would be like owning a dog that could walk on its hind legs.

    I also have a red car.


    I have a parody of the Che t-shirt with Che replaced by a chimp with the slogan 'Viva La Evolucion,' a shirt that says 'peace' in cyrillic, and a red USSR/CCCP track jacket. Essentially, my enjoyment of old soviet iconography plus a few 49er shirts constitutes the only red in my entire wardrobe. Other than that, nothing. Not a buttoned shirt, not a tie, not a hat or a scarf.

    Also, I think I can give Kodiak and Atoms a run for thier money in temrs of total number of Cal shirts - when I worked for Cal Sports Youth and Outdoor Programs they gave us 3 Cal shirts to wear each year. 3 years of those shirts + game day shirts since 2002 + frequent X-mas gifts from Cal grad family members has resulted in an overflowing t-shirt supply.


    I have a bright red thong that I wear for my most important meetings. And I wear my 3 foot tall furry drum major hat on cold days.

    Yellow Fever

    I have a red dress shirt which I'm quite fond of, actually, but it doesn't match any of the other stuff I wear. So I don't wear it often. Not even sure when I picked it up, really. But that's about it. Oh, and one of the Nets' colors is red, so I've got some of that going too, but I don't think that counts. Since they also have blue on there.

    How man fans are content with mediocrity - and what would it take, for those of you that are, to get rid of Tedford? ~ BestisBeast


    Hmmmm. Mediocrity, eh? That seems to be defining mediocrity up a bit, doesn't it? We haven't been world-beaters the past couple of seasons, but we're a quality team that's capable of beating just about anyone. We're a winning team, as well. We haven't even had a .500 season yet under Tedford (knock on wood). I think we'd need at least one real losing season, if not two, to really start thinking of replacing him in the short term. Honestly though, I think that most reasonable fans are willing to wait till he gets a season with the SAHPC construction and Memorial Stadium renovations completed. I think he's earned some patience from the fanbase. If several more years pass and we still haven't shown signs of getting over the hump and ending the Rose Bowl drought, then we may lose patience.


    Is this a trick question 'cuz we, y'know, hang out here at CGB? I resemble that remark!

    No one is content with mediocrity. However, we all have different standards of what type of on-the-field product is considered "mediocre." Some of us older fans have seen a lot of bad football. Just trust me on this one - we haven't seen mediocre under Tedford yet. I can see how fans who have only seen the Tedford years would consider the past couple of seasons to be highly disappointing after his early success.

    I don't expect us to be a powerhouse that consistently churns out 10 win seasons and challenges for the Pac-12 title every year. My criteria for contentment: winning season + bowl game + team that looks well-coached and competes hard + clean program that conducts itself with class and graduates its student-athletes + a nightly gin martini served to me by a sexy goddess. Is that too much to ask?

    Besides some sort of hard-to-imagine scandal, it would take consecutive losing seasons where the team shows no leadership, poor coaching, a lack of heart and/or accountability, and little hope of righting the ship. Considering that he's the primary reason that we're able to build the SAHPC, I think it's fair that he stays until after it's built. If he cannot get the job done with improved facilities and the theorized boost to recruiting, then it's time to ask the tough questions.


    I don't think any fan of any team is content with mediocrity. I think the people who do not want Tedford fired yesterday (myself included) are probably unhappy with the mediocre results over the last several years, especially with the extremely predictable blowouts that we suffer against usc, osu, and most road teams. I (and most people) probably just think that Tedford will turn it around, or at least that he deserves to coach through 2012 barring a serious collapse.

    How many Stanford [sic] fans will show up on Saturday? ~ BearBones


    More than previous years, but they'll still be vastly outnumbered. The Stanfurd fan I work with says he's not going because he doesn't like watching games in Memorial, preferring (for some reason!) Stanfurd Stadium. The man has no taste.


    Not nearly as many as there were Duck fans this past weekend.


    70% chance of rain on Saturday. The fair-weather wusses are going to stay home. Even though they are ranked and favored, I doubt they'll sell their whole allotment of tickets.


    Stanford fans? Isn't that a contradiction?

    Yellow Fever

    With all due respect to this family here, probably about as many fans as the ones in the bleachers here:


    Allen Crabbe, Cal's version of George Gervin? ~ bearister

    Yellow Fever



    I'm going to go out on a limb and say no.

    Time for some questions from Cousin Stewie.

    Fever: has this year not shown us that recruiting rankings are erroneous? Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida and Texas all field consistent top 10 recruiting classes, and all have performed below par this year. TCU and Boise State, neither of which are ever in the Top 25 in terms of recruitment, are ranked in the AP and BCS top 10.

    -- Drew, Athens, Ga.

    I think if anything, it underscores the importance of coaches in developing talent and properly identifying players to fit a given scheme rather than assuming that talent trumps all. Well, to an extent that's true because an absolutely dominant player should either fit any scheme or force his coach to change the scheme around him, but that isn't always the case.

    Why is this any kind of a surprise, though? Pro teams in all sports make bad evaluations of players in their respective drafts all the time, and these are organizations with a huge amount of resources and a ton invested in making sure they get these things right. Why wouldn't colleges, with smaller budgets and a much wider universe of players to scout, be prone to even worse evaluations?

    The problem isn't with the colleges per se regarding the star system though; subjectively I think it's that the star rating system used by Rivals and other recruiting sites is highly dependent upon who they see is recruiting a particular kid - if USC, Oklahoma, Oregon, Florida and Texas are all after the same kid, he's probably not going to remain a three-star guy. But again, if NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL teams end up with busts with half of their first round picks in any given year, I'm pretty sure Scout or Rivals isn't going to do any better evaluating high school kids either.

    If Cam Newton's father has admitted to soliciting money during the recruiting process, as has been reported, and the rule clearly states that soliciting money on behalf of someone is a violation, why is he still playing? This makes no sense. If the NCAA doesn't step in, others could miss out on a national championship to a team that is clearly playing an ineligible player.

    -- Chris, Boise

    Because Auburn doesn't want to admit they screwed up? I mean, at this point they've got to roll with what they've got, since they'd be villified by their own fanbase for pulling him off the field before the investigation is complete. I can't blame them either, since it's really the only choice they have - and what if it turns out everything is actually ok? It doesn't seem likely at this point, but there's about a 100% chance everyone involved in that decision would be run out of town if two years down the line (or whenever the investigation is complete) it turns out that everything was ok, and that the team's decisionmakers prematurely cost the school a national championship by pulling him off the field.

    It's either that or they legitimately believe he's eligible, which is entirely possible...or entirely delusional.

    Why is it a big deal that Cam played last Saturday? If he's ineligible based on the allegations that came out last week, then he's been ineligible all year, and Auburn's season is shot. Why sideline him? I'd expect them to fight tooth and nail even if they thought he was ineligible, since they have so much to gain from a team playing for (and from their perspective, hopefully winning) a national championship and their star player getting a Heisman.

    -- Patrick Luff, Oxford, UK

    I wholeheartedly agree. If they're going to declare him ineligible, it would have been retroactive to the beginning of this season anyway. So they might as well ride it all the way and see where it goes. No point stopping now.

    Stew makes the point that it's a dangerous game for them to play because they might get hit with even worse sanctions if they knowingly kept him active while knowing he's ineligible, but I don't think any team's fans would think that way. I'd trade five years of brutal sanctions for one (even-tarnished) national championship, wouldn't you?

    Cue the trolls about how we love our cheating in Berkeley.

    In [Stew's] most recent bowl projections [Stewie states], "As of now, I'm projecting exactly 70 eligible teams for 70 spots." Does that mean it's possible that there could be fewer than 70 bowl eligible teams? If so, what happens then? Since I can't imagine they cancel a bowl game, do we simply get one (or more) with a 5-7 team?

    -- Michael Butler, Fort Worth, Texas

    I'm pretty sure that exact scenario has played out before, though I can't find the bowl game that it happened in. Could be wrong. But yeah, I would think that if there aren't enough eligible teams, we're going to see a couple bowl teams with sub-.500 records.

    How does Nebraska, at 9-1 and ranked ninth in the country, get tentatively matched against 5-4 Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl when Pitt is not even in the Top 25? Heck, Pitt isn't even listed in "others receiving votes."

    -- Colonel Chris Krisinger, USAF (Ret), Burke, Va.

    You must not be familiar with this whole BCS thing.

    Fever, aren't we told that the BCS rewards schools for playing tougher opponents? This week, of the top four teams, TCU played the toughest opponent, 7-2 SDSU, and won, yet was punished by the pollsters because it didn't win decisively enough. Of course, Oregon isn't held to the same standard with a two-point win over a 5-4 Cal. Doesn't it seem like the rules change every week in the BCS?

    -- Tammy, Columbia, Md.

    There are a couple of ways to look at that, which is that the other three teams have enough goodwill from having convincingly beaten top teams earlier in the year. And the other is that TCU fell not only because they played a close game against SDSU, but because their signature win was devalued after Utah got crushed at Notre Dame.

    Basically, the voters were saying, "If Notre Dame can do it, anyone can do it!"

    Fever, I know it's Wednesday and this is a late request for your Mailbag, but please call out Cal (and every other inferior team, but especially Cal) for faking injuries, and put an end to the idea that "it's gamesmanship." Thanks.

    -- Ryan Belton, Eugene, Ore.

    I actually stayed out of this debate over the weekend, and my feeling is that, yeah, we probably did fake some injuries. Did it affect the game? Maybe, but the Ducks won. Would I be outraged if another team did that to our Bears? Only if affected the outcome.

    But then I might just be in an irrationally good mood after the Eagles game this past Monday night.

    Tell me why there is no outrage about the Big Ten using the BCS standings to settle a possible three-way tie among its top teams when it created an uproar when the Big 12 did this a few years ago?

    -- Duane Compton, Lyme, N.H.

    I'm going to say it's mostly because no one really cares who the Big 10 champion is this year because they're not going to play in the national title game.

    Stop hating on Cam Stewart!

    -- Rock, Jacksonville, Fla.

    At least we don't have trolls this ignorant...yet.