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What's Your Favorite Moment Of Old California Memorial Stadium?

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TwistNHook:  Reader crackpipe has a simple question for all you fans out there:

what’s your best memory at Memorial.

So, what is your best memory at Memorial?  We got 87 years to cover here. 

Avinash:  I feel like I'm too young to have any relevant input on this one. 2006 Oregon sticks out to me, but I'm pretty sure I've stated my reasons for that a million times. Let me see if I can dig it up.

TwistNHook:  I don't think there is any wrong answer to this roundtable question.  Unless it isn't your favorite moment. 

Avinash:  My favorite moment was when Twist wore a suit to the USC game last year and we lost 30-3. I hate you Twist.

LeonPowe: Top 5 moments that I personally witnessed

1. Miracle at Memorial 1993 - Cal comes back from 30 down to beat Oregon 42-41 (see my article written last year)

2. Cal vs. Oregon 2006 - The unveiling of the Gold uniforms and - it was the loudest and most intense its ever been at Memorial in my personal history. DJax taking it the the house (I think this was the only PR touch of his I saw live)

3. Cal vs. Washington 2006 - Beast Mode stunts on the injury cart. (not really a ghost ride, but certainly some gas/brake/dip in there) That was a tough game.

4.1992 Cal vs. UCLA Halloween game - the best band show ever, highlighted by the zombie dancing band (Michael Jackson's Thriller!)

5. Big Game 1994 Tyrone Edwards - a career back-up straps on his high-top "work" cleats and tramples Stanfurd for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns. In an era when we didn't have many Big Game wins, Tyrone ran through the Furd defense to defend the axe.


Avinash:  2. Cal-Tennessee 2007. The last time our team felt like a nationally relevant power (yeah we were a top ten team in 2009 for awhile, but it didn't really feel like a top ten team, did it?), and we showcased our flair and talent. Tedford took that 2006 Tennessee game personally, and he had his team playing hard and tough from snap to whistle. It was his real last offensive masterpiece.

1. Cal-Oregon 2006. Although the Ducks proved to be pretenders to the crown (like we were in 2009 when we waltzed into Autzen), that was an incredible game at the time. We hammered Dennis Dixon and the "unstoppable Oregon offense" for four quarters. DeSean had one of his many showcase punt returns, Marshawn stiff-armed Chung, Forsett had one of his best games as a Golden Bear after Lynch got injurd, Longshore played pretty well, we forced four Oregon really seemed like the first step to a Pac-10 championship. It wasn't to be, but I'll still remember that game as the high mark of Cal football in the Tedford era.

Sadly, there was a downside to this one--this game signalled the end for Gary Crowton as Oregon's offensive coordinator, and the beginning for Chip Kelly...

Kodiak:  Favorite memories at Memorial:

Pre- Cal:  The Miracle at Memorial:  Cal-Oregon -93.  Comeback from 30-7 to win 42-41.

As a Cal student:  The Marathon at Memorial Cal-Zona '96.  4 OT's.  And the birth of the "Dick Tomey Rule."  Cal wins 56-55. The whole student moved like a mass of delirious ants from north to south and back again to try to provide a home-field noise advantage during OT.  My friend Vic and I kept punching each other on the arm when Cal made a big play.  Neither of us could use our arms for the next couple of days.

As an alumni:  Big Game 2002 - Reclaiming the Axe after 7 straight losses.  Rushed the field.  Followed the goal post down Bancroft with my 80+ year-old grandfather who was euphorically yelling "Go Bears" at everyone we passed.

Overall:  I grew up going to Cal games with my dad.  We would drive up to my grandparents' house for a huge home-made breakfast cooked by my grandma.  We'd drive over the Berkeley, catch the band concert on Sproul, and then march up with the band towards the stadium.  Usually, we'd pit-stop for ice cream on the way.

I would sit with my grandfather and watch the players warm up.  At halftime, we'd watch the band perform and eat bag lunches that my grandmother had packed;  sandwiches or fried chicken with her special macaroni or potato salad.

Win or lose, we'd watch the band perform afterwards and then drive back to my grandparents' house for an amazing post-game dinner.

These are some of my fondest childhood memories.  I can't wait to start taking my girls to the games and continuing the family tradition.

Berkelium97:  I'll have to echo Avi's list:

1. Cal-Oregon: 2006

The atmosphere was absolutely electric.  Memorial Stadium was rocking and the offense and defense both delivered a great show.  So many great performances: Patrick Chung getting BeastModed in the face, Dixon throwing interception after interception, DeSean returning the punt, Longshore looking like Aaron Rodgers Jr.

2. Cal-Tennessee: 2007

With that win, it finally felt like Cal had turned a corner (even more so after the win at Autzen) to become a consistent challenger for the conference title, with yearly aspirations for national titles.  Things certainly have changed since then...

TwistNHook:  For me, it has to be Big Game 2002.  Years upon years of sadness cathartically lifted! 

Other winners include 2003 USC for obvious reasons.

However, here is one that might fly under the radar:

2000 UCLA

Cal was not very good that year.  I was on break off band, so I missed the tail end of the game and the start of the overtime.  When we were finished preparing for break off, we came back to the field.  We were able to watch the end of the game from right by the end zone.  The game clinching interception occurred right in front of me!  How amazing! 

Kodiak:  Geez.  I'm old and sleep deprived.  Flag me for forgetting 2003 USC.  Mrs. Kod and I blew off her friend's wedding to attend the game.  We brought our dress clothes and changed in my grandparent's bathroom after the game.  We snuck into the reception and pretended that we had been there the whole night.  We probably didn't fool anyone...but after a few visits to the open bar who the heck cared?  Fredrickson of Hollywood FTW!!!

HydroTech:  2002 Big Game.  Seeing the crowd rush the field, then tear down the goal posts is something I will never forget.
2003 Cal vs. USC.  I hate USC.  Beating them when they were #3 in the nation made winning that much sweeter.

2006 Cal vs. Oregon.  The energy in the stadium was electric.

yellow fever I think I'd go with the 2002 Big Game.  I remember losing my sunglasses on the field that day and then being shocked when the goalpost ended up back at our fraternity house somehow.  2003 Cal vs. USC was also exciting, though I also remember being confused at why Rodgers wasn't in the game for the second half and being worried that he was injured.

CALumbusBear:  The DeSean punt return in Oregon 06 was a highlight.  But the nearly blown-up flea flicker for a TD vs. UCLA in 08 is a very special memory.

OhioBear:  Maybe I have an oddball perspective because I've lived in Ohio for far too long and have been to very few home games (a grand total of 5) during the Tedford era.  So for my "best" memory, I'll go back to this:

1990, Cal vs. Ucla.  Cal looking to end an 18-game losing streak against Ucla (oh, the horror!).  To that point in my Cal fandom, it was the most electricity I'd ever felt in the Memorial Stadium crowd.  Cal looks in good shape with a 38-17 lead in the 4th quarter.  But Ucla cuts the lead to 38-31 and is driving for the tying (or winning) TD late in the 4th quarter.  With Ucla at around Cal's 15 yard line, Michael Davis sacks Tommy Maddox, forcing a fumble that Joel Dickson recovered.  Cal ran out the clock and held on for the win.  I rushed the Memorial Stadium field for the one and only time in my life.

LeonPowe:  I think more than just specific moments, there's a lot of general memories - which won't change with the new stadium but stuff like watching the student section throw the cards up, walking up on a sunny Fall afternoon with two bockwursts wearing my gray Cal sweatshirt with the knowledge that another Cal game is ahead, looking at the view over the rim at the Golden Gate - especially when we are getting our ass beat. The smoke bomb which signals the entrance of the band. The students on the 50. 

I miss Berkeley.