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Cal - USC Pac-12 Football Game Photo Essay 10.13.11 Part 1 Pre-Game

What's the only thing better than getting crushed on national TV for the 2nd week in a row???  

Getting to see photos of the spinsanity!  Well, if you want to re-live the Dickensian nightmare that was Thursday night, you've come to the right place.  For a lot of people, this was the first time it felt like Cal football.  Some people made it out to the Fresno State game and some people made it out to the Presbyterian game.

However, on Thursday, the atmosphere finally seemed really electric.  It was a bit slow going as people had to figure out how to get off of work early ("cough cough, I seem to have come down with Calfootballitis, it's very contagious, I better leave immediately, cough cough!")

The first thing I noticed when I walked by AT&T Park is how much red there is on the facade.  Nice try with the blue and gold bunting, but it seems vaguely pathetic compared to all the faux brick and giant red signage.  


It's weird, isn't it?  We've played in Strawberry Canyon for 90 years.  And then, now, all of a sudden, it's a totally different experience.  Please, join me after the jump to go on Mr. Cal's Wild Ride.  This will be quite the magical mystery tour.   Because who doesn't want to relive this game in still form!  It was so much fun the first time, LET'S DO IT AGAIN!  GO BEARS!

Usually when I am putting a football essay together, I leave our a photos if they are similar week in and week out.  "Oh, that's the same thing that has happened at Cal football the last 90 years.  No biggie."

But nothing, absolutely nothing, is the same thing year.  It's all different.  Like this GIANT BODY OF WATER next to the stadium, called the Pacific Ocean.  It's just there.  You can't miss it.  In fact, to get to the tailgating parking lots, you have to walk right by it.  So very weird.  


I saw this massive tail gating RV with a sign that said "USC FOOTBALL IS EVERYTHING."


Really?  Everything?  I think that overstates USC Football.  Did they name their kids "OJ Simpson" and file all their taxes jointly with their spouse "USC Football"????  I love Cal football as much as the next guy, but even this seems like a bit much.  

The Kleeburger (or Maxwell, if you are born in the late 1980s) dealie was put into "Shed A" at Pier 48.  It is a massive airplane hanger type building that could hold thousands and thousands of Cal revelers.  Following a series of photos of the inside of it.  Completely empty.  Now, we were there several hours before gametime (prolly 3ish).  So, maybe it got filled up as it got closer to game time.  I really have no idea.  It would take a LOT of people to fill it up, though.  
















This is a LOT of corn holing!


Did anybody go there?  What was it like?  Did it ever get packed?

For me, it was back to the tailgate.




The parking lots were pretty packed.  It was a good scene.  Kinda totally completely different from the more fragmented scene at Berkeley.  In Berkeley, you have one tailgate on the north side, one on the south side, one at your fraternity, one on campus.  It's a veritable merry go round of Berkeley to see all your friends.

Here, you can just be in one parking lot and people are all around you.  In fact, we noticed that Joe FUCKING Montana happened to be a few rows away.  He appeared to be tailgating with Kevin Riley, Mike Mohamed, and a slimmed down DJ Big Red.  


The band came by.  


Groups of cops were roaming throughout the parking lot.  I kept yelling at them if they were male strippers.  They are not.  


Soon, it was time to enter the stadium.  Having assigned seats is so weird.  Normally, I like to get into the stadium early, so I can snag a good seat.  But here at AT & T, there is no reason to do so.  You have an assigned seat, so nobody else is gonna be where you want to be.  It's so weird this football season.  I even had to buy seats with friends.  Normally, I just buy a single season ticket and go wherever I want.  I guess its kinda cool to have an assigned seat.  

When I got in the band was doing its THANG! 





I should try to interview the Drum Major to discuss how different charting shows for AT & T Park is compared to Memorial.  I guess I am the only band nerd nerdy enough to want to learn about this.

Is this the 3D camera below?  I thought it was.  Did anybody watch the game in 3D?  I mean I did, insomuch as I perceive things in three dimensions with my 5 senses.  I meant on the TV.  


As it was the Joe Roth game, they had a Joe Roth memorial on the big screen (of which they only used like 50%).  They potentially only used that part of it to make more money with ads.  Also, because part of it is blocked by the bleachers.  


Monica's Dad had some great photos.  But these are of the USC team.  What's up with that???


IMG_3259 (via Monica's Dad)



IMG_3268 (via Monica's Dad)

Is Ed Orgeron looking RIGHT at me????????


This appeared to be former Cal linebacker Eddie Young on the field.  I saw him moving equipment stuff back and forth.  I wasn't sure exactly what his job was, but I presume he was helping the telecast in some way.  


Here is the Cal team warming up:


IMG_3295 (via Monica's Dad)


IMG_3299 (via Monica's Dad)


IMG_3237 (via Monica's Dad)


IMG_3328 (via Monica's Dad)



OK, this is a good place to stop.  In the next post, we can see some game action.  I actually got a really good shot of Maynard fumbling the ball and then falling on it to lose about 15 yards, which you all totally want to see!  GO BEARS!