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Home Away From Home: Cal Football In AT&T Park Q&A

Welcome to home away from home. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Welcome to home away from home. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Beyond this horrid one game experiment at the Stick, the Cal football team will be playing its home schedule in AT&T Park. This is a dangerous world that thousands of us have traversed before, while beautiful elves named As fans have sought refuge from its dark and daunting quarters.

So I figured Grant of McCovey Chronicles (our San Francisco Giants SB Nation site) could guide us through the park and let us know how to maneuver its surroundings without getting swallowed up by gremlins. Our questions are below in bold, his answers are below in regular. That's how we roll.

Cal playing at AT&T: Brilliant revenue raising agreement from Giants' management, or October-baseball-field-destroying skullduggery from Larry Baer?

Wait, they aren't seriously playing their games there in October, are they? Oh, god. Cody Ross is going to fall down a mine shaft, which I'm assuming is SOP when making a baseball field into a football field. Welp, I guess Aaron Rowand's gold-plated jet ski isn't going to pay for itself.

So, where are all the trees at AT+T park for us hippies to camp out in???? CGB readers need to know!

As someone who lived in Ashland and worked next door to a co-op, I'm all hippied out. Your question doesn't even amuse me like it should, it just makes me twitch. But it was Cap Anson who never said "The redwood tree is nature's foul pole," so that could answer your question.

What's the best food to eat at AT&T?

I like the Carvery, up in the club section. They have fresh brisket, turkey, and corned beef sandwiches. And if you're vegan, they also have tofu options. You just have to ask. They'll deny it, but keep asking. Wink when you do it. Just keep asking. It's like the secret In-N-Out menu, only more secret. Keep asking ...

Any good local bars or restaurants around the stadium that fans should try?

The Public House that's in the stadium is pretty good. Tons of beer selection, and the food is top-flight pub food.

What's the parking and transportation situation like?

I usually come from the Peninsula, and I park on Brannan right off of Sixth for about $10. Never a problem. But for East Bayers, BART is probably how you want to go.

For those unaccustomed to getting to AT&T, what's the best way to get their via public transportation?

"But for East Bayers, BART is probably how you want to go."

I LITERALLY JUST TYPED THAT. The train is good for the Peninsula or South Bay, too. It's not the quickest option, but it's good if you're drinking.

If families are going to drive, how early will they need to leave?

It's tough to say. From the North Bay: early. From the East Bay: about 20 minutes earlier than you think. From the Peninsula: I usually leave 40 minutes before game time, and I'm in my seat by first pitch.

Give us the low-down on the tail-gating scene? Plenty of room for experienced tail-gaters, or are people better off doing a bar crawl to the game?

No clue. I haven't tailgated since Candlestick because parking that close at AT&T means that you're probably a CEO or venture capitalist. $$$. If you can afford to park in the official lot, there looks like a pretty good amount of room to tailgate.

For families with young children, how's the restroom situation? Is it relatively easy to leave your seats and come back, or do you need to really plan ahead? (10-15 min before halftime)

It's a newer park, so there are plenty of restrooms, but it still can get backed up for high-traffic times. If they're younger than 14, just slap some Pull-Ups on them.

Many Cal fans have never watched a game at AT&T park, yet there's a buzz of excitement over the new venue. What do you like best about this yard? If people arrive early enough, what are the must-see, must-do places and activities?

If you've never eaten mushrooms and gone down the Coke slide, you've never lived, so there's that. I wouldn't say there's a must-do activity. I just like watching the game and staring off into the Bay. It's an amazing site for a stadium.

What can Cal learn from the Giants in terms of creating a home field advantage in AT&T park. Do we need a rangy right fielder? Should we hire away Dave Righetti so that he can teach our quarterbacks how to outperform their expected TD/INT ratio?

The first step is to not have any of your players step foot in the park unless they want to get seriously injured and miss most of the season. You could also learn from Bruce Bochy, who would have sat Jahvid Best if Justin Forsett were allowed to come back for 5th, 6th, and 7th years. Forsett would have taken you places the inexperienced Best wouldn't have.

A custom CGB question: Who would you like to punch in the face and why?

The next person on Twitter who @'s me to correct me about something, especially if it's to correct me about something like, "Um, yeah, hi, Barry Bonds never hit 1,000 homers in one season. His career high was 73."

We will probably encounter some Giants fans on our travels to AT&T Park. What are their characteristics and how should we treat them?

They're probably going to be a bit more conservative than you're used to in Berkeley. The wild pagan liberal orgies are limited to luxury suites and the upper-class elite, rather than with just any old group on the condiments table next to the hot dog stand. It's like a whole other world.

Pre-2010, who was the more tortured fanbase, San Francisco Giants nation (no championship since New York), or Cal football (no Rose Bowl since Eisenhower)?

Wow, that's really how long it's been for Cal? But aren't there, like, 10 teams in the Pac-10? How could you have not squeaked in just one of those years?

As a guy who went to Southern Oregon and graduated from San Jose State, I can't empathize that much. The Spartans have five bowl wins in their history -- three of them were in Raisin Bowls, which was actually the name of a guy who used to hang out on the lawn outside of my work in Ashland. So now you see how I've brought this Q&A full circle.

I'd go Giants, then.

Who would be the San Francisco Giant most likely to be able to make the transition to starting quarterback? We've been having trouble with that lately.

Chris Stewart sort of looks like Alex Smith, so there's that. Aaron Rowand is good at running into things, and his arm is okay.

But the obvious answer is Buster Posey because he can do anything when he's healthy. He wouldn't be able to scramble worth a damn, but he'd be amazing. So beautiful, that one. So beautiful and missed and beautiful.