The time for hype has now passed.
The season was decided last week, truthfully – with our bowl invitation now in the mail and the Axe still in the clutches of our rivals, all that rides on this game is the chance to send the seniors and graduates out with a win and the appreciation they rightfully deserve.
While the Promo cannot control the results of the game or add to the chances of victory, it can certainly accomplish the latter, by using this space to thank each of these young men for their decision to wear and their time here.
Regardless of whatever is written or said over discussion about the games themselves, all of that pertains to what happens on the field only, and does not change that it has been an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure to have each of you represent the University of California.
Thank you all for choosing to don the Blue and Gold.
Thank you, Darius White, Jonathan Johnson, Kyle Kragen, Trevor Kelly, and David Davis. You all came to Berkeley separately by your own paths, and while your two seasons have gone by in barely a blink, you all took advantage of every lasting moment, becoming contributors and starters on a defense that badly needed your leadership.
Thank you, Trevor Davis, for taking a long route to Berkeley yourself, waiting patiently for your mandatory redshirt to expire, and then proving to be just as good as advertised. You have been a joy to watch with the ball in your hands.
Thank you, Cole Leininger, for holding things down and being a rock these last few years on an invisible, underappreciated unit.
Thank you, Brian Farley, for the work and effort you have put over your career in to earn a starting spot, and your refusal to quit working and quit competing each week.
Thank you, Jordan Rigsbee, for giving us a much-needed brand of attitude and physicality over your three seasons as a starter, willingly playing out of position when you had to. Thank you.
Thank you, Puka Lopa and Todd Barr, for your fight and toughness and motor in the trenches every time you stepped on the field, and for Puka, a fantastic mane of hair that can be spotted even from space.
Thank you, Cole Webb, for your dutiful work leading the scout team, and your play in the end of practice trash can drill game. It was a pleasure to see you get snaps toward the end of Oregon State this year, running free, knowing you earned them all. Thank you.
Thank you, Joel Willis, Nathan Broussard, and Mustafa Jalil, for never allowing your injuries, ill-timed and unfair, to take away your spirit or your determination. Here still, you stand. Thank you.
Thank you, Maurice Harris, for getting better with each passing season here, and giving us highlights we will be watching until we’re all Old Blues and beyond. Best hands of the Allen clan indeed.
Thank you, Jalen Jefferson, for your clutchness and your reliability. You have found yourself in the right place at the right time, again and again in your career, always ready to make a play. The book against Colorado reads win because of you, especially.
Thank you, Darius Powe, for your patience and continual growth. You were the quietest of the four receivers in the 2012 class – Chris, Bryce, and Kenny all grabbed the spotlight sooner, but this year you have truly come into your own as a target, and have proved key in earning this bowl bid with steady hands in the middle.
Thank you, Stephen Anderson, for always being ready to do the dirty work – if Coach Franklin needed you to block a tackle, a linebacker, a safety, to run a pick, to lead for Lasco, to run into traffic, you did it all.
Thank you, Daniel Lasco. This year did not go the way you hoped it would, I’m sure, but you have been a rock and a leader for this team during your time here, toughing out carries and dazzling us greatly over the course of your career. The Daniel Lasco now and the one of two years ago do not resemble each other at all.
Thank you, Stefan McClure, for being a model student-athlete, a fantastic representative of this program, a player willing to do anything it takes for the team’s success, and a cornerstone of the defense.
Thank you, Bryce Treggs, for your swagger, your leadership, your showmanship, your passion, and your gold, gold heart, when you had every reason not to choose us. This was not the Cal program you signed up for, but you went on television and chose us again, because you said you believed in being a man of your word. You were right.
And finally, thank you, Jared Goff. No, it’s not official yet, but if this is your final game at Memorial Stadium – and most expect it will be -- then it absolutely must be said: thank you. You are the most decorated, record-breaking quarterback to ever step foot on this campus, and will probably still end up underappreciated for your brilliance by most. Not here, though. And not by us.
Thank you all.
Stay Golden. Go Bears.