clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What was your first Cal home game like?

New, 48 comments

Was it a good one?

A cannon fires

Nick Kranz: My first exposure to Memorial Stadium (that I'm aware of/remember) was the 1994 Big Game. I was only nine at the time, and I honestly recall very little about the actual on-field action, except that the Bears won (24-23, as it turns out) and that it was a tense affair throughout. My main memories surround the emotion and culture of the event - experiences that stoked a fandom that has burned ever since.

The spectacle of the event blew me away. I remember wading through a sea of shoulder-to-shoulder fans clad only in red or blue in the walkways around Old Memorial trying to cram their way through ancient old tunnels. I remember my mom explaining the tradition of Cal fans throwing fruit at the Stanford band. I remember loving the contrast between Cal's precision band and Stanford's . . . well, you know. I remember finding the stark demarcation between Stanford's red sections and Cal's blue sections fascinating. I remember my mom insisting that we had to stay for a bit after the game ended because you damn well better appreciate that the Axe is staying in Berkeley.

Most of all, I remember walking with my family down Prospect Street in a sea of blue fans, with fraternity and sorority parties in full swing from the nearby windows and rooftops, an air of joy and festival everywhere that I don't think I had ever experienced in my entire life. I remember thinking that I had to go to school here, because what college could possibly be more fun than this?

Avinash: My first Cal home game was way back in 2004. I had a suspicion UC Berkeley had a good football team, but I didn't even realize that they were D1 back then. All hail the geniuses of university marketing.

All I heard coming into the season were "This Aaron Rodgers dude is pretty good" and "This Marshawn Lynch person is someone to watch for". I came out of that game praising JJ Arrington to the hilt instead (11.1 yards per carry!). That was a great first Cal game!

Nik Jam: I have watched games as a fan since 2006, but it was when I was a student that I started attending games. My first was Maryland 2009. I was with Rally Comm and since it was a 7:00 or 7:30pm game we made a whole day out of it with an early game BBQ. We went inside early to set up card students and eat "cheesy snacks" from West Coast Pizza which was incredible. Then it was a long wait for the game... but it was worth it because it was a total romper. I had to get used to screaming at football games since, as a choir singer, I didnt want to wreck my voice but I got the hang of it by season's end...

Piotr Le: Cal v. UC Davis, 2010. It was alright. I went to the game as a Freshman, by myself and walked around the place I now call my 3rd home. I didn't understand football all that well so it was a new experience to see a game that was paced so differently from the soccer I grew up with. Nothing sticks to my mind about the game or the season. It was only until the Cal v. #25 UCLA game where I truly began falling for the team and the game of football.

boomtho: Tennessee '07. It's the reason I'm hopelessly addicted to being a Cal fan - electric atmosphere, a revenge game, a stunning DJax return, a monster hit on Erik Ainge... it had everything you could ask for in a first game.