Sunday, May 5, 2013


On the Berkeley campus last week I caught up with an old Coop pal of mine at the California Alumni Association. Knowing my predilections she gave me promotional item from last year: a “New Stadium Scent” car air freshener with the Cal football home schedule on the reverse side. It’s pretty potent smelling—like a courtesy soap bar from from a lower end motel chain. They could have come to me for better fragrance execution. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

After 87 years atop the Hayward fault, the university embarked on a total rebuild of Memorial Stadium in 2010 while the Golden Bears played at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The new structure retains the original Roman coliseum style exterior but is now seismically up to code along with better training facilities. The 2012 season was the team’s first in the new stadium but it was not a resounding success; they were 3 and 9 overall, 2 and 8 in the Pac 12 conference.

I’ve enjoyed some spectacular Saturday afternoons in Memorial Stadium. If nothing else, the late afternoon view over the rim is worth it: the Bay, the bridges, the fog. Every so often the Bears field a formidable team—in my time the standouts were running back Chuck Muncie (later with the NFL Saints and Chargers), wide receiver Wesley Walker (Jets), and QB Steve Bartkowski (Falcons). More recent graduates include QB Aaron Rogers (Packers), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (Eagles), and running back Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks).

Anyway, all that really counts is beating Stanfurd in the Big Game. (Taking out the trombone player only makes it sweeter.)

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