Hail to California!

I’m not really an Old Blue; I only transferred to Cal after two glorious years at Illinois State University; and even though I really liked the history department at Berkeley, I never managed to graduate and have thus limped through adult life with no degree and answering “some college” to survey question on educational attainment. As usual, I digress to focus on my own sad story.

Still, Cal’s my local college sports team: From our house, you can hear the cannon that’s fired every time the Golden Bears score. And this year, they’ve got a very good team, in the Top 10 all year, and more recently in the Top 5. Today, they beat Stanford in what’s known locally (and humorously to non-Bay Area sports fans) as “The Big Game.” The final: 41-6, which makes it one of the more one-sided scores in the history of (say it with me) this storied rivalry. Kate (an actual Cal graduate) was into the game, there were some great moments for the Golden Bears, and some humiliating and nasty ones for Stanford, which had one of its best players thrown ejected for taking repeated cheap shots after the game turned into an ass-whupping.

Interesting: The Wikipedia actually has an unironic entry on the Big Game that mentions Joe Starkey (check out the link — he’s got a really bad rug) the radio play-by-play man for both Cal and the San Francisco 49ers. He’s the worst sports announcer I’ve ever heard in terms of homer-ism, willingness to blame officials for his teams’ ill fortunes, and unreliability in describing what’s actually going on on the field — I’ve never heard anyone who so often seems to miss plays entirely or needs to correct what he just told you. But he’s part of Cal legend for his over-the-top call on the famous last play of the 1982 Cal-Stanford tilt, where his high-pitched screaming actually captured he action pretty well (I remember listening to it when it happened and thinking “now that is amazing.”

One Reply to “Hail to California!”

  1. Wow. Starkey’s rug is remarkable. You’d think that wouldn’t be possible in the 21st century, that decades of vanity-inspired investment in fake male-hair technology would have protected us from such abominations. But no.
    BTW, Starkey nearly drove me stark raving mad this afternoon. I missed halftime and most of the third quarter to kick the soccer ball around at the park with Niko. On our way back, we had to drive a bit on an errand. I listened for at least 8 minutes before Starkey said the score. He kept saying how much time was left (“4:19 remaining in the third quarter”; “2:58 to go in the quarter”; “we’re nearing the end of the third quarter”), bringing him to the precipice to slipping in the score, but nooo, he wouldn’t hand over the goods.

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