If any trip to Memorial Stadium in Berkeley could be perfect, this is as close as it gets. Leaving my home on the peninsula with my 17 year old daughter, also a Cal fan, it was bright and sunny.
Arriving in Daly City to catch the BART train, it was a typically foggy, cold and overcast morning. Good natured banter between Cal fans and UC Davis fans on the BART train.
Once we got to Berkeley, the sun was again out and it was starting to get warm. Nostalgia prevails as I meet friends for burgers and beers at Kip's. It has the same fun, college vibe as it did when I was a student, back in the late 70's, early 80's.
Walking up to Memorial Stadium, hearing the Cal band play fight songs, cheer leaders with their shimmering pom poms, it was close to game time! We find our seats in time to see a little of the Bears' warm up.
Boom! The Cal band races out onto the field. The drum major high stepping his way, as the tuba players prance around the field. The band does the script Cal formation on the field. I figure I have seen this 150 times, but it never gets old.
Cal starts off slowly, but once they get it in gear, they dominate the undersized UC Davis squad. Cal leads at the half 28-0.
The student section does the card stunts, then chaos erupts, as they disregard the request to pass the cards to the right. Instead, there is a myriad of color, as the cards are flung into the air. Cards soar through the air for a good five minutes. Meanwhile, the band is playing tunes and marching across the field.
The second half is much of the same, as Cal easily defeats the Aggies, 52-3. Kevin Riley and Shane Vereen looked good, as did the Cal defense. However, the game and the final score is not the reason for the perfection of the day.
On a picture postcard type of day, this was college football at it's best. The sun beating down on the stadium, with a light zephyr of a breeze, keeping it just cool enough.
It started to get pretty hot in the second half. Salvation was just an aisle away. Waving the vendor down, the frozen lemonade ice is as cool and refreshing as ever.
Attending the Cal opening game with my high school age daughter. Meeting friends on a gorgeous day. A dominating Cal victory. Yes, this was as close to perfection as a Saturday afternoon of college football could possibly be. Spectacular!
There is just one more thing. The new Cal freshman, Keenan Allen, is definitely the real deal. He was the best player on the field and it will be so much fun to watch him for the next few years.
Here's to more special days like today. Go Bears!