The Sun Will Never Shine Again in Anaheim


It was 40 years ago on this date … October 22, 1975 … that the World Football League folded.

This was a traumatic event for me … and #1 son Doug … who was then just 5 and learning how to be a sports fan.

After demise of the WFL was announced, I wrote a short story about it … in those days, of course, there was no internet … there were no blogs … and I never found anyone interested in publishing it.

But, I did keep a copy … so, 40 years later, here it is:

The Sun Will Never Shine Again in Anaheim page 1 croppedThe Sun Will Never Shine Again in Anaheim page 2 croppedThe Sun Will Never Shine Again in Anaheim page 3 croppedThe Sun Will Never Shine Again in Anaheim page 4 croppedThe Sun Will Never Shine Again in Anaheim page 5 croppedThe circle of WFL pennants in Doug’s bedroom of our home in Santa Ana:

World Football League PennantsSince the collapse of the WFL, I have kept alive the name SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SUN …

SunLogo… by using it as my team name in face-to-face strategy football leagues … playing Strat-o-Matic football … in the OOPS Football League in Southern California … the Quasi Football League after we moved to Northern California …

Sun & OCFL Logos… and, since 2004, in the online SOM strategy football leagues run by the OOPS Computer Football League (OCFL).

Southern California Sun helmet

—–oooOOOooo—–

Three Dot … 115

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Do You Believe in Miracles …


 

Over the years, there have been many great moments in sport …

… in college football, The Play (“The Bears Win, the Bears Win”)…

… in professional football, the Immaculate Reception and The Catch …

… giving a nod to Major League Baseball about which I otherwise don’t care … the historic home runs by Bobby Thomson, Bill Mazeroski and Kirk Gibson …

… and the Olympic triumphs of Billy Mills in the 1964 10,000 meters, Dave Wottle in the 1972 500 meters and the incomparable long jump by Bob Beamon in the 1968 Olympics …

… BUT …

… when it comes to great moments in sport, the greatest of all, in my opinion, occurred 35 years ago today …

The Miracle on Ice

… the 4-3 win by the U. S. Olympic Hockey team over the Russians …

… immortalized by the call of Al Michaels …

Do You Believe in MiraclesThe Russian hockey team came to the 1980 Olympics, held at Lake Placid, New York, as prohibitive gold medal favorites …

… they were, after all, a team of professionals in what was then supposed to be an amateur sport …

… supported full time by the Russian government.

The American team, on the other hand, was a collection of amateurs who were molded into a formidable opponent for the Russians by their hard-driving coach, Herb Brooks …

The Miracle on Herb Brooks CoachThe Americans and Russians met in one of the Olympic semi-final games on February 22, 1980 … and the Russians held a 3-2 lead going into the third period …

… the American team, however, rallied to tie the game at 3-3 …

… and then, with ten minutes to play, team captain Mike Eruzione scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.

The Miracle on Mike Eruzione Game Winning GoalOf course, that left the Russians lots of time … but a stubborn U.S. defense and the incomparable goal-tending of Jim Craig …

The Miracle on Goalie Jim Craig … turned away the Russians time and again … until there were just 11 seconds to play in the game …

… at which point Al Michaels …

Do You Believe in Miracles Al Michaels portrait… counted down the remaining time …

Do You Believe in Miracles Al Michaels… to the American victory.

The Miracle on Ice celebration with Herb BrooksThe Miracle on Ice celebrationOBIT BROOKSThe Miracle on Ice groupTwo days later, the Americans clinched the gold medal by defeating Finland 4-2.

Sports Illustrated celebrated the win over Russia with one of its most unusual ever covers …

The Miracle on Ice Sports Illustrated cover… it was headline news around the country …

The Miracle on Ice New York Daily News front page… became the stuff of books & a movie …

Do You Believe in Miracles book cover… and a legend which endures to this day.

——————–

Team Captain Mike EruzioneThe Miracle on Mike Eruzione Team CaptainGoalie Jim CraigThe Miracle on Goalie Jim Craig autographThe Gold Medal Winning 1980 U. S. Olympic Hockey TeamThe Miracle on Ice team photo______________________________________

Thee Dot … 102

Cardiac Bears Outlast Buffaloes 59-56 in 2 OT …


Cal Kicker James Langford booted a 34 yard field goal yesterday in the game’s second overtime to give the Golden Bears a hard-fought and heart-thumping 59-56 win over the visiting Colorado Buffaloes  …

K James Langford Boots Game-Winning Field Goal in 2nd OT

K James Langford Boots Game-Winning Field Goal in 2nd OT

… it was the second week in a row that the Cal game was decided on its final play, coming on the heels of the heart-breaking 49-45 loss to
Arizona … the Bears improved to 3-1.

QB Jared Goff passed for 449 yards and 7 touchdowns …

QB Jared Goff Passed for 449 Yards and 7 Touchdowns

QB Jared Goff Passed for 449 Yards and 7 Touchdowns

… including a Cal record 92 yarder to RB Daniel Lasco and a 75 yard bomb to WR Stephen Anderson … the 92 yard pass play was the longest in Cal football history … Lasco also had 108 yards rushing on 18 carries to pace the Cal running game.

Daniel Lasco Sprints Toward Goal Line on 92 Yard Pass Reception

Daniel Lasco Sprints Toward Goal Line on 92 Yard Pass Reception

Despite giving up 629 yards and 39 first downs to the Buffs, the Cal defense came up big when really needed … Colorado had the ball first in the second overtime and moved to a first down and goal at the Cal 2 yard line … at which point the Bears defense came up with four straight stops to deny Colorado a score and set up Langford’s heroics.

Cal's Defense Stops Colorado on 4th & Goal from the 1 in 2nd OT

Cal’s Defense Stops Colorado on 4th & Goal from the 1 in 2nd OT

The Bears racked up 576 yards in total offense … 127 rushing and 449 passing … recorded 24 first downs … and came back from a  28-14 halftime deficit with 21 third quarter points.

The win broke a 15 game Pac-12 losing streak for the Bears … and marked Cal as one of the most improved team in college football this year.  For his performance, Goff was named the National Offensive Player of the Week.

Offensive Player of the Week Jared Goff Passing from his own Endzone.

Offensive Player of the Week Jared Goff Passing from his own Endzone

Cal plays the Washington State Cougars next Saturday in Pullman (7:30 pm pdt, TV on Pac-12 Network) … and returns home the following week to host the Washington Huskies (time TBA).

More game photos …

Cal Student Section Before the Game

Cal Student Section Before the Game

Cal Band Pregame Show

Cal Band Pregame Show

Cal Band Great!

Cal Band Great!

Daniel Lasco Hammers Out Some Tough 1st Quarter Yardage

Daniel Lasco Hammers Out Some Tough 1st Quarter Yardage

Bears on Pass Defense

Bears on Pass Defense

Cal Defense Brings Down Colorado's QB

Cal Defense Brings Down Colorado’s QB

Punter Cole Leininger Boots One

Punter Cole Leininger Boots One

Khalfani Muhammad Returns a Kickoff from the Endzone

Khalfani Muhammad Returns a Kickoff from the Endzone

Offensive Line Protecting Goff in the Pocket

Offensive Line Protecting Goff in the Pocket

Kicker James Langford Kicking Off

Kicker James Langford Kicking Off

Daniel Lasco Breaks Into the Open

Daniel Lasco Breaks Into the Open

Bears on Defense

Bears on Defense

Celebrating a Bears Touchdown

Celebrating a Bears Touchdown

WR Bryce Treggs Catches 25 Yard TD Pass in 1st OT

WR Bryce Treggs Catches 25 Yard TD Pass in 1st OT

Bears Win 59-56!

Bears Win 59-56!

All Photos in this blog Copyright 2014 Jim Reilly

Cal v. Colorado 140927 21 Cal FlagFor game stats and additional photos,see the official Cal Bears football website:

http://www.calbears.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=30100&SPID=126513&SPSID=749425

or

ESPN’s California Golden Bears Page at:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/_/id/25/california-golden-bears

Bears Kabam Sac State …


The California Golden Bears played their first game on their newly designated home field …

Cal v. Sacramento State 140906 3 Kabam Field North End Logo… this past Saturday … and recorded a solid 55-14 win over the visiting Sacramento State Hornets.

The victory enabled the 2014 Bears to double their 2013 win total … and gave them a 2-0 start for the first time since 2011.

Through a business association of Doug’s, Candy & I, and Doug & Matt, were privileged to watch the game from the Kabam sponsor’s suite …

Cal v. Sacramento State 140906 54 The Kabam Suite… from which we had a great view of the game …

Cal v. Sacramento State 140906 55 View from the Kabam Box… and enjoyed the hospitality of both the stadium staff and the Kabam folks in attendance.

The Bears racked up 579 yards in total offense … 253 rushing and 326 passing … recorded 26 first downs … and blew the game open early with 28 first quarter points.

At the end of the first quarter, the University recognized the Kabam Field sponsorship with an onfield ceremony …

Cal v. Sacramento State 140906 49 Kabam Presentation After 1st Quarter at Kabam North End Logo 8… and presentation of a framed Cal No. 1 jersey.

With the game well in hand, three Bears QBs saw playing time …

QB Jared Goff Passing

QB Jared Goff Passing

#2 QB Luke Rubenzer runs in for a TD

#2 QB Luke Rubenzer runs in for a TD

#3 QB Austin Hinder Passing

#3 QB Austin Hinder Passing

The 55 points on offense was Cal’s highest scoring output since they scored 63 against Presbyterian at AT&T Park in 2011 … and the 14 point defensive effort was the Bears’ best since they held Oregon State to 6 points, also in 2011.

Cal has a week 3 bye, then travels to Tucson on Saturday, September 20th, for a 7:00 pm game against the Arizona Wildcats.

Cal v. Sacramento State 140906 1 California Banner East Side of StadiumPremier Partnerships worked on behalf of Cal Athletics to locate a naming partner … which led to the agreement with Kabam, Inc., and the sponsorship of Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium.

Kabam Field Presentation

Kabam Field Presentation

Left to Right:

Bob Lalanne – UC Vice Chancellor of Real Estate (Cal ’78) …

Solly Fulp – Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Director of Cal Athletics …

H. Michael Williams – Interim Athletic Director (Cal ’82 and Cal Bears wrestler) …

Kevin Chou – co-founder and CEO of Kabam (Cal ’02) …

Holly Liu – co-founder and Chief of Staff of Kabam (Cal ’03) …

Chris Carvalho – Kabam Executive Advisor & former COO …

Jeff Marks – Managing Director of Premier Partnerships (Cal ’94) …

and Jesse Ryback – Premier Partnerships Director of Business Partnerships.

Cal v. Sacramento State 140906 4 Band and North End Kabam LogoCal v. Sacramento State 140906 5 Band on Kabam North End LogoCal v. Sacramento State 140906 6 Band on Kabam South End LogoCal Band Great!

Cal v. Sacramento State 140906 7 Band on Cal LogoCal v. Sacramento State 140906 8 Golden Bear Entry to FieldGolden Bears Take the Field

Golden Bears on Offense 1st Quarter

Golden Bears on Offense 1st Quarter

WRs Chris Harper & Bryce Treggs Line Up

WRs Chris Harper & Bryce Treggs Line Up

WR Darius Powe Scores on a 60 yard TD Pass

WR Darius Powe Scores on a 60 yard TD Pass

Cal Bears on Offense

Cal Bears on Offense

QB Jared Goff Going Deep

QB Jared Goff Going Deep

RB Khalfani Muhammad Runs Toward the Goal Line

RB Khalfani Muhammad Runs Toward the Goal Line

Game Action on Kabam Logo

Game Action on Kabam Logo

K James Langford Lines up for 2nd Quarter 33 Yard Field Goal

K James Langford Lines up for 2nd Quarter 33 Yard Field Goal

Cal Band Halftime Show

Cal Band Halftime Show

Matt & Doug Reilly and Candy Davis in the Kabam Suite

Matt & Doug Reilly and Candy Davis in the Kabam Suite

QB Jared Goff Passing in the 3rd Quarter

QB Jared Goff Passing in the 3rd Quarter

Bears final Kabam on TD Catch by WR Chris Harper

Bears final Kabam on TD Catch by WR Chris Harper

Kabam Logo on South End Scoreboard at Start of 4th Quarter

Kabam Logo on South End Scoreboard at Start of 4th Quarter

Watching the Game from the Kabam Suite

Watching the Game from the Kabam Suite

One of Only 2 Punts in the Game by Cal P Cole Leininger

One of Only 2 Punts in the Game by Cal P Cole Leininger

Kabam Logos on Student Section

Kabam Logos on Student Section

Bears Win 55-14

Bears Win 55-14

Cal Bear Paw LogoFor game stats and additional photos,see the official Cal Bears football website:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209637348

The Day That Baseball Died …


… 

Today is the 20th anniversary of one of the most infamous events in American sports history … the start of the major league baseball players’ strike in 1994 … a strike which ended the season without playoffs or a World Series for the only time in MLB history … and which denied San Diego Padres right fielder Tony Gwynn a shot at a .400 season (he was batting .394 at the time of the strike) … and San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Williams a chance to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record (Williams had 43 when the strike ended the season).

It was a sad day for all baseball fans … many of whom … myself included … said that if the players ruined the season, they would never come back. Most didn’t mean it … or at least didn’t follow through … but I did.

I became a baseball fan in 1952, when my paternal grandfather began taking me to Brooklyn Dodgers games. My Dad was a Yankees fan … but he had to work most days during the summers … and Grandpa was free to go to Ebbets Field whenever he wanted. It was a short trip for me from my hometown of Lindenhurst, on the south shore of Long Island, to meet with him in Jamaica Station … and then for the two of us to take the subway to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Dodgers pennantAs a result, I became a staunch Dodgers fan … and got to see many exciting games … and players … at Ebbets Field.

Ebbetts Field

I was fortunate to see the Brooklyn Dodgers at their very best … National League championships in 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1956 … and, for the first time since they were the Brooklyn Robins in 1920, World Series winners in 1955.

Not only could I recite the Dodgers lineup from memory, I knew the batting averages, home run totals and won-lost records for the Dodgers stars. My favorite players were right fielder Carl Furillo and center fielder Duke Snider, but not far behind were the rest of the stars … shortstop PeeWee Reese, first baseman Gil Hodges, second baseman Jim Gilliam, third baseman Jackie Robinson, catcher Roy Campanella, and pitchers Carl Erskine, Johnny Podres and Don Newcombe.

We saw many great games, though not always great for the Dodgers … we were there when Erskine threw a no-hitter against the hated New York Giants on May 12, 1956 …

… and on July 31, 1954, when Milwaukee Braves first baseman Joe Adcock set a major league record for total bases in a nine inning game by hitting four home runs and a double … and missed hitting five home runs by less than a foot, as the line drive double hit the top of the outfield wall.

When I was not at a Dodgers game in those days, I often watched them on TV or listened to the game on the radio … and I still remember watching Podres pitch a 2-0 win over the Yankees in the deciding game of the 1955 series … the final play of which was a ground ball by Yankees catcher Elston Howard to Reese, who flipped the ball to Hodges at first to end the game.

Brooklyn Dodgers 1955 Team Photo

I was heart-broken when I learned that the Dodgers were moving to Los Angeles after the 1957 season … but remained a fan until my family moved to Southern California in 1964 and I was able to attend games at Dodger Stadium while on my summer leaves from West Point. Then, in 1969, I moved to Southern California myself and once again attended Dodgers games on a regular basis …

Scan-140812-0003

… until I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1985.  Living in the Bay Area meant that opportunities to see the Dodgers in person were limited … but I (now accompanied by my wife Sandy and kids, Doug, Matt, Risa & Sean) made it to as many Dodgers-Giants games at Candlestick Park as we could manage … and two of the last three games of the 1988 World Series games against the Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum.

In 1986, my brother Jerry had a business friend set up a meeting with Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda …

Tommy Lasorda

… which included a visit to the Dodgers locker room for Jerry, Doug & I … and marked the start of a series of annual dinners with Tommy during Dodgers visits to San Francisco … dinners at the famous Fior d’Italia restaurant … to which Tommy always brought players and coaches … including Orel Hershiser, Kirk Gibson, Billy Russell, Mike Scioscia, Joe Ferguson, Mickey Hatcher and many others.

We continued attending Dodgers-Giants games up to and including the 1994 season … in May of which the Dodgers played a four game set against the Giants … and we made all four games … and enjoyed a visit after the first game with Tommy, Hershiser, Russell and the incomparable Vin Scully. I had to miss the first two games of a three game set in July … but attended a 4-1 loss to the Giants on July 27, 1994. Little did I know that it would be the last major league baseball game I would ever see.

As the players and owners approached the strike deadline of August 12, 1994, hard-core fans were adamantly opposed to the strike … but neither the players nor the owners appeared to care at all about what the fans thought … I was prepared to accept a short strike, followed by resumption of the season … but told my kids that if the players struck and ended the season, I would not forgive and forget.

They did … and I didn’t … the season was ruined … no playoffs, no World Series … animosity and acrimony dominating the conversation on both sides. And when it was finally announced that the season was being cancelled, I said, “that’s it, I’m done”.

Done I was. I have not been to a major league baseball game since. I have not watched a game on TV or listened to one on the radio … baseball was dead to me … in recent years, I couldn’t name a single Dodgers player … I have no idea which team won the World Series last year … or any other year since 1993 … and don’t care.

There is, however, a bright side to what is otherwise a sad story … I took the zeal with which I had rooted for the Dodgers for more than 40 years … and transferred it to No. 1 son Doug’s alma mater football team … the California Golden Bears.

Cal Bear Paw Logo

We have now been attending Cal football games since Doug was a football team manager during the 1991 and 1992 seasons … rarely missing a home game … and traveling to many away games.

So, all I have left to say now is …

Go Bears Blue & Gold on Black

Running …


… it was 34 years ago today that I began my adult running career … coincidentally, at age 34 … after having not run at all for more than 10 years.

Spent the next five years in heavy training and road racing …  in the process dropping from a high of 183 pounds to 139 … my college wrestling weight! … and often doing major training runs with fellow deputy DA (and later judge) Dave Carter … Superior Court Judge Jim Smith … and my best running friends, DDA Doug Woodsmall & county engineer Al Nestlinger … until I moved to Northern California in 1985…

Mt. Tamalpais, Marin County

Mt. Tamalpais, Marin County

… at which point I got into trail running … mostly on Mt. Tamalpais … and did very little racing.

During the 5 years of frequent racing (1980-85), I managed to run my first sub-5:00 mile since college (4:55.39 in 1984) …

March of Dimes 5K 1st Overall

March of Dimes 5K … 4-29-84 … 16:28 … 1st Overall

… finished 1st overall in a 5K race … The March of Dimes Run for the Gold 5K in 1984 …

… and ran lifetime PRs of 32:59.14 for 10K (in 1985) … 1:14:37.40 for the half-marathon (1983) … 2:40:33 for the marathon (at the 1982 Fiesta Bowl Marathon) … and — also in 1985 — 54:41.8 for a 10 mile run … what I consider my best race ever, averaging 5:28.18 per mile.

Also ran in some interesting races …

The 1983 Boston Marathon -- Finisher's Medal, Pin & Patch

The 1983 Boston Marathon — Finisher’s Medal, Pin & Patch

… including the 1983 Boston Marathon (2:43:05.83 when I died in the last three miles after running sub-6:00 mile pace for the first 23) … a 24 hour track run (covered 75 miles) …the Lake Tahoe 72 Mile Run (dropped out after 43 miles and 6.5 hours, due to a combination of altitude sickness and severe shin splints) …  the Bay to Breakers several times (best time 44:54.69 in 1983) …and finally the Dipsea Race across Mt. Tam from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach.

And ran in some other interesting non-race settings …the Humboldt National Forest redwoods in Northern California … Muir Woods National Monument in Marin … Point Reyes National Seashore … the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon

The Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon

… down & up the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon … down & up the Sandia Peak Trail in New Mexico … around the rim trail of Walnut Canyon National Monument in Arizona ..

Meteor Crater, Winslow Arizona

Meteor Crater, Winslow Arizona

… and around the Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona … to complete this loop, had to run past signs prohibiting visitors from going any further … sh-h!

And hundreds of runs on Mt. Tamalpais here in Marin … with, at one time or another and with some frequency, sons Doug & Matt, Toby George, Eric Nygren & Tom Hurst … and four-legged friends Cairo, Oski & Nano

Nano on Mt. Tam Trail

Nano on Mt. Tam Trail

… all of whom proved worthy training partners … eventually, I was able to run every trail on the mountain at least once from end-to-end in each direction … all 160 trails covering more than 200 miles … 

Tamalpais Trails by Barry Spitz

… all carefully documented in one of my copies of Barry Spitz’ excellent book, “Tamalpais Trails” (of which I own six copies) … and the origin of my personal email address “RunTam”.

Age, a knee injury and the dysfunction of my thyroid gland eventually put an end to my running career … but I credit the tens of thousands of miles that I’ve run with my relative good health … and, in my mind, I often re-run my favorite Mt. Tam trails … Matt Davis TrailNorthside TrailSouthern Marin Line Fire Road … the Dipsea Trail … and my personal favorite …

Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway

Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway

Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway Patch

… the Old Railroad Grade, once the course up & down the mountain of the Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway.

__________________________________________________________

The Piggy Bank 10K, January 27, 1983 --- 10K PR 32;59.14

Piggy Bank 10K … 1-27-85 … 10K PR 32;59.14

Finished 4th Overall & 1st in 35-39 Age Group

4th Overall & 1st in 35-39 Age Group

Age Group Piggy Bank Prize

Age Group Piggy Bank Prize

Collection of Race Pins

Collection of Race Pins

Farewell Gift ON Leaving DA's Office ----- Running Art by DA Investigator R. Skelly

——–  Farewell Gift on Leaving DA’s Office in 1985  ——– Running Art by DA Investigator R. Skelly

December 7th … Army-Navy 1963


Besides being my wedding anniversary …

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https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/december-7th/

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… and the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor …

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https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/december-7th-a-date-which-will-live-in-infamy/

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… December 7th is a significant date to me for another reason …

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… the Army-Navy football game in 1963, about which I have blogged once before …

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https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/army-navy-football-1963-1966/

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Separate and apart from my personal interest in the game, the 1963 Army-Navy game had national significance, coming as it did on the heels of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

.

… the game had been scheduled for November 30th, but was delayed because of the assassination … and there was some discussion of possibly cancelling it completely.

.

The president, however, had been a big football fan, particularly of the interservice classic …

President John F. Kennedy Flips the Coin at the 10962 Army-Navy Game

President John F. Kennedy Flips the Coin at the 1962 Army-Navy Game

… and had planned to attend the game and flip the coin for the opening kickoff … his family, in particular First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, wanted the game to be played, even as the country was in the midst of the official 30 day period of mourning for the slain president.

.

JFK, of course, was a Naval officer and World War II hero … about whom the movie PT-109 was made … so, after a one week delay, the game was on …  with Navy, ranked #2 in the country, a big favorite to win its 5th Army-Navy game in a row.

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Instead of names across their shoulders, the Navy uniforms featured the slogan “Drive for Five” … and the Middies were led by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Roger Staubach.

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Rumor had it that an upset win by Army would put the Black Knights, in place of Navy, into the Cotton Bowl against #1 ranked Texas … and Army had a secret weapon named Rollie Stichweh at quarterback …

Army Quarterback Rollie Stichweh

Army Quarterback Rollie Stichweh

… so we cadets were hopeful.

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The game was played at Philadelphia’s Municipal Stadium, which was later renamed John F. Kennedy Stadium in honor of the president … and the nation looked on as the two service academy teams met in honor of their fallen commander-in-chief.

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Army scored first, but Navy ran off three unanswered touchdowns to lead 21-7 with ten minutes to play … which was when Army … and Stichweh in particular … took over and mounted one of the most thrilling comeback attempts in college football history.

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First, Army drove to a touchdown … which was scored by … Rollie Stichweh on a one yard run … after which Army made a daring 2 point conversion, to make the score 21-15.

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And then, with everyone in the stadium expecting it, Army attempted an onsides kick … and succeeded … with the ball recovered by none other than that man Stichweh … after which Army once again drove deliberately (too deliberately, as it turned out) toward the Navy goal line.

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On a 3rd down run, Army halfback Ken Waldrop dove to the Navy 2 yard line with 18 seconds to play …

Army Fullback Ken Waldrop

Army Halfback Ken Waldrop Dives to the Two Yard Line

… but with deafening noise in the stadium and no timeouts remaining … Army was not able to get off a 4th down attempt to pull out the win.

.

Like all Army fans, I was crushed when the officials waived off the game as time expired … and the memory remains vivid even after 50 years … but there is no doubt that the game helped to heal the grievous wound which the nation had suffered two weeks before.

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Oddly, the game is known in football history for another reason … it featured the first ever use of instant replay … showing Stichweh’s 4th quarter touchdown run.

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As mentioned in my earlier blog, Sports Illustrated writer Dan Jenkins wrote an excellent story about the game … which I have saved to this day … and which is reproduced below.

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One other personal note … my guest for the 1963 Army-Navy game was none other than my then girlfriend and now fiancee Candy Sayes (Davis)!

Candy Sayes & I During Plebe Christmas at West Point -- December 1963

Candy Sayes & I During Plebe Christmas at West Point — December 1963 — Shortly After the Army-Navy Game

Army-Navy Game Logo

This year’s Army-Navy game will be played at 3:00 pm EST next Saturday, December 14th, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia … the Middies are on an 11 game winning streak against Army … the longest such streak in the 113 year history of the game … and lead the series 57-49-7.

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I, of course, will be rooting for Army … as will Candy’s brother, my West Point classmate, Trey Sayes … but she, her son Jason Davis, a 1994 Annapolis graduate, and my Dad (Lawrence Reilly, Sr., a retired Navy master chief gunner’s mate) will all be cheering for the Middies.

______________________________

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For other stories about the national significance of the 1963 Army-Navy game, see:

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http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/college/1963-army-navy-game-helped-national-heal-jfk-assassination-article-1.1525535

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/video/ncaaf-video/20131115/army-navy-football-game-1963-kennedy-assassination.sportsillustrated/#

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http://www.capitalgazette.com/sports/navy_sports/in-army-navy-game-helped-a-nation-in-mourning-move/article_3cebe1a8-bd43-54c2-9712-595ae201a4f1.html

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http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/12/07/fifty-years-ago-army-navy-healed-a-nation.html?comp=700001075741&rank=3

A documentary has also been produced about the game and its importance to the country …

Army-Navy 1963 Marching On

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… it is called “Marching On:  1963 Army-Navy Remembered” and is described here:

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http://www.cbssports.com/general/eye-on-sports/24233349/film-on-63-armynavy-game-shows-impact-of-rivalry-jfk-tragedy

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Army Black Knights Logo

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The Army football website is here:

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http://www.goarmysports.com/sports/m-footbl/army-m-footbl-body.html

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Navy Football Logo.

Navy’s is here:

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http://www.navysports.com/sports/m-footbl/

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Arm-Navy Game Logo Football

The Wikipedia article on the history of the Army-Navy game is here:

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army%E2%80%93Navy_Game

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And here is the Dan Jenkins Sports Illustrated article about the game:

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USMA 1967 Army Navy game 1963 Sports Illustrated article

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Army-Navy Game 1963 Sports Illustrated Photo

Cal @ Stanford … … Bears Axe’d by the Tree …


Cal @ Stanford

Stanford Cardinal Logo

… Bears Axe’d by the Tree

63-13 in the 2013 BIG GAME

… ’nuff said …

… well, maybe not!  😉 …

… can’t help wondering why a team that used to be called the Indians and has an axe for a symbol …

The Axe

… which sorta made sense in the old days …

… is now called the Cardinal (the color, not the bird) … and has a tree for its “mascot” …

… particularly since an axe would typically be used to chop down a tree

… but have to admit that they beat the snot out of the Bears … so I guess they can call themselves whatever they like.

… Wood Chips …

Cal was never in this game, falling behind … as usual … 21-7 in the first quarter … and 42-13 by halftime …

Stanford’s Ty Montgomery had a monster game … he scored five touchdowns … one on a 31 yard run to open the scoring … and 4 on TD pass receptions (50, 12, 72 and 9 yards) …

… this was the fourth straight Big Game win for the Cardinal … which now leads the all-time series 59-46-11

63 points is the most ever scored by either team in a Big Game

… and Stanford’s 42 first half points is the most ever scored in a half.

… Bears in Hibernation …

The Bears finished the season with their worst ever record (1-11) and went winless in the Pac-12 (0-9) …

… all in all … there wasn’t much good to be said about either the game or the season …

QB Jared Goff Passing

QB Jared Goff Passing

QB Jared Goff set an all-time Cal single season passing record with 3508 yards

WR Bryce Treggs finished the season with 77 receptions, 4th on Cal’s all-time single season receiving list …

K Vincenzo D’Amato had two field goals, giving him 17 of 20 for the year … with a total of 82 points scored.

On the other hand … Cal surrendered an all-time worst 551 points on defense … an abysmal 45.9 ppg … while scoring just barely half as many (276 & 23.0 ppg) …

… the defensive performance was hampered by the fact that players on its two-deep defensive chart missed 138 games this year … including 73 missed games by projected starters …

… in other words, on average, the starting defense had 6 missing players in each game! …

… tough to play good defense with more than half of the starting team out of the game.

… the Bears in 2014 …

QB Jared Goff had successful surgery on his shoulder and should be fully recovered by next year …

… the defensive two-deep loses only three players and just one starter …

… so a lot of young players with a considerable experience will be returning in 2014 …

… virtually the entire offense returns as well, including a talented corps of young receivers …

… and all of the team’s top running backs.

Game Reports

ESPN logo

… stats and photos are available on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=333270024

Cal Logo Cal on Blue Paw on white

… and the official Cal Bears website:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209322625

BCS-Logo

The BCS and other college football poll rankings are here:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings/_/week/13

Cal Bears 2013 LogoGO BEARS!

Cal Band Pregame Show on the Scoreboard

Cal Band Pregame Show on the Scoreboard

Cheerleaders

Cheerleaders

KR Khalfani Muhammad

Khalfani Muhammad Returning a Kickoff

Khalfani Muhammad Barely Tripped Up

Khalfani Muhammad Barely Tripped Up

Protecting the QB

Protecting the QB

HB Brendan Bigelow

HB Brendan Bigelow

HB Daniel Lasco

HB Daniel Lasco

HB Khalfani Muhammad

HB Khalfani Muhammad

QB Zach Kline Passing

QB Zach Kline Passing

Leading Cheers

Leading Cheers

California

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

Cal @ Colorado … Bears Buffalo’d by Colorado …


Cal @ Colorado

Colorado Buffaloes

Bears Buffalo’d by Colorado

“In a year that has been improbably bad, the impossibly bad has happened.” (with apologies to Vin Scully) …

… and Cal lost the battle of the Pac-12 cellar-dwellers 41-24 to the Colorado Buffaloes …

… marking this as the nadir of an already extraordinarily disappointing and depressing season for the Bears.

Buffalo Chips

Colorado broke open a close game (10-10 halfway through the second quarter) by scoring twice in less than two minutes near the end of the first half …

… first the Buffs drove 75 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 10 yard pass with 2:36 to play in the half …

… and then disaster struck the Bears as a squibbed kickoff was fumbled by Darius Powe and recovered by Colorado at the Cal 49 yard line …

… after which Colorado drove the 49 yards in 8 plays to take a 24-10 lead into the locker room …

… this drive was helped out by another Bears bug-a-boo, a 3rd & 12 roughing the passer penalty on DL Dan Camporeale which gave the Buffaloes a first down at the Cal 11 yard line.

In the 3rd quarter, the Bears failed to capitalize on a rare takeaway …

LB Jalen Jefferson intercepted a pass at the Colorado 38, but four passes by QB Jared Goff gained the Bears just 3 yards, with Cal turning the ball over on downs.

A Colorado field goal late in the quarter made the score 27-10 going into the final period …

… during which each team scored twice …

… though Colorado did so twice in spectacular fashion while the Bears ground out two long touchdown drives.

On the 2nd play after a Cal punt, the Buffaloes scored on a 63 yard touchdown pass …

… after which the Bears drove 52 yards and scored on a 1 yard run by HB Brendan Bigelow

… setting up an extraordinary Colorado response …

… as K Vince D’Amato attempted a trick onsides kick to the weak side of the Colorado formation …

… only to have Colorado’s Will Oliver grab the ball at the Cal 46 and run untouched straight down the field for a nut-crushing touchdown.

… a few (very few) Bears bright spots …

The return to something approaching his 2012 promise for Bigelow, who rushed for 107 yards on 15 carries

… for Cal’s first 100 yard rushing game of the season …

… with HB Khalfani Mohammad adding 78 yards on 10 carries and the team recording 197 yards on 34 total carries

… and WR Kenny Lawler continued his late season surge with 6 receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Otherwise, Cal fans had little to cheer for, as the Bears became the sole Pac-12 team without a conference win in 2013.

Game Reports

ESPN logo

… stats and photos are available on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=333200038

Cal Logo Cal on Blue Paw on white

… and the official Cal Bears website:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209311515

BCS-Logo

The BCS and other college football poll rankings are here:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings

 …

Next Up

Cal travels to Palo Alto for the 116th Big Game against

the BCS 9th ranked Stanford Cardinal

Stanford Cardinal Logo

… with an 1:00 pst kickoff …

Stanford is 8-2 overall and 6-2 in Pac-12 play …

… and is a prohibitive 31 1/2 point favorite over the Bears

… the biggest spread ever in the long-running rivalry.

Cal fans are hoping for a Joe Kapp style upset win …

… like that recorded in the 1986 Big Game, in which the 1-9 Bears beat the 21 point favorite 6-3 Cardinal 17-11 in Kapp’s last game as the team’s coach …

… with QB Kevin Brown running the offense in his only start of the season (starting QB Troy Taylor having been injured in Cal’s previous game) …

… and the Bears scoring what is generally considered the biggest upset in Big Game history.

Cal Bears 2013 Logo

Cal v. USC … There was Nothing Special …


Cal v. USC

USC Trojans Logo head

… There was Nothing Special …

… about the Cal special teams against USC, as the Trojans returned three Bears punts for touchdowns, keying a 62-28 USC triumph.

Knowing in advance that Cal would rack up 195 yards rushing & 483 yards in total offense …

… while recording 30 first downs to 20 for USC

… running 96 plays to just 51 for the Trojans

… and controlling the ball for 33:03 to 26:57

… would have convinced most fans that the Bears would come out on top.

Big plays, however, did in the Bears, as the Trojans scored on punt return TDs of 75 and 93 yards

… and scored on a 3rd punt return TD when the kick hit the back of a Cal blocker, popped straight up in the air, was grabbed by a USC defender and returned just 14 yards into the endzone.

USC also scored on runs of 43, 79 and 37 yards

… as well as a pass of 57 yards

… and had non-scoring passes of 26 and 44 yards

… meaning that the Trojans had 286 of their 493 total yards on just 6 plays …

… and that 6 of their 9 touchdowns were recorded on plays that averaged 64 yards each!

… Bears Highlights …

There were a few bright spots for the Bears, the most important of which was that the team never gave up, despite the apparent ease with which the Trojans rang up points …

… while Freshman QB Jared Goff was 34 of 48 passing for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns

QB Jared Goff

QB Jared Goff

… Freshman WR Kenny Lawler had another good game, with 6 receptions for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns

WR Kenny Lawler TD

WR Kenny Lawler TD

… Freshman RB Khalfani Muhammad gained 61 yards rushing on 10 carries, with 1 touchdown …

HB Khalfani Muhammad

HB Khalfani Muhammad

… Sophomore WR Bryce Treggs had 8 catches for 39 yards

WR Bryce Treggs

WR Bryce Treggs

… Freshman RB Jeffrey Coprich gained 55 yards on 10 carries …

HB Jeffrey Coprich

HB Jeffrey Coprich

… and Freshman RB Jonah Hodges saw his first action of the year, gaining 31 yards on 4 carries.

HB Jonah Hodges

HB Jonah Hodges

Cal was paced on defense …

Cal v USC Bears on Defense

… by Freshman LB Michael Barton, who had 9 tackles and 1 sack

… while Junior S Michael Lowe had 8 tackles, Sophomore LB Jalen Jefferson 5

… and Freshman CB Cameron Walker, Junior CB Kameron Jackson, Junior DL Viliami Moala and Freshman LB Hardy Nickerson had 4 each.


Game Reports

ESPN logo

… stats and photos are available on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=333130025

Cal Logo Cal on Blue Paw on white

… and the official Cal Bears website:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209304076

BCS-Logo

The BCS and other college football poll rankings are here:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings

 

Next Up

Cal travels to Boulder to play the Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado Buffaloes… with an 2:30 pst, 3:30 cst kickoff next Saturday…

… the Buffaloes are 3-6 overall and 0-6 in Pac-12 play …

… they are in last place in the Pac-12 South, while the Bears occupy the cellar of the Pac-12 North

… making this the best chance for each team to record a Pac-12 win this year.

Cal Bears 2013 Logo

GO BEARS!

———-

Student Section

Student Section

Cal Cannon

Cal Cannon

Cal Band Great

Cal Band Great

"... and the home of the BEARS!"

“… and the home of the BEARS!”

Cal v USC Cheerleaders

Great Balance!

Bears Fan!

Bears Fan!

P Cole Leininger

P Cole Leininger

CB Cedric Dozier Deflects a Pass

CB Cedric Dozier Deflects a Pass

HB Khalfani Muhammad 7 yard TD Run

HB Khalfani Muhammad 7 yard TD Run

QB Zach Kline

QB Zach Kline

Tightwad Hill

Tightwad Hill

USC 62 -- Cal 28

USC 62 — Cal 28

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

 

Cal v. Arizona … Close only Counts in Horseshoes … and Hand Grenades …


Cal v. Arizona

Arizona Logo

Close only counts in horseshoes …

… and the Bears were playing football, so fell to their 8th loss of the season, bested by the Wildcats 33-28

… in a game that had more than its share of “what could have beens” …

Cal scored with 3:34 to play in the 3rd quarter to make the score 26-21

… then forced a Wildcats punt, raising the hopes of Bears fans …

… only to dash those hopes when QB Jared Goff threw an interception that was returned to the Cal 27 yard line.

The Wildcats capitalized on this largesse, taking just four plays to score a touchdown, increasing their lead to 33-21

… after which the Bears marched to the Arizona 20 yard line …

… only to have Goff throw another pick, this one in the Wildcats end zone.

… and hand grenades …

After an exchange of punts, the Bears once again raised the hopes of their fans, smartly driving 80 yards in just 7 plays to make the score 33-28

… but the subsequent onsides kick was covered by the Wildcats, who then ran the clock out to preserve their victory.

Bears Highlights …

… Freshman WR Kenny Lawler had three touchdown receptions (the first three TDs of his career) covering 17, 3 and 29 yards

WR Kenny Lawler ...

WR Kenny Lawler …

... Scores the 1st of his 3 TDs

… Scores the 1st of his 3 TDs

… two of which came on spectacular catches …

… and HB Daniel Lasco returned to action with 71 yards on 12 carries, including a long of 22 yards.

HB Daniel Lasco Bursts Upfield

HB Daniel Lasco Bursts Upfield

Freshman CB Cameron Walker led the Bears with 13 total tackles, 9 of them solo stops.

CB Cameron Walker #14 Closes in on Tackle

CB Cameron Walker #14 Closes in on Tackle

 … Game Reports

ESPN logo

… stats and photos are available on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=333060025

Cal Logo Cal on Blue Paw on white

… and the official Cal Bears website:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209297167

The BCS and other college football poll rankings are here:

BCS-Logo

http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings

Next Up

Cal hosts the USC Trojans

USC Trojans Logo head

… with an 12:00 pm Saturday kickoff…

… the Bears are 17 point underdogs this week, but the 6-3 Trojans have had a tumultuous up & down season …

… so if Cal catches the Trojans on a letdown after their big win last week over Oregon State, the Bears just might have a shot at their first win over USC since their 2003 triple overtime 34-31 win at Memorial Stadium.

Cal 2003 USC Scoreboard Final 34-31 cropped.jpegCal Bears 2013 LogoGO BEARS!

—————————

Cal Band Pregame Show

Cal Band Pregame Show

Small Crowd in Student Section at Kickoff

Small Crowd in Student Section at Kickoff

Presenting the Colors

Presenting the Colors

O-Line Protecting QB Jared Goff

O-Line Protecting QB Jared Goff

HB Khalfani Mohammad 1st Quarter TD Reception

HB Khalfani Muhammad 1st Quarter TD Reception

QB Jared Goff Passing

QB Jared Goff Passing

P Cole Leininger

P Cole Leininger

Bears on Defense

Bears on Defense

DL Kyle Kragen #13 Closes in on Arizona's QB

DL Kyle Kragen #13 Tackles Arizona’s QB

DL Kyle Kragen #13 and LB Hardy Nickerson #47 Chasing Down Arizona's QB

DL Kyle Kragen #13 and LB Hardy Nickerson #47 Chasing Down Arizona’s QB

Hiding Offensive Signals from the Wildcats

Hiding Offensive Signals from the Wildcats

Bears Fall Short 33-28

Bears Fall Short 33-28

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

Cal @ Washington … Bears Mauled by Dogs …


Cal @Washington

Washington Huskies Logo

The Huskies

mauled

… the Bears 41-17 at Husky Stadium, leaving Cal at 0-5 in the Pac-12 and 1-7 on the season …

… once again, the Bears were doomed by a slow start, as they fell behind 17-0 before getting on the scoreboard themselves …

… thus continuing a season-long pattern of first quarter struggles.

Although the defense showed signs of improvement, big plays once again plagued the Bears

… with the Huskies scoring on a 59 yard run and passes of 68 and 47 yards

… and also completing non-scoring passes for 25, 21 and 21 yards

… while HB Bishop Sankey had 241 yards rushing on 27 carries, averaging 8.9 yards per carry and scoring 2 touchdowns.

Washington finished the game with 642 yards in total offense and averaged 8.2 yards per play from scrimmage, while recording 24 first downs …

… to 483 yards (5.5 per play) and 21 first downs for the Bears.

Cal Golden Bears Logo

There were a few Cal highlights …

HB Khalfani Muhammad busted a 73 yard TD run, the longest of the season for the Bears ….

QB Jared Goff was 32 of 54 for 336 yards passing, with 1 TD

WR Bryce Treggs had 8 receptions for 95 yards, with a long of 32 yards

… and WR Chris Harper had 6 catches for 98 yards, including a 5 yard TD and a long of 49 yards.

 … GAME REPORTS

ESPN logo

… stats and photos are available on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=332990264

Cal Bear Paw Logo

… and the official Cal Bears website:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209292812

BCS-Logo

The BCS and other college football poll rankings are here:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings


NEXT UP

Cal hosts the Arizona Wildcats

Arizona Logo

… with an 12:30 pm Saturday kickoff…

… the Bears are 14 1/2 point underdogs this week, but this is a winnable game.

Cal Bears 2013 Logo

GO BEARS!

Cal v. Oregon State … … Dammed … & Chewed …


Cal v. Oregon State

Oregon State Beavers Logo

The Beavers

Dammed

… up Cal’s offense, holding the Bears to 3 points for more than 40 minutes …

… motivating the benching of starting QB Jared Goff in favor of Zach Kline

… and igniting the first embers of a QB controversy in Berkeley

Cal managed just 366 yards in total offense and 19 first downs

… and trailed 28-3 at the half and 35-3 early in the 3rd quarter …

Goff was 21 of 31 for 221 yards passing, but the running game was anemic, and the Bears turned the ball over four times (1 pick, 2 lost fumbles and once on downs) …

Jared Goff Passing from Deep in Cal Territory

Jared Goff Passing from Deep in Cal Territory

Kline came on to take advantage of some loose chinks in the dam …

Zach Kline Scrambles for 15 Yards

Zach Kline Scrambles for 15 Yards

… leading the Bears on two long touchdown drives (88 and 65 yards), but they came after the matter was settled …

… and were the definition of too little, too late.

… & chewed

… their way through the beleaguered Cal defense …

… racking up 570 yards in total offense and 31 first downs

OSU QB Sean Mannion was 35 of 45 for 481 yards passing, with 2 touchdowns

… and during one stretch completed 21 passes in a row despite occasional pass rush pressure…

DE Puka Lopa Closes in on OSU QB Sean Mannion

DE Puka Lopa Closes in on OSU QB Sean Mannion

… while his team averaged 7.7 yards per play from scrimmage to just 4.8 yards per play for Cal

… and the Beavers prevailed 49-17.

Cal v. Oregon State -- Final Score OSU 49 -- Cal 17

GAME REPORTS

ESPN logo

… stats and additional photos are available on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=332920025

Cal Logo Cal on Blue Paw on white

… and the official Cal Bears website:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209288018

GAME REPORTS

Although Cal’s Week 1 opponent, Northwestern, has dropped out of the Top 25, the Bears have still played four teams that are now ranked in the Top 25 of the first BCS poll …

…  #3 Oregon, #4 Ohio State, #12 UCLA and #25 Oregon State

… and those four teams currently have a combined record of 25-2! …

… while Cal’s other three opponents are a combined 12-12 and only one (Portland State at 3-4) has a losing record.

The BCS and other poll rankings are here:

BCS-Logo

http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings


NEXT UP

Cal visits the Washington Huskies

Washington Huskies Logo

… in Seattle … with an 8:00 pm Saturday evening kickoff … and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 1

… the Bears are 23 point underdogs in this one.

Head Coach Sonny Dykes quelled the budding QB controversy on Friday …

… announcing that Jared Goff will once again start for California.

GO BEARS!

More CAL-OSU photos:

Cal v. Oregon State -- Happy Birthday Joe Starkey

Game Day was Joe Starkey’s Birthday.

Khalfani Muhammad Cuts Left on Kickoff Return

Khalfani Muhammad Cuts Left on Kickoff Return

K Vincenzo D'Amato Puts 3 on the Board

K Vincenzo D’Amato Puts 3 on the Board

P Cole Leininger

P Cole Leininger

Jared Goff Tirggers the Bear Raid

Jared Goff Tirggers the Bear Raid

WR Bryce Treggs Avoids a Tackle

WR Bryce Treggs Avoids a Tackle

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

Cal v. Portland State … Waxing … & Waning …


.

Waxing

QB Jared Goff had another excellent outing against the Portland State Vikings

… passing for 485 yards (exceeded in Cal history only by Pat Barnes 503 yards in a 1996 4 overtime game against Arizona) and 2 touchdowns …

Jared Goff Passing

Jared Goff Passing

… and running for another …

… ten different Bears had receptions, with WR Bryce Treggs leading the way with 8 catches for 121 yards …

Bryce Treggs Reception

Bryce Treggs Reception

WR Maurice Harris had just one catch for 10 yards … but …

… it was a leaping, one-handed grab for a touchdown that earned Harris the #1 “Play of the Day” on tonight’s ESPN SportsCenter

… see it here:  http://gif.mocksession.com/2013/09/harris-one-hand-td-catch/

WR Richard Rodgers had 4 receptions for 100 yards, including a 75 yard touchdown catch …

… and another true freshman, HB Khalfani Muhammad, led the Bears in total yardage, rushing for 73 yards on 13 carries and grabbing 4 passes for 85, to give him 158 yards in total offense …

Khalfani Muhammad

Khalfani Muhammad

… the Bears ran 95 plays, racking up 616 yards in total offense and 31 first downs, while scoring 37 points …

… the Cal offense, which will only improve over the next three years — Goff & Muhammad are true freshmen … Treggs, Harris, WR Chris Harper & HB Daniel Lasco are all sophomores … and Rodgers & HB Brendan Bigelow are juniors …

Jared Goff & Brendan Bigelow

Jared Goff & Brendan Bigelow

… all of which is enough to make Cal fans salivate …

… and …

Waning

… the entire defense, which gave up 30 points, 553 yards in total offense and 21 first downs …

Portland State had 434 yards and 17 first downs in the first half …

First Half Stats

First Half Stats

… the secondary, which was hampered by the loss of S Avery Sebastian, who had achilles tendon surgery this week and is out for the year …

… on the second play after the opening kickoff, Portland State burned the Cal secondary for an 81 yard touchdown pass …

… and the Cal run defense, which was gashed for 245 yards rushing on 39 carries by Portland State

Cal Defense

Cal Defense

… that’s 6.3 yards per carry …

… which won’t cut it against Ohio State next week …

… or Oregon in three weeks.

.

Next Up

… the Ohio State Buckeyes

… who come to Berkeley riding a 14 game winning streak and ranked #3 in the country …

… and who finished the 2012 season undefeated at 12-0, including a 35-28 win over the Bears in a game that Cal could (and probably should) have won …

.

Predictions:  Reluctantly …

… unless the defense steps it up significantly against the Buckeyes, this year’s game will not be as close …

… so, a win over Ohio State seems unlikely …

… even if Goff can pass for more than 400 yards for a third game in a row, which also seems unlikely.

______________________________

.

For the Cal game report, stats, photos and interviews, see:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209254798

.

For Brendan Bigelow’s great 81 yard touchdown run last year against Ohio State, see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03xc-xf68bc

.

More photos:

California Banner

California Banner

California Alumni Band Pregame Performance

California Alumni Band Pregame Performance

Give Me a "C"

Give Me a “C”

Color Guard

Color Guard

"... and the home of the BEARS!"

“… and the home of the BEARS!”

Cal Band Great!

Cal Band Great!

Cal Student Section

Cal Student Section

Jared Goff Launches One Deep

Jared Goff Launches One Deep

Darren Ervin Kickoff Return

Darren Ervin Kickoff Return

Brendan Bigelow Run

Brendan Bigelow Run

Bears Win 37-30

Bears Win 37-30

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

Army-Navy Football 1963-1966


.

The Army-Navy football games of 1963 and 1964 — featuring Navy’s quarterback Roger Staubach against Army’s relatively unknown counterpart Rollie Stichweh — remain to this day two of the most exciting football games I have ever seen.

Navy won the 1963 game 21-15 and went on to play National Champion Texas in the Cotton Bowl.  That simple statement, however, does not begin to do justice to the incredible sense of excitement, hope and — ultimately — frustration with which we cadets watched our underdog team come to the brink of what would have been perhaps the most stunning upset in the long history of what has been called “The Greatest Rivalry in All of Sports” (by Bill Cromartie in his book “Army-Navy Football”).

I was a West Point plebe at the time and this was my first Army-Navy game.  The crushing sense of disappointment with which the game ended has stayed with me over the intervening years, ameliorated only somewhat by the following year’s 11-8 win and Army’s overall 2-1-1 record against Navy during my cadet years.

Dan Jenkins of Sports Illustrated wrote an excellent story about the game, which I cut out and have saved.  It describes in excruciating detail how close Army came to winning the 1963 game and why the loss was all the more frustrating for its anti-climatic conclusion.  The Jenkins article is reproduced in a Power Point presentation linked here:

Army Navy Game 1963

Note that the crucial onsides kick recovery at Navy’s 49 yard line with 6:13 to play was made by none other than Rollie Stichweh!

There was no way the 1964 rematch between Staubach and Stichweh — both first classmen (seniors) at the time — could match the drama of the 1963 game, but it was almost equally as exciting and infinitely more satisfying for Army fans, as Army broke Navy’s five game series winning streak.

Neither team had a winning record in 1964 (Army entered the game 3-6 and Navy 3-5-1), but Navy was a slight favorite to win their sixth in a row.  Nevertheless, the game was tied 8-8 at halftime and with just 9:33 to play in the game, my classmate Barry Nickerson kicked a field goal to put Army up 11-8.  Incredibly, this was Army’s first field goal against Navy in 33 years.

Army’s defense then took over and with Navy at the Army 27 late in the game, sacked Staubach twice for big losses and on a 4th and 36 forced an incomplete pass to preserve the win.

My Army-Navy game experience as a cadet was rounded out by a sister-kissing 7-7 tie in 1965 and a solid 20-7 win in 1966 (giving Army a sterling 8-2 record for the season).

Ironically, I was commissioned an ensign in the Navy upon graduation and have not seen an Army-Navy game in person since.   I remain a college football fan, primarly focused (through #1 son’s affiliation with the team and local proximity) on the University of California’s Golden Bears.  Nevertheless, my memories of the 1963 & 1964 Army-Navy games in particular remain indelibly impressed and will never be forgotten.

The “Golden Bear” on Tiger: “… phenomenal … “


.

Any doubt about who is the “idiot” on the subject of Tiger Woods’ performance in the U.S. Open has been put to rest by no less an authority than Jack Nicklaus.

Golf’s all-time greatest … pending further development of the Woods legacy … was quoted in yet a third Chronicle (this one in August, Georgia, home of the Masters) as follows:

“In light of this week’s revelation about Tiger’s health, it makes his performance in the U.S. Open that much more phenomenal.  I have always said that the U.S. Open is the most difficult and complete examination of a golfer, and for him to persevere with a damaged knee and stress fracture is a testament not only to his ability, but his tremendously high level of competitiveness.”

Nicklaus also observed:

“To have a will as strong as that, I take my hat off to him.”

And thus we have, on the one hand, Gwen Knapp:  “Tiger Woods is an idiot” …

… and on the other, Jack Nicklaus:  Tiger Woods is “phenomenal”.

End of discussion.

——————————————–

For the complete AP article in the Augusta Chronicle, see:

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/062008/gol_462847.shtml

“Tiger Woods is an idiot.” If …


.

… you believe the San Francisco Chronicle’s would-be sports columnist Gwen Knapp, who starts today’s column with this startling assertion:

“Tiger Woods is an idiot. A mesmerizing, peerless, incandescent idiot.  If he’d used his head at all, he would never have entered the U.S. Open last week ….”

The only idiot in this piece is Gwen Knapp, whose prose is neither mesmerizing nor incandescent, though she is peerless in her lack of understanding of what makes a great athlete.  Tiger’s victory in this Open was an inspirational example of courage in the face of adversity, a concept Miss Knapp is obviously incapable of comprehending.

With this performance, Tiger joined a small group of extraordinary athletes, exemplified by San Diego Charger Kellen Winslow against the Dolphins in the 1981 NFL playoffs … LA Dodger Kirk Gibson in the 1989 World Series … Mary Lou Retton in the 1984 Olympics … New York Knick Willis Reed against the Lakers in the 1970 NBA Championship game … and the Boston Red Sox’ Curt Schilling against the Yankees in game 6 of the 2004 ALCS.

The stuff of legend.  If Tiger never takes another swing, this exceptional win will be the exclamation mark at the end of his amazing career.

Knapp’s entire column can be viewed on the SFGate.com website at:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/19/MNBG11B9JP.DTL

For another view of Tiger’s win … in a Chronicle of another persuasion (the Houston variety), see:

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2008_4586818

In this column, a sportwriter … Jerome Solomon … who understands and appreciates the significance of Tiger’s accomplishment, offers his perspective, which starts with the question … “How special was Tiger Woods’ victory at the U.S. Open on an injured knee and bum leg?”

Solomon answers his own question … “With all he had going on – at the most difficult tournament of the year, on the longest course in major-tournament history – Woods was like a one-legged-man in a you-know-what kicking contest. And he still kicked everybody’s you know what.”

And concludes:  “… if you’re really curious about how special Tiger’s performance was – tear your ACL, then continually twist your body around with the force that comes to a locked left knee on a golf swing that generates more than 130-mph clubhead speed.  Or forget the ligament. Just have someone hit you in the shin with a bat every so often – for five days.  Actually, save yourself the pain and accept that this ranks among the great “injured athlete” performances of all time.

Yes, Mr. Solomon … and Miss Knapp … it surely does.