The Greatest Play in Super Bowl History


It is Super Bowl Sunday …

Super Bowl 50 logo

…the 50th such in NFL history … though not, as some commentators have been saying, “the 50th Anniversary of the Super Bowl” … as it is actually the 49th “anniversary” of the Super Bowl, which was played for the first time in 1967 … though not, at that time, even called the Super Bowl … the first and second of these games were called the NFL-AFL Championship … it wasn’t until the 3rd edition in 1969 that the name “Super Bowl” was applied.

That first Super Bowl, by the way, was played in the Los Angeles Coliseum … among those who filled the Coliseum to about one-half of its capacity (unimaginable today) were my Dad and brother Jerry.

This is also a good day to reflect on the many great players who have entertained football fans in the Super Bowl … and the many great plays we have enjoyed seeing them make … which raises the question … what is the greatest play in Super Bowl History?

There have, of course, been many great Super Bowl plays …

game-winning touchdown passes … like Joe Montana’s to John Taylor …

john-taylor-td-catch-sb-xxiii

… in the 24-20 San Francisco 49’ers win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lCmBvYMRs

great touchdown runs … like Marcus Allen’s 74 yarder …

marcus-allen-sbxviii

… in the 38-9 win by the Los Angeles Raiders over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FngI6dnrBjY

great defensive plays … like the 100 yard interception return by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison …

james-harrison-get_1251403c

… in his team’s 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGYS6IfLZC4

incredible catches … like Lynn Swann’s …

Lynn Swann

… for the Steelers in Super Bowl X …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4FAJ4Bw9-M

… and David Tyree’s “helmet catch” …

tyree-super

…for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGSyzXKy6_I

strange plays … like John Elway’s “helicopter play” …

John Elway Helicopter Play

… for the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JffIbLeOa0M

… and the touchdown run by William “The Refrigerator” Perry …

William Perry TD

… for the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITeozxHXzVE

or even the performance of the Star Spangled Banner by Whitney Houston …

Whitney Houston

… before Super Bowl XXV in 1991 …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITeozxHXzVE

… the flat out best rendition ever … by anyone … of our national anthem.

Great plays all … but none of them, in my opinion, was the greatest play in Super Bowl history … on the contrary, the greatest play in Super Bowl history was made late in the game … by a player on the losing side of one of the most lop-sided Super Bowl games ever.

It was a play that made no meaningful difference in the final result … but which demonstrated what it means to never give up … to give your all on every play … and to be an example to all of how this game … and any game … and life itself … should be played.

The game … Super Bowl XXVII … won by the Dallas Cowboys 52-17 over the Buffalo Bills …

the setting … 4th down for the Bills late in the game … QB Frank Reich is sacked and fumbles the ball …

the play … Cowboys DT Leon Lett scoops up the ball at his own 35 and begins rumbling toward the Buffalo end zone …

nfl_g_llett_600

… Bills WR Don Beebe, who had been running a pattern downfield, gives seemingly hopeless chase …

… then, Lett starts to showboat as he nears the goal line … and Beebe reaches out …

Don Beebe strips the ball from Leon Lett.jpg

…and knocks the ball out of Lett’s hand at the one yard line … preventing yet another Dallas touchdown.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6gmDtVYdLA

And that play by Don Beebe

Con Beebe

… is the Greatest Play in Super Bowl History.

—–ooooo—–

Three Dot … 120

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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

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

West Point, June 7, 1967 …


West Point 1967 Crest on whiteOne more anniversary this week … 47 years ago today … 6-7-67 … my West Point class graduated … and went off to make its mark in the world.

There is good reason to conclude that the class lived up to its motto … “None Will Surpass” … with ’67 grads excelling in their military careers and civilian endeavors after leaving the Army … or, for three of us, the Navy!

For today, though, I just want to remember … through representative photos … what an experience it was for me to be a West Point cadet from July 1, 1963, until June 7, 1967.

West Point Crest enamel

Company I-2, Class of 1967 Plebes

Company I-2, Class of 1967 Plebes

Among my I-2 classmates were my two best friends, Jim Vance (3rd row, 2nd from left), who nearly four years later introduced me to my wife-to-be, Sandy Douglas, and Dick Waterman (upper left corner).

With Candy Sayes at the Thayer Hotel, Christmas 1963

With Candy Sayes at the Thayer Hotel, Christmas 1963

On October 19, 1963, another classmate and good friend, Tom “Trey” Sayes, introduced me to his younger sister, Candy.  We dated throughout the rest of plebe year … and, after her family moved to Oklahoma the following year, saw each other rarely … and finally drifted apart.  We saw each other one last time in July 1967, while I was on graduation leave … then not again until exactly 43 years to the day of our first meeting … October 19, 2006 … when I drove to Colorado to see her again … as they say, the rest is history … and we have been back together ever since.

Co I-2, Class of 1967 Yearlings

Company I-2, Class of 1967 Yearlings

By yearling (sophomore) year, we were more relaxed … and a smaller group, several of our company mates having departed.

Door to My Room 5243, November 28, 1964

Door to My Room 5243, November 28, 1964

I was a rabid Army football fan and festooned the door to my room … and the surrounding walls … with support for the team … and, along with the rest of the Corps of Cadets, enjoyed Army’s 11-8 win over Navy in the 1964 game … the winning margin of which came by way of a field goal by my classmate Barry Nickerson.

In April of 1965, near the end of Yearling year, my family visited West Point … and my Mom took this picture of me … my favorite of all of my West Point photos …

Photo after Parade, April 17, 1965

Photo after Parade, April 17, 1965

As a plebe, I had run on the plebe cross-country, indoor track and track & field teams … but was not good enough to compete intercollegiately as an upperclassman.  As a result, I participated in intramural athletics … including football …

USMA 1967 Intramural Football D-2 Card… and wrestling …

Brigade Open Intramural Wrestling, March 8, 1966

Scoring 2 points in a Brigade Open Intramural Wrestling match, March 8, 1966

Eventually, as a first classman (senior), I was the coach of the company intramural football and wrestling teams … and finally was designated Athletic Sergeant for the company … my official rank upon graduation.

Company D-2, Class of 1967 Cows

Company D-2, Class of 1967 Cows

Between our yearling and “cow” (junior) years, the corps was re-organized from two regiments to four … and we were re-assigned to new companies.  I was assigned to Company D-2 and housed in the old Central Barracks (which were later demolished to make room for new cadet barracks).  Among my D-2 classmates were my roommates our last 2 years as cadets … Bob Unterbrink (front row, third from left, next to me) … and Rob Walker (4th row, right end). 

Company D-2, Class of 1967 Firsties

Company D-2, Class of 1967 Firsties

Two of my D-2 company mates went on to become Army generals … Chuck Sutten, (front row, 4th from right, directly in front of me) … and Ed Smith (2nd row, 4th from left).  Note in this picture Arnie Cano (from Panama) … holding in his right hand a small lizard!

First class (senior) year marked the beginning of our transition from cadets to officers … starting with receipt of our rings …

Ring Hop, September 10, 1966, with my date Gail McGahren

Ring Hop, September 10, 1966, with my date Gail McGahren

During the 1966 football season, Army played the California Golden Bears in Berkeley … providing me with the opportunity to visit for the first time Cal’s Memorial Stadium …

California Golden Bears, Memorial Stadium, Student Section

California Golden Bears, Memorial Stadium, Student Section

… a place I would later visit many times and grow to love as a fan of the Cal Bears myself (after #1 son attended Cal and worked as a student manager for the football team).  Army beat the Bears 6-3 in the 1966 game!

Another major milestone came in March of 1967, when we were allowed to receive delivery of our new cars … mine a maroon with white top 1967 Corvette convertible …

My 1967 Corvette -- "So Rare, Too"

My 1967 Corvette — “So Rare, Too”

Then came June Week … the traditional celebration of a graduating class of West Point cadets.  The day before graduation, we had an academic award ceremony … at which I received the “Colonial Daughters of the 17th Century Award” as Honor Graduate (First in Class) for the Department of English …

Mrs. Marshall I. Groff presenting Colonial Daughters of the 17 Century Award

Mrs. Marshall I. Groff presenting Colonial Daughters of the 17 Century Award

.. the night before graduation, we had our graduation hop …

Graduation Hop photo with my date Jessica Poulson

Graduation Hop, June 6, 1967, with my date Jessica Poulson

… and then graduation day itself … and my swearing in as a newly commissioned United States Navy ensign … a whole other story for another time!

Being Sworn in by US Navy LCDR C. A. Sorenson

Being Sworn in by US Navy LCDR C. A. Sorenson

With Mom & Dad After Swearing In  --  GMCM Lawrence J. Reilly, USN (Ret) and Marion Thomas Reilly

With Dad (GMCM Lawrence J. Reilly, USN (Ret)) and Mom (Marion Thomas Reilly) After Swearing In

And … finally … graduation …

USMA Class of 1967 Standing for National Anthem, Graduation Ceremony, June 7, 1967

USMA Class of 1967 Standing for National Anthem, Graduation Ceremony, June 7, 1967

… and liberation!

———-ooo———-

Ring Hop Photo September 10, 1966

Ring Hop Photo September 10, 1966

USMA Class of 1967 Senior Portrait

USMA Class of 1967 Senior Portrait

USMA 1967 Howitzer (Yearbook) Photo

USMA 1967 Howitzer (Yearbook) Photo


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

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… 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 @ UCLA … Battered … & Bruined …


… still running a bit behind, so just getting to writing up …

Cal @ UCLA

UCLA Bruins logo

BATTERED

… despite missing more than half of its projected starters, Cal’s defense gamely stood up to UCLA’s potent offense …

… holding the Bruins to 74 yards less and 11 points less than their season averages entering the game …

… but that still meant that the Baby Bears gained 488 yards in total offense and scored 37 points

… to pace a 37-10 UCLA victory.

Once again, the Bears got behind early, trailing 17-0 early in the 2nd quarter …

… before closing the gap to 17-10 with 2:35 to play in the half.


… and BRUINED

UCLA, however, used just 1:50 of that time to drive 73 yards in 8 plays and scored on a 27 yard pass to make the score 24-10 at the half.

Despite controlling the ball for 16:02 of the second half, the Bears could not score again …

… as they turned the ball over on an interception, a fumble and once on downs, while having to punt twice …

… while the Bruins managed to add two more field goals and another touchdown pass to make the final score 37-10.

UCLA’s defense held QB Jared Goff in check …

… as he managed just 215 yards passing on 16 of 43 with one interception and 3 sacks …

… and a long gain of just 23 yards …

… while UCLA had 410 yards passing, with 3 touchdowns and 3 completions longer than 30 yards.

Game Reports

ESPN logo

… stats and additional photos are available on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=332850026

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=209282592

Mid-Season Bears Review

… matching the 2nd youngest team in the country with college football’s 3rd most difficult schedule has proved daunting for the Bears

… while injuries have made a difficult situation even worse …

Cal has already played four Top 25 teams (#22 Northwestern, #3 Ohio State, #2 Oregon and #11 UCLA) …

… and those four teams currently have a combined record of 25-4!

My pre-season optimism (6 wins) now appears doomed to disappointment, as the Bears are likely to be underdogs against all of their remaining opponents except for Colorado

… nevertheless, there is reason for some optimism …

… as USC looks vulnerable and you never know what will happen in The Big Game.

Next Up

Cal hosts the Oregon State Beavers

Oregon State Beavers Logo

… at Memorial Stadium at 7:30 Saturday evening …

… with the Bears an 11 point underdog.

This game will feature two of the country’s leading passers, Cal’s Jared Goff and OSU’s Sean Mannion

Goff is 4th in the country in passing yards per game at 339.3

… while Mannion is 1st at 418.5 ypg.

Interestingly, the fathers of both QBs attended the same high school (San Rafael HS in Marin County), where Jerry Goff was a senior when John Mannion was a freshman.

GO BEARS!

Cal v. Washington State … Highlights … Lowlights … and No Lights …


… running a bit behind … sorta like Cal’s defense … but, it’s been a busy week … and the subject is so depressing …

… however, with the next game up this evening, I figured I’d better get this done tonight … so here goes …

Cal v. Washington State

Washington State Cougars Logo

HIGHLIGHTS

QB Jared Goff continues to impress …

QB Jared Goff Surveying the Field

QB Jared Goff Surveying the Field

… hitting 35 of 59 passes for an all-time Cal record 504 yards passing …

… one yard more than Pat Barnes had in a quadruple overtime win over Arizona in 1996 …

Goff now has three games in which he has passed for more than 400 yards … considerably more … 450485 … and 504

… only one other Pac-12 QB (Arizona State’s Andrew Walter) ever has had three passing games of 450 yards or more …

… and no other Cal QB has ever had three 400+ yard passing games …

… and Goff has them just five games into his freshman season!

… the new offensive system … Bear Raid! … is partially responsible … but Goff is running it like an experienced college quarterback rather than a freshman with just five games under his belt …

WR Chris Harper also had a big game …

WR Chris Harper Makes Another Catch

WR Chris Harper Makes Another Catch

… with career highs of 14 receptions and 231 yards

… he is only the 5th Cal receiver to have more than 200 yards in a game …

… and the totals put him at #3 on the all-time single game lists for both receptions and yards.

LOWLIGHTS

… the struggling Cal defense gave up 570 yards in total offense …

… and three more defenders went down with injuries … LB Jalen Jefferson and CBs Joel Willis and Stefan McClure

McClure’s knee injury is going to cause him to miss the rest of the season …

… the Bears’ offense once again got off to a slow start, allowing the Cougars to open up a 14-0 first quarter lead …

… and for the 3rd time in 5 games, Cal never led.

… and  NO LIGHTS

… the Bears self-destructed again, going -4 in turnovers …

Cal fumbled 3 times and lost them all, while Goff threw two interceptions …

… while WSU had no fumbles and threw only one interception …

… two of the Bears’ fumbles came as they were close to scoring … once at the Cougars’ 5 and once at the 2.

GAME REPORTS

ESPN logo

… stats and additional photos are available on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=332780025

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=209277240.

NEXT UP

… tomorrow, the 1-4 Bears travel to Southern California to meet their 4th Top 25 opponent in 6 games, the #11/13, 4-0 UCLA Bruins

UCLA Bruins logo

… the Baby Bears will be looking for revenge for the 42-17 beat down administered by Cal last year at Memorial Stadium

… and enter the game as 23 point favorites.

Cal now ranks 4th in the country in passing offense (402.6 ypg), but 106th in rushing offense (113.0 ypg), 78th in scoring (27.7 ppg) and a dreadful 125th in scoring defense (45.0 ppg) …

… while UCLA is 5th in scoring (48.0 ppg), 14th in rushing offense (259.8 ypg), 21st in passing offense (302.0 ypg) and 30th in scoring defense (20.3 ppg) …

… so predicting a Cal win is difficult, but a reversal of fortune in the turn-over battle could give the Golden Bears a shot at an upset.

MORE PHOTOS

Cal v. WSU -- Leading the Bears Onto the Field

Cal v. WSU — Leading the Bears Onto the Field

Cal v. WSU -- Color Guard

Cal v. WSU — Color Guard

Cal v. WSU -- QB Jared Goff Beats the Pass Rush

Cal v. WSU — QB Jared Goff Beats the Pass Rush

Cal v. WSU -- QB Jared Goff Passed for a Record 504 Yards

Cal v. WSU — QB Jared Goff Passed for a Record 504 Yards

Cal v. WSU -- HB Daniel Lasco Sweeps Left

Cal v. WSU — HB Daniel Lasco Sweeps Left

Cal v. WSU -- HB Daniel Lasco Breaks Free

Cal v. WSU — HB Daniel Lasco Breaks Free

Cal v. WSU -- K Vincenzo D'Amato Hits Another Field Goal

Cal v. WSU — K Vincenzo D’Amato Hits Another Field Goal

Cal v. WSU -- Bears on Defense

Cal v. WSU — Bears on Defense

Cal v. WSU -- Bears Defending Against the Pass

Cal v. WSU — Bears Defending Against the Pass

Cal v. WSU -- DB Isaac Lapite on DefenseCal v. WSU — DB Isaac Lapite on Defense

Cal v. WSU -- Brendan Bigelow Returns a Kickoff

Cal v. WSU — Brendan Bigelow Returns a Kickoff

Cal v. WSU -- Bryce Treggs Cuts on Kickoff Return

Cal v. WSU — Bryce Treggs Cuts on Kickoff Return

Cal v. WSU -- P Cole Leininger Boots One

Cal v. WSU — P Cole Leininger Boots One

Cal v. WSU -- #1 Son Douglas with College Roommate Brian Watkins and his son Tyler

#1 Son Douglas Reilly with College Roommate Brian Watkins and his son Tyler

Cal v. WSU -- Final Score:  WSU 44 -- Cal 22

Final Score: WSU 44 — Cal 22

All Photos in this Blog Copyright 2013 Jim Reilly

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

Cal @ Oregon … a Duck Deluge …


… after a bye week last Saturday, the Cal Bears were back in action tonight in Eugene against the Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks Logo

… unlike the metaphorical  thunder and  lightning  of the Ohio State game, most of tonight’s game was played in a literal driving rain storm

… unfortunately for the Bears, though, the result was very similar to the previous game …

… as Cal fumbled the ball away on each of its first four possessions (2 by QB Jared Goff and 1 each by HBs Brendan Bigelow & Khalfani Muhammad), while running just 12 plays …

… and the Ducks capitalized on three of the fumbles for touchdowns to lead 20-0 halfway through the first quarter …

… after which the points continued raining  down almost as heavily as the precipitation …

… a Cal punt and a turnover on downs each led to another Oregon touchdown and a 34-0 deficit for the Bears

… and then some of that lightning  struck again, as Oregon punt returner Bralon Addison splished & splashed 75 yards for another touchdown and a 41-0 Ducks lead …

… before the Bears managed a 46 yard field goal by K Vince D’Amato on the final play of the first half to make the score 41-3 as the teams took refuge in their locker rooms.

In the second half, Oregon’s punt returner Addison had a second PR TD … 67 yards this time …

… and a 25 yard touchdown run made the score 55-3 just five minutes into the third quarter …

… after which the Ducks took pity, playing reserves most of the rest of the game …

… while Cal scored a couple of times on a 1 yard run by HB Jeffrey Coprich

… and a 7 yard pass from QB Zach Kline to WR James Grisom

… to make the final score 55-16.


The stats make the game sound closer than it really was …

… as the Ducks had 381 yards in total offense and 21 first downs to 325 and 20 for the Bears

… though most of Cal’s yardage was gained against Oregon reserves.

Kline, brought in early because Goff could not handle the ball in the rain, saw his first action of the season.

Because the Pac-12 and DirecTV have still not reached an agreement for broadcasting the Pac-12 Network, I was not able to watch most of this game …

… caught the first 20 minutes while having dinner at Phyllis’ Giant Hamburgers

… and listened to the rest of the game on the radio …

… very frustrating, to say the least …

… let’s get a TV deal done, guys!

Obviously, since I was not at the game, I have no photos to include this week …

… but some game photos, as well as a game report, stats and video, are available on the ESPN Cal Bears page:

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

… and while a game report, stats and post-game quotes are on the official Cal Bears website:

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

… there are, for unknown reasons, no photos there this week.

Next week, the now Bears (1-3) return to Memorial Stadium

Cal Memorial Stadium panoramic view

… at 1:00 pm Saturday to host the Washington State Cougars (3-2).

Washington State Cougars Logo

Cal v. Ohio State … thunder … and lightning …


… unfortunately for the Bears, all of the thunder and most of the lightning were produced by the Buckeyes

Buckeyes

Buckeyes

… the LIGHTNING

… came first on Ohio State‘s second play from scrimmage …

… after a Bears punt and illegal block penalty during the return pinned the Buckeyes at their own 6 yard line …

… a 4 yard gain gave OSU a 2nd & 6 at their own 10 …

… from which QB Kenny Guiton found WR Chris Fields streaking behind the Bears secondary and hit him in stride for a 90 yard touchdown (the longest TD pass in Buckeyes history) …

… after another Cal punt, Ohio State had the ball at its own 27, from which HB Dontre Wilson thundered 26 yards to the Cal 47 …

… and then lightning struck again, Guiton hitting WR Devin Smith for a 47 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Buckeyes lead …

… the entire possession lasted just 26 seconds …

… and then just a minute later, Ohio State‘s Ryan Shazier sacked Cal QB Jared Goff, forcing a fumble at the Bears‘ 23 yard line, recovered by OSU

. … and then lightning struck a third time, Guiton driving his team to yet another score on a 1 yard pass to Fields

… making the score 21-0 exactly 6:00 into the game …

Cal Defending Against Pass

Cal Defending Against Pass

… & the Thunder …

… the Buckeyes ran for 332 yards to just 132 for the Bears

… with OSU‘s Jordan Hall gashing the defense 30 times for 168 yards, 36 long and 3 TD’s …

… and after Cal closed that disastrous 21-0 start to 24-14 at the end of the first quarter and was hanging tough down 31-20 at halftime …

… the Buckeyes thundered to three straight 3rd quarter TDs on drives of 75, 80 and 41 yards …

… two of the scores coming on runs of 1 and 2 yards by Hall

… while the Bears managed just one score and fell behind 52-27

… before scoring one rather meaningless 4th quarter touchdown on a 1 yard run by HB Daniel Lasco to make the final score 52-34

Cal Defending Against Run

Cal Defending Against Run

… a Few Bright Spots …

… another strong game by QB Jared Goff, who was 31 of 53 passing for 371 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception…

Jared Goff Passing

Jared Goff Passing

… the return of HB Daniel Lasco, who led the Bears in rushing with 65 yards on 10 carries …

… a big game for WR Chris Harper, who had 6 receptions for 115 yards and a TD …

… some gutsy calls by the coaching staff, including a fake punt on which Goff took the punter’s position and passed for a first down to DB Stefan McClure

… and the fact that, despite the early adversity, the team never gave up

Next Up

… a bye next week …

… followed by Cal‘s first road game of the year, as the Bears travel to Eugene, OR, on September 28th to take on their second straight top 3 team, meeting the #2 ranked Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks Logo

… the Bears lead the all-time series with the Ducks 39-34-2

… but the Quackers have won the last four meetings, three of them by lopsided scores …

… and the Bears have recorded only 1 win in Eugene in the last 25 years (31-24 in 2007), while losing 9 times …

… Predictions … 

… the Bears‘ defense is plagued by injuries, with several key starters missing, a converted wide receiver playing at cornerback and a true freshman at safety …

… which could prove to be a real problem against the high-powered Oregon offense, which rolled to a 59-14 against the previously unbeaten Tennessee Volunteers

… the 3-0 Ducks won their first two games by even bigger margins, stomping Nicholls State 66-3 and Virginia 59-10

… and are early 34 point favorites over the Bears

… which, sadly, is probably about right …

… even though Jared Goff will have another strong game leading the Cal offense and passing for 300+ yards for the 4th game in a row …

… barring an Oregon letdown or several Ducks turnovers, it seems unlikely that the Bears‘ defense can hold the Ducks under 50 points …

… so the Bears and their fans appear to be in for a long afternoon.

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Cal Bears 2013 LogoFor the Cal game report, stats, photos and interviews, see:

http://www.calbears.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30100&ATCLID=209260525

… and for the ESPN College Football recap, photos & game video, see:

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=332570025

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More Photos:

Cal Band Leading Team Onto Field

Cal Band Leading Team Onto Field

Cal Band Drum Major

Cal Band Drum Major

Go Bears!

Go Bears!

Cal Flag

Jared Goff Calling Signals

Jared Goff Calling Signals

Brendan Bigelow Run

Brendan Bigelow Run

Bears on Defense

Bears on Defense

Cal Cheerleaders Exhort Fans

Cal Cheerleaders Exhort Fans

Final Score:  Ohio State 52 -- Cal 34

Final Score: Ohio State 52 — Cal 34

All Photos in this blog © 2013 Jim Reilly

Cal v. Portland State … Waxing … & Waning …


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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.

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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 …

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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

Cal v. Northwestern … the Good … the Bad … and the Ugly.


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… the GOOD …

QB Jared Goff, first true freshman ever to start for the Bears on opening day, proved he can play football at the college level …

…38 of 63 for 445 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and 4 sacks …

… 445 yards was Cal’s highest passing total ever in a non-overtime game and second highest period …

… it was also the 38th highest passing total in the entire history of the Pac-12

… and was more yards than was ever thrown for by such Pac-12 QB luminaries as John Elway (‘Furd), Troy Aikman (UCLA) and Andrew Luck (‘Furd)

WR Bryce Treggs had 13 receptions for 145 yards …

… the 3rd highest game reception total in Cal history, behind only Geoff McArthur’s 16 in the 2003 Big Game and Dameane Douglas 15 against Oregon State in 1998 …

WR Chris Harper, who had 11 receptions for 151 yards, 52 yard long & 2 TDs …

… the no huddle, up tempo Bear Raid offense proved effective and was efficiently run by Goff

… the team ran 99 plays, third highest in team history, behind 102 v. San Jose State in 1968 and 101 v. San Jose State in 1990 …

… the Bears ran 30 plays in the third quarter …

P Cole Leininger, 6 punts, 43.5 yard average, 70 long and 3 inside the 20 …

K Vincenzo D’Amato, 3 of 3 in field goal attempts (28, 38 & 37 yards) …

Harper, Leininger & D’Amato were named national honorable mention performers of the week Monday by the College Football Performance Awards …

… new Head Coach Sonny Dykes, who had the balls to run a fake field goal at the end of Cal’s first possession, on which D’Amato threw a touchdown pass to holder WR Jackson Bouza

Pregame Welcome to new Head Coach

Pregame Welcome to new Head Coach


… the BAD …

… obviously, the score, being on the wrong end of 44-30 …

… the defense giving up too many yards rushing (209 on 40 carries for Northwestern, a 5.2 yard average) …

… and too many yards passing (299 on just 19 completions, a 15.7 yard average) …

… and too many third down pass completions for first downs …

K Vincenzo D’Amato kicking two kickoffs out of bounds, giving Northwestern the ball at the 35 each time …

… too many penalties (10 for 79 yards) …


… and the UGLY …

… not one but two tipped passes ending up the hands of Northwestern LB Collin Ellis, each of which he returned for a touchdown (56 yards in the 3rd quarter and 40 yards in the 4th) …

… the 4th Quarter roughing the passer penalty called on LB Chris McCain, which was also called “targeting” and resulted in his disqualification for the rest of this game and the first half next week …

… after watching this play on DVR yesterday, it looked to me like a clean hit, head up and into the chest of the quarterback, with McCain already into the tackle when the ball was thrown …

… the new targeting rule, by the way, prohibits initiating contact with the crown of the helmet …

… and targeting and initiating contact with the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent …

… and McCain’s tackle did not appear to do either …

… on the other hand, McCain’s conduct as he left the field was unacceptable.

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Next Up …

Portland State at 2:00 pm on Satuday at Memorial Stadium …

… which some pessimists predicted would be Cal’s only win this year …

Portland State won its season opener 57-17 over Eastern Oregon …

… but look to be over-matched against the Bears

… Predictions:  Cal wins by 30 points and Zach Kline gets some playing time at QB.

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

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

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Bears Enter Memorial Stadium

Cal Bears 2013 …


… you heard it first here …

… Cal’s football team will upset Northwestern in the season opener …

… if he doesn’t reinjure himself, running back Brendan Bigelow will be the Pac-12‘s leading rusher and will get Heisman Trophy consideration …

… Zach Kline will win and hold onto the starting QB job …

… Cal’s defense will rebound from last year’s difficulties and will help the Bears be competitive in most games, if not all, this year …

… contrary to the expectations of most “experts”, the Bears will win at least six games and will go bowling …

… the new Bears logo will be a hit …

Cal Bears 2013 Logo

Cal Bears 2013 Logo

… new head coach Sonny Dykes

Cal Bears Head Coach Sonny Dykes

Cal Bears Head Coach Sonny Dykes

… will win the Pac-12 Coach of the Year award …

… and will make us forget the disaster of 2012 …

… and Doug …

The Pessimist

The Pessimist

… The Pessimist … will disagree with most of what I’ve said here!

Go Bears Blue & Gold on Black

Army-Navy Football 1963-1966


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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.

“Tiger Woods is an idiot.” If …


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… 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.