Holiday on Ice

Cal fans woke up today feeling good about the world, something they didn’t think was possible only a couple of days ago.

In taking part in the Bears bar crawl on Wednesday night, I talked to several die-hard fans who felt the same way. Those fans admitted that if someone told them five years ago that they would beat Stanford five straight times and go to four consecutive bowl games (not the Rose Bowl), they would have been elated.

Those same fans said that the Holiday Bowl this year simply was not enough. They admitted walking out of Memorial Stadium feeling like zombies even though Cal won by 9.

The fickle world of fandom.

Of course, all that was before Thursday night, a total feel-good ending to a not-so-feel good year (before Dec. 28).

All of a sudden, Jeff Tedford again was an offensive genius. Bob Gregory could do no wrong. Who was that Nate Longshore guy? Was that the guy who played the last three games? Remember Justin Forsett? That’s guy is pretty good.

Steve Levy and Joe Ayoob were on the field, on the same drives.

Oski was drinking beer through his eye.

It was one wonderful party from beginning to end. It was good to be a Cal fan again.

If you walked the Gaslamp trail on Thursday night, saw the faces of Cal fans who were having the time of their lives, you knew that the Bears have something pretty special going right now. All the talk about never being able to beat USC or win a conference title is garbage. This team continues to take positive steps under Tedford, and has provided its fans with some wonderful memories along the way.

The entire fourth quarter on Thursday night was a celebration. One-by-one, Cal’s coaches got the Gatorade treatment. The guy who got it worst was Ken Delgado. He was busy trying to make sure all his reserves, guys who toil all season without seeing many snaps, got into the game. He got blasted from behind. It couldn’t have been worse if he had jumped in a Gatorade pond. He was not very happy at that moment.

He turned and looked at his players, a stern, fatherly look. They were laughing. He turned around, still annoyed. They laughed some more. He turned back toward them and finally gave in. He smiled. Then it was back to business.

Such is life with Cal football. Something good happens, something a little bad happens. They smile, and move forward.