BearTalk

Cal Sports Live and Direct

Archive for December, 2006

‘Don’t Kill Tightwad’

Most of the people up here are huge Cal fans. And all of them love the view of the game. But if the planned renovation of Memorial Stadium goes through, some are afraid of what that will do to the view. The renovation apparently would include an elevated add-on portion directly behind the student section of the stadium. And that could greatly obstruct the incredible views enjoyed from the Hill — not only of the stadium but the entire Bay as well. Several fans are walking around wearing “Don’t Kill Tightwad Hill” shirts. There is a Web site devoted to Tightwad Hill (tightwadhill.org) as well a “My Space” page. The back of the “Don’t Kill Tightwad” shirt lists Nov. 24, 1923 as the date of the first game people watched from the hill. The famed cannon — which blasts every time Cal scores, used to reside inside the stadium but was moved to the Hill in 1972. “I’m not against them renovating the stadium,” said Keith Salminen, who runs the Web site. “I am against the views being blocked. This is almost as much of a tradition as sitting in (the stadium). It’s a part of Memorial Stadium.” …

Posted on Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
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Security spotted …

Two guys in yellow jackets with “Event Staff” on the back wandered through the crowd midway through the second quarter. Not that they were out to enforce much. The smoke in the air is making the Hill smell a little like a Grateful Dead show. But people are seriously paying attention to the game. Everyone is perfectly aware that Cal is doing its best to keep Stanford in this game. The handful of Stanford fans up here aren’t sorry they showed up yet …

Posted on Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
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Scary moment …

It’s a clear, sunny day but the wind is swirling pretty bad up here. Just before kickoff, a branch broke off a tree high above the crowd and hit somebody on the head. Paramedics had to come and carry him off on a stretcher. Someone sitting next to the fan said that he was conscious and speaking before he was taken away. Not something you take into consideration when you first make your way up here. … But the vibe up here is pretty boisterous. There are synchronized cheers going on, just like you hear in the stadium. And the view of the field is great. You can easily make out uniform numbers. The people who staked out their territory earliest grabbed the best seats where the whole field is visible. From where I’m standing, I can see the whole field except for the end zone on my left. If it was 1982 and The Play broke out, I would miss Kevin Moen running over the trombone player.

Posted on Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
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Quite a selection …

You don’t need a ticket to get up to Tightwad Hill. It seems the only requirement for admission is a case of beer. There’s about 15 different brands I’ve seen so far. It’s about 10 minutes before kickoff, the crowd has swelled to about 400. And people are still making their way up the Hill. There are some students up here, but mostly people looking to enjoy a good time and some football — for free. The main goal is not to go sliding down the hill. There is a steep dropoff below the flat portion where people sit, and the bigger the crowd gets, the lower people have to start sitting. They say at least one person goes sliding down each game. My money’s on the guy wearing the green army fatigues and what looks to be welding glasses. He keeps offering people a puff on his cigar. So far nobody’s taken him up on it. Shocker. … The first Stanford fans have just been spotted about five minutes before kickoff, wearing the Cardinal colors of course. They were immediately greeted by the “Take off that red shirt!” chant that gets directed at anybody wearing any shade of red at a Cal sporting event. Brave souls …

Posted on Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
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Getting an early start …

The assignment is to blog from Tightwad Hill during today’s Big Game, so I thought I’d wander up the Hill two hours before kickoff to find a spot to settle. Wasn’t sure if anyone would be up here yet. Yeah right … At least 30 people already had set up shop. Folding chairs are scattered everywhere. Others have thrown down a blanket and settled on flat pieces of ground, and many just grab a spot on a comfortable log and sit down. Pre-game euphoria has set in bright and early. Stories are being swapped about past Big Games, but the conversation is diverse. Oakland A’s stories are also being shared. You get the feeling these people would feel right at home in the left-field bleachers at McAfee Coliseum.

There are two spots to watch the game from on Tightwad Hill. One spot is the area where the cannon is set up. Another spot is to the left of that, separated from the cannon by a group of trees. That’s where I’m at right now. No sign of Cal students over here. The crowd is slightly over college-age, with one family sitting right in the middle of everybody. Everyone is getting along. About the only sign of tension was when one guy wandered up the Hill complaining because he had to go a mile out of his way to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels. This is a tailgate party without any tailgates, and it’s sure to continue for four quarters …

Posted on Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
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Big Game Intro.

Hey everybody, it’s Joe Stiglich from the Contra Costa Times. I’ll be blogging from Tightwad Hill during the Big Game tomorrow, so everybody make sure and check it out. …

Posted on Friday, December 1st, 2006
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