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Goodbye: My long run covering Cal sports for the Bay Area News Group comes to an end

Well, it’s time to say goodbye. It has been my great pleasure to bring you Cal sports news and commentary for more than 30 years, but I have taken a voluntary buyout and my time at the Bay Area News Group ends on Friday.

It’s been a blast! And rarely a dull moment.

I covered Kevin Johnson and Jason Kidd, Joe Kapp and Jared Goff.

I wrote the game story for the Big Game for the first time in 1982, and you all know what happened in that one. I watched grown men cry when the Bears ended their 52-game losing streak to UCLA.

I saw Cal knock off two-time national champion Duke to reach the Sweet 16 in 1993 and was there when Mike Montgomery’s 2010 team won the school’s first conference title in 50 years.

I had the joy of getting to know two late, great Cal men — Pete Newell and Bruce Snyder.

Covering Cal has not been my exclusive assignment during my years with the Tri-Valley Herald, Fremont Argus, Hayward Daily Review, Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and San Jose Mercury News.

I wrote about the supremely talented but self-destructive soccer legend George Best and the San Jose Earthquakes in the 1970s. I photographed Clint Eastwood trying to play tennis and George Foreman training for Ali.

I covered nine Final Fours, starting with the Chris Webber timeout game.

I consider the highlight of my career attending four Summer Olympics on four continents, where I saw Kerri Strug stick the landing, Oakland’s Andre Ward win a boxing gold and Jamaica’s incomparable Usain Bolt threaten the speed of light.

I phoned my wife from the Acropolis  in Athens and walked two hours along the Great Wall of China. I fell in love with Sydney, which melded the best of San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego. I learned to hate Southern humidity in Atlanta.

And last spring I got the chance to help chronicle the Warriors’ electric run to the NBA championship.

But Cal was my bread and butter for years. I took a hiatus from football after Steve Mariucci’s long season until the end of Jeff Tedford’s run to avoid the overlap with the Olympics. Basketball has been an uninterrupted staple for more than three decades, and my favorites included Al Grigsby and Jorge Gutierrez.

Beat reporters spend a lot of time with the coaches of the teams they cover, and I’ve dealt with a lot of them. Sonny Dykes and Cuonzo Martin are good guys who understand what we do for a living and don’t go out of their way to make the job harder than it has to be.

Above all, I am grateful to readers who followed my coverage of the Bears in print, online and, most recently, in this space. I am proud to have given you a forum to argue and vent. I hope you all get your Rose Bowl someday and find the kind of peace anguished Old Blues seem to rarely experience.

I’ll be around and I encourage you to follow me on Twitter @jeffFaraudo.

-30-

 

Jeff Faraudo

  • alpha1906

    WOWOOWOWOWOW!!!!! Sorry to see you go, and thanks for such great coverage.

  • Milo

    Jeff Faraudo enjoy retirement and thanks so much for the coverage. Pretty damn cool job given the Olympics and people you met. Go Bears!

  • Tony Richards

    Very sad to see you go – as someone who had to follow Cal Hoops from the East Coast you were always my best source of news about the Bears and you always kept it informative, interesting and entertaining. I will miss your stories, but wish you the best in all your future endeavors Jeff!!

  • Jeremy Sampson

    Jeff, I covered the Bears for the Daily Cal from 1994-1998, and got to hang out with you a bunch of times on the road, back in the days of Jay Heater, Sam Chi, Bergy, and others. You were always so kind to us kids, allowing us to come along for the ride, inviting us for a beer, and complimenting our writing, even when we occasionally scooped you. One of my favorite memories was Cal’s Sweet 16 run, and our time in Winston-Salem/Syracuse. I left journalism and went back to fandom, but I’ve followed you ever since, and want to wish you the best. Thanks for all your insight and passion for your work.

  • covinared

    Thanks.

  • Lee Mah

    Always enjoyed your work. Thank you.

  • Kyle Barlow

    You’ll be missed!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    What the hell?

    Jaylen leaves.
    Warriors lose.
    Giants lose.
    Prince f-ing dies!
    And now I get Furaudo leaving, too?

    No. I don’t allow this. I forbid it.

  • GoBears49

    Jeff,

    You didn’t indicate whether you will be replaced (probably not, as I suspect this is a cost reduction). But if anyone does replace you, I doubt they will come close to doing the great job you did. Particularly loved the way you brought in past Cal sports history to an upcoming Cal sports event. I appreciate the time you spent responding to me regarding an occasional comment or question I had.

    I agree with The Wisdom Cow. This is too much change in one day for me and probably many Cal fans that follow this blog.

  • GoBears49

    If this blog does not continue, I recommend reading californiagoldenblogs.com Lots of articles and many comments. But not as “homey” as this blog.

  • R. Deschain

    Absolutely the first news source I read regarding the Bears. You will be missed.

  • John Gurnick

    Enjoy your retirement and thanks for sharing your insight and perspective over the years. Please fix the twitter handle at the close of the article – it should be @jefffaraudo

    -30-

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Incredible job over the years Jeff. This blog has been my first webstop for Cal sports news for many, many years now. THANK YOU!

    Go Bears!

  • Walter Altorfer

    I have really enjoyed following the Bears through your blog. You will be missed. Thanks for all the good memories.

  • Mitch

    I, too, check here first. Thanks, Jeff! You’ll be missed.

  • bigdruid

    I’ve been reading your articles since I was a student at Cal way back in the 80s, and all I can say is thank you so much for your work covering the Bears all this time. I moved away from the Bay Area 20+ years ago, and your articles have really helped me stay connected to the Bears. Good luck in whatever the future brings you!.

  • mike b

    Congratulations and happy travels, Jeff!! I had the pleasure working with you way back 1978-81, when I was a part-time staffer in the Daily Review sports department. You were an ambitious, hard-working sports reporter at the Herald, and your work provided me a great example of quality writing even under some of the strictest deadlines. Best wishes to you on this new chapter of your life and any future writing endeavors.

  • IT_Pro47

    Jeff, I have really appreciated your work over the years since I left my native Bay Area to eventually settle on the East Coast. My love for all things Cal has never waned; the dozens of Cal wearables along with golf club covers, license plate frames, avatars, etc. can attest to that. Having covered sports since my days at KALX in the 70’s, I know how hard of a job it has become, and will tell you that you’ve always handled it with aplomb. Enjoy your time off… now you can be like many of the rest of us and yell at the TV when something goes horribly wrong! Hasta la vista!

  • BCSGuru

    Jeremy, this is Sam. And I remember those very good times. Congrats to Jeff for a well-earned retirement. Hope you’re well, too!

  • ^60″s Bear

    This has been the best source for Cal sports info ever. I will probably suffer DT’s and will Jones for months. Good fortune with your retirement! Go Bears and thanks for your efforts this whole time!

  • Larry

    Jeff,
    Thank you for your hard work. You’ll be missed.

  • Steve McNamara

    Must say I am surprised. Your writing is so young and fresh that i always assumed you were in the early to mid phase of your career. Best of luck. Will miss you and your byline.

  • Heteroscedastic

    Hey JF, any chance you can convince Jon Wilner to retire too? I’m tired of his Pro-Stanfurd bias.

  • Pasadena Dave

    Jeff – sad to see you go. Sorry to see that you’re throwing in the towel, but definitely understand considering all the changes you’ve endured through the disruption in your industry. Godspeed.

  • Clifford Fewel

    What’s-his-name to Stanford? OK. Nickerson to Illinois? Alright. Goff to the pros? Fine. Faraudo to anywhere but to his keyboard to illuminate and elucidate for a loyal and longing throng the warp and weave of our beloved Golden Bears, football in particular? Not so fast.
    As the saying goes, what about my needs? It’s difficult enough living in the Pac-12-Network-Free-Zone that is Flagstaff, Arizona. Tough enough to steer conversations from Lumberjacks, Wildcats, Sun Devils, Bruins and Trojans to the ongoing saga of Bears in Berkeley, but I manage. How? By keeping abreast of what’s happening now, thanks to Mr. Faraudo.
    No-B.S. news, opinion and forecasting from a single writer is a rare commodity, and from Jeff’s print and pixelized dispatches I have been educated just enough to hold forth on my alma mater’s football fortunes whenever the opportunity arises. For your years developing contacts, chasing down leads and discerning consistently what will be of interest to me and a thousand others like me, thank you. Endings come around, inevitably. I just didn’t see this one coming.
    Jeff, let’s not say goodbye. Permit me to echo the sentiment of many others in the comments above/below. Allow me to express the overriding thoughts of many still blissfully unaware that come October there will be a palpable lack of insight and strong writing in the week-to-week coverage of Cal Bears football. Indeed, let us not say goodbye. Rather, let us say to you, Mr. Faraudo, knock off this buyout crap and get back to work.
    Thanks for everything. Good luck always. See above.

  • Ryan Faraudo

    Although I can not remember the first Cal basketball game I went I do remember quite a few and although in my younger years I didn’t understand it and was very bored,( I found ways around that by bring a book) looking back I enjoyed every second. Because not only did I get to learn about the game, meet players and coaches but I got to spend time with my dad and share with him one of the many sports he loved. It’s going to be weird not hearing from mom every time I call home that you can’t come to the phone because you’re on the road with Cal or not see you on the sofa at home with your laptop. But it’s great to see you leaving the job you have loved for 30 years on your own terms. Guess it’s time to dust off those old clubs in the garage haha. Here’s to the future and like you have always done for me in what ever I do you have my support Dad.

  • NWBear91

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

  • acaldude

    Bummer for us, but great for you. Enjoy!

  • ricorico

    Thank you JF — i have consistently enjoyed your coverage and insights on the cal bears basketball team — wishing you the best and you will be missed!

  • Pixilicious

    Just as San Francisco never seemed the same without Herb Caen, and politics hasn’t been the same without Keith Olbermann, Cal sports won’t seem the same without you.

    You picked a great career in journalism and the funny thing is, one never really retires from it because there’s always something more to write about; for oneself if no one else. Keep writing, dude.

  • JB Don’t Dance

    Is anyone taking over this blog?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Probably Wilner. Oh, God, I just threw up in my mouth.

  • timetojam

    Wish you the best. Thanks for the stories

  • Calduke

    Are you transferring to another school??

  • BlueNGold

    Very sad to see JF leave, but what really suxx is that the East Bay Times/ Bay Area News Group has apparently decided not to continue this blog.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I fear I am lost
    Long shall I mope in sorrow
    BearTalk is no more

  • eastcoastbear

    Just when we our having our best recruiting run in a long time in FB and BB.

  • covinared

    We can keep it going as long as this page is up. Things are looking up.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Rabb is back. Top PG Charlie Moore is on board. The basketball team will be better next season without Wallace and Brown ball-hogging. Looking forward to it.

    Go Bears!

  • BlueNGold

    It is always nice to communicate and exchange views with like-minded Cal sports fans, but without a regular Cal sports beat reporter assigned to be the leader/facilitator of the blog, I fear it will be a limited medium.

  • Eric

    I’m going out on a limb – Khalfani will have at least 1,250 total yards – rushing/receiving/KR returns.

  • Stan

    Gone fishin instead of just awishin. Lucky you.

  • Milo

    So the BANG isn’t going to cover Cal FB any longer?

  • Milo

    Fire Dykes!

  • Light

    No way should Dykes be allowed to leave Cal. Bears football is always exciting to watch now. Next step is to recruit successfully for the defense, but the games in Coach Dykes tenure have consistently been good to watch. Cal football is fun again, in case memory doesn’t serve how lame it became under Tedford, and how bad it was previous to him.

  • Milo

    He’s GONE! Good.