The weather reports yesterday morning discouraged me. I got up at six o’clock, allowing me to catch the second hour of the CBS Early Show. Debbye Turner Bell said she was “in for Erica Hill.” Everybody is in for Erica Hill on Saturday mornings, except for, of course, Erica Hill herself. Since Rebecca Jarvis was probably still in Naples, Florida, another woman was on the show, although it wasn’t Betty Nguyen. It was Elaine Quijano. I looked up some information about her, and it seems she was born in 1969, which would make her a pretty old woman compared to the others. Chris Wragge did the Chef on a Shoestring segment, and I noticed that his apron didn’t have his name on it.
I went back to the coffee shop and had an orange juice and sat down to send messages to people, describing my Black Friday. The regular customers in this coffee shop were a little scary to me. They spend way too much time there.
I watched some of the morning news on KGO. Their movie reviewer discussed “Burlesque,” giving it a rating of half a box of popcorn. The guy who gave the president an elbow to the face seemed like a real jackass. What was he trying to do?
I left for the stadium during a break in the rain. It looked as if attendance was going to be pretty light for this one. I thought I was supposed to get a commemorative pin, and that was part of my reason for arriving early, but no one gave me anything. I took my seat and put on my rain poncho, and then I listened to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on the radio waiting for the game to start.
The cheerleaders were wearing their blue rain gear. They had their hair tied back, except for the few with short hair. I noticed that the one black cheerleader who was at the first home game wasn’t there anymore. The first group passed my section without acknowledging us. I noticed how thin most of them were. The Washington cheerleaders ran into the north end zone. I saw that they were short, and they had no blondes. I’ve said before that a good cheerleading squad should have as many blondes as possible. One of the Cal cheerleaders showed a real lack of concentration during the game when she talked to a little girl in the stands while things were happening behind her that she should be cheering about.
A girl was walking up and down the aisles trying to sell corn dogs. It seemed that nobody was buying them, or anything else. There were a lot of empty seats, more than in several years. It was a combination of bad weather, a mediocre record, and holiday weekend, and the Stanford game having been played the week before. The student section didn’t fill up, and they didn’t have the color cards at their seats, as they normally would.
The first quarter was forgettable, because it ended with the score still at 0-0. Brock Mansion, the Cal quarterback, wasn’t doing much, and would do much for most of the game. He did move the ball at the end of the half so that Cal could try a 53-yard field goal with one second left, and it was successful for a 3-0 score.
I sat quietly during halftime. The Cal marching band went onto the field. I couldn’t tell what the theme of their program was, but I noticed that two of the songs they played were from the 1970s, “Pick Up the Pieces” and “Jungle Boogie.”
I looked up the information about the American Top 40 radio program covering December 1, 1973. The Top 10 songs were “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” “Heartbeat, It’s a Lovebeat,” “The Love I Lost,” “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Just You and Me,” “Keep On Truckin’,” “Space Race,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Photograph,” and “Top of the World.”
Washington took the lead in the third quarter with an 80-yard touchdown pass that one of the Cal players deflected into the air. Cal got a touchdown of their own on defense, when the Washington quarterback fumbled and a Cal player picked the ball up neatly and ran the ball into the end zone. The two teams kicked field goals, so that late in the game Cal had a 13-10 lead.
Cal had the ball with about five minutes left, and so were in a position to run out the clock and win if only they could get a couple of first downs. However, Brock Mansion wasn’t up to it. The Cal offense wasn’t exactly opening up the playbook, going with a lot of running plays. It was frustrating to see them trying plays that seemed to have no chance of working. Don’t any of their coaches have any creativity whatsoever?
The fourth quarter started with the rain coming down harder. The rain was off and on, but it made this last game cold and uncomfortable. The dark clouds made the stadium so dark that it was hard to see, and nobody turned on the stadium lights until later.
Another long pass play killed Cal in the last few minutes. Washington was relentless with their last drive. Their quarterback kept the ball on some key plays. They got the ball down to the 1-yard line, and they tried three plays and hadn’t scored. They called time out with one second left in the game. Instead of trying a tying field goal, they were going for the win. They powered the ball into the end zone for the winning points, right in front of the visiting team’s fan section. They didn’t kick the extra point, so the final score was 16-10. It was a dismal end to a dismal day. I headed right for the exit after the touchdown. My feet were cold and wet. I was disgusted that I had forgotten to wear my boots.
I returned home to eat some more Thanksgiving leftovers, like ham, mashed potatoes, and cheesecake, and to get my feet out of those wet socks. Jeff Glor was doing the evening news. The USC-Notre Dame game was on the TV, and it was raining in Los Angeles. I hope it doesn’t rain here today.