oregon2_2stormthecourtThe best and worst thing about Cal athletics is its inconsistency.

We all know that we don’t spend the most money on sports compared to other universities — or even close to the most. A decent intercollegiate athletic department like that of Oregon’s has an annual revenue around $88 million, with over a third coming from gifts and donations. Cal Athletics’ revenue for 2011 was $65.2 million, with 24% coming from gifts and donations. Note that these are both public schools who don’t get giant endowments from the school. They have to do the best they can with what they have.

Now the point is that it’s not about the money. Yes, it’s true that more money does buy better equipment and a better coaching staff. It does buy better scouting and ultimately attracts better players. All these factors do lead to better team standings and ultimately greater dedication from the fans.

Except at Cal. The beauty of Cal athletics is that it doesn’t have any of those things. We don’t need money to buy our fan’s loyalty. Our modest athletic budget results in teams that, except for rugby, can’t often do well in their sports. And that’s okay. Cal fans are resolute in their love of the school and our athletes. We don’t need an impressive record to start frothing at the mouth while cheering. It’s only at Cal where the players can take loss after loss and show up to a game against a top opponent and believe they can win. Once, just once in a long while, we get that win. And it’s enough.

Saturday, against No. 10 Oregon, was one of those wins. And it is sweet to know that our team can enter a game with a 12-8 record against a team that is dominating 18-3 and still give it their all until the last second. When our fans rushed out onto the court at the end of the game, it was clear that Cal was proud of the basketball team.

Quite frankly, Oregon’s basketball players have greater athleticism and stats than our own basketball team. But that’s the thing about sports in general, and Cal athletics in particular — the numbers don’t quite give the whole picture. Our athletes and fans do not give up. It’s the same reason Cal can lose to Nevada in football, but then goes on to beat UCLA.

Unpredictability makes each game more interesting and each win more satisfying. It’s the rare moments when we pull off an upset and everyone storms the court or field that makes each loss easier to swallow. And in those moments, all the loyalty and dedication of our  fans pays off in a far greater way than if we were rooting for a team that is known to always win. The inconsistency only applies to how our teams perform, because our fans are consistently and passionately in love with the Bears.

Image Source: Jasmine Mausner, The Daily Californian


Marching bands are pretty cool. Also, we have to admit that video games are pretty cool as well. But what if the two were combined into one impressively well-choreographed marching band routine? Well that is just what the marching band at Ohio State University did during one of their half time shows in what is quite possibly the most entertaining performance we’ve seen in a while. However, despite the attention the video has been getting, there seems to be a mini-controversy regarding the theme of OSU’s routine. They aren’t the first ones to do it.”

Coincidentally, Cal actually did a routine very similar to OSU’s back in 2007 in a couple football games that year against Stanford and Washington State. Naturally, the controversy is coming from YouTube commenters who are arguing away about whose better and who should get all the credit. To tell the truth, we didn’t realize that our marching band had done something like this in the past (It was before our time for some of us at the Clog so you can’t blame us!) but after doing a search on YouTube of “video game marching bands,” we pulled up the video by chance.

Honestly, the question of which school did what, when and where during what moment that the planets were aligned shouldn’t be a concern to everybody. After all, we both pulled off some pretty neat and entertaining performances. Regardless, the anonymous inhabitants of the internet should just take it easy and relax. While they do that, let us enjoy these lovely homages to our childhood video games of old!


Not everyone who attends Cal lives on campus. Some of us are actually commuters to this lovely school of ours. Now it’s true that students who live on campus do get access to a variety of interesting experiences just by living near it. However, we commuters can also get our own dose of Cal in unique ways even when we’re off campus. So when we were on our way to school one day, in the freeway change from I-680 to CA 24 W near Walnut Creek, we got to notice something distinctly Cal-related: a striking billboard advertising our football team.

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On the billboard, there is a picture of one of our players telling us in assertive bold capital letters “I’LL SEE YOU AT MEMORIAL STADIUM” with a look on his face indicating that we made a pretty serious commitment to see him and probably shouldn’t flake. Understandably, as an advertisement, the football player’s words are just something we automatically shrug off. But after seeing the billboard, we began to wonder, what would he do if we didn’t show up to memorial stadium? More importantly, what if the next day on our way to school, instead of the football player’s normal message to us, stood an entirely different billboard with a reaction to us not showing up?

Below is an artistic representation of what we believe would be there the following day.

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Immediately, we started to feel pretty horrible about the thought of this actually playing out. Thankfully, all of this is just our imagination running wild. After all, we are rather confident in our belief that we didn’t utterly devastate the day of a Cal Bears football player … At least, we hope.

Image sources: Matt Espineli, Daily Cal and Dylan Stephanides


Olympics

It comes as no surprise that Cal qualified 37 Bears to the London 2012 Olympics this year. After all, we do have the best-looking students.

We would provide a gripping analysis of the qualifiers, but that’s what the Sports Department is for. The Clog, Cal’s heartiest cheerleaders, will admire at a distance, feel great pride and avidly eat crepes instead.

The full list, for your viewing pleasure, is down below. Roll on you Bears! read more »


Now, the Clog wouldn’t call ourselves redditors – we’re too afraid of being sucked into a deep dark corner of the internet (although not as dark as 4chan), but today we ventured on to the popular site to be greeted by a dear friend. Oski.

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Ain't he cute?

Why was our mascot reppin’ reddit Monday, April 16? Apparently Berkeley won third place in a “Grow a College Subreddit Competition,” so all the world had their interwebs invated by the Golden Bears (or in this case, bear). The 6 other colleges in the top seven will also get their moment in the light, but we don’t think their mascots will be as cute as ours.

Can whoever designed this Oski redesign the creepy monster that adorns Cal gear nowadays? Seriously, we have nightmares. Enjoy the next 45 minutes of Berkeley’s occupation of reddit.


8:23 a.m. PT: Good morning, everyone. The Clog is ready to kickoff an exciting day of Cal football. Right now, we’re setting up a quick game on NCAA Football ’08. The Clog will obviously be playing Cal, and Bill (a friend of the Clog’s) will suiting up as Air Force.

8:27: After forcing a three and out, the Clog went straight to Lavelle Hawkins on the first play from scrimmage. The result: a 72-yard touchdown. HAWK HAWK HAWK HAWK [picture us waving our arms as well]! read more »


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Coming in two days the Clog is going to be breaking new ground by bringing to you live commentary on the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. This will be the first time the Clog has live blogged (or should we say, live clogged) a sporting event.

We’ve got an early kickoff time for the game at 9:30, so make sure to set your alarms. If you’re an early waker (think 8 am classes for pre-meds) you can tune into the Clog for some pre-game entertainment.