This Sunday will see the San Francisco 49ers pitted against the Baltimore Ravens, so whether you’re a football fan or not, you may want to come out and support our neighbors. San Francisco’s close enough to adopt for cheerleading, right? We’ve scoped out some places around Berkeley you can camp out, cheer for a team you care at least marginally about and — most importantly — scarf down food for hours.

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Pappy’s Grill and Sports Bar. Right here on Telegraph Avenue, it’s an obvious choice for sports viewing. Lots of space, large screens and good ‘ol American/bar food will make for a good football Sunday.

Kip’s Restaurant. Head down Durant for another college bar if you didn’t like Pappy’s. Order pizza, burgers and more while you watch.

Café Durant. If you’re in the mood for Mexican food instead of American, stop by Café Durant. There’s also balcony seating outside if for some reason you need a break. (Especially from the overflow of excessive commercials.)

Brennan’s Bar. For an old-fashioned sports bar complete with darts and hot plates, there’s Brennan’s on University Avenue. Old style with new flatscreens, what could be better?

Bec’s Bar and Bistro. Offering more than just burgers and wings, this restaurant also has seafood and flatbreads to snack on.

La Val’s. Not a place one would immediately think of, but once again there are TV screens and awesome game food like pizza and sandwiches.

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We all know Cal football has not been doing great. Although it pains us to admit it, the team has been playing amateurishly, and we can only hope that Sonny Dykes revitalizes the program to win back some school pride. While our team as a whole has done poorly, we can boast about some incredible athletes who have gone on to stardom in the pros. Here, we will bask in the glory of five of our greatest alumni in the NFL :

5. Jahvid Best

Jahvid (right) with his high school football coach

Best is tough. Best is explosive. Best is fast. Although he is not currently part of the NFL, he more than deserves to be on this list. One thing can be said of Best: He goes out with a bang. Those who have been following Cal football remember Best’s incredible Oregon State touchdown for the Bears in 2009, which also happened to be his last game at Cal. That touchdown gave him his second concussion in two weeks and led to his retirement from college football.

In the 2010 NFL draft, Best was the fastest running back. He joined the Detroit Lions in 2010. The few times he was healthy, Best played incredibly, even having a 75-yard touchdown reception. In 2011, he beat his personal best with an 88-yard reception. Alas, despite his sensational athleticism and his commitment to football despite countless injuries, Best finally succumbed to post-concussive symptoms and is now on the NFL’s injury reserves. He has not played for more than a year, but his achievements in his prime are staggering. Hopefully we’ll see Jahvid again, but even if we don’t, as Bob Dylan said, “It is better to burn out than to fade away.”

4. Shane Vereen

Look, we know no one likes the Patriots, but Shane Vereen is another running back out of Cal who deserves mention. With an impressive college total of 1,167 rushing yards, Vereen left Cal in three years and was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2011. There, he continued to play well, reaching a career best of an 83-yard reception. Currently, he has 308 rushing yards and four touchdowns. But these stats don’t fully explain why he’s on this hall of fame list.

Remember two Sundays ago? Patriots vs. Jets, and the Pats chief running back Danny Woodhead is injured. It’s down to veteran Stevan Ridley and third-string nobody Shane Vereen. Vereen delivers the football to the endzone three times. Yes, Tom Brady deserves some credit for some accurate passing, but Vereen really showed the world what he can do. We don’t root for the Patriots any more than you do, but there are those magical moments when Vereen makes this world a better place and the Patriots head cheater is almost tolerable.

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Now that the dust has settling down, and the initial shock — just kidding — is wearing off, we can make some light of Tedford’s departure from Cal Football. To be paid as much as he was, for an embarrassing three wins, Tedford was no million dollar man, even though it costs over six million to let him go. We thought it would be interesting to take a look in retrospect of the legendary Tedford, and recall how it used to be.

Tedford was one of those classic gentleman coaches, who was pure of heart and demonstrated good sportsmanship in a way that has been missing for too long.  Back in 2006, with Tedford at the helm, there was nothing to worry about, we had a hell of a season and Tedford made it look easy. When Cal was getting far ahead, the team would loosen up, taking a knee at the two yard line instead of building a disgusting lead. It was Tedford’s coaching that allowed Cal football fans to come together. Tedford was a hard worker, and his notable successes and multiple PAC-10 Coach of the Year Awards were well deserved. In those days, Cal’s players were the stars of track and field, with a speed and strength that reflected good coaching.  Tedford was the comeback kid, starting as an underdog and becoming a force of constant win.

But like all good things, time puts everything in ruins, and Tedford could only keep it up for only so long. It seemed to all Cal fans out there that Tedford was asleep at the wheel . The problem was that so much winning had led Tedford to rest on his laurels, and he needed more than just a shot in the arm. Near the end, Tedford’s elephant ego had led him to become a one man wrecking machine. When we lost against Nevada, it was clear there was no hope. We watched Maynard get blindsided yet again and again, and it took something out of all of us.

What we need now is a revival, and a coach with the drive to get us there.

Image source: avinashkunnath under Creative Commons


With the Big Game just around the corner, it would seem inappropriate not to relive “The Play.”

Watch ‘The Play’

“The Play” is one of the most famous plays in American sports, and it’s Cal’s finest moment in the long history of the Big Game. You’re not a true Bear until you’ve seen the play. If you haven’t, don’t embarrass yourself asking someone about it; just watch it in the YouTube video above (you can thank us later). If you’re a true Bears’ fan, then just take a moment to relive the play a couple times and get excited for Cal to kick some Stanfurd ass this weekend. Maybe the Standford band will mess up again, and we’ll get to watch Keenan Allen knock over a couple of band members as he wins the game and brings back the Axe (knock on wood).

Video Source: on YouTube


soccer

Well, well, well, would you take a look at soccer? Seems like this sport — which we’ve heard is … eh, somewhat popular in certain areas of the world — has finally gained some long overdue respect in America. Sure, it’s certainly not enough to earn back its rightful name of “football,” but it was just enough to get over 13 million viewers, a new Twitter record and some well deserved trending for our very own Alex Morgan.

Twitter announced that Sunday’s Women’s World Cup championship game between the U.S. and Japan has set a new record for most tweets per second. The 7,196 TPS blows away what would seemingly be more popular events like President Obama’s announcement that Bin Laden had been killed or the 2011 Super Bowl, each getting a little over 4,000 TPS.

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So this is kind of upsetting: researchers from UC Berkeley and UC San Diego just released data demonstrating this doozy of a statistic:

Violence against intimate partners increases where the local National Football League team loses a game it was expected to win.

All we can say is BUHHHHH.

Image Source: Maitri under Creative Commons
NFL losses linked to domestic violence [UPI]

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Football season is back, mes amis, and since we just came off a rather magnificent win, the season is looking pretty good so far. The best news of all, however, is that you can get real-time updates on the game without leaving your house. That’s right, the Daily Cal sports wizards will be live blogging the Colorado game this Saturday Sept. 11 starting at 12:30.

According to the Facebook event, there are some questions to be answered. “How will the Bears fare against an actual FBS opponent? Does it even matter that Colorado’s joining the Pac-12? Ready to see what happens in Part II of the Keenan Allen Show?”

We’d like to say that the answers are: “we’ll win,” “no,” and “hell yeah!” but you’ll just have to tune in to the live blog to find out. You can also comment and participate in in-game polls while you’re reading. Just don’t forget the body paint — even if you’re alone in your room, it’s still very important.

Image source: John-Morgan under Creative Commons
Live Blog: Cal Football vs. Colorado [Facebook]


Tell 'em, girl!

Are you ready to ruuumble, Cal Bears?! Why, you ask? Can’t you just feel it in the unseasonably sweltering air? It’s football time! This Saturday, September 4 is our first home game against UC Davis. Kick-off is at 1 p.m.

Yes, we’re going to make the “Who even knew Davis had a football team? What, is it made up of cows?” joke. And you’re going to like it. Maybe. Apparently, this will be the first time Cal and Davis have met “upon the gridiron,” as they say, since 1939. So we’re guessing somebody forgot about the Aggies … until now.

“But are they actually any good?” read more »


WOOOO BEAT ENGLAND.

Ahem, ahem. Cough, cough. Pause. Shoulder shake. Deep breath. All together, now:

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!

Felt good, didn’t it? That’s because, somewhere deep below  your American “football”-worshipping, NBA finals-obsessing exterior, your soul is totally freaking excited for the  2010 World Cup. (And not just because Nike’s commercial for it is probably the most genius and effective ad ever made. Ever.)

If you don’t have a TV, you will obviously want to congregate in public places with other sports fans to watch the games and share the magic. read more »


cal bears celebration

Eighty percent, motherf*ckers!

Football team’s 2002 freshmen graduated at a rate of 71 percent, up from 53 percent the year before. Keep reading for more teams and numbers. Derive from this what you will: read more »


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