Friday, December 01, 2006

The pageantry of the Big Game


As a graduate of Cal, Money has been picking on Cal all year. This past year, Money has constantly bet against the Bears and criticized their coach Jeff Tedford for not winning a (not THE) big game. While this might still be true, I have softened my stance a bit and I owe this change of judgment to Joe Starkey and the Cal Band.

On Wednesday night I attended a Big Game dinner at Momo’s in San Francisco. Joe Starkey, the voice of the Bears, was the emcee. After hearing his voice it did not take long to invoke memories of “the band is on the field” and to truly appreciate his passion for the game and most importantly the Bears. If that was not enough the Cal band came marching through the restaurant with their tubas blaring and drums blasting. The crowd was clapping and Money got a little caught up in this as well.

There is no question that this may be the most talent that Cal has ever had on one football team in the history of their existence. Time will tell when we look back on the number of great players on this team and their impact in the NFL. Additionally obvious is the fact that USC is the yardstick that Pac 10, as well as most of the country, measures themselves by. Cal is close to them. They do not have the depth but they are close in talent and if they committed to their football team the way USC does, there is no reason to believe that you could not throw Cal’s name into national title contending teams year after year along with Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, USC and Texas.

The problem with this theory is that for most fans, a 9-3 record and a trip to the Holiday bowl is a pretty good season, and likely as good as it gets for Bear fans. Cal is and always will be an academic school, first and foremost. Athletics will always be third or fourth on the list of importance to this school.

So what does all this mean as we enter big game weekend as a 28 point favorite? Enjoy the tradition, wear your blue and gold scarf, get drunk, bet against Cal and witness one of the longest standing rivalries in college football.

Before we get on to the gambling picks, I thought I would take a moment and recognize another gambling great. On Thursday, Russell Baze finished first at Bay Meadows putting him into a tie for most all time victories at 9530. I can not tell you how many classes I missed to go down the street to watch and bet on R. Baze at Golden Gate Field. We had no idea that this little guy had so much staying power. We thought we were just great handicappers.

College games:

UCLA +13.5 vs. usc
This is a big game for both teams. UCLA has a great defense. USC is not going to run away in this game.

STANFURD +29 @ cal
The Cardinal is bad, but not this bad. This will be a blowout but Stanford will score at the end of the game for the backdoor cover.

RUTGERS +10.5 @ West Va
I gave up on West Virginia a couple of weeks ago. I think they gave up on themselves too.

GEORGIA TECH -2.5 vs. Wake Forest
Wake Forest is out of their element here. The yellow jackets win this game rather easily.

ARKANSAS +3 vs. Florida
I will continue to bet against Florida. They are an ordinary team. McFadden is the best player in college.

NFL games

CHARGERS -6 @ Buffalo
I usually love home dogs, but the Chargers are simply too good.

NY GIANTS +3.5 vs. Dallas
I love this game. The Giants are so bad. The Cowboys are so good. That was last week and things change quickly in the NFL.

BROWNS +5.5 vs. Chiefs
Cleveland was awful last week. They do defend the pass well and will shut down KC. Johnson will still have his way, but this game will be close.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your nastalgic writing is not your strongest suit, but we enjoy the personal touch. I know you are aware of this, but it is now college basketball season, and Mrs. A is starting to hit stride. You will need to start writing your article on a day when there are more college bball games, as Friday is notoriously Ivy league only.

We saw a great college basketball game when UNC pulled off the win and late cover vs Ohio State, I would take that +7 every single time out, and when Oden arrives Ohio State will be in the final four. Marquette's guards and UCLA's coaching staff will get them their as well. Florida will get better with Brewer sitting out a few weeks and they will be the one seed in the East.

Look for the continued collapse of the very exciting warriors, who by the way would be 9th and out of the playoffs if the season ended today. Can you believe all this hoopla for a team that is still 9th!!!?

Rockets as I said will continue on their torrid pace and may get close to 50 wins. Again Battier will be the reason why, and oh yeh, Van Gundy is ugly but he can coach!

It is tough to make picks with no college games out there, so here are 3 NBA locks for tonight

Wizards -6
Cav-2.5 (revenge game for earlier debacle against Atlanta)
Knicks +8.5 (Pistons on the back end of a double header wont take the lead until late in the 4th to win by 5 or less)

12:38 PM  
Blogger Money said...

Mrs. A
You bring up a valid point in regards to my lack of posts on college basketball. While I have been watching, I have not been writing. We will step up our efforts at The Truth.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contrary to your profile money was actually born in Los Angeles...check with Dollar Bill for verification.

1:39 PM  

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