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GAME #35
Friday, October 21, 2016

Oregon Ducks: 2-4
@ California Golden Bears: 3-3

California Memorial Stadium
Berkeley, California

Trip Dates 10/20/2016 – 10/23/2016
School University of California, Berkeley
Visiting Team Oregon Ducks
Pre-game Record: 2-4
Home Team California Golden Bears
Pre-game Record: 3-3
Game Time (ET) 10:30 PM Eastern
Weather 63 & Clear, Temperature dropping
Attendees Jarrett, Al, & Brett
Jarrett’s Pick California Golden Bears
(22 and 12 record)
Al’s Pick Oregon Ducks
(17 and 17 record)
Attendance 43,048
Capacity 63,000
Length of Game 4:18
Seat Location Corner, 11th Row
Miles Traveled 2,693 (split with Stanford)
Photo Album Click here for the Cal Photo Album

Travelthis section is duplicated here and in the Stanford trip report
The California / Stanford trip is an extra day trip. Going out to California for two games requires an extra day, so it was an early wake up call on Thursday morning. I would be traveling solo on this day as The Director of the Road Less Traveled, Al, decided that he could not make the trip until Friday. Something about being away all week and having to go home for a night and then “having” to go to Vegas for “work” after this trip or something like that. Al would like to add that at the time of booking this trip he knew he had a Vegas conference the week after and was trying to merge the trips together. Unfortunately several other recent cross country flights to LA and Seattle and an unplanned local offsite dinner for work killed what could have been a well thought out plan. He further states that he is still paying for the amount of time he was away in terms of sleep, etc. Ok, some people may buy what he is selling, but moving on…Target, our former intern (Beth loves that title), would be making his way from Akron and arriving Thursday night and for the record, Al doesn’t care about anything related to ex-interns on the Quest. So a solo cross country flight it was, just me and 180 other passengers. JFK to SFO on a single aisle plane. Thanks Delta, fun times!

Upon arrival at SFO, it was off to the Silvercar rental. This is a rental car company that I have been wanting to try for some time. It has simply been that they are not in any locations that I have been to recently. But I have referred others who have been quite happy. Here is the deal; they only rent Audi A4’s, they fill the gas tank and only charge you for the gas used plus $5, they give you a toll pass and only charge for actual tolls, all cars have navigation, they pick up and drop off at the terminal, and everything is done via the app, meaning no rental car counter. In other words, hassle free car rental. Of course you pay a premium, but sometimes less hassle is worth it.

Well, off to Silvercar. SIlvercar is not able to pick up and drop off at the terminal at SFO, only at the rental car area which is an air train ride away. In other words, this was Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Off the plane, airtrain to rental cars, Silvercar shuttle van, and finally the Audi. But once there, very hassle free. They took a photo of my license, I used the app to open the car (very cool), and then I was off.

Well not quite. The navigation took a bit of figuring out, then realized it did not have real time traffic data, so I went back to using my phone and google maps. What I would come to learn is that real time traffic data in California is critical. Then it was off to Stanford.

In mapping out this trip, I realized that with a noon game on Saturday, it would be difficult to fit everything in at Stanford that I wanted, so I decided to spend Thursday at Stanford, Friday at Cal, and Saturday back at Stanford. So like I said, off to Stanford.

This continues in the Stanford trip report and picks up again below when we head to Cal on Friday morning.

Friday – University of California, BerkeleyPicking up from the Stanford trip report.
Target and I awoke on Friday and headed out to UC, Berkeley just a few minutes from the hotel. First Cal observation, parking here sucks. We had to park in downtown Berkeley and walk to campus. Not a huge issue, but just know, parking here sucks.

The first item on the agenda, finding a place to eat breakfast. We passed through the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union but all food options were closed. And no it was not 6am, it was 10:30am. We tiptoed back out of the union as this had to be the quietest, most studious student union I have ever seen. People here must either be really smart because they study so much or really dumb because they HAVE to study so much. Not sure, but all I want to know is if the union is this quiet, you must have to take off your shoes to walk through the library. And in a surprise note from Beth she says…”Lol, you can be pretty funny!”

Next stop is the Cesar Chavez Student Center and The Golden Bear. It was open but had slim pickings as for some reason certain lines close for maintenance at random intervals. I opted for sushi. Yes, the pickings were that slim, but it’s not as bad as it sounds as it was only vegetable rolls, so not really sushi.

We then headed for the library as we just had to see what was going on there. After passing by the Free Speech Movement Cafe we found the library. We were told at the campus visitors center that this was an open and inclusive campus, but we were denied entry to the library as we were not students. Not very open and inclusive. However we were able to walk into the reading rooms; very nice, small, and yes, very quiet.

As an aside, I am not making up the names to these buildings. The stereotypes and images that you have of Cal Berkeley are true. Very true! Enough said on this topic? No, not yet.

It was at this point in the day where Al arrives via Uber from SFO. Time to drop off his bags at the car and head to lunch. Are you all as curious as Al is to why our ex intern got picked up and Al was in an Uber?

Lunch – Chez Panisse
The lunch options were considered and we decided to go for a place that I had heard of and done some pre trip research on, the highly acclaimed Chez Panisse. After walking for a bit (1.3 miles to be exact) we found the place and headed for Chez Panisse Cafe as opposed to the much more pricey restaurant. Target and I had fried rabbit (Beth is not a fan), while Al had ravioli. It was good but, in my opinion, not remarkable. It was a very nice lunch with good food, but not of the exceptional nature all pre trip research had indicated. I have the Alice Waters (the founder of the restaurant) cookbooks on my list to eventually get to once I follow through on my cooking hobby (and complete the always heard about, never followed diet), and will probably still do so, but this is a dent in the aura that they had prior.

Back to Cal
After lunch we headed back to campus. Sather Tower would be the next stop. The Sather Tower observation deck offered fantastic views of the campus and on the way up we were told that on a clear day it had great views of The Golden Gate Bridge. I know all about SF fog, but isn’t the bridge like a few miles away. It would be a feat if you could see Vegas, but the Golden Gate a few miles away is not that impressive. Anyway, it did have a good view of the Cal campus. And yes you could see the bridge, and no, you couldn’t see Vegas.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bookstore
Next stop, the bookstore. On the way to the bookstore, we ran right into a student protest. The students were protesting the eviction of the student run bookstore. They proceeded to block traffic for approximately 10 minutes chanting “Students over Profits” and “Whose University? Our University!”. The police that happened to be in the area at the start of the blocking of traffic all left as if they did not want to deal with the situation. After 10 minutes the students stopped blocking the street, and moved onto the sidewalk. A few protest observations:

  • This is not your parents generation protest
  • Millennial attention span – protest lasted 10 minutes before moving off the street
  • No police at all
  • No rubber bullets or tear gas used (that is a good thing)

Here is the backstory. The Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) is the student government at Berkeley. They run the bookstore. The stated campus administration goals are that the bookstore provide income for student government and student group activities, create a financially sound bookstore to ensure books and other services are available to students, and to allow students the opportunity for participation in running the bookstore. In 2015, the ASUC bookstore lost $671,500. In February through May of 2016, the store lost in excess of $900,000 and in May the store lost almost $250,000. After unsuccessful negotiations between the school and ASUC, the school began eviction proceedings in July.

This explains the Students over Profits chant. I still do not understand why the “Our University” chant. Lots of issues could be discussed here, but this is not a political arena so I will only mention one observation; it does not seem that ASUC is particularly skilled at running a bookstore. All I know is, that based on this “protest of the day”, see my previous comment about UC Berkeley confirming all stereotypes.

Al would like to state that the answer to the our University chant is entitlement, and it is myth versus truth that these millenials argue with us older kids every day. They are not entitled, yet it is “their university” (that mom and dad are paying for) and since their parents are paying, they should be able to keep their non-profitable business “the bookstore” open and functioning (which is sad to begin with) and without having to pay rent or rental expenses. HEY MOM AND DAD, if your kids are here for business school……they are not learning anything. They are whining and crying because they are not getting what they want. Waaaaaaaaa! I for one am happy they got evicted; you are not learning anything beneficial here by running a business that can’t sustain itself, and by protesting this fact, to me you are just quitting. Work harder. Find a better business model. Get a cheaper lease. Make money. Be successful. Stop crying. Rant over! All letters should be sent to Al Botta at …..

Rest of the Day at Cal – Pre Game
We finally did make it to the bookstore and did our usual shopping. Our wandering around the campus at Cal concluded when we were unable to find the Fidel Castro Gym or the Karl Marx lecture hall. Okay, I made those last two up.

We spent the rest of the day at the Cal versus Washington State swim meet. Turns out, Cal won the national championship last year. We have a habit of stumbling into sporting events being played by really good teams. The meet was not at all close. Cal won almost every event and swept 1-3 and even 1-4 in many races. But one item of note, the swim meet that we went to at Ohio State last year also had Washington State competing. It is very “strange” when you recognize parents from the Washington State women’s swim team over multiple years. We may have some issues. I am sure there will be a Beth comment to add here. And here it is, “Strange is the wrong word”. Meanwhile, Brett fell in love with one of the All American swimmers on Stanford who oddly wasn’t swimming today. Rumor has it she refused to wear the cool swimming sweater coat things that Jarrett wants for his birthday (hint hint Beth).

Pre Game
Dinner was at a place called Gypsy’s Trattoria. Comments will follow about the choice of Gypsy’s but all I have to say is that if you take my order and you do not have what I ordered, it is NOT OK to simply just put something else out there and not tell me you do not have the item I ordered. Almost any other place we could eat at including McDonald’s and even Chipotle (which I am still boycotting), will tell you when they are out or do not have something. Apparently the people at Gypsy’s just replace it with whatever they feel like.

A few observations from Gypsy’s:

  • Target picked the place from Yelp reviews
  • Target believes Yelp is the best place for restaurant reviews
  • Target trusts the general public to evaluate restaurants
  • Target’s dad would be very disappointed with this

My conclusions:

  • Yelp is the worst place for restaurant reviews as I do not want people from any random place evaluating my food choices. As we already know, I am a restaurant snob and I will not take generic advice from the general public that thinks Texas Roadhouse is the best steakhouse in NY.
  • Target is insane for thinking that the general public is good at anything, let alone my food. Gypsy’s is exhibit A.
  • Target is not allowed to pick places to eat anymore. Especially after the next night in Palo Alto.
  • Al wants to repeat Target is not allowed to pick places to eat anymore.

Beth strongly believes that is it clearly evident that the Quest Directors do not properly train interns to become questers.

After dinner, we met up with the Ritter brothers who are travelling across the country to see as many college football games as possible this season. We discovered that they were in Berkeley for the same game, so decided to meet up with them and swap a few stories. All I can say is…nice to be young and one of them is single. And one of the brothers, like Al, went to UCF, but his class is 201X while Al was there when Orlando did not have Disney. I can say this because Al is older than I am, by about a month.

Oregon at California
The last time we saw this matchup it was in Eugene in 2013, a result that was 55-16 for the Ducks in a monsoon. So to us, this was a Cal revenge game, but not really since it was 3 years ago.

First things first….our picks. By secret ballot, Al picks Oregon and I pick Cal. For the first time in awhile, one of us will gain on the other. Psst, it’s me. Al argues that someone has to win unfortunately.

Cal kicked off and Oregon (OU) drove to the Cal 40 in 10 plays, decided to punt, and it was a touchback. Cal then went three and out punting back to OU. This is the start of Cal fan bitching and moaning as there was a holding call on Cal on this drive. The chants next to us started with Pac12 refs suck, the game is rigged, the game is fixed, etc….5 minutes into the game. I guess this is what happens when you are not good for a long time.

OU three and out. The 90 point over/under not looking so good at this point. This was the highest over/under in Vegas in 15 years, or so I heard. Cal then goes 71 yards in 14 plays for our first score, a Cal TD, 7-0 Cal.

Next possession saw a holding call on Oregon and no comments from the fans that the game is rigged, for at least 5 minutes. But OU could not recover and had to punt. Six rushes and a pass later, Cal up 14-0. End of 1Q, Cal 14-0 and the under is trending.

OU opens the 2Q 4 plays and out. Cal then goes on an 11 play drive for another TD and the romp is on, 21-0 Cal. Oregon would show some signs of life and answer with a TD of their own for a 21-7 Cal lead. After, Cal would go on a 15 play 46 yard drive ending with a FG for a 24-7 lead. How is it possible to run 15 plays and only go 46 yards? The scoring continues as OU answers the Cal FG with a TD and we are at 24-14 Cal. Cal then would go on a 10 play drive to go up 31-14. And the defenses have left the building. Actually, I think they never showed up. Halftime 31-14 Cal. Right at the halfway mark of the over/under.

The second half began with; the game was still rigged, these refs are the worst, they only call holding on Cal, OU is holding every play, etc. Cal opened the 3Q with a FG to widen the lead to 34-14. Cal had 3 more drives in the 3Q, none lasting more than 5 plays while OU got two TDs and we had ourselves a game going into the 4Q at 34-28 Cal.

Oregon got the 4Q going with a 10 play TD drive to take the lead at 35-34. Uh oh Cal. After showing no signs of life on its last 3 drives, Cal went on a 10 play 77 yard drive to answer OU and take a 42-35 lead after a successful two point conversion. After an 11 play drive that only went 31 yards and was filled with penalties on both sides, OU punted. Cal punted back and OU tied it on a 42 yard pass, 42-42. Overtime.

First OT, matching TDs. Second OT opened with a Cal FG after 7 plays. Uh oh Cal, you really needed a TD as nothing gave anyone any confidence that Cal could stop OU. On the second play, Cal intercepted Justin Herbert for the win, 52-49 Cal. Over and over.

I gained a game on Al. Also, here are just a few stats from the game:

  • Cal rushing yards 311 Cal passing yards 325
  • Cal plays 118 OU plays 85 = 203 plays in the game, an FBS record

  • Only 1 turnover in 203 plays, the last play of the game
  • The teams combined to go 14 for 14 scoring in the red zone
  • The game took 4 hours 18 minutes
  • Both teams committed 14 penalties, 28 in total. The game was clearly rigged.

Some other stadium related notes:

  • At kickoff it was 62 degrees. It got cold fast. Target bought a blanket after wearing shorts and a t shirt. Target clearly can not dress himself. The metal benches (with backs though) certainly did not help.
  • Much like the student union, this stadium was quiet.
  • The stands were still filling up into the 2Q. Luckily for them, there was still A LOT of football left. But the stands never got full and even once done filling up was relatively sparse.
  • The stadium pretzels were from last year.
  • The hot chocolate scalded Al’s lips in two spots and they remained cut for a week and a half.

But now a word about the girl/woman in front of us. She was taking pics non stop, adding captions to them all, posting on a dozen social media sites, but that is not the most interesting part. She took 10 minutes to edit each picture. Not exaggerating. She must have an app that allows you to edit the picture 100 different ways as she proceeded to use them all. Some captions were about wishing the game would end already. The timing of this was interesting as Cal led most of the game, but not until OU took the lead did she start begging for the game to just end. Mostly because she was cold as “60 degrees felt like 40” as one of her captions indicated. You know, you are allowed to leave. Just saying. Definitely a millennial who Al thinks works in social media marketing. Every post was the same “still here”. Dude, just leave. Beth wonders if we were watching the game or the woman in front of us and I can honestly say it was not the woman.

After the game, which was quite late, we headed out to Mountain View, as the hotel for the night was near Stanford.

This trip continues in the Stanford trip report and picks up again with Sunday morning below.

Sundaythis section is duplicated here and in the Stanford trip report
Al had an early wakeup for his 7am flight to Vegas. He would be poolside before I took off for NY. Perks of the “job”.

After a quick breakfast at the hotel, and not checking out with the front desk due a long line moving very slowly, Target and I set out for SFO. Finally, no traffic in Cali. At 8am on a Sunday morning.

We brought the car back to the Silvercar warehouse, the car was scanned, and we were on the shuttle van back to the airtrain. On the way, I received the Silvercar receipt. Two things stood out; one good, one bad. On the negative side, Silvercar can not track miles driven on a rental. This is standard that all car companies do, but Silvercar does not. This is important for no reason other than I track Quest miles (see the footer on this page). No big deal, I can do it manually, just felt strange to me. On the plus side, I was billed for gas immediately. Remember how I said Silvercar charges $5 plus the actual cost of gas to fill the tank for you? Well they tap into the car’s computer to instantly know how many gallons were used and the amount shows up right on the receipt. That is very cool technology, but they still can not track mileage?

Target went off to wait for his flight to Akron and I off for my flight to NY. Delta had equipment troubles so they had a larger plane for my flight than planned. Hello to a two aisle plane and an empty middle seat. Much more comfortable. Of course, once we got out to the runway we had to return to the gate for more oil. But we still landed on time thanks to the larger plane having more fuel which meant we could fly faster. Yes, planes can go faster, they just don’t because of fuel economy. But aren’t I still paying a fuel surcharge despite the fact that oil is down to $35 per barrel? Just saying.

I landed in NY and arrived home to a very happy dog and somewhat ambivalent wife and kids. Just seeing if you are paying attention Beth as we know Alexis does not. Al adds that no one knew he was even gone. Beth would like it noted that she is still paying full attention and did read this paragraph.

Beth Demandsthis section is duplicated here and in the Stanford trip report
The Cal and Stanford trip report was done in one go numbering 15 pages. At the end, Beth has written that she would like a raise and a promotion. In her words…

These write-ups are like reading a term paper and it is about time that I get a big bonus! And I want an intern! And just for the record, aside from my liking the Quest Directors and their beloved intern Target, these write-ups have not at all made me want to attend Quest trips. Yes Jarrett, a win-win for you. And I want more recognition and a raise!!!

To which I will only say…I would double your salary from $0 to $0x2, your title will now be “Senior Your Kids will Read This Editor” and you are free to share or even have Target as your intern.

And I will close with…Crisis averted.

The Oregon Ducks would finish 4-8, 2-7 in the Pac 12 North which was good for a last place finish in the division. Mark Helfrich would be fired and replaced by Willie Taggart.

The Cal Bears did not fare much better, losing their next four games after beating Oregon. The Bears finished 5-7, 3-6 in the Pac 12 North, just ahead of Oregon in the division. Head Coach Sonny Dykes would be fired and replaced by Justin Wilcox.

Could this be the first Quest game in which both Head Coaches would be fired at the end of the season?

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Photo Gallery
For our California photo album, Please click here. You can view as a collage or run as a slideshow. There are comments to explain what is in the photo but most are self explanatory. Thanks to Google, I can no longer embed the slide show with comments.

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