Avi and I witnessed this massacre in person. Couldn't have written it any better. This fired me up for my article on this game.

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Oct 17, 2022Liked by Avinash Kunnath, Rob Hwang, Piotr Le, TD_24

I wrote this to Knowlton:

Hey Jim,

I've gotten to the point where I think most Cal fans are tuning out. Not just about the Colorado loss, which can happen from week to week, but going back to what I first emailed you months ago. We're a football program that wallows in mediocrity. For all of the rhetoric about excellence, the football team, from the coaching to the institutional support, simply exists because, by contract, we have to have a football team.

Not thrive. Not strive to thrive. And that's the honest truth. Sure, we have hard-working athletes, but our mission to allow them to thrive is based on doing it on the cheap. Just enough to get by and not rock the boat. Occasional success in a football world that has changed under our feet. We're miles behind in a football world that is moving at light speed.

I think Cal fans have reached a tipping point. We see schools like UCLA and USC make bold decisions to make football part of their mission of excellence, and we Berkeley alums are stuck with jokes about Cal and football being incongruent. The anecdote about Dykes and the band is just the latest example that should embarrass the university, but I'm sure it just garnered a 'the band is important too' response.

I walked on the Cal campus in 1984 and have been a stalwart fan since then. But yesterday, my wife asked me why I continued to subject myself to this mediocrity. That it was an abusive relationship with a program that didn't care. And I thought about it. She was right. Yes, we have great highs and lows, but overall it's become unrewarding. And when you start to lose a Cal football fan like me, it's hell to create new ones. Apathy, not passion or dislike, is the greatest enemy of a fanbase, and we're on the brink of losing your most loyal advocates.


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Oct 17, 2022·edited Oct 17, 2022Liked by Avinash Kunnath

Avi, well said. I like Wilcox, but every post-game presser is the same - coaches and players alike. I feel for our players. It must feel awful being let down by your coaching staff with their game plans every week...

Being a CAL fan has always been a very unique adventure. I know we can never score enough points to feel comfortable that we will win - no matter what our lead is, I know the game is never over until I see 00:00 on the game clock.

I am a very passionate fan, and can say that games like the last two really hurt...Last year I went to the Big Game and it was the most fun I had had in decades. It seems we can only have highs and very low lows all the time. I too would settle for something middling.

What I want Knowlton and Wilcox to know is how much I look forward to watching every game because it is the one place I can feel happy. The last six or so years in my life have been oddly bad. This past week was particularly hard for me as I said goodbye to my 12 year old Golden Retriever that I called Bear-Bear on Friday. The Colorado game was supposed to help me begin healing and be a positive for me. Instead, it plunged me down even further. It was not helpful to watch that game. It was very painful...

I LOVE going to football games at Memorial and all the surrounding things that may seem insignificant, but give me such joy. I love being on the Bart train with other Cal fans. I proudly wear all my Cal paraphernalia. I love the cool air that hits my face as I exit off the Bart escalator onto Shattuck. Being in Berkeley makes me feel so good. I love walking up to Memorial through the Everglades and past the massive collegiate buildings. I love getting my Lemon dog from Top Dog. I love walking up that steep hill thru campus and turning around to see the gorgeous view of SF. I love arriving at Memorial and soaking in all the sights and sounds. Hearing the Band and ‘Go Bears’! I love walking into into Memorial and absorbing the excitement. I love our weird traditions like yelling ‘Tuba, Tuba, Tuba’ to finish the script CAL, or watching in anticipation if the majorette will catch the baton! I love hearing our canon go off and see the team come running onto the field.

The immense feeling of joy I cannot fully understand myself. My heart starts racing in a good way and it makes me smile immediately.

I am a long-time, loyal and extremely proud CAL alum and fan. It is something that can never be taken away from me no matter what is going on in my life. I LOVE my University and my Cal sports teams. I would be at every game if I could because I still have hope.

I believe attending sports games as a student is a very important part of going to college. My daughter is getting ready to apply to colleges, and she said she felt having that available to her is an important criteria as well. I also hear from her that others are not even applying to Cal because of the ‘not fun’ atmosphere and that breaks my heart.

I believe Cal must have sports, not just for us old blues, but for the students to get a break from the immense stress they have there.

I love my college. I am proud of my college. I am a loyal Alum. I love the sports and as a student going to every, football, basketball and baseball game meant I could get a break from studying (I was a Math major). My blood bleeds blue and I will continue to go to the Cal football games to cheer them on. I know that being a fan is a roller coaster ride. But you know going to the games that you never know what may happen and the game is never over until 00:00. And we can be the Colorado next week?!?

There is so much more that I could say here, but I think I will close here. Being a Cal sports fan is a wild ride, but ‘Once a Bear, always a Bear’! And we still have the Axe! Go Bears! 💙🐻💛🪓💛🏈💙

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Nice post! Wilcox's tired mantra of "We have to do better" isn't enough this time.

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Oct 17, 2022Liked by Avinash Kunnath

I had low expectations for this game. I expected us to look somewhere between inept and putrid…and I, somehow, was still let down.

Next week will be the first time in my adult life I’m willingly skipping a home game. My wife works every other weekend and I can’t justify spending another one of her weekends off dragging her to Berkeley only to tailgate in an empty courtyard and get back to Sacramento at 2 am.

Frankly, I think that’s just my excuse for not really having it in me anymore. Maybe that makes me a bad fan, but the 12-14 hour day to watch an offense that would be better served backyard style with Plummer drawing up routes on his palm, is not worth the gas money anymore.

Maybe some temporary emotional divestment will be healthy.

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After the Wazzu game I expected major changes on the staff and a shake-up of the OL. During that 2-week bye period, I did not read any Cal blog or attempt in any way to follow the program. I DVR'd the Colorado game and simply forgot that I had until late Sunday afternoon. My apathy has set in.

Nothing has changed therefore we got the expected result. I just listened to Wilcox's post-game presser. He can "act" all pissed off if he likes. But to produce that offense after 2 weeks of prep displays that the coaches simply do not get it and that starts with Wilcox. Working harder for the sake of working harder rarely produces the goal / result desired. Wilcox has to stop doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. After the Wazzu game, I as well as many others, expected Musgrave to be fired or role minimized significantly. I, along with many others, expected Angus to just be fired outright. So, I was shocked to see, on Saturday, that nothing had changed. And it appears that Wilcox's answer to this problem is to continue working harder with the same staff and starting OL. Sadly, he doesn't get it. Certainly Musgrave and Angus will be fired at year's end, right??

Apathy. I will DVR the next game and likely all of Cal's remaining games this year whether I actually watch them is doubtful. My choice to not follow Cal football during the 2-week bye period was wonderful and relaxing. I have better things to do than watch the DVR'd games and support Cal football.

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I didn't go to the University of California. I would have loved to, but my parents couldn't pay for it. But I loved the football team. Watching them that Saturday afternoon beat USC was my first college football game ever. It was perfect. I didn't have to cheer for USC or UCLA because there was another school that fit my personality more. For nearly 20 years, I was a fan of the California Golden Bears, and usually I was alone because most people at my university cheered for USC or UCLA. I didn't care. I wanted the smoke with everyone. It was too bad that we got smoked by them more often than not, especially USC for a time. I'm certainly not an Old Blue, after this loss I feel pretty blue.

It's hard to describe how I feel about the football team now. This loss hurt. but it wasn't the usual pain of a loss to a team I know Cal could beat. It was numbing. Like I knew it was going to happen somehow. Justin Wilcox is the worst Cal coach in my memory, probably ever, coming off a bye. I think he has won one time coming off a bye(Beat Colorado in 2018), and usually when they come off a bye the team looks like they just got drunk the entire two weeks. It is beyond putrid. And usually after the bye week, we face a beatable team.

This isn't a Wilcox problem in my opinion. He is certainly a part of it, but it goes to the administration. They don't treat football like the money making commodity that it is. The SEC banked on putting football first, every team has, and they are just thriving. I get it, Cal spent a lot of money on their athletic department especially on the stadium, but the apathy of the Administration has rubbed off on the team, and ergo, starting to rub off on the rest of us. They have to look at football as the first, last and only commodity, or the athletics as a whole will suffer.

I have heard so many stories just this year, and it made me sick. Cal potentially going D3 in football, if not being outright cancelled? The band getting priority over the football team on their own field? This is beyond humiliating. I have a son now, and it was my only wish for both of us to enjoy Cal Football together. It would leave a significant hole in my heart if I wasn't able to do that if any of the above happened. If it did, a big portion of the happiness of my adolescent years and beyond would be gone.

I'm sorry... It's hard to deal. I was a Wilcox backer because I love defense. 13-10 games are usually my thing because you have to work for every yard and every move is like a chess match. Not when it's due to mediocrity.

Wilcox has to go. They all have to go. Clean house. It sucks because now we have some stars and I have to lay awake at night praying to God that Jaydn Ott decides to stay with us after this year. We are at a crossroads. Hard choices must be made. I hope they make the right ones.

Go Bears. I love you all.

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Has Musgrave been fired yet?

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It’s Sunday evening and Musgrave still has a job. That means Wilcox should not.

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Jim Knowlton is under contract through 2029. That's just insane. Olympic sports don't pay the bills, Jim.

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The program is regressing. Other programs are doing so much more with less resources. I think Wilcox has maxed out here, and it is time for a change. However, I don't know who we can honestly look to that has FBS experience that is willing to come here.

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Oct 17, 2022·edited Oct 17, 2022

Yes to all the pleas to fire our current OC. And… I suggest the Interim OC make the game fun again for the OL. For the rest of season, run trick plays and misdirections. Reverse. Double reverse. Flea flicker. Halfback Pass. Moving pocket. Fumblerooski. Hook and Ladder/Lateral. (Update: I forgot to add Statue of Liberty. And: Double reverse pass!) Make the game fun again. Especially for the OL.

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Well said Avi. This comes closest to expressing what the fanbase feels. There simply MUST be an action of desperate urgency by Wilcox or he signs his own firing documents. If neither happens, then Knowlton should be fired. If that doesn't happen, then Christ should just come out and say that we are dropping our football program altogether. It's a domino effect of leadership challenges. There are times, few and rare, when change for the sake of change is warranted. This is one of them.

I don't give a flying rat's ass who he replaces Musgrave and Angus with mid-season. I mean that. I don't care. But those guys just have to be gone. If there is no real news on this by Monday then I will turn my back on the program for the first time since Holmoe.

I agree Avi, my pride as an alumni of UC Berkeley prevents me from any longer supporting the status quo of our football team. We are Golden Bears. Go Bears.

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Oct 17, 2022·edited Oct 17, 2022

Awesome, Avi. Haven’t even read the article yet but I’m loving it already, just by the headline.

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Still feeling numb on Monday morning. Something has to give at this point.

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Ott sidelined in OT is mystifying. Was he “benched” for not producing, even though it was the playcalling that doomed us? I wonder if this is a case of BM not having any other tricks, or if he truly thinks his plays are fine and that the players just need to execute better.

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