Friday, November 17, 2006


Cal versus USC was not supposed to be "the other game" that it has been reduced to. Back in the dawn of the football season, it was ranked by prognosticators right up there with Ohio State versus Michigan. But that was before the men of Troy dropped trou for Oregon State and the Bears picked up the soap in the Arizona shower. In a way, that's a good thing. The only thing at stake for Cal will be the Rose Bowl, not a possible national championship, which means I will bleed out of only one ear if USC takes and holds a lead, as opposed to both ears and nostrils.

The really good news is that I'm not an Ohio St. or Michigan fan or alum. I don't think I could take the pressure. I would need transfusions before halftime. Not only will the national championship probably follow the winner home like a Collie, but the game has taken on downright spooky dimensions. Here's what I mean.

There is an actual punk rock band, evidently of former Ohio St. students, that plays a fairly limited number of engagements in a geographically limited market; to be honest, I'm guessing about that. I ran across them on the Net today. What I do know is that every year, the night before the Ohio St. - Michigan game, they play an event called the Hate Michigan Dance. The name of the band is the Dead Schembechlers, which is a play on the Dead Kennedys, and the name of Michigan's most successful and renowned football coach. I don't know what coach Schembechler's reaction to this has been, or if he's even aware of the band, and now I'll never have the chance to ask him. Because Bo Schembechler died this morning.

And tonight, the Dead Schembechlers take the stage amid more irony than even they can ever have dreaded or hoped for.

There's something about this that should tell me something. And that something is: which way to bet the game.

This is clearly a sign, or an omen, but of what? That powers beyond our feeble ken have thrown their lot with the Ohioans? Or that God has taken Bo in trade for a trouncing of the Buckeyes tomorrow?

Actually, I'm not betting that or any other game, and I couldn't care less which team wins. I'd just like to see one of them playing Cal on New Year's Day. Even if it were to mean that, say, Joe Kapp must die.


Blogger ....J.Michael Robertson said...

Back when the Chronicle was running its "day in the life" feature, I did a day of Joe Kapp when he was Cal coach. He was very pleasant and cooperative, much better than Asshole Lite, which is about the best you can hope for when you interview athletes. Unless you share the same drug dealer. Which is another story. And not my story. Anyway, Kapp had a bottle of tequila high on a shelf in his office not to be opened until the team got back to the Rose Bowl. I like to think Kapp kept that bottle of tequila honest and that it met its end smashed against a rock.

November 17, 2006 at 3:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home