Just Like Cal to Disappoint Early in Season

Anyone who is a fan of Cal football can tell you what a painful experience it is. Marred with inconsistency, the Golden Bears can get up for a game and blast an opponent by 50 points one week, and then come back and lose to an inferior opponent by 20 the next week. This season has already started out for the Bears much like their others: disappointingly.

Cal blasted UC Davis in their opener 52-3. Sure it was just UC Davis, but beating a low-level team like that is exactly what you’re supposed to do. The following week, Cal surprised me by smashing Colorado 52-7. The loss was so shocking and convincing that Buffs’ quarterback Tyler Hansen guaranteed his team would never get spanked that badly again. At 2-0 and outscoring opponents by a combined 104-10, the Bears appeared to be rolling. As soon as you think Cal is rolling, that’s exactly when they disappoint.

The Bears were on national television Friday night in Reno to play the Wolfpack. Nevada’s motive is simple; they’re going to score a ton of points and give up a ton and just hope they have more than you. Playing against Kevin Riley, the odds are generally in your favor.

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Cal’s Jahvid Best Hit so Hard by Maryland’s Kevin Barnes He Throws Up

We’ve already seen Brandon Jacobs run over LaRon Landry, and Sheldon Brown crush Steven Jackson, but the hit of the year might be Kevin Barnes of Maryland on Cal running back Jahvid Best. I’m not sure you can place a hit on some more squarely than this one. No doubt Jahvid agrees.

Thanks to LBS tipster Andy, a saddened Cal fan, for emailing that in. We know lots of Cal fans who traveled cross-country to watch this game. Let’s just hope they didn’t see Best puking from where they were sitting, considering that one play probably encapsulates the entire game for Cal fans. Video courtesy of Mister Irrelevant via Deadspin.

Police Trim Berkeley Tree-Hugger Homes

You may have thought you were reading some important stuff here over the past seven weeks. You were wrong. The year wasn’t officially christened until we had our first Berkeley tree-hugger update of 2008. If you remember, at last check, one of the tree-huggers had fallen out of his humble domain humpty-dumpty style, broken limbs everywhere. Well be happy that all has been set right in this world. Police hired some arborists to roll up in there Nino Brown style and cut down the tree-hugger homes:

The arborist climbed into the grove about 6 a.m. and cut most of the ropes connecting the half-dozen platforms the tree-sitters have built in the foliage. The arborist also took down one of the platforms, which was uninhabited.

“They cut a s- bucket and it fell to the ground and exploded,” said Erik Eisenberg, 39, a leader of the tree-sitters’ ground crew who goes by the name Ayr. “They’ve made things less safe and less sanitary. All they’re trying to do is harass and intimidate us.”

Dude, honestly, Erik, you live in an effing tree. You have no say in the matter. That’s like losing your right to vote. And maybe someone should welcome these cats to the 21st century. You know, an era in which we have plumbing and take advantage of this new invention called … wait for it … toilets. Now there’s a heck of a thought.

Cal Completes the Impressive Collapse

A matter of seven weeks ago, the Cal Golden Bears were on top of the college football world. Sporting a #2 ranking and healthy 5-0 record, a BCS bowl was not in question; it was only a matter of whether or not they would reach the National Championship game. Matter of fact, a buddy of mine even tried rescheduling a surgery so he’d be ready to travel to New Orleans come January 7th. So much for that. The once mighty Golden Bears quietly dropped six of their last seven, starting with the disappointing loss to Oregon State.

Until my mentioning here, you probably didn’t even realize how poorly Cal finished. They just dropped off the radar screen with a meteoric thud. They lost their last three, including back-to-back road losses to Washington and Stanford. I can understand stumbling against Oregon State and losing to ASU and USC, but come on, also falling to UCLA, Washington, and Stanford? Are you kidding me? All for a team that torched Tennessee to start the year? How is it possible that a team goes from being one of the top five in the country (which they clearly were) to one of the worst in the Pac-10 a few months later? It’s mind-boggling. Please, someone, explain to me how something like this happens. Was it the curse of the tree hugger?

Cal Band’s Tribute to Video Games

Somehow yesterday on The Jim Rome Show we got all hung up talking about the arcade game Punch Out.  I wasn’t too familiar with the arcade game because I only knew of the Nintendo version — Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.  Anywhoo, it just seems to be that sort of week, since Deuce of Davenport tips me off to a halftime performance by the Cal band recently.  Needless to say, it’s pretty kick ass.  Take a look:

OK, I got Pong and Mario, and that’s about it.  Anyone else recognize the other games?

Cal Tree Hugger Falls, Breaks Wrist

They’re so depressed in Strawberry Canyon right now about the football team going from national title contender to a four-loss squad in a matter of a few short weeks, that the protestors are jumping out of the branches to try and commit suicide. OK, maybe not. But those same Berkeley tree-dwellers that freaked out all the Tennessee Vols fans at the beginning of the college football season are still swinging on branches as a protest. Unfortunately for one of them, he suffered a humpty-dumpty like fate:

One of the tree-sitting protesters in a grove of oaks next to UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium was in the hospital Monday after taking a bone-breaking fall.

Nathaniel Hill, who fell at least 30 feet on Sunday night, was in stable condition at Highland Hospital in Oakland, a nursing supervisor at the hospital said.

“It’s just kind of a fluke that it happened,” the 24-year-old Hill said in a phone interview from his hospital bed Monday afternoon. He said he broke his wrist and ankle, both of which are in casts.

Hill estimated he was between 30 and 40 feet in the air when he fell from a rope he mistakenly thought his harness was attached to.

I honestly had been wondering how these guys never got hurt before. You seen em? They literally are living in the trees — those rent free bastards. You just knew this had to happend at some point, right? I’m guessing they’ll find some sort of way to blame Tedford for it.

(Thanks to my buddy Andy for the tip)

DeSean Jackson Returns Punts Well

He definitely had the R button working on this punt return Saturday night against Tennessee. Check it out, it was probably the play of the week, second only to Appalachian State’s blocked kick:

You know, it’s impossible to compare conferences because they don’t match up against each other enough, and because they’re unbalanced (some have 8, 10, 11, or 12 teams), but the Pac-10 proved a lot knocking off Tennessee handily on Saturday. I was quite pleased with the win. And I think it’s pretty safe to say that DeSean cemented himself as one of the best players in the country. Only problem is, now people won’t be kicking to him — if they can help it.