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Preseason Q&A: California, via the Golden Blogs

In order to prepare us for the upcoming season, we bring in TwistNHook the whole crew from the California Golden Blogs to enlighten us on the Golden Bears. Oregon State will play host to Cal on November 15.


One: There are many pre-season predictions about your team. Why are they all so horribly wrong? Give us specifics.

Most preseason predictions say that our team will finish 4th in the Pac-10 citing the fact that we lost a bunch of good WRs, we lost our starting TE and RB, and got our panties in an unfixable knot last year. Well, those pre-season predictions are wrong. Why? Because they forget that our sophomore quarterback Kevin Riley is the next coming of Steve Young. Most Cal fans liken Kevin Riley to former great Cal QB Aaron Rodgers [minus the sweet mullet and uber-creepy molestache--ed]. In fact, most Cal fans believe that Kevin Riley is so great that he can part the seas, reverse global warming, and .... I think you get the picture. Look. I'll be honest with you. Kevin Riley isn't all that. No. He's more than that. Kevin Riley doesn't part the seas, the seas part for Kevin Riley. To stop global warming, Kevin Riley will put his shirt back on. Kevin Riley's greatness does't stop there. Kevin Riley knows the last digit of pi. The Earth rotates because Kevin Riley walks. When Jeff Tedford talks, God listens; when Kevin Riley talks, Jeff Tedford listens. With such an amazing talent on our team, there is absolutely no doubt that Kevin Riley will be our starting QB and lead us to the Rose Bowl.

I'm sure most Oregon State fans are wondering how Cal lost to the Beavers last year when Kevin Riley was the quarterback. The answer is simple. Kevin Riley didn't lose the game. He purposely threw the game. [We thought it was Tedford who threw his  lanyard-secured Denny's menu--ed.] Why? He took pity and showed mercy on OSU fans for having a Beaver for a mascot. Oregon State fans should be so grateful that Kevin Riley is so merciful. Praise be to Kevin Riley. Praise be to Kevin Riley.

And damn, I sure wish Kevin Riley would put his shirt back on. It's sweltering down here in California.

Two: Last season was a dream-come-true/nightmare/uneventful for your team. How do you expect that to effect this year's team? Convince us with a meaningless, out of context statistic. 

You'd be crazy not to click the link below.

Can't it be both? Last season was a dream-come-true first half followed by a nightmare second half, packed side-by-side with one glorious bye week of celebration sandwiched in between. The slide from national title contender to the Armed Forces Bowl was indeed precipitous, and it left much of the fanbase shocked, bewildered and blindly pointing fingers. Based on reports we've heard, the team itself wasn't immune to such feelings either, and Coach Tedford was forced to shake things up at season's end. He challenged the team's leadership to step up and take charge, a weak spot amongst last year's star-studded team. Tedford also reorganized the coaching staff, with 3 new coaches replacing 3 departed ones. The most significant of these is the hire of new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, and the fact that Tedford ceded play-calling duties to him.

Overall, I think Cal will react well to the changes. The team leadership should be stronger and more cohesive, and Tedford will be able to keep a stronger pulse on the entire team, instead of his previous laser focus on offense. Turns out, the transition from 'Top 25 hanger-on' to 'National Title Contender' is tougher than previously anticipated.  

In fact, you could look at Tedford's tenure at Cal as a progression, with even-numbered years being great leaps forward, followed by a year of consolidation in the odd-numbered years. Obviously, Tedford's most noted achievement was taking a 1-10 team and leading them to a winning record in 2002. In 2004, he took a winning team to new heights, bringing Cal its first 10-win season in a long, long time, though it ended in a disappointing Holiday Bowl loss. In 2006, Cal again won 10 games, but this time shared the Pac-10 title and redeemed the 2004 team with a Holiday Bowl victory. So what's to come in 2008? If this trend is to continue, I expect nothing less than an outright Pac-10 championship and a Rose Bowl berth.  [note the "if" and the stark contrast in realistic outlook as compared know who fans--ed.]

Three:  Who is your best player--what is the signature play of his career? Convince us of his greatness by comparing him to a superhero or movie character.

As you have probably read in other periodicals and monthlies, Kevin Riley is probably our best player. If you wanted to compare him to to a superhero movie character, you'd have to go with "Getting Tackled At The Goal-Line With No Time Outs At The End Of The 4th Quarter When Down By 3 In Easy Field Goal Range Man." 

I loved that movie! Except for when he got tackled at the goal-line with no time outs at the end of the 4th quarter when down by 3 in easy field goal range. That part sucked! CGI was terrible. You could tell Jar-Jar Binks wasn't real!

Let's hope there aren't any sequels. Especially since sequels are always worse.

Three-A: Who does he rely on to achieve such greatness? Who is his sidekick or supporting character?

His sidekick is Nate Longshore. Longshore has amazing hate generating abilities. No matter what he does, he manages to generate amazing amount of hate. People heckle him doing the most basic(k) tasks. Doing things you couldn't even think anybody would EVER get heckled over:

"You call this fresh-squeezed orange juice????"
"Were both you parents first cousins, who ALSO sucked at ping pong" Stolen shamelessly from The Office

He supports Riley by taking on all the hate that Riley might ever receive for any failure. Or he would, at least, were Riley to have ever fail at anything. 

Man, remember that time we all hated Nate Longshore for getting tackled at the goal line with no time outs left at the end of the 4th quarter when down by 3 in easy field goal range. I so HATE that guy right now!

Four: Your fans have many traditions surrounding the sport of football. What are some of your most questionable traditions? Do you have any good ones that aren't laughably ridiculous?

No, many of our traditions are laughably ridiculous. For example, the most well known UCB tradition is ridiculed by pretty much every football fan ever. It goes as follows:

1. Put your arms in the "Good Fieldgoal" symbol and yell "Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu."
2. Put your arms straight forward with a slight bend to them and yell "Seeeeeeeeee."
3. Keep your arms in the same form as Step 2, but bring your hands towards your chest and yell "Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

Lather, Rinse, Repeat. 

That is probably our most well-known tradition and eminently mockable by all. [Whatever.  That's totally awesome.--ed.]

Five: Napoleon (and later, Abba) had Waterloo, Sen. Larry Craig had difficulties meeting like-minded men; what will be the downfall of your team this year?

That's easy - a repeat of last year. If you've perused any California Golden Bear blogs during the offseason (such as our own) you'll find that the issue on everyone's mind is the quarterback situation. To listen to some people tell it, it's obvious who should be starting. After all, it's a battle between:


Nate Longshore, seen here going through his progressions



Kevin Riley in a previous life- the greatest quarterback to have ever played the game.

We at the California Golden Blogs have tried not to endorse either candidate over the other, especially given that very little has changed since the end of last season. This has, to a degree, led to some criticism from the Cal online community for being Longshore apologists. Hey, if you want to ignore the fact that pre-injury Longshore was one of the top two quarterbacks in the Pac-10 and would rather play a guy with little to no playing time, why, then you're basically in this situation:


Ok, maybe that's not the best example.

We like to think most Cal fans are aware that a quarterback alone doesn't win or lose a game, but there's no question that the quarterback situation is the most dicey on the team, even with legitimate concerns about the team's inexperienced receivers and underachieving defensive line. If the quarterback situation isn't settled, there's no telling how this season will play out.

Six:  Your team would be unrecognizable to its own fans without strength in a certain area. What is your team's secret sauce?

Steroids. Lots of steroids. I mean like the kind they use for horses. Just totally roided up. Jacked. Stallone-esque. I think the 60s Eastern European women swimming teams are in awe of how many steroids we do. Marion Jones has Jeff Tedford on speed dial. 

For example, here is a photo of our stud running back getting arrested:


Muchas Gracias por Las Golden Blogs de California!