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Cal Football

Bears Edge Sun Devils, 24-21

September 30, 2023
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The Bears got a win and looked pretty good in several areas, like the running game and special teams. But the prevailing attitude following Saturday’s 24-21 win over Arizona State was that it wasn’t good enough and there’s plenty of room for improvement.

The breakdowns came all over, too, from broken plays on offense to missed tackles and blown assignments on defense.

“Liked the win, that’s what we needed badly,” California head coach Justin Wilcox said. “We just have to learn how to eliminate some of these things that are giving us so much trouble. Defensively it’s like playing good, playing good, then a bust. It was really throughout the game.”

It wasn’t just the coaching staff that was frustrated by the mistakes that slowed the Bears’ roll against the Sun Devils and the same ones that have cropped up and bogged the entire team down all season.

Offensively, Cal looked fairly well. Running back Jaydn Ott was in beast mode much of the afternoon at Memorial Stadium, grinding his way to 167 yards and a touchdown while averaging nearly six yards a carry. Nearly half of Ott’s yards, 77, came in the fourth quarter while Cal was clinging to a slim lead and was trying to milk the clock.

“That’s all offensive line, they came out ready to play,” Ott said. “They were getting movement on the first level onto the second level. That opened up the holes and we were able to chunk away four- or five-yard runs every time.”

Yet even Ott found fault in the game. He was stopped short of the end zone on a 4th-and-goal play from the ASU 1-yard line, a score that, had it happened, would have given the Bears some needed breathing room in the close game.

Instead Ott blamed himself for not getting into the end zone and spoke about some of the other problems facing the Bears.

“I’m actually kind of upset,” he said. “There’s a lot we need to work on on offense. We need to come out with fire next week. That wasn’t good enough at all. We just left too much out on the field. That’s been the story of the season.”

Jackson, who became the first Cal quarterback this season to start and play the entire game, had a decent afternoon with 130 yards and a touchdown passing. But he completed fewer than half of his throws (12-for-29) and was sacked twice.

Afterward, Jackson pointed the finger of blame at himself for Cal’s offensive problems. The Sun Devils held a 430-326 advantage in total offense and were 4-for-4 in the red zone, while the Bears came away with three scores on their four trips inside the Arizona State 20-yard line.

“It starts with me and we kind of came out a little flat,” Jackson said. “That’s been the story of the season. I don’t think I played too well. I just have to slow the game down for myself. I just have to let some of the plays develop as far as the passing game. I was playing too fast. I knew what I had, got excited, and I just missed a lot of throws.”

Jackson had been sharing playing time with Ben Finley through the first four games but Finley did not practice this week and was held out against Arizona State.

“That position, we’re still growing there,” Wilcox said. “Sam did some good things today. We have to continue to get better there.”

Cal’s defense had its moments, like when defensive back Matthew Littlejohn intercepted a pass by Sun Devils QB Trenton Bourguet early in the fourth quarter, a turnover that led to Ott’s short touchdown.

“A win’s a win at the end of the day but we have to go back in the drawing room and fix up the wrinkles that showed up today,” Littlejohn said.

The Bears also stopped Arizona State on the final drive of the game to seal the win, although linebacker Jackson Sirmon, like his teammates, took more notice of the mistakes than the positive plays Cal made.

“We played well 90 percent of the plays then we’d have a busted play that went a long way,” Sirmon said. “There’s a couple reasons for that. There’s having young guys out there that get confused. We have to fix that. Somebody doesn’t make the call loud enough, somebody doesn’t hear. We can’t have those costing us games.”

Cal’s defense came up big in key moments, as Arizona State went for it five times on fourth down but only converted twice.’

“We knew going into the game they were going to be really aggressive,” Wilcox said. “The way we need to approach that is if somebody’s going to be that aggressive, we have to stop them then we have to put the ball in the end zone. That’s how we look at it. If you’re going to go for it that many times, there needs to be a consequence. If we stop them on fourth down we have to, in turn, put the ball in the end zone. That’s momentum.”

Two of the bright spots came on special teams. Freshman kicker Mateen Bhaghani converted his only field goal attempt (37 yards) and was spotless on PATs while also handling kickoff duties, a job the Bears earlier this week said would be handled by Michael Luckhurst.

Punter Lachlan Wilson also had a tremendous afternoon, carrying an average of 49.7 yards on seven punts.

“He was the most valuable player for us today,” Wilcox said.

 

Discussion from...

Bears Edge Sun Devils, 24-21

5,232 Views | 14 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by Bobodeluxe
BearoutEast67
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It's a win! We'll take it! One at a time and only 3 more til a bowl game.
Donate to Cal's NIL at https://calegends.com/donation/
KoreAmBear
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BearoutEast67 said:

It's a win! We'll take it! One at a time and only 3 more til a bowl game.
So close, yet so far.
Bobodeluxe
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KoreAmBear said:

BearoutEast67 said:

It's a win! We'll take it! One at a time and only 3 more til a bowl game.
So close, yet so far.
Only five of remaining games are against ranked teams.
smh
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> Only five of remaining games are against ranked teams.

only?
heartofthebear
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LOL
Special teams looked good.
Apparently BI staff wasn't watching the coverage teams at all.
Really atrocious stuff.
Yeah, we finally moved to a kicker that can make a high percentage FG.
But Wilcox's ongoing loyalty obsession will cost us games in the future as he will continue to make the same mistake with his DB coaches as he has with his OCs--leave them alone and hope they get better.

When you consider the talent Cal has at DB and the quality of the opponent, the consistent and blatant breakdowns in our secondary can only be a reflection of poor coaching. We have, not one, but 2 DB coaches whose #1 focus during the off-season was to cut down on the big pass plays.

They have not been able to accomplish that at all. When you can't make even a small dent in your #1 area of focus, you are failing. When you consistently fail, you are a failure. Wilcox won't fire them mid-season and likely not at the end of the year because Wilcox, has no incentive to learn from his mistakes and will continue to make the mistake that loyalty is a good strategy.

No it's not Justin. Fire those guys now and hire someone that you had in your back pocket to come in should that be needed. Because that is what a good coach does. Act as if both coaches tragically disappeared in a boating accident. Go into emergency mode and get it done. The DB coached are going to bring the whole team down.
BearoutEast67
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Cal Bears have the same record as the Sonny Dykes. Can't you hear the gnashing of teeth by the Negative Nancies?
Donate to Cal's NIL at https://calegends.com/donation/
heartofthebear
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BearoutEast67 said:

Cal Bears have the same record as the Sonny Dykes. Can't you hear the gnashing of teeth by the Negative Nancies?
Comments like this are exactly why Cal never improves or changes.
Firstly, instead of actually using critical thinking skills and formulating arguments lets just call people names. Negative Nancy is a name used indirectly to refer to me multiple times and I'd like you to know that my name isn't Nancy and clearly you're too much of an intellectual weakling to actually call me out in person because you know you can't match me.

For starters, arguing that we have the same record implies what, that Cal is as good as last year's national title contender? Let me run down the multiple critical thinking failures in that statement:

  • Last year has little to do with this year. Last year the pac-12 was a viable conference. This year it is on it's swan song. Last year TCU had a senior and well experienced QB. This year they do not. Throughout the history of college football, the times when a team has had a won year rise and fall has happened too many times to even count. Last year the schedule was different than this year for both teams. Last year the roster was different than this year for both teams. Especially with the transfer portal, you can count on teams being very different each and every year.
  • Having the same record as another team in the same year means nothing. The college football playoff committee knows this and every year they decide to put a team like a 11-1 Alabama in the playoffs over a 12-0 Tulsa team, for example. Why do they do that? Because EVERY SINGLE TEAM PLAYS DIFFERENT DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY IN THEIR SCHEDULE EVERY SINGLE F***NG YEAR YOU GOD-**** IDIOT. THAT'S WHY.
  • Also, somehow folks like you assume that someone who is critical is negative. This is a common fallacy. Most people who are in important positions of responsibility and power have to be critical of problem areas every single day of their jobs. I suppose you think that those that run various NASA programs are "negative Nancy's" when they find critical problems with the space shuttle. Do you know that folks involved in being critical of the Titan Submersible as well as at NASA under various space shuttle were fired and/or ignored for being "negative Nancys" only to have lethal disasters happen as a result. I sure hope you're not running any of those programs. You could be legally liable if you are.
  • Why am I constantly critical of Cal? Because, and it should be obvious, Cal has chronic and ongoing massive problems with their program that are blatant and insidious. When Cal has positive things, I am often the first one to point them out. I often have posted silver linings to issues that the board has gone completely negative about.
  • I am balanced. You, who have a lack of appetite for the truth because it hurts your sensitivities, can't even handle a balanced perspective if it includes areas of criticism.
  • As you might have noticed, often my "negative Nancy" observations get supported because others observe them to. To ascribe an attitude, negative, to folks who are merely observing things, is to pretend that science is emotional. Observation is at the basis of all science. Attitude is not. It is YOUR attitude that is negative because you have an emotionally negative response to simple observations.

So grow the **** up, wake the **** up and smell the coffee. It is well past the moment in the history of Cal football to be concerned with how negative someone seems to be. In fact it is painfully obvious that we have not been nearly up to snuff on criticizing the program for it's problem areas. Cal football is not failing because of a lack of positivity. It is failing because guys like Knowlton are completely out to lunch on the realities. And so are most of the staff writers here at BI. To say that the Cal STs were a strength is a really painful example of how, yet again, the staff writers here at BI can't even open their eyes enough to see what is right in front of them.

If asking folks to simply open their eyes and see what is happening around them is too woke for you. Then I have one thing to say to you---I'd rather be woke, then a joke.
Rushinbear
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heartofthebear said:

LOL
Special teams looked good.
Apparently BI staff wasn't watching the coverage teams at all.
Really atrocious stuff.
Yeah, we finally moved to a kicker that can make a high percentage FG.
But Wilcox's ongoing loyalty obsession will cost us games in the future as he will continue to make the same mistake with his DB coaches as he has with his OCs--leave them alone and hope they get better.

When you consider the talent Cal has at DB and the quality of the opponent, the consistent and blatant breakdowns in our secondary can only be a reflection of poor coaching. We have, not one, but 2 DB coaches whose #1 focus during the off-season was to cut down on the big pass plays.

They have not been able to accomplish that at all. When you can't make even a small dent in your #1 area of focus, you are failing. When you consistently fail, you are a failure. Wilcox won't fire them mid-season and likely not at the end of the year because Wilcox, has no incentive to learn from his mistakes and will continue to make the mistake that loyalty is a good strategy.

No it's not Justin. Fire those guys now and hire someone that you had in your back pocket to come in should that be needed. Because that is what a good coach does. Act as if both coaches tragically disappeared in a boating accident. Go into emergency mode and get it done. The DB coached are going to bring the whole team down.
jw wants everyone to be happy. he can't bring himself to make the tough call.
heartofthebear
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Rushinbear said:

heartofthebear said:

LOL
Special teams looked good.
Apparently BI staff wasn't watching the coverage teams at all.
Really atrocious stuff.
Yeah, we finally moved to a kicker that can make a high percentage FG.
But Wilcox's ongoing loyalty obsession will cost us games in the future as he will continue to make the same mistake with his DB coaches as he has with his OCs--leave them alone and hope they get better.

When you consider the talent Cal has at DB and the quality of the opponent, the consistent and blatant breakdowns in our secondary can only be a reflection of poor coaching. We have, not one, but 2 DB coaches whose #1 focus during the off-season was to cut down on the big pass plays.

They have not been able to accomplish that at all. When you can't make even a small dent in your #1 area of focus, you are failing. When you consistently fail, you are a failure. Wilcox won't fire them mid-season and likely not at the end of the year because Wilcox, has no incentive to learn from his mistakes and will continue to make the mistake that loyalty is a good strategy.

No it's not Justin. Fire those guys now and hire someone that you had in your back pocket to come in should that be needed. Because that is what a good coach does. Act as if both coaches tragically disappeared in a boating accident. Go into emergency mode and get it done. The DB coached are going to bring the whole team down.
jw wants everyone to be happy. he can't bring himself to make the tough call.
Yup, which is why he probably shouldn't be an HC.
BearoutEast67
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heartofthebear said:

BearoutEast67 said:

Cal Bears have the same record as the Sonny Dykes. Can't you hear the gnashing of teeth by the Negative Nancies?
Comments like this are exactly why Cal never improves or changes.
Firstly, instead of actually using critical thinking skills and formulating arguments lets just call people names. Negative Nancy is a name used indirectly to refer to me multiple times and I'd like you to know that my name isn't Nancy and clearly you're too much of an intellectual weakling to actually call me out in person because you know you can't match me.

For starters, arguing that we have the same record implies what, that Cal is as good as last year's national title contender? Let me run down the multiple critical thinking failures in that statement:

  • Last year has little to do with this year. Last year the pac-12 was a viable conference. This year it is on it's swan song. Last year TCU had a senior and well experienced QB. This year they do not. Throughout the history of college football, the times when a team has had a won year rise and fall has happened too many times to even count. Last year the schedule was different than this year for both teams. Last year the roster was different than this year for both teams. Especially with the transfer portal, you can count on teams being very different each and every year.
  • Having the same record as another team in the same year means nothing. The college football playoff committee knows this and every year they decide to put a team like a 11-1 Alabama in the playoffs over a 12-0 Tulsa team, for example. Why do they do that? Because EVERY SINGLE TEAM PLAYS DIFFERENT DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY IN THEIR SCHEDULE EVERY SINGLE F***NG YEAR YOU GOD-**** IDIOT. THAT'S WHY.
  • Also, somehow folks like you assume that someone who is critical is negative. This is a common fallacy. Most people who are in important positions of responsibility and power have to be critical of problem areas every single day of their jobs. I suppose you think that those that run various NASA programs are "negative Nancy's" when they find critical problems with the space shuttle. Do you know that folks involved in being critical of the Titan Submersible as well as at NASA under various space shuttle were fired and/or ignored for being "negative Nancys" only to have lethal disasters happen as a result. I sure hope you're not running any of those programs. You could be legally liable if you are.
  • Why am I constantly critical of Cal? Because, and it should be obvious, Cal has chronic and ongoing massive problems with their program that are blatant and insidious. When Cal has positive things, I am often the first one to point them out. I often have posted silver linings to issues that the board has gone completely negative about.
  • I am balanced. You, who have a lack of appetite for the truth because it hurts your sensitivities, can't even handle a balanced perspective if it includes areas of criticism.
  • As you might have noticed, often my "negative Nancy" observations get supported because others observe them to. To ascribe an attitude, negative, to folks who are merely observing things, is to pretend that science is emotional. Observation is at the basis of all science. Attitude is not. It is YOUR attitude that is negative because you have an emotionally negative response to simple observations.

So grow the **** up, wake the **** up and smell the coffee. It is well past the moment in the history of Cal football to be concerned with how negative someone seems to be. In fact it is painfully obvious that we have not been nearly up to snuff on criticizing the program for it's problem areas. Cal football is not failing because of a lack of positivity. It is failing because guys like Knowlton are completely out to lunch on the realities. And so are most of the staff writers here at BI. To say that the Cal STs were a strength is a really painful example of how, yet again, the staff writers here at BI can't even open their eyes enough to see what is right in front of them.

If asking folks to simply open their eyes and see what is happening around them is too woke for you. Then I have one thing to say to you---I'd rather be woke, then a joke.


I cut out most of your blather bc it appeared a drunken nonsensical spew. I cannot imagine a more toxic attitude from a fan. And it is amazing that our student athletes, coaches, and staff do as well as they do with such fan "support". To personalize my comments to you is quite narcissistic and perhaps a woke joke. . So is assuming you or I influence the product on the field. Be a Cal fan, or don't. You remain just that - a fan. I for one will continue to support the Cal Bears - both as a fan and through donations to the sports programs I follow and to their NIL funds. And I will enjoy the player development of each young athlete who puts on the Blue and Gold. Take your negativity elsewhere.
Donate to Cal's NIL at https://calegends.com/donation/
DoubtfulBear
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BearoutEast67 said:

heartofthebear said:

BearoutEast67 said:

Cal Bears have the same record as the Sonny Dykes. Can't you hear the gnashing of teeth by the Negative Nancies?
Comments like this are exactly why Cal never improves or changes.
Firstly, instead of actually using critical thinking skills and formulating arguments lets just call people names. Negative Nancy is a name used indirectly to refer to me multiple times and I'd like you to know that my name isn't Nancy and clearly you're too much of an intellectual weakling to actually call me out in person because you know you can't match me.

For starters, arguing that we have the same record implies what, that Cal is as good as last year's national title contender? Let me run down the multiple critical thinking failures in that statement:

  • Last year has little to do with this year. Last year the pac-12 was a viable conference. This year it is on it's swan song. Last year TCU had a senior and well experienced QB. This year they do not. Throughout the history of college football, the times when a team has had a won year rise and fall has happened too many times to even count. Last year the schedule was different than this year for both teams. Last year the roster was different than this year for both teams. Especially with the transfer portal, you can count on teams being very different each and every year.
  • Having the same record as another team in the same year means nothing. The college football playoff committee knows this and every year they decide to put a team like a 11-1 Alabama in the playoffs over a 12-0 Tulsa team, for example. Why do they do that? Because EVERY SINGLE TEAM PLAYS DIFFERENT DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY IN THEIR SCHEDULE EVERY SINGLE F***NG YEAR YOU GOD-**** IDIOT. THAT'S WHY.
  • Also, somehow folks like you assume that someone who is critical is negative. This is a common fallacy. Most people who are in important positions of responsibility and power have to be critical of problem areas every single day of their jobs. I suppose you think that those that run various NASA programs are "negative Nancy's" when they find critical problems with the space shuttle. Do you know that folks involved in being critical of the Titan Submersible as well as at NASA under various space shuttle were fired and/or ignored for being "negative Nancys" only to have lethal disasters happen as a result. I sure hope you're not running any of those programs. You could be legally liable if you are.
  • Why am I constantly critical of Cal? Because, and it should be obvious, Cal has chronic and ongoing massive problems with their program that are blatant and insidious. When Cal has positive things, I am often the first one to point them out. I often have posted silver linings to issues that the board has gone completely negative about.
  • I am balanced. You, who have a lack of appetite for the truth because it hurts your sensitivities, can't even handle a balanced perspective if it includes areas of criticism.
  • As you might have noticed, often my "negative Nancy" observations get supported because others observe them to. To ascribe an attitude, negative, to folks who are merely observing things, is to pretend that science is emotional. Observation is at the basis of all science. Attitude is not. It is YOUR attitude that is negative because you have an emotionally negative response to simple observations.

So grow the **** up, wake the **** up and smell the coffee. It is well past the moment in the history of Cal football to be concerned with how negative someone seems to be. In fact it is painfully obvious that we have not been nearly up to snuff on criticizing the program for it's problem areas. Cal football is not failing because of a lack of positivity. It is failing because guys like Knowlton are completely out to lunch on the realities. And so are most of the staff writers here at BI. To say that the Cal STs were a strength is a really painful example of how, yet again, the staff writers here at BI can't even open their eyes enough to see what is right in front of them.

If asking folks to simply open their eyes and see what is happening around them is too woke for you. Then I have one thing to say to you---I'd rather be woke, then a joke.


I cut out most of your blather bc it appeared a drunken nonsensical spew. I cannot imagine a more toxic attitude from a fan. And it is amazing that our student athletes, coaches, and staff do as well as they do with such fan "support". To personalize my comments to you is quite narcissistic and perhaps a woke joke. . So is assuming you or I influence the product on the field. Be a Cal fan, or don't. You remain just that - a fan. I for one will continue to support the Cal Bears - both as a fan and through donations to the sports programs I follow and to their NIL funds. And I will enjoy the player development of each young athlete who puts on the Blue and Gold. Take your negativity elsewhere.

Ironic, your blind loyalty to a terrible program makes you sound like a Trump supporter
Rushinbear
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DoubtfulBear said:

BearoutEast67 said:

heartofthebear said:

BearoutEast67 said:

Cal Bears have the same record as the Sonny Dykes. Can't you hear the gnashing of teeth by the Negative Nancies?
Comments like this are exactly why Cal never improves or changes.
Firstly, instead of actually using critical thinking skills and formulating arguments lets just call people names. Negative Nancy is a name used indirectly to refer to me multiple times and I'd like you to know that my name isn't Nancy and clearly you're too much of an intellectual weakling to actually call me out in person because you know you can't match me.

For starters, arguing that we have the same record implies what, that Cal is as good as last year's national title contender? Let me run down the multiple critical thinking failures in that statement:

  • Last year has little to do with this year. Last year the pac-12 was a viable conference. This year it is on it's swan song. Last year TCU had a senior and well experienced QB. This year they do not. Throughout the history of college football, the times when a team has had a won year rise and fall has happened too many times to even count. Last year the schedule was different than this year for both teams. Last year the roster was different than this year for both teams. Especially with the transfer portal, you can count on teams being very different each and every year.
  • Having the same record as another team in the same year means nothing. The college football playoff committee knows this and every year they decide to put a team like a 11-1 Alabama in the playoffs over a 12-0 Tulsa team, for example. Why do they do that? Because EVERY SINGLE TEAM PLAYS DIFFERENT DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY IN THEIR SCHEDULE EVERY SINGLE F***NG YEAR YOU GOD-**** IDIOT. THAT'S WHY.
  • Also, somehow folks like you assume that someone who is critical is negative. This is a common fallacy. Most people who are in important positions of responsibility and power have to be critical of problem areas every single day of their jobs. I suppose you think that those that run various NASA programs are "negative Nancy's" when they find critical problems with the space shuttle. Do you know that folks involved in being critical of the Titan Submersible as well as at NASA under various space shuttle were fired and/or ignored for being "negative Nancys" only to have lethal disasters happen as a result. I sure hope you're not running any of those programs. You could be legally liable if you are.
  • Why am I constantly critical of Cal? Because, and it should be obvious, Cal has chronic and ongoing massive problems with their program that are blatant and insidious. When Cal has positive things, I am often the first one to point them out. I often have posted silver linings to issues that the board has gone completely negative about.
  • I am balanced. You, who have a lack of appetite for the truth because it hurts your sensitivities, can't even handle a balanced perspective if it includes areas of criticism.
  • As you might have noticed, often my "negative Nancy" observations get supported because others observe them to. To ascribe an attitude, negative, to folks who are merely observing things, is to pretend that science is emotional. Observation is at the basis of all science. Attitude is not. It is YOUR attitude that is negative because you have an emotionally negative response to simple observations.

So grow the **** up, wake the **** up and smell the coffee. It is well past the moment in the history of Cal football to be concerned with how negative someone seems to be. In fact it is painfully obvious that we have not been nearly up to snuff on criticizing the program for it's problem areas. Cal football is not failing because of a lack of positivity. It is failing because guys like Knowlton are completely out to lunch on the realities. And so are most of the staff writers here at BI. To say that the Cal STs were a strength is a really painful example of how, yet again, the staff writers here at BI can't even open their eyes enough to see what is right in front of them.

If asking folks to simply open their eyes and see what is happening around them is too woke for you. Then I have one thing to say to you---I'd rather be woke, then a joke.


I cut out most of your blather bc it appeared a drunken nonsensical spew. I cannot imagine a more toxic attitude from a fan. And it is amazing that our student athletes, coaches, and staff do as well as they do with such fan "support". To personalize my comments to you is quite narcissistic and perhaps a woke joke. . So is assuming you or I influence the product on the field. Be a Cal fan, or don't. You remain just that - a fan. I for one will continue to support the Cal Bears - both as a fan and through donations to the sports programs I follow and to their NIL funds. And I will enjoy the player development of each young athlete who puts on the Blue and Gold. Take your negativity elsewhere.

Ironic, your blind loyalty to a terrible program makes you sound like a Trump supporter
Aw, fer cryin' out loud. Knock it off. Take your political slime elsewhere.
Oakbear
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DoubtfulBear said:


Ironic, your blind loyalty to a terrible program makes you sound like a Trump supporter
or a Biden supporter ?? blind loyalty is not a good thing
Bobodeluxe
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Such an amazingly enlightening thread!
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