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The Benson Blog: 5 Favorite Things That Happened at Cal This Month

November 29, 2023
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Since I pretty much fly off the cuff on the podcast, I figured I’d take a minute to recap the month that was, because it was… something. Starting from the scrimmage to Aimac winning the Pac 12 Player of the Week award, there’s already been a lot. I like content where you don’t have to spend all day reading, so I’ll do it in a numbered fashion so y'all can catch all the way up. Let’s get it. 

5) Cal Football beats UCLA to become bowl-eligible. 

Holy moly who saw that coming? I recall watching the Washington State game and the announcers were discussing how Cal needed to win out after Oregon to become bowl-eligible. I looked it up, and when I saw that we needed three wins, the last of which at UCLA, I figured it wouldn’t happen. BUT BLOW ME DOWN MAN WE DID IT. 

I generally don’t care about just *being* bowl-eligible, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. The team actually battled in the USC game and then went on to win the rest after Oregon. That’s some Grade-A, we-shall-overcome-type ish right there. 

4) Cal Basketball beats Bakersfield

Yeah yeah yeah, it’s not as big as football becoming bowl-eligible, but it still got me hyped. I can’t disregard the feeling of our basketball team winning a game by 20. I’ll never not be in love with that. It was against a weaker opponent, to be sure, but we definitely showed that we have the size and athleticism to compete in my opinion. 

It’s always tempting to throw away wins we don’t value, but they all have value. You gotta show yourself you can do it first. 

3) Daws Wins Pac-12 POW

I know I know. We lost 3 games. But that man still managed to put up 18 (points) and 14 (rebounds) over those three games. In my entire collegiate career, my high was 14 rebounds, so I gotta give respect where it’s due. 

Not gonna lie, though. I’d rather we have won those games. But I’d also prefer that OC folks didn’t bring racism to his door. As it stands, overcoming that is a victory. 

2) The Big Game

I said this on the podcast, but there is something about the Big Game. I get that we are all aware that it’s the most important sporting event of the year. Still, it really does draw a different energy when we win. It’s like our entire athletic department has an annual checkup and this year it was in Palo Alto. Prognosis? Healthy AF. Honestly, I don’t even remember that Stanford has sports until we play them. 

“That’s a good thing.” – Martha Stewart

1) Thanksgiving

This isn’t sports-related but it is. If you were like me, you probably ate some food and spoke about what you’re thankful for. One thing I didn’t mention when I was giving thanks (because it was NOT the time), was how thankful I am for this community. Yeah, we may win some and lose some, but we keep showing up. 

I was down there in Orange County and I saw who all showed up. Many more than I expected, especially for such a late game. There are Cal fans in every corner of the earth, thankful for the chance to reconnect and feel a part of something bigger. I was thankful for that. 

I’ve been there at the UCLA football games that we lost throughout the years. We’re all spread out across the Rose Bowl, looking at one another hoping it gets better next year. High fiving anyways, because we took the time to head out to Pasadena, knowing damn well our chances were slim. 

I’m saying all this to say that change has always started with us, and one thing that needs no change is our resolve to keep showing up – both for the program and for each other. Yes, basketball needs work, but they aren't far off, I promise. Yes, the school has made mistakes but we’re still here. Yeah, we’ll never be perfect but we keep showing up for one another. 

Just my little message as we enter the holiday season. I’ll recap December too, pending it’s not TOO bad. I don’t think it will be. Cheers to you all. 

Discussion from...

The Benson Blog: 5 Favorite Things That Happened at Cal This Month

2,440 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by cal83dls79
HoopDreams
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good recap, thanks



CannonBlast
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Thanks for the post, Rod. I heard you were at the Monday game in OC but didn't spot a 6'10" dude. Sorry I missed you. Will make sure to say 'hi' at the next event.
75bear
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I like this new positive vibes Rod Benson! I'm on board with the trending up outlook, and I hope casual fans are ready to jump on our bandwagon. We certainly have room for everyone. Go Bears!
dha
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Cal Women's Basketball team opening the season 6-1. Would have been on my November list!
cal83dls79
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It's time I check out his podcast.
Priest of the Patty Hearst Shrine
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