On October 2nd we held our annual College Colors Day Contest. This year we had many great entries, but only one was chosen as the ultimate fan. Our winner, Jeffrey Smith, showed us why he had the most school spirit by sending us a picture of his ‘man cave’. We wanted to know a little more about his shrine to college football and the University of California, and this is what we found out.
When did you first become a Cal fan?
You could say I grew into becoming a Cal fan. My mother began a career in the Cal Athletic Department in 1975 when I was eleven years old. We lived in Berkeley and I spent almost as much time on campus as a typical student did during my teenage years. We both just sort of fell in love with the place. I was in and out of her office, the basketball pavilion and the football stadium all the time. I even worked on campus during the summers. She retired from the university in 1998 after spending many years as an Associate Athletic Director, but we were both still hooked and still look forward to football and basketball season every year.
What made you start your Cal man cave?
That you can attribute to my wife, Sandie. Through my mom and eBay, I managed to acquire some unique items and I have collected so many Cal odds and ends over the years that were just sitting in closets and boxes, and she suggested putting them on display in the back room of our home. We also put out items from our other Bay Area favorite teams, the A’s, Giants, Raiders, and 49ers. There is even a little corner dedicated to her school, Marshall University. Now she complains about dusting them!
Approximately how many items do you have?
I would say about two hundred different items, many of them personalized by Cal athletes and coaches during and after their careers.
Are there any interesting stories behind your Cal memorabilia?
I have a framed, game worn jersey of Cal all time great receiver #86 Sean Dawkins, who went on to play many years with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars from 1993 to 2001. The jersey is from the 1992 Big Game versus Stanford University, which was the 100th Year of the Big Game. He gave it to my mom personally as she was always very popular with all the athletes. I also have a game ticket stub to a certain Cal / Stanford Big Game.
What is your favorite Cal memory?
Duh, the 1982 Cal vs. Stanford Big Game. I was there in section TT with my then girlfriend (sorry current honey, I hadn’t met you yet). It was the first college football game this girl had attended and I spent most of the afternoon explaining the nuances of the game to her over the deafening roar of the packed stadium. Any college football fan worth his salt knows what happened with :04 seconds left but to be perfectly honest most of the people in the stands (including myself) had very little clue as to what was actually happening during the The Play. All we knew was there was a lot of milling around on the field for what seemed like an eternity, then the Cal Victory cannon went off and we all went nuts.
Have you ever been to the Valero Alamo Bowl?
As a matter of fact my wife and I attended the very first Builder’s Square Alamo Bowl, which pitted the University of California and the University of Iowa on December 31st, 1993. We had just moved to San Antonio from California and were thrilled when Cal was invited. We played host and tour guide to friends and fellow Cal fans for the week leading up to the game. We attended the Cal Pregame Tailgate at the Institute of Texan Cultures and walked to the Alamodome for the game. Of course, Cal crushed Iowa, 37 to 3, and we had a great time. Although his team did not play well, it was a treat for any college football fan to watch legendary Iowa coach Hayden Fry on the sideline.
How did you learn about the Valero Alamo Bowls College Colors Day Contest?
My wife found out about it while viewing the Valero Alamo Bowl website and, without my knowledge, sent in the photo. I sure am glad she did though!