The Big Game, Oski, and the Axe
No university is really complete without football. The Bears' ultimate match, the Big Game, is against Leland Stanford Junior University. The 116th Big Game takes place November 23, 2013, at Stanford (alternating each year between home fields). This exciting contest between Cal and the folks at Stanford (The Farm) brings loyal fans from both universities together for some good old-fashioned rivalry.
Cal's colors are Yale Blue (because a large number of early campus administrators and faculty were Yale graduates) and California Gold (from the 1849 Gold Rush). White and especially red are Stanford's colors. Woe to the Cal fan who accidentally wears red clothing to the Big Game!
California Memorial Stadium, directly east of the main campus and rated as one of the five most beautiful stadiums in the country, was recently renovated and retrofitted.
2013 Football Schedule
8/31 vs Northwestern
9/7 vs Portland State
9/14 at Ohio State
9/28 at Oregon
10/5 vs Washington State (Homecoming)
10/12 at UCLA
10/19 vs Oregon State
10/26 at Washington
11/2 vs Arizona
11/9 vs USC
11/16 at Colorado
11/23 at Stanford
Can't Go to the Game?
You can always listen to them on the radio!
KGO (810 AM) or KALX (90.7 FM)
Women's and Men's Basketball (home games)
KALX (90.7 FM)
KALX (90.7 FM)
The Big C measures 60 x 27 feet and sits on Tight Wad Hill (located behind Memorial Stadium and named for the people who watched sports games from there, instead of buying tickets). This letter was built in 1905 by freshmen and sophomore students in an attempt by the administration to alleviate interclass tension.
Oski the Bear and the Axe are two important Cal symbols. Cal's mascot, the Golden Bear (a grizzly), was chosen in 1895 by the track team. Live bear cubs toted to early sports events were named Oski, from the popular cheer that begins, "Oski wow wow! Whiskey wee wee!" An anonymous student in a fuzzy bear's head, yellow sweater, blue pants, and big shoes has since replaced the real bears.
The Axe has a colorful past. In 1899, during a Cal/Stanford baseball game, Stanford cheerleaders insulted Cal fans by brandishing an axe while yelling the Stanford cheer, "Give them the axe, the axe, the axe! Where? Right in the neck, the neck, the neck!" Certain Cal True Blues stole the Axe during an unguarded moment, and an all-out chase ensued through San Francisco and Berkeley alleys.
For 30 years, Cal taunted Stanford with the Axe, until Cal-disguised Stanfordites recaptured it during a rescue mission complete with tear gas bombs. Plots became so elaborate that both student bodies decided to mount the Axe on a plaque and award it each year to the Big Game winner. Out of 115 games, Cal has won 46 games, lost 58, and tied 11.
Stanfurd, Oops, Stanford Jokes (G-rated)
Q: What should you do if you find three Stanfurd students buried up to their necks in cement?
A: Get more cement!
There are two identical twins. After they graduate from high school, one goes to Berkeley and the other goes to Stanfurd. The one who goes to Stanfurd earns bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. The one who goes to Berkeley drops out as a sophomore. Still, no one can tell them apart.
A USC student, a UCLA student, a Stanfurd student, and a Berkeley student are standing at the edge of a cliff arguing over who is the biggest football fan. The USC student says, "I'm the biggest fan, and I'll prove it by jumping off this cliff. This is for USC!" The UCLA student, not to be outdone, says, "No, I'm the biggest fan, and I'll prove it by jumping off this cliff. This is for UCLA!" The Berkeley student, knowing he is the biggest fan, says, "That's nothing; this is for everyone!" and pushes the Stanfurd student off the cliff.
Spirit songs: check calband.berkeley.edu/?media/songs.
Student rooting section season passes for fall and spring intercollegiate athletics are available through the Athletic Ticket Office (calbears.com; 2223 Fulton Street, first floor; 510/642-3277). (See here, too.)
Political activity and protest have long brought Berkeley national attention. In the 1930s, large protest movements were led against fascism and the University loyalty oath. During the supposedly apathetic 50s, Berkeley students rallied against racism and the McCarthy proceedings, where hundreds of Americans were publicly accused of supporting communism.
Berkeley garnered an international reputation as a political hot spot in the 60s, with activism concerning civil rights issues, the Vietnam War, and People's Park (office.chancellor.berkeley.edu/gcr/peoplespark.shtml). Campus protests brought an end to compulsory military training requirements in 1962. The Free Speech Movement in 1964 resulted in a solidification of students' right to protest. In 1969, students of color (who were then only 1.5% of the student body) joined forces to organize the Third World Strike. Their demands established an Ethnic Studies program, social and academic support systems, and heavily influenced current trends toward a more diversified faculty and student body.
This tradition of activism has continued with demonstrations denouncing the Iraq War, the Persian Gulf War, US investments in South Africa, laboratory animal abuse, and nuclear arms proliferation. Students have also recently protested issues such as budget cuts to education, immigrant rights, diminishing Ethnic Studies programs, higher fees for services, and the Regents' decision to end affirmative action in admissions and hiring.