apologize to all my non-football fans. There are three things that have kept me preoccupied this Fall: Work (and loads of it), M’s immigration situation and all the legal hoops I have to jump through to get it resolved, and of course, FOOTBALL. I just can’t stay away from it. It is the only thing that keeps me sane, that keeps me energized. It is my release from the everyday stress I am faced with at work and at INS–actually its CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Service) now.
So yesterday, the Bruins played Cal. An undefeated Cal. A Cal ranked in the top 10. THAT Cal. We were–for some inexplicable reason–favored by one an a half points. But Cal was ranked 10th in the nation. My beloved Bruins were ranked 20th. TWENTIETH! Man! It’s been a long time since we were ranked that high.
So Cal comes in with their boy genius, Coach Tedford, and a running game that is truly awesome. Before three minutes have even elapsed, Cal scored two touchdowns. That’s right. At the 12 something mark of the first quarter, Cal is already up 14-0. All I could do was convince myself that there was 57 minutes left… and UCLA need every one of them. They managed to catch up 14-14 by the beginning of the second quarter–whew, all they had to do was stay calm down, thought. But by the end of the half, it was 27-21 Cal, and in the fourth quarter, with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, it was 40-28. FORTY TO TWENTY-EIGHT!
I was about to cry.
At 9:17, with a 4th and two on our own 42, the Bruins excute a fake punt. Page takes the ball and rushes well beyond the first down marker, and we get even better position for a personal foul by a Cal player. I guess they were pretty pissed off to be fooled by a fake. The Bruins ultimately score a TD–Cal 40-UCLA 35–but the defense HAS to hold Cal and get the ball back for one more touchdown. This does not look promising, as Cal has been running all over the place. I scream at the defense (as if they could hear me). I turn my UCLA baseball cap inside out–rally hat–as if that would actually work. I’m beggin’ pleadin’ on my knees, “C’mon you Pac-10 refugees!” And we manage to hold Cal and get the ball back. But we’re on our own 25 with 2:30 left. But in less than 90 seconds we march down for a TD. Mo Drew–whose grandfather had a heart attack at an earlier Bruin game and died the same evening–ran 20 yards to finally put the Bruins on top 41-40. But there is more than a minute left and Cal is indomitable, so I’m holding my breath and yelling at the TV screen at once–is that possible? The Cal QB Ayoob throws an interception right into the arms of Trey Brown–son of Bruin legend Theotis Brown–and we hang on. We run the ball to eat up the clock and… we score again with 0:00 on the clock. Cal 40-UCLA 47
My heart was racing. I was hyperventilating. Even M, who normally sits with me but is usually occupied with other things, was mesmerized. Sugoi (awesome). That’s all she could muster. Me? I had a million words: Oh man! Great. Crap. Oh man! Exciting. Dude! Can you believe it? Exhilarating. Oh man! I love ya’! Exhausting. Oh man!… Okay, maybe not a million, but more than M.
So anyway, that was my Saturday night. How was yours?