Today was “The Big Game”, UC Berkeley (Cal Golden Bears) vs. Stanford (Cardinals) football. (Spoiler alert: We lost the game terribly, which makes the following very funny indeed) The order of events on the football game days is extremely weird to me as a non-American as it involves things which have pretty much nothing to do with the game itself. The game was at 1 PM, so starting at around 10:30 AM, everyone started gathering at the fraternities to ‘pre-game’ (politically correct term for ‘booze yourself beyond reason’). They drink enough alcohol to generate an ‘elevated state’ so that they can cheer obnoxiously and rage about without any moral obligation to stay civilised or to have no responsibility for their actions, because… reasons. By around 12-12:30 PM, the pre-gaming is all done and its time to head to the stadium, and to the game. There is a lot of expletives and aggressive taunting from both sides. Obviously, the domination of Cal fans by population means that the Cal taunts against Stanford ‘win’. “F*** Stanford” is the most popular one. I for one, saw the Stanford team as rather disciplined. But that might be due to the relative craziness of the Cal fans I observed, and comparing fans to the actual players would be unfair. But Stanford did win, and I think disciplined play did factor in their win. Snacks were all around, being sold at blatantly expensive prices; Just like in a movie theatre. One funny incident did make my day, however: While walking to the stadium, I saw this group of quite obviously heavily inebriated Cal fans. While they were walking, all of a sudden one of them starts running towards a car parked near the curb, jumps up high and lands a kick onto the car’s right rear view mirror. Even his drunk friends expressed shock at the incident and said “it ain’t right”. The best part: The guy who perpetrated the crime just sprinted away from the scene until he was out of sight. While it is a truly bad thing for the car owner, the way things transpired there was truly comical.
Capitalism sees its greatest peak here, at least from my perspective. The ad placements here are even worse than the ones in Transformers: Age of Extinction (Remember Bud Light? Among the 60+other brands advertised?) When the game starts – the game ball is ‘delivered’ by a UPS (courier company) delivery man. The replays are ‘shown’ by Berkeley optometry, because we need to ‘see it properly’. In between breaks, some lottery company makes a random guy try to kick the ball through the goal thing(don’t know what that’s called) to give him a chance to win $1000 and tickets for the NEXT football game. And, my favourite, $50 PARKING IN NEARBY PARKING LOTS! They call it ‘football parking’, because that entitles them to charge 12 times the normal rate, obviously… Well, I guess the system is what it is.
See you tomorrow!