Observations from NU at Cal: A Photo Essay

As some of you may already know, I ventured deep into the uncharted lands of San Francisco to both take a short vacation and watch the 'Cats take on Cal in Berkeley. The trip was fun and everyone we met was great and I can't recommend highly enough going out to a foreign land to take in an away game (this was, actually, my first ever Northwestern road game, not counting bowls). A+ would travel again.

Anyway, since the internet has by and large given a blow by blow recap of the game itself, I figured I'd share a few of the things I noticed and documented while I was out there. I know you're aware of the purple representation and the stats and plays and all that, so here's some things you may not know, in no particular (read: mostly chronological) order.

Before the game, someone from the NU Alumni Club of LA organized a Sailgate from SF across the bay to Berkeley. I don't have a lot of great pictures from the event, but they gave us beer and wine and hors d'oeuvres and carted us around for 3 hours. Here's the boat



Theoretically there's a facebook page somewhere with a bunch of pictures from the event, but I can't find it.

So we got to the game about an hour before kickoff and lo and behold, we have other quarterbacks that throw balls sometimes! I have proof!



And another!



They all looked pretty decent throwing the ball, but it was pretty clear that Siemian had the best arm of the lot. It wasn't just these guys out there warming up, the whole team was there, like this guy



And this guy



And these guys



And of course Willie



Finally the game got started. Scoring happened, and #Budzien4Groza was flawless.



Look at that plant. Siemian looked poised too.



Pretty sure this play led to points. The best part about points? There were a lot of them! And because there were a lot of them, the guy who brought his trombone to play the fight song got a lot of work. He was my second favorite person there.



So after like 3.75 quarters, I stopped taking pictures and started just enjoying the atmosphere. It was great and we won and Cal fans (at least in person) were gracious. I was standing next to a couple that noticed the GIANT EMPTY SPACE in front of where our seats were and filled in next to the other NU peeps that did the same (seriously, as the game started there were like 4 entire unoccupied rows in front of us). They were fun. A little bit defeatist but it is what it is.

And that's how the game ended. It was a blast, thanks to Cal and California for being awesome hosts. I'll leave you with a few thoughts.

- The ref's were terrible

- Because the refs were terrible, the scoreboard operator was terrible. They had issues with down and distance all night, and it took them a good 10 minutes to reverse the called-back Cal TD.

- Because the scoreboard operator was terrible, the announcer was terrible, and couldn't really announce properly what was happening.

- It's Jeff BudZEEN, not Jeff BUDzin. Bah.

- Bart late at night has nothing on the El. So very inefficient. I'm willing to give them a pass because the Bay Bridge was closed.

- It's cool that they built the stadium into a hill, but it's a bit of a pain to walk up that hill to get to the visitors section only to have to walk down from the top to your seat. Oh well, I'm just a spoiled midwesterner, I suppose.

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