Friday, September 7, 2012

Cal's First Home game at the new Memorial Stadium

It's always fun to be at the home opener for a team, but I've never quite been to a home opener like this before.  Last Saturday, Cal re-opened its rebuilt Memorial Stadium and the excitement in the air.  Fans lined the grand staircase before the game to hi-five the football players entering the stadium.
I realized photographing the pre-game festivities I haven't been to a lot of college football games.  Actually one I can remember which was when Cal beat USC in triple overtime in 2003. So, in a lot of ways, it was a whole new experience for me.
It was fun watching the fans get excited at the prep rally at Sproul Plaza...
 ...and then joining the cheerleaders and band members as they marched across campus.

The band walked passed the Campanile...
And stepped to Memorial stadium.
The crowds entered the new gates.
It was fun watching the band do its pre-game routine on the field.
And see the fans receive their commemorative tickets for the game.
I had a birds-eye view of the ribbon cutting.
Which gave me a lot more space then the photographers on the field.
And then the team rushed the field and the game was on!
One of the shots I needed to get was of the full stadium with tightwad hill in the background.
The student section was ready and excited to cheer on the game.
And it was cool that the cheerleaders had their own stand in front of the student section to lead the cheers.
Cal went down by two goals early, but scored a touchdown in the second quarter to bring the home fans alive.
The Cal fans urged their team on in a back and forth game.
Cal's mascot Oski keeping the troops into the game.
When Cal scored a touchdown to tie the game in the 4th Quarter it seemed like the comeback was complete.
The Cal fans celebrated....
...and urged their team on.
But Nevada scored a last-minute touchdown to dash the Cal fan's dreams.
So although the Cal fans left the game dejected it was in the end a celebration.  Cal football was back home.

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