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The new Defensive Coordinator is…

Clancy Pendergast!

It’s not up on but multiple sources are reporting it.

The best initial source of info on him is his Wikipedia entry.

Basically he had early coaching experience with a number of college teams including USC before going to the NFL in 1995. From 1996 to 2002 he was the linebacker coach at Dallas and from 2004-2008 he was the DC at the Arizona Cardinals. Last year he was at Kansas City in the same roll and he was hired away from there by Oakland this off season before pulling a Ludwig (guess I was wrong on that happening twice, huh?) and making the move to Cal.

He seems to be “scheme agnostic” having coached 4-3’s a lot, but has experience with 3-4’s as well and has adapted a number of other schemes.

As for my thoughts, I’m going to take a wait and see attitude. I don’t know anything about him and his NFL resume is nothing spectacular, albeit it IS an sizable NFL resume including a DC at the pro level. Add in that he’s got some but not a ton of college experience and I’m optimistic that he has potential.

But potential and ability are two different things and unlike in past years where my gut says they were great hires, my gut is uneasy about this one.

More to come…

Division I-A Football, Organized by Team Nickname

So in the latest podcast I mentioned to Ken that I split the entire set of I-A football teams up into conferences and divisions by team nickname.

He suggested that I post the list. So here it is. I realize this is ridiculous. That’s sort of the point. Please share your thoughts… if you dare! No, seriously.

(Hit the link to get the list – I’ve realigned it a few times based on good feedback from readers.)

Tickets for the Maryland game

I’ve got tickets to sell for the Maryland game. I sit in section DD about half way up on the isle. I’ll be there by myself, because it’s just too late with a 7:00 PM kickoff to take little kids to. Add in that my wife is then on child-care duty and I’ve got 5 tickets to sell, which I’ll either sell individually or in groups of 2, 3 or 5 depending on the response I get.

For those who jump on the opportunity you’ll get to find out how just how different my game-day demeanor is compared to my blog demeanor plus get my insights into how the game is going.

I’ll sell the tickets for the price that you’d buy new tickets online: $50 each (which is slightly less than I pay for them because of all the various season ticket surcharges). Of course at this point you wouldn’t get seats nearly as good as mine if you ordered them online. Plus, you wouldn’t get the fringe benefits either.

If you’re interested please e-mail me by 8/25:

tickets AT excusemeformyvoice DOT com

(I’ll be putting the tickets for sale online at E-Bay or Stubhub or something mid-next week if I don’t get them sold through the blog)

The University of California Marching Band is Under the Direction of Robert O. Briggs

briggs.jpgRobert O. Briggs, who “joined the Cal Band as a freshman in the fall of 1947 and essentially never left,” has died at the age of 81.

As someone for whom the opening ceremonies before a Cal game are as close as I’m ever going to get to the level of pomp, ceremony, and symbolic meaning of a Catholic mass (sorry, Ken), it’s fair to say that in some ways Robert O. Briggs was the leader of my own peculiar church choir.

Never knew the man, never spoke a word to him. But the fact is, the phrase that heads this blog post is a phrase that will take me back to my childhood, fall Saturdays spent in Strawberry Canyon at Memorial Stadium. And I know I’m not alone — Briggs’s name would be cheered every year at Alumni Band Day when it was announced that he was conducting both bands as a part of the halftime show.

The Chronicle obituary is sweet and, I’ll admit, the air on my bus ride to work this morning got a bit dusty as I read about Briggs and his commitment to the Cal band, especially this part:

Mr. Briggs never married and leaves no children. “You could say that the Cal Band was his family,” said Calonico. “It was a big part of his life.”


Jamie Rawson, Bass ’77, has a remembrance of Briggs at California Golden Blogs. And Erin’s got a remembrance on her blog.

Sunday Morning Horse-Laugh

In the spirit of a 63-point victory over a conference opponent — when the heck does that ever happen? — here’s an image I forgot to share with you all last week. It came as we waited in line at the north stadium entrance to drop off two tickets for friends of us who were running late. In front of me I discovered a fan dressed in the jersey of Cal’s latest breakout star player.

Best Stops on a Dime

Just for reference, that’s Jahvid Best up there.

Now, here’s our nomination for Fan Jersey of the Year:

Jahvid's looked better

Note that he’s wearing the classic Cal colors there — gray and black. Mmm. Good stuff.

Wimbledon was AWESOME

Please forgive me an aside. Now I know after my last aside, most of you are groaning, but hear me out… this is still about sports.

I was working on updating the scripts for the pickem game so the 2008 EMFMV edition is even better and more competitive than last season. Since I like to watch sports while I code, I turned on the TV to see what was on. It was 9:30 AM and I thought, “hey, isn’t Wimbleton on at 9 AM?” Well no. It started at 9 AM eastern time. But because of rain delays and the such, they were only in the 3rd set.

Now as a bit of background, I played tennis recreationally in middle school and a bit in high school, but I’ve always thought it was as boring to watch as watching grass grow. In the case of Wimbledon, it was as boring as watching grass die from two weeks of being stomped to death.

Well, after about 15 minutes of watching, the coding for the pickem was stalled as I had to stand up to watch this incredible match. For the last 4+ hours I watched two incredible players play an unprecidentedly long and toughly fought match. It took all 5 sets including tie-breaker games in both the 3rd and 4th sets and even had to go into extra games in the 5th set.

In any case, Nadal eventually won 6-4,6-4,6-7,6-7,9-7, which was awesome because both that young kid plays with so much heart and it was so back and forth with Federer coming up with the big ace every time his back was against the wall.

If you missed it, you missed an incredible sports event. I think I might be watching more often when these two come together.