I’ll tell you what my problem is! I’m WAY too busy.
I’m sure you’ve all be noticing that I haven’t been posting much lately and for that I apologize. For me, I’m pretty good a juggling lots of tasks but I reach a point where I get so busy that I just can’t keep all the balls in the air and everything comes crumbling down. Saturday’s experience going to the USC game is a perfect example because I had been so busy that everything was rush, rush, rush:
How much I had been rushing became clear to me when I reached the I-80 & I-680 interchange at about 3 PM on Saturday and a huge sinking feeling hit me as I realized I’d left my tickets for the game back at home. Usually, one could do the loop home from there in about 2 hours putting me in Oakland about 30 minutes after the game started. But considering that I had left the house at 1:15 and was just now, 1:45 later, at a spot that only takes me an hour to get to, I knew that I’d barely make half time if I turned around. I was faced with two choices, neither too hopeful, either turn around and watch the game from home or try to figure out how to get replacement tickets at the game (either scalpers or through the ticket-office if they’d give me replacement tickets).
I called my brother who was already on his way to the game to scout out for me if there were any replacement opportunities and continued towards Berkeley. After about 15 minutes he called back to let me know that there is a ticket replacement strategy where I could re-pay for the tickets at the south endzone special services ticket booth and then send in the original tickets for a refund. (There’s a helpful hint for everyone to remember when they’re caught in the same pinch I was.) So we continued on.
At this point I should probably get on to the weather…
In Roseville it had been beautiful all week including Saturday morning. It started to get a little overcast around 11 AM so I looked up the weather forecast and it told me that there was a 30% chance of light showers/drizzle. I figured that it would probably be inconsequential but I packed my emergency ponchos which are nothing more than garbage bags cut differently so that they’re in the shape of ponchos (Target sells them). They’re great because the fold up to be the size of a deck of cards, maybe less, but work well in a pinch for an adult… adult being the key phrase for the rest of this post. Other than that I just brought my boys coats (not rain proof) instead of their sweatshirts.
Just as I was leaving Roseville, the drizzle started. As I was heading down the freeway, the drizzle turned to a consistent shower and messed up the traffic something nasty. (That’s why it took 1:45 to do what usually takes 1:00.) But as we got on I-680 the rain cleared up and I figured things were looking good. Things continued to look good through when we got on the bus at the Rockridge BART station with no rain, although it was overcast and threatening. I figured it was going to clear as we had already passed the storm in the valley and the storms tend to move from southwest to northeast in this area.
But as soon as we get into Berkeley the rain starts and as those of you at the game know, it never stopped. That last part was the killer for me, apparently the ever optimistic one. I assumed the rain would let up so I didn’t pull out the emergency ponchos for either myself or my boys. I was particularly hesitant with the boys because they’re humongous on the boys and really don’t work very well if you’re not holding them in your lap. So here we are, midway through the 1st quarter, soaked to the bone when my youngest says “Daddyyyyyy, I want to go hooooommme.”
Now, I may be a dedicated Bears fan who manages the unthinkable of bringing two toddlers to the game, every game, but there comes a point in every die-hard father’s mind when a line has been crossed. On Saturday I crossed that line.
Instantly I went into disaster recovery mode. I couldn’t just bail right then. The Bears were winning. But I also knew there was no way, even if the rain stopped that very instant, that’d we’d last the whole game. All I could do was hold out for half time and then do everything in my power to get the boys to my mom’s house to change and watch the game on TV. All I had to do was get everything ready to go and figure out how to passify the boys until then. The emergency ponchos came out of their bags for the boys (not for me as I was fine) and they got all the knee bouncing and encouragement we could muster.
When USC punted to the Bears with just over a minute left in the half, we took off boldly attempting to do what no man had done before: Get home before the 2nd half started.
The first key to that was finding a bus. See, the shuttles don’t run except before and after the game. I was hopeful that with the number of fans bailing that they’d run a bus or two at halftime but I knew that it was a longshot. That left two alternatives. #1: Put the boys on shoulders and make the 1.7 mile trek to the Rockridge BART station, something difficult to do in 20 minutes and very labor intensive for a couple of soaked guys. #2: Walk the shorter and more downhill distance to the Berkeley BART station and take BART to Rockridge. Considering there was a transfer involved and everything, there was no way that was going to happen in the alloted time. On the other hand we’d be out of the rain sooner.
So we started the walk to Rockridge.
Just then the clouds parted… no not in real life. They parted because the canon went off at the stadium. THE BEARS SCORED! And then the clouds parted again!!! A 51 bus showed up right as we were walking down college. IT’S A MIRACLE. After all 50 Bear fans piled on board, we made the trek to Rockridge. After the quarter mile walk to our van (arriving at 3:30 there was no hope of getting a spot in the lot), we jumped in and turned on the radio. The 2nd half had just started. While it wasn’t perfect, it was pretty good. We were at my mom’s house shortly after the Bears got the ball back. Not to shabby if I do say myself.
But the score was still 10-14… anyone know what the story with the canon was?
UPDATE at 8:45 AM on 11/16/07: Oh yeah, one more goof I made… I recorded the game on the wrong channel. It’s a nice TiVo with DirecTV feature that when searching for programs to record by title (as opposed to on the guide), it’ll show you programs that aren’t in your subscription package. So I recorded the game on the ESPN GamePlan channel as opposed to ABC by accident. (It’s even more misleading because when I went to record it there was only one instance of the USC at Cal game (the GamePlan one) and this was likely because the guide doesn’t seem to update to show which game is going to be on ABC until the very last minute, which is ridiculous since it was announced on Monday what station (ABC vs. ESPN vs. ESPN2) and which local regions would carry each game.