Before we finish up with our interview of Kate Troescher, I just wanted to share a very exciting moment in any young person’s life. There’s a new piece of joy in my life. A new presence that brings a smile to the faces of all. And sure it’ll take a lot of work and there is a lot of responsibility involved, but the positives FAR outweigh the negatives here.
Yes, the rumors are true. I BOUGHT A BUFFALO BILLS MARSHAWN JERSEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In just 7-10 days, this little baby will be mine:
Then, I am just going to take it to a local alterations expert to get the red replaced with white or yellow (probably white). And live the rest of my life happily ever after.
From all of us here at The California Golden Blogs, we’d like to extend our warmest thanks for the time and effort Kate put into answering the endless questions we sent her. She doesn’t really know any of us and the connection was through a mutual friend, so she easily could have just blown us off. But she treated us as she does all non-USC human beings: with kindness and respect. And for that we thank her.
What made you first want to stand in front of a crowd and get them all riled up?
Actually, my first motivation to get on a mic was the lack of spirit my high school cheer leading squad was showing during a Friday night football game. I was a sophomore when some friends shoved me up on the railing in front of the Clovis High student section so I could lead the C-L-O-V-I-S spell out, because our team had scored and the cheerleaders weren’t doing it. Following the yell, the cheer leading coach - who scared EVERYONE - yelled at me to come down to the field. I was preparing to get suspended when she asked me if I’d ever be interested in leading cheers on the mic. I was shocked, but said sure, and from that game on, I spent the rest of high school sharing the mic with the head cheerleader at Clovis High.
Were you ever nervous?
A little bit, during my tryout, because EVERY other girl that had tried out before me had been horrible - or so everyone told me - since I’d never personally witnessed a girl trying out. But once I got started I was fine. The high school mic experience really helped.
"What’s your favorite cheer?"
Hands down, the C-A-L spellout. It’s such a simple cheer, but there’s SO many ways to mess it up. Plus, it usually comes after the Bears have done something great, so the energy is high, the fans are stoked, and life is good.
"What do you think of the Student Section rebranding? Got any favorite names?"
Oh geez, the university was talking about this when I was a mic-man, and my thoughts on the subject haven’t changed since the first time I heard the idea. I think it’s hilarious, stupid, and utterly pointless. I understand why they’re trying to do it, if it has a name it can have a sponsor. But I still don’t see why they can’t just keep it the "California Student Section" and have someone sponsor that. That was my favorite "suggested" name. After the rebranding idea surfaced, someone started a Facebook group called "Rename the Student Section the Student Section" or something like that and SOOO many people joined it just proved I’m not the only one who thinks the idea is ridiculous.
"You’ve gotten to follow a number of Cal sports as both a yell leader and a blogger. Which team was your favorite?"
Oh, that’s a tough one. Two teams come to mind, simply because I felt the more connected to them than any of the other teams I yelled for. The first would have to be the 2003 Cal Football team. Before every game, I’m not sure exactly how it got started, but then linebacker coach Justin Wilcox - who’s now the defensive coordinator at Boise State - would always find me for a big hug or high five, during which we’ve remind one another to "kick some ass" in our respective roles that day. Then, as the team walked out of the tunnel right before game time, Aaron Rodgers and I would always make eye contact, point at one another and smile - as if to say, let’s do this today - then go out and do our jobs. Sounds silly, I know, but it was great to feel such a connection.
The other team I felt really connected to was the 2005 Cal softball team. Mic men are not required to attend softball games, but I’ve always loved watching the sport, so I started going to games and the team quickly labeled me their "team mic-man". The girls made it to the Women’s College World Series that year and the magazine I freelance for - the Bear Insider - sent me to Oklahoma to get a first-person account of the week. By the end of our time in Oklahoma, I was treated like just another member of the softball family. The parents even convinced the ESPN on-field reporter that they had flown me in specifically to lead cheers for the girls…it was hilarious…ESPN even interviewed me because they loved the story! So, needless to say, I’ll always have a place in my heart for those girls.
"What sport is the hardest to get people excited about?"
I’d say it’s not so much the sport as the team. If there’s exciting players on the women’s lacrosse team, folks are gonna come watch and be in the mood to yell. But, if the team sucks and there’s not one person on the squad that makes the losing at least a tad bit entertaining…it’s pretty hard to get anyone cheering, even the team itself.
"Give us a prediction for Cal football this year. Got any inside info?"
Hahaha, none that I can share with you! But I do have a very good feeling about this year’s squad. If our big-time offensive returners can stay healthy…Nate, Justin, Desean, etc…our kickers Tom and Andrew keep up the great stuff they showed us last year…and our defense continues to play well, I think we’re gonna go a long way in 2007. We’ve got a lot of returners this year, but any hopes of ongoing national recognition this season depends on the Tennessee game. In other words, we better win.
"In agreeing to do this interview, you mentioned that your reviewed our site and that it looks legit. Thanks! Do you often get solicited for interviews by people whom you suspect are merely stalking you or something?"
Well, I have gotten quite a few interesting emails over the past few years, but luckily none of them have turned into stalkers. Just overly-nice one-time emailers
"Some people (like our own Yellow Fever) would stand near the front of the Student Section and mercilessly heckle the Mic-Humans. How did you deal with the hecklers? Did you ever find their criticisms valid?"
Oh I loved the hecklers! Especially since most of them were drunk, so I’d just turn the mic off and yell right back at them. They loved that. A girl giving them shit…they ate it up. Especially when one guy would yell something stupid, I’d put him in his place, and his friends would then turn to heckling him for the rest of the afternoon.
As for their criticisms being valid, I actually found a lot of their criticisms valid! But a lot of times, there was nothing I could do about. Example: Fans would really want us to be doing a cheer - because the energy was high and it would keep the team pumped up - but because of the breakdown of the clock, we’d have to let marketing do a spot on the full stadium mic. It sucked, but someone’s gotta pay the bills, so we had to respect the rules.
When did you attend your first Cal game?
I grew up in Clovis, CA so I didn’t attend my first Cal game until 2000, when some close family friends brought me to Big Game at Memorial Stadium. Stanford beat the Bears 36-30 in OT, but after 4+ quarters of watching the Cal Student Section go wild in the most gorgeous collegiate football stadium in the nation, I knew I had to come to Cal.
Do mic-men have any rituals or traditions?
Other than the intense hazing that goes on during initiation? Hahaha…kidding, kidding. I think it depends on the year and the group, but during the three years I was a mic-man, we always made a point of playing catch on the sideline for at least 5-10 minutes before we got on the mic. It loosened us up and got us in the football mode. We also tried our best to bring one of the opposing teams footballs home with us after an away game. You know, just as a little souvenir.
What do mic-men do prior to the Sproul steps concert and prior to games? Or… what kind of preparations go on prior to a game?
Again, that depends on the mic-man. Usually each mic-man would have an idea of what they wanted to say about a specific team, so before the rallies on Sproul we’d get together for a few minutes to make sure no one was saying the same thing, then decide the order of the speeches, and go from there. I did a fair amount of prep during the week. I read as much about our opponent as possible and by Thursday, I’d usually have a good idea of the things I wanted to say at the rallies and at the game.
Again, thanks to Kate. You are a true American hero! Go Bears!!