Today was a beautiful day to be on the Berkeley campus - the sort of day that is the reason people move to California. Absolutely gorgeous. I showed up early for some Cal Day festivities and then hung around for Cal Football’s open spring practice (including free hot dogs!), meeting up with my good buddies TwistNHook, HydroTech and CBKWit (and our new bestest buddy, Ken Crawford, who put up with Twist’s incessant ramblings with uncommon patience and good humor). I’m sure they’ll all have plenty to say about today’s open practice, which they’ll cover over the next couple days. Myself? I’ll simply say that I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Before we get to all of that, however, I thought I’d share a few photos of today’s athletics surplus sale. Heeding HydroTech’s advice from last year, I arrived shortly before 9:30 AM this morning, only to find people already leaving with boxes full of what I can only assume was the best stuff. S’ok, there was still good stuff to be had, and I didn’t even need to gouge anyone’s eyes out!
The highlight of the sale were the (game-used?) jerseys, going for just $50 a pop. A steal! Anyone who wanted a jersey for some miscellaneous offensive lineman over the past few years had easy pickings, but since I didn’t get there right at the opening, I had trouble finding a jersey with a name I had heard of on it (most didn’t have names at all). When I finally did find one (a Tom Canada jersey), I decided against it; 22 is a pretty good number, but I wasn’t sure I could wear a jersey with the name of America’s bitter rival to the north on my back. (Note to Canada: you’re OK in my book. Just keep making that maple syrup I love so much.)
Got a youth team you’d like to outfit in comically oversized football jerseys? The surplus store is your one-stop source!
Towards the back were the shoes, piled everywhere in a chaotic mess; it looked as though Cal Athletics had knocked off a Foot Locker. That was fine by me, as I picked up a $75 pair of shoes for $20. Guys who looked like former athletes were lovin’ this stash, hoarding boxes of the stuff. All down Bancroft you could see big, athletic guys leaving the stadium with piles of Nikes in their arms, probably leaving prospective Berkeley students to wonder if perhaps Cal was the next Free Shoes University (scroll down to #4 if you don’t get the reference).
Yes, it did feel a little like I was sifting through Cal Athletics’ garage sale. Unfortunately, there were no mismatched place settings or hilariously outdated LPs to rifle through. Next year, perhaps.
Plenty of other gear available too, including branded workout clothes, official coaches’ khakis, elbow and knee pads (just $2!), assorted helmet parts, and, at $75 the most expensive item there, used shoulder pads. I like football a lot, but I can’t imagine what I would do with used shoulder pads, besides get laughed off the field at the next 3 on 3 pick-up game in the park. The oddest item? $10 apparently would get you an official Cal Athletics fax machine. Was this the machine that coaches anxiously huddled over on national signing day, waiting for recruits’ letters of intent to come in? Perhaps! Perhaps!
$5 for a face mask. $10 gets you a fax machine. Not pictured: an official Cal football pencil sharpener, possibly used by Tedford himself. A steal at only $3.95!
Overall, lots of cheap Cal-branded stuff to be had. Not sure if I would have made it out to Berkeley just for this, but definitely worth getting to Berkeley an extra hour or two early. Anyway, keep checking in with the Golden Blogs for further reports on the Spring Game festivities.