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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Family and football traditions

Uploaded: Nov 24, 2016
Thanksgiving Day brings back many memories including the football games and the just completed Big Game. This season, which includes my parents’ wedding anniversary, typically has been marked by football and family.
One great tradition we observed for years was a festive tailgate party before the Cal-Stanford game. That was best done in Palo Alto thanks to Stanford’s then-ample parking lot. An article last week in the East Bay Times asked if the Big Game has lost its luster.
For me, it certainly has (Cal’s miserable season contributes), but under lying cause is the Pac 12 selling out to television and its desire for live sports. Traditionally, Cal games started at 12:30 p.m., but when the big dollars came calling, game times became flexible. Cal athletic officials had to request a daytime game last Saturday to avoid being shoved into the 7:30 p.m. kickoff—a completely inconvenient time for fans.
I considered going to a couple of games this year until I added up the time and considered we likely would be arriving back home around 1 a.m. after night games. The warm recliner was a much better choice.
My family held season tickets for over 20 years, until I gave them up in frustration in 2001 when I missed more games that I attended because of the flexible kickoff times. The decision was easier because Cal was awful (1-10 that season). The team was so bad that I left in the third quarter twice.
The next year brought Jeff Tedford and some golden years until his program fell apart and he was fired.


Chatting with the staff at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore recently, we remarked that two of our lilac bushes are blooming and the leaves of our stone fruit trees are still green in mid-November.
She replied that the plants are confused. The near-record rainfall in October coupled with a very warm November has resulted in the very unusual blooms. Our lilacs normally bloom in March.
This week's cooler weather likely will change that.
Happy Thanksgiving
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