The Berkeley Diary

And we are off

Brian Rathbone, Sports Editor

Something rare happened for the Orange Media Network this weekend. Three of the network’s five mediums — the Daily Barometer, KBVR FM and KBVR TV–made the trip to Berkeley, Calif. to provide coverage of the Oregon State vs. California football game.  Five guys crammed into Chrysler Town and Country to make the 10 hour drive from Corvallis to Berkeley,Calif., here is a running diary of the trip.

Friday 12:30 p.m.

And we are off! We are riding in style in our rental minivan, this bad boy is loaded with satellite radio and a DVD player – this road trip might not be too bad. It might be a good idea to introduce the “Berkeley Bros” (working title) who are on this trip. First we have Logan McGinnis, our video guy from KBVR TV, I don’t know a lot about Logan other than he is from Alaska and that he is a sports junkie like I am – we will see how much of a junkie he is on this road trip.

Now the radio crew. Jonathan Parrish is the spotter for the radio broadcast, he is also a writer for the Barometer. Brenden Slaughter organized the entire event, he is the sports director of KBVR FM and is also one of my writers. That brings us to The Josh Worden. Josh is a national award winning broadcaster and Barometer all-star, he is the one driving the van right now.

I have a hunch about Josh’s driving, I’ve worked with Josh for almost a year now and I have never seen him break a rule. I can totally see him getting up to the speed limit, merging into the right hand lane and cruise controlling the whole way to Berkeley. My mother drives this way.

12:35 p.m.

My hunch on Josh’s driving has already been debunked, he not scared to test out the gas pedal. We will either get to Berkeley in record time, or will rack up a ton of speeding tickets. Regardless, I have been in this car no more than five minutes and I have already learned something about this crew.

12:45 p.m.

We are off highway 34 and now on the 470 mile stretch on I-5. Also Brenden is sitting shotgun making him in charge of the music, that’s a big responsibility for “DJ Slaughty-Slught.”

1:15 p.m.

Approaching Eugene it’s a little too quiet in the van, I think it’s time for a game. Last time I road tripped to the Bay Area, my friend Warner – former Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Barometer – and I came up with top-fives list for every sporting category you could imagine. I think it’s time to resurrect this game, you can learn a lot about a person based on how they view sports. The first topic – top-five favorite athletes.

3:45 p.m.

The van really got into making top-five lists. From Eugene until Ashland that’s all we talked about, a ton of interesting rankings. Here are a few of the more shocking results – Josh is still riding high on the “Linsanity” movement, naming Jeremy Lin is favorite athlete. Both Brenden and Jonathan have former Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota in their top-five — What’s up with that guys? I had Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson as one of the most overrated OSU athlete of all-time and former OSU pitcher Matt Boyd as the most underrated OSU athletes.

4:00 p.m.

After a quick bathroom break in Ashland we are back on the road. It’s time to switch up the games. I’m going to introduce another game that Warner taught me — The Sports Game. The premise of the game is simple: One person says an athlete’s name, the next person says a team that the athlete had played for and the next person says another athlete that played for that team. For examples if one person said “Oregon State” the next person could say “Jacquizz Rodgers” next person would say “Atlanta Falcons,” the cycle goes on and on until someone is stumped.

We have already played several rounds and people are starting to pick up the game people seem to be enjoying it.

5:45 p.m.

We are fulfilling one of the obligations that every Oregonian must do when they road trip through California, and that is to stop for In-n-Out in Redding, Calif. Personally, I think it’s a little overrated, but I have to admit, it tasted pretty darn good tonight.

Josh on the other hand did not eat anything. He has been driving the entire time and hasn’t consumed anything other than a couple sips of water. He really is a machine.

6:30 p.m.

With bellies full of burgers and fries we hit the road again. And again, Josh is still at the wheel, I don’t know how he does it. Except I think the lack of food has taken it’s toll on him, for about 15 miles he was driving without the headlights turned on. The fact that he was able to see clearly without headlights only makes him more machine-like.

 

7:00 p.m.

We are taking a break from the Sports Game to play one of Logan’s games. We randomly selected 32 athletes and put in a bracket. The goal is to see who would win in a Hunger Games-style battle. This game created some serious debate, probably the biggest one was New England receiver Julian Edelman vs. Gary Payton Sr., Josh and I were in favor of Edelman, while the others went with “The Glove.” I went to Edelman solely based on the catch he made in the Super Bowl.

Ultimately the winner of the Athlete Hunger Games was Manny Pacquiao. The fact that he watched his dad eat their family dog, then ran away from and then become one of the greatest boxers in recent memory put him over the edge ahead of Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson.

 Funny thing. I had Ronda Rousey losing in the first round to Andre the Giant. I was laughed at. Turns out, less than 24 hours she got knockout by Holly Holm. 

9:45 p.m.

Nine hours and several hours of sports talk later, we have arrived in Berkeley. The house that we are staying at is one of Logan’s high school buddies, unfortunately he is not at his house but at the Cal basketball game. After discussing what we should do while we wait it occurs to us that we should try and go to the basketball game. We don’t have any tickets, but it’s worth the shot.

10:00 p.m.

We have arrived on the Cal Berkeley campus, it’s dark and we have no idea where the basketball arena is located. I find a copy of the Daily Californian and leaf through it as the five of us try to navigate our way through the unfamiliar campus. By the way, I like their paper’s layout.

10:10 p.m.

It turns out if you look lost inside of a basketball arena and ask the right questions the ushers will point you in the right direction and not check your tickets, who would have thought? So we find some empty seats and watch the last 15 minutes of the Cal/Rice game. Early scouting report on Cal, they are good.

10:45 pm

The final buzzer sounds with Cal walking away victorious with a 97-65 victory. We then went to the baseball field to wait for Logan’s friend. We found a baseball and started tossing that around. I must say, Goss Stadium is a tad bit nicer than Cal’s baseball stadium.

11:00

Logan’s friend, Matt Ha, meets up with us then takes us on an awesome tour of the campus. One of the biggest differences between the Cal campus and Oregon State’s campus is how spread out it is. If I had to guess, it probably would take more than 10 minutes to walk from one building to another and the fact that they have 37 libraries on campus — crazy!

We also checked out the clock tower, which is huge, you can see if from just about every angle from campus and when you are in downtown Berkeley.

Brenden keeps saying, “why didn’t I go here?” What a traitor.

12:30 a.m.

After seeing just about everything on campus (besides the T-Rex skeleton that is in one of their buildings) we drive back to Matt’s apartment, unpack the van and take a ride in one of the creepiest elevators I have even been in.

After a long day of traveling and a big day coming up we all find our spots to sleep on the floor, except for Brenden, who we determine gets to sleep on the couch after Josh turns it down.

Josh makes his third power move of the trip. After he drove the entire way from Corvallis to Berkeley, we offered him the couch, but he turned it down. Apparently, for the entire summer Josh slept on the floor of his own home.

9:30 a.m.

I am the last one to wake up, I guess the floor was just too comfortable. Josh is outside on the patio reading. I never saw him fall asleep, nor did I see him wake up. I can’t say for certain if he slept or not, so the “Josh is a machine” theory is still in tact.

10:00 a.m.

We decide to go to this breakfast spot that Matt suggested the night before. Matt is working so the five of us have to navigate downtown Berkeley ourselves.  Luckily for the GPS on our phones, we find the place relatively ease. As good as the food looked and smelled, it was slammed with people with a line out the door. So, we make the decision to find a new place.

We land at the small cafe tucked away inside a strip mall with $3 pancakes and french toast. can’t beat that deal! Also this is where we finally see Josh consume food — A lot of food. I guess that ends the whole “Josh is a machine” theory.

12:00 p.m.

We find our way back to the apartment and begin our prep for tonight’s game. First order of business, we need to record our Baro Sports Podcast. Josh has family in the Bay Area, so he takes off to go and visit with them before the game while the rest of us get dressed and then head out to take a look at San Francisco Bay.

1:45 p.m.

As we walk to our van, tragedy strikes. Jonathan points out a wrinkle in Brenden’s dress pants which then Brenden reveals that he spends $60 a week on dry-cleaning. SIXTY DOLLARS A WEEK! Then moments later Logan steps in some sort of sludge on the sidewalk. The day can’t get any worse.

2:30 p.m.

It’s a picture perfect day on the Berkeley waterfront, we actually pass a couple of OSU fans eating a meal at a restaurant on the waterfront. We ask them for a score prediction and their replied with “We just want a win.” A perfect response for a team who hasn’t won since September.

It’s too bad we can’t stay longer but we have business to take care of at Memorial Stadium in a few hours. So we head back to our van and begin our drive to the stadium. The drive seemed like a perfect opportunity to roll down the windows and bump some Dr. Dre and Konu on the ride.

3:45 p.m.

We arrive at Memorial Stadium nearly four hours before kickoff. Is it a little early? Probably, but there are things to get done. Fist thing is we need to put our ties on because we are the best-dressed student media there is (probably).

We get to the press box and it is magnificent, I guess that’s what you get when you drop 300 million dollars in renovations.

5:30 p.m.

We are down on the field shooting our pregame videos.

7:15 p.m.

Te players head to the locker room for the final time before the game. Logan and I are taking photos and videos of all the pregame sights that Memorial Stadium has to offer. As we are running to try and capture the Cal players running through their giant inflatable bear, a firework goes off and it nearly gives me a heart attack.

 

I’m pretty impressed with the Cal marching band, the tuba players are surprisingly nimble as they high step in circles with their giant instruments. 

Poor Logan is in desperate need of some chap stick in the dry, windy stadium.

7:37

Kickoff!

Another rough game for the Beavers as they drop their sixth straight game.

Here is all of our coverage from the game:

 

12:45 p.m.

At last, Logan gets his chapstick.

We finally get back to Matt’s apartment the plan was originally to get a good nights rest before heading back, but we called an audible and decided to start our drive back home that night. It’s tough to tell if this will will be beneficial or not. But spirits seem high and everyone knows the best ideas happen after midnight.

1:00 a.m.

We start our journey back to Corvallis, it’s going to be a long drive. We are sleep deprived, to keep us awake another rousing game of The Sports Game. Jonathan is the first one to lose, making him the first one to fall asleep. Brenden goes down next, joining Jonathan and falls asleep… or so we thought.

4:30 a.m.

Logan, Josh and I are playing the game and Logan says the “Chauncey Billups.” This must have triggered something in Brenden because he started to sleep talk and it seemed like he wanted back in the game. But it turns out he was just sleep talking, which provided some much needed entertainment on the long car ride.

9:00 a.m.

I fall asleep and wake up to snow as we go over the Siskiyou mountains. Logan, a native Alaskan is at the wheel so I feel pretty safe. I have never been to Alaska, but I imagine it constantly with two feet of snow. So for him driving in a small snow flurry is the equivalent to me driving on a cloudy, typical Oregon fall day.

12:00 p.m.

Finally back home, what a trip. It was a good weekend for the Orange Media Network, we provided solid coverage and made memories that I am confident will last a lifetime.