Last week, while I was sitting and waiting for a flight home from Boston, this video popped up on my timeline, courtesy of I believe it was @EDSBS:
And so this got me thinking — despite the tremendous respect I have for Cal Athletics and their efforts (believe me, I understand it’s not an easy job by any means), our own promos have largely lacked the same kind of punch, or drama.
So, this is a very WWE-influenced idea I pitched on Twitter last week, but wanted to go and put down in full, just for fun.
Even though it’s April, it’s never too soon to think about next season.
Fade into a small bunch of shots from black and white Memorial Stadium. Empty. The effect we want here is of exhaustive despair. Slow, somber, orchestral music, but I don’t have a track in mind, just a mood. If there’s exaggerated fan reactions on film from some ESPN broadcasts and some audio clips you can splice in about them talking about how difficult the Bears’ season has been, awesome.
Voiceover [preferably Dykes'. Delivering these actual words is clearly optional, but I wrote my own version to kind of capture the general notes of what I'm envisioning.]: “Four and twenty. Four and twenty, gentlemen. I don’t need to tell you what those numbers mean. You know them just as much as I do. You have lost sleep over them, and you have let them drive you all off-season, because they represent a painful truth: in the last two years, we’ve been beat up. Wounded. Injured. Blown out. Embarrassed, at just about every damn stadium we’ve set foot in.”
During this part of the talk, the video should show lowlights. Presumably, these should not be hard to find, but ideas that I was thinking about particularly: A flash of the scoreboard after each Cal – Stanford game. Ty Montgomery. Cattouse getting absolutely run over by Andrew Luck. The freak accident onside kick returned for a touchdown in last year’s Colorado game. Quick clips of Reggie Dunn running into the end zone, fading into a visual of Bralon Addison, and then of Nelson Agholor doing the same, seeing as all three guys returned two special teams TDs against us. Devin Smith. So on and so forth. A couple of plays in which guys get decked, wrecked, or blasted by big hits.
Slow fade into color now. Gold-styled//DBZ aura could come into play here somehow, although I have no idea just yet. Highlights now, obviously.
“But I want you to listen closely to me now, because at 1:00 PM this Saturday, that is going to end. I promise you it is going to end, because this team is not what it was then. And you guys, wearing these uniforms today, are not who you were then, either.”
“I want you to think, for a second, gentlemen, about that gold script written across your uniforms. The word is California. Every time you walk on that field, those ten letters are a signal, a symbol that you represent. Not just a school, or an institution, but the finest that this state has to offer, in every aspect. You alone, in this locker room have that distinction. Not SC. Not LA. Not Stanford.”
“California rests on your shoulders, and the adversity we have overcome these last two years, the work you have put in to wipe away the stain of four and twenty have readied you for this moment, readied you to make that word mean something again. Because deep down, I believe this, and I believe in you. You are now ready to take California football back to the greatness it deserves, shaping it with your own hands.”
“Come Saturday, the rest of the world will just happen to find out.”
Music builds to a crescendo at these last words. Six cannon shots accompany each one of these words, flashing on screen in text, one at a time. No voiceover.
We. Want. The. Axe.