Dec. 23, 2009
Photo Gallery: Tuesday in San Diego
SAN DIEGO - A series of inspirational speeches during the AT&T Team Luncheon held on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum didn't leave many dry eyes in the house and highlighted the day's activities on the eve of the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
A capacity crowd of nearly 1,000 attendees, including both the Cal and Utah football squads, listened to moving testimonies from a pair of teenagers that discussed how the Make-A-Wish Foundation had helped them with their circumstances of cancer in one case, and homelessness and family violence in another.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation made the dream of taking a family trip to Maui a reality for the cancer patient, while rewarding a $5,000 scholarship to the teenager in his effort to end a vicious cycle in his family.
Both Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham also spoke at the event.
In addition to recognizing the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tedford thanked his players and coaches, the Cal band and the bowl organizers in his brief address to the audience. He also provided Make-A-Wish kid Vince, who will serve as an honorary team captain during Wednesday's bowl, with his own Cal jersey.
The program also included highlight videos of both teams, as well as videos the history of the Poinsettia Bowl and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Poinsettia Bowl officials would later announce the winners of the Wishes-Come-True Inspirational Award with recruiting assistant Kevin Parker winning the honor for the Golden Bears.
Parker spoke of a program that he is heavily involved with that takes Cal's players to see what life is like inside behind the bars of San Quentin State Prison.
"We take players there to see the things they have," Parker told the crowd. "The choices they have made to go to school, to get a great education, to continue that and don't get off that path."
The team's players and coaches then had a chance to spend some time on the ship before getting back to preparations for Wednesday's game against the Utes.
Walk-Through and Visit to Qualcomm Stadium
The Golden Bears headed straight from the luncheon to Torero Stadium on the University of San Diego campus for an approximately one-hour walk-through. After that, it was on to Qualcomm Stadium to familiarize themselves with the venue they will play in on Wednesday evening. Dante Hughes, a former Cal player and current member of the San Diego Chargers, was on hand to greet the Golden Bears.
Morning Press Conference
Head coach Jeff Tedford participated in the official Poinsettia Bowl press conference on Tuesday morning at Omni San Diego Hotel.
"It's an honor to be here in the Poinsettia Bowl and to represent the University of California and the Pac-10 Conference," said Tedford. "We've been here in San Diego for the Holiday Bowl a couple of times, and our kids always have a great experience here in San Diego."
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Cal (8-4, 5-4 Pac-10 will face No. 23 Utah (9-3, 6-2 MWC) in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on Wednesday, Dec. 23 (5:00 p.m. PT). The game will be televised live by ESPN and also online by ESPN 360.com. Cal has current school-record strings of seven straight bowl appearances and four consecutive bowl victories with an all-time record of 5-1 during Tedford's six bowls at Cal.
For bolw tickets, information and complete coverage of the team's activities at the Poinsettia Bow, visit the Cal Bowl Central page or call (800) GO BEARS.