July 24, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The day started at 8:30 a.m. with a tram car ride to the front gate of the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. Seven hours later head coach Jeff Tedford, junior wide receiver Keenan Allen and senior defensive back Josh Hill had conducted numerous interviews with many of the media members from a contingent of over 400 on hand Tuesday for 2012 Pac-12 Football Media Day.
Tedford got right to business upon his arrival and headed straight to network broadcast television entities ESPN and FOX. For about the next four hours, he would interview nearly non-stop with local television entities, national and local radio stations, and print/internet reporters from throughout the league.
Among the many highlights of Tedford's interviews were sessions with Jack Arute and Rick Neuheisel for SiriusXM College and Petros Papadakis of FOX Sports Radio. In the latter interview, the host enthusiastically conveyed his affection for local Berkeley-based eatery Top Dog and playfully encouraged Tedford to assist in the negotiations of bringing his favorite hot dogs to Memorial Stadium on gamedays. Allen and Hill also made their rounds with reporters throughout the morning before the trio made it to their scheduled appearance on the main stage at around 12:30 p.m.
Backstage just before their appearance, Tedford joked with Allen about the "opening speech" the preseason All-American and national honors candidate would need to make, while Allen had a few words for the CalBears.com camera.
"We're about to go on stage at Pac-12 Media Day," Allen said while trying to be serious but breaking out in laughter after he finished his first couple of sentences. "I'm very nervous because I don't like talking in front of people. This could be bad."
Actually it was quite good.
Tedford took that "opening speech" away from Allen and started by talking about the excitement surrounding the Cal football program and the Golden Bears' return to Memorial Stadium in 2012.
"It's an exciting time for Cal football," Tedford said. "It's great to move home, back to Memorial Stadium after playing at AT&T [Park] last season. I know the players are fired up, our fans are fired up."
Tedford elaborated on the enthusiasm his players have shown.
"After spring football I had an opportunity to sit down with each and every one of our players about the different things in their life," Tedford said. "Many of them talked about the excitement of getting back home ... to be able to come back in the north tunnel and play in that environment that's so special at Memorial Stadium."
Tedford also talked about the team's goals for 2012.
"The main goal is to reach our potential and win a conference championship and play at a national level," Tedford said. "We have been bowl eligible nine out of ten years, the bar is high, the expectations, obviously the fans have high expectations, and so does the team. The internal expectation is vital, and I know that's where our team wants to be."
Later during the session, Tedford spoke to the importance of reaching the Rose Bowl to Cal fans.
"There is no doubt I think if you asked our fans whether they want to be in the national championship [game] or the Rose Bowl, it's the Rose Bowl," Tedford said. "It's the measuring stick on where you want to be. Every year we set out to do that, and we've been close a couple of times but haven't knocked that door down. I'm excited about the opportunity this year as the season starts anew to strive to get there again. I know it's been a long, long time, and it would feel great if this was the group that was able to do it."
Hill summed up his experience.
"My first and last media day was a great experience for me," Hill said. "I had a lot of fun, met great people and made lifetime memories. There was a great atmosphere the entire time, and I was able to be myself. Being here made me that much more eager to get this year off and rolling."
Season tickets for Cal's return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012 are currently on sale by calling (800) GO BEARS (800-462-3277), online at CalBears.com, or in person at the Sales and Service Center located in the Haas Pavilion Club Room Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. PT. More season-ticket information is available at CalBears.com. For updates on the progress of the renovation and retrofit of Memorial Stadium, visit californiamemorialstadium.com.
In addition to the Sept. 1 season-opener vs. Nevada, Cal's 2012 seven-game home schedule includes contests against Pac-12 foes Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA, as well as a non-conference game against Southern Utah.