Aug. 29, 2010
BERKELEY - Saturday was a day for Cal football players and coaches to meet and interact with their fans during a pair of annual events following the team's morning workout at Memorial Stadium.
The entire team and coaching staff signed autographs and took photos with fans for more than two hours at the annual Fan Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium. The festivities began at 11:15 a.m. and included appearances by the Cal marching band, who played a clever instrumental version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' recent song "Dani California" perhaps in tribute to the school. The longest lines were for head coach Jeff Tedford, who was one of the last people to leave long after most fans had departed, and the senior starters.
Several players commented on how much they enjoyed the rare opportunity to meet those who cheer them on.
"I appreciate the fans here at Cal because without them we're nothing," said linebacker Mychal Kendricks. "They keep us going. This is a good way to get face-to-face with them and meet them on a personal level, because when we're on the field and they're in the stands, that's all it is. But at this event, they get to know who we are and we get to know who they are."
"It's nice to interact with our fans on a personal level and laugh and joke with them," added fellow linebacker D.J. Holt. "It's always good to see a kid smile just because you're there, or maybe because you signed his football. The support they show us is love, and we just want to return the love back to them by showing that human side of us."
Although Holt hopes the event didn't cause him an injury.
"My hand does hurt a little," continued Holt with a laugh in reference to the hundreds of autographs he had just signed.
Placekicker Giorgio Tavecchio, who has been a fan favorite at Cal since his arrival in 2008, showed his love for the fans by saying "fan appreciation day was awesome, it's always great to be able to hang out with the best fans in the world."
"It was a great morning," agreed fan Joy Maguire in her post on the official Cal Athletics facebook page. "Good food, good friends, and good feelings. We should a winning season. Go Bears."
After Fan Appreciation Day, several standout players met fans at another event at the Broadway Plaza Shopping Center in Walnut Creek. Among those to sign autographs and take pictures at this event were Bryan Anger, Sean Cattouse, Cameron Jordan, Anthony Miller, Mike Mohamed, Kevin Riley and Shane Vereen.
"It was cool and a much bigger turnout than I thought it would be," said Vereen. "I love all the fans and appreciate them coming out to support us."
2010 REGULAR SEASON OPENS SEPTEMBER 4 VS. UC DAVIS
Day, Date - Opponent - Time (TV)
For a complete 2010 season outlook, visit CalBears.com.
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