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The Curse of Cal kicks off Spooky Season

Happy almost October- I’m scared.

Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Good morning, Coug fans!

We’re well within several sports seasons, but terrifyingly enough tomorrow’s game kicks off a season universally coined “Spooky Season”. Halloween decorations are coming out of attics, pumpkin patches are being invaded, haunted houses explored. It’s a wonderful time of year, but admittedly it’s giving me goosebumps to think we’re entering this time against the California Golden Bears.

If you’re a Coug, you’re familiar with Cal Bullshit. However, I thought that in the spirit of the season, I’d take a crack at explaining the curse that plagues us every season.

In order to research this article properly, I dove down in several comment archives on this very website, additionally took trips to Reddit, and of course Twitter. I was unable to find a direct origin of the phrase, but I was able to take a rather unpleasant walk down memory lane with some of our more... uncomfortable losses. Additionally, I went back and read some articles from 2009 written by my friends Craig and Brian, and I must say, it made me miss the minivan. If you know you know.

If we’re looking at stats and facts, it’s clear where the bullshit began- after winning the first ever matchup in 1919, the Cougs went on to be tragically blown out for eight games in a row. We all remember the brief period of relief from 1999 to 2002 where WSU was consistently victorious (some of us remember this time better than others). I will say, many Coug Center authors before me have written articles of Cal Bullshit, focusing mainly on the games, for example, Kevin has one here! We can talk about games all day, but I’d rather we didn’t since our record is a bit more meager. Let’s talk vibes.

What, aside from game play, makes Cal so spooky?!

First of all- if you’re into astrology, Cal week is the metaphysical equivalent to Mercury being in retrograde. If you aren’t into astrology, Cal week is like when you walk under a ladder, and bad things start happening to you. It shouldn’t be connected- the bad luck and the walking under a ladder, but it’s something to blame your misfortune on. It’s likely the rotten things happening, like a bird pooping on you, or spilling coffee down your white shirt would have happened anyway, but what if you hadn’t walked under that damn ladder?!

We aren’t the only team that feels like Cal is usually an uphill battle. When I asked a Duck fan friend of mine how the Ducks feel about Cal, he said “every win felt painstakingly difficult, especially in the Cristobal era”. He also reminded me that a lot of Cal’s staff actually played at Oregon. So it makes sense for that to be a strange team for the Ducks. There must be something in Cal’s helmets. I will say, he did say that the vibes aren’t as weird or nerve-racking as playing us or Stanford, so we’ve got that going. Thanks for your help, Bazil!

Here’s the other thing about Cal Bullshit- their mascot is seriously creepy. I know we’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth noting. It’s a creepy suit!! Why are its eyes like that?! How does it not give young children nightmares?! It gives ME nightmares, and I’m 23 years old! In fact, I almost want to change the subject of this entire article because I’m scaring myself, and I’m writing this in broad daylight. I’m locking my bedroom door tonight.

Strange things happen to me personally, and in the world, during Cal week. If you’re a Try Guys fan (aging myself here, again) then you know that notoriously self proclaimed “wife guy” Ned cheated on his wife. Pretty messed up, and it got exposed during Cal week. Coincidence? Doubtful. I nearly avoided being inside of a 7/11 while it was being robbed this week. That one is a little more circumstantial, but so is Cal week. Are we getting it?

Potential sources for the curse are, in my opinion, that freaky mascot, the helmets, or an ancient witch from Oakland who has an aversion to Washington State, because her ex-lover left her for the rolling hills of the Palouse. I am open to any and all theories. Let’s get through this together.

Go Cougs! Everyone have a great weekend. Hoping for a good outcome tomorrow, but not saying anything beyond that- we all have reason enough to be decently nervous.


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