Cheerleading Dance Team Mic Men Rally Committee Cal Band


Big Game Week is one of the busiest and most exciting times on the University of California campus. The entire week is filled with events, rallies, and tons of spirit! To kick off the beginning of Big Game Week, Rally Committee, Cal Band, Cal Cheerleaders, Dance Team, the Mic Men, and Oski take over a cable car and ride through the streets of San Francisco, greeted and cheered on by Cal fans. The rally begins in Ghirardelli Square, and concludes in Union Square in an amazing demonstration of Cal Spirit. Also during Big Game Week, the Rally Committee puts on a Tree Chopping Rally. For this rally, Cal Spirit teams up with the Cal Logging Sports Team to put on an event that shows our Big Game pride (and poke fun at the Stanford Tree, of course). Following the Tree Chopping Rally, the Rally Committee put on a comedy show known as Laugh Your Axe Off. This comedy extravaganza showcases the talent of local comedians and student groups, like the Men's Octet and Jericho! This event is a fun way to bring people out, take a small break from studying, and have a laugh or two at Stanford's expense! Another unique and amazing Big Game Week event is our Night Rally! The Rally Committee, Cal Cheerleading, Dance team, Cal Band, Mic Men, and sometimes even Oski dance through the streets. The group winds through the city of Berkeley, stopping at the fraternities, sororities, and Units as the Cal Band plays. This rally ends on Sproul, as Sather Gate is lit up in all blue and gold.

During the entire week, In the spirit of the rivalry, the Rally Committee does its part to ensure that students on campus rid themselves of any red clothing they may have accidentally brought to Cal. In exchange for a red item of clothing and a can of food, students are given a Big Game Week themed blue and gold T-shirt designed by members of the Committee. After collecting all the red clothing and cans, the Rally Committee donates them to local charities. During Big Game Week, the Rally Committee decorates the campus in blue and gold. Since it began in 2002, this tradition has continued to grow every year. The Committee is responsible for the lighting and decorating of many popular buildings and landmarks on campus, including the Doe Library, the Campanile, Sproul Hall, the East Asian Studies Library, Sather Gate, the Big C, and Wheeler. Banners are hung all over campus, and dorm stunts are made in different dorm buildings around Berkeley. Big Game Week ends with a bang with the annual Big Game Bonfire Rally. After the Bonfire Rally, the entire Cal Community will descend on California Memorial Stadium or Stanford Stadium for the annual Big Game between the Golden Bears and the Cardinal. If California is victorious, then there will be an Axe Rally the next Monday.

A more recent practice of the Rally Committee is campus decorating that takes place in order to turn the campus blue and gold—literally—for Big Game Week. In addition to Big game Week posters, the Committee designs, paints, and hangs canvas banners on prominent buildings to advertise the various events being held throughout the week. Since 2002, Sather Gate has been decorated with blue and gold lights, Doe Library's columns areoutfitted with blue and gold lighting, and the Campanile is lit up with blue usinggels and shapes such as a walking bear or Cal script are projected on the sides using go-bo lighting and metal stencils.

On the Monday of Big Game Week, the Cal Spirit Groups and the University of California Marching Band take over a a cable car line in San Francisco. Rally Committee members hold the California Banner outside one of tehcars as it goes up the streets and is cheered on by Cak alumni and fans in the city. The rally begins at Ghirardelli Square and concluded at Union Square in downtown San Francisco. It is one of the most unique rallies conducted by the UC Rally Committee all year.

The Tree Chopping Rally is a specialized rally held on Sproul Plaza at noon on the Tuesday of Big Game Week. The Cal Logging Sports Team showcases axe throwing, chain sawing, and chopping techniques used to fell trees symbolizing California's triumph over the Stanford Tree (the mascot of the Stanford band). Oski joins in the fun to show Cal fans his gusto in bringing down his arch nemisis. Also in attendance is the Cal Dance Team, Cal Cheerleaders, and the Cal Band.

On the Wednesday of Big Game Week, The Guardsmen, an organization that helps underprivileged youth, holds a kuncheon in San Francisco at one of the hotels near Union Square. Both California and Stanford's bands, the Dance Team, the Dollies, as well as the yell leaders and Mic Men perform in a "Battle of Big Game Spirit." The Rally Committee also attends with sympols of California, such as the California banner.

Typically held in Haas Pavilion on the Wednesday night of Big Game Week at 8:00pm, Laugh Your Axe Off is a comedy show. Featuring acts such as local comedians and the Squelch!, tehCal Band, The Movement, Golden Overtones, the Octet, and other student groups, Lough Your Axe Off continues to grow in both attendance and entertainment value.

Night Rallies are a type of Rally that is unique to the Berkeley campus. Held typically on teg Thursday night of Big Game Week, the rally begins at Bowles Hall. The UC Rally Committee, accompanied by the Mic Men, Cal Band, Dance Team, Cheerleaders, and impromtu followers wind through frat row, the dormitory unites, streets close to campus, and end around Sproul Plaza.

The Friday of every Big Game Week, the Santa Clara alumni clubs of both California and Stanford jointly sponsor the "Heroes of Big Game" Luncheon, which honors one hero of the Big Game from each university. Attended by over 800 guests, the luncheon takes place at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose. Spirit Groups from both campuses attend, with the Cal Alumni Band substituting for the Cal Band when it is at other functions. The Rally Committee attends with the California Banner and when in Cal's possession, the Stanford Axe.

The Bonfire Rally is the largest and most important rally put on during the year. This amazing event is held in the Hearst Greek Theatre on the eve of Big Game, and it is by far the most stunning display of the Spirit of California that one can find at this University. Enjoyed by thousands of students and alumni alike, this bonfire is a key component in firing up our fellow Californians before the Big Game. The Rally Committee is responsible for building and burning down the largest bonfire west of the Mississippi. Thousands upon thousands of students, faculty, alumni, and Cal fans fill the entire Greek Theater to witness one of the most dramatic, inspiring, and moving rallies. And did we mention the HEAT?! Rally Committee members spend the entire Friday of Big Game Week; building the structure of pallets, preparing for the fire that reaches almost four stories high! Many alumni come to speak and share stories of Big Games past, while the football team makes a quick visit, different student groups perform, cries of Freshmen More Wood! are heard all night long, and the entire theater sits in the glow of candlelight as the fires dies down.

The next Bonfire Rally is scheduled to take place Friday November 21, 2014 at 7:00pm at the Greek Theatre and usually lasts about an hour. This is definitely an event that no Cal fan would want to miss, so make sure you are that the Greek Theatre the Friday before Big Game! Seating is first come first serve, and fans are encouraged to arrive early.

The rivalry between the University of California Golden Bears and the Stanford University Cardinal is one of the oldest and most storied rivalries in the country. Spanning over a century, California and Stanford have met a total of 115 times with the Cardinal leading the all-time series 59-46-11. Despite trailing the all-time series, the Bears have prevailed over the Cardinal in five of their last ten meetings.The Big Game is known for its competitive nature no matter what each school's record may be going into the game. There have been spectacular upsets and well as solid victories for both California and Stanford. Perhaps the best known play in college football history took place during the 85th Big Game on November 20, 1982. Simply known as The Play, down 20-19 with only four seconds remaining on the clock, the Bears used five laterals to make it into the end zone to score the game-winning touchdown. While The Play itself would be spectacular by itself, what makes it nationally (and indeed internationally) famous, is that the Bears not only had to make it passed the Stanford team, but the Stanford band as well! The win in 1982 secured a winning record for California that season and kept Stanford quarterback John Elway from ever reaching a bowl game during his collegiate career.

The 2014 edition of the Big Game will take place on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. The Bears will look to end a four game Cardinal winning streak in the series and deliver new head coach Sonny Dykes his first Big Game win. No matter where the game is played, California spirit comes out in force for Big Game and in the past, California partisans have been known to make up a majority of the crowd at Stanford Stadium, drowning out the Stanford student section. When at Memorial Stadium, the noise from the student section and alumni section alike is deafening, giving the Bears a clear home-field advantage.

After Bonfire Rally, this is probably the most popular rally on the California campus for one reason, and one reason only: if an Axe Rally is held, that means the Bears defeated the Cardinal just two days prior in the Big Game. If California has retained or regained possession of the Stanford Axe, a rally is held on the Monday following the Big Game. This rally starts on the steps of Sproul Hall and is the first time after the game that the Axe is displayed in public. The rally concludes with the Axe being paraded around the campus by the UC Rally Committee with the Cal band, spirit groups, and any other willing participants.

Before the Axe became a perpetual trophy to the winner of the Big Game, California would hold Axe Rallies on a regular basis before football contests with Stanford and before important basketball and baseball contests with the Cardinal as well. The first California Axe Rally was held in the fall of 1899. Before the Axe Rally of 1930, a group of 21 Stanford students (known as the immoral 21), stole the Axe and a few years later it was decided between the two universities that it would be an eternal trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Big Game. The first Axe Rally after it was made a trophy was held in the fall of 1936 after California beat Stanford 20-0 at California Memorial Stadium. The most recent Axe Rally was held on Monday November 23, 2009 after California's thrilling victory over Stanford in Palo Alto the previous Saturday. If California prevails in the 117th Big Game on November 22, 2014, the Axe Rally will be held the following Monday, November 24, 2014 starting at 12:00pm on the steps of Sproul Hall.

The tradition of Homecoming Week was revived in 2002 and in 2003, for the first time in 40 years, the University saw a full week of student-oriented Homecoming Week activities. This was largely a result of the coordination of the Rally Committee and the newly-formed Student Homecoming Team, along with support from 17 other student organizations and affiliates. Homecoming Week celebrates and honors the people of California. Each year, a number of events, activities, and participating groups has increased. Now, the UC Rally Committee and the other Cal Spirit Groups work closely with the Cal Alumni Association's Student Homecoming Team to present and all-inclusive week for students, alumni, parents, faculty, and staff.

The annual Homecoming Colloquium features one or a number of distiguished speakers ranging from campus officials, professors, or alumni. Started as a way for the UC Rally Committee to engage their intellectual sides and help Cal students appreciate their University in a new way, the Colloquium has been honored to host Nobel Laureates, as well as historic coaches and Cal icons.

As many alumni return to campus to reminice about their days as students and parents come to town to visit their sons and daughters, the Rally Committee and Cal Spirit gears up to produce one of its largest annual events: the Homecoming Rally. Featuring performances from popular student acts such as the Men's Octet, the Golden Overtones, theCal Tae Kwon Do team, and dan troupes, the rally is meant to pump everyone up for the football game the following day. The rally is normally held in Haas Pavilion.

Generally held on a Saturday in the middle of the football season, the Homecoming Game is a time for alumni and members of the Cal community that may no longer be in the Bay Area to return to Memorial Stadium to cheer on their Golden Bears. In recent years, the Homecoming Game has typically been played against whichever Los Angeles area team (USC or UCLA) makes the trip to Berkeley, but that is not always the case: a few years ago the Homecoming Game was played against Oregon State and the 2014 Homecoming Game will be played on Saturday October 11, 2014 against the Washington Huskies.

Charter Week commemorates the founding of the University of California on March 23, 1868 and in 2004, the 137th anniversary of teh Charter included the inauguration of former Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau. Cal Spirit's role in Charter Week continues to expand and in 2008, the Rally Committee celebrated the 141st birthday of the University of California with a Colloquium and Charter Games

On March 23, 1863, just 18 years after California was admitted to the Union, Governor Henry Haight signed the Organic Act to create and organize the University of California into law .It was on that day that the university was born. March 23 to this day continued to be somewhat of a holiday on the University of California campus and there are many events on the 23rd as well as during the preceding and following weeks to celebrate the occasion.

Revived in 2008, the Charter Week Colloquium operated much like its sister colloquium held during Homecoming Week. Where as the Homecoming Colloquium regularly focuses on California's athletic achievements, the Charter Week Colloquium is intended to focus on Cal's off the field history, with topic ranging from academic achievements to the University of California's relationship to the State of California, the nation, and the world.

Started in 2002, Charter Games are an annual event held during Charter Week. The games were inspired by the Freshman-Sophomore Brawl and an old Big Game Week tradition known as Blue Monday om which students caught wearing red on campus were asked to complete tasks similar to the games that were played in 2002. Now, Charter Games include a Rock Wall, Obstacle Courses, and a Jousting Circle.

Joe Roth was the starting quarterback for the Golden Bears in 1975 and 1976. As a junior in 1975, le led California to an 8-1 record and its first share of a conference championship (Pac-8 at the time) since 1959. The teamfinished the season with an 8-3 record with Joe starting in the third game of the season after the Bears began the season 0-2. With Chuck Muncie at running back and Wesley Walker at Wide Reciever, the Golden Bears claimed the nation's total offensive title, averaging over 450 yards per game. Joe was the outstanding young quarterback of that team, and his future at Cal and in the NFL seemed extremely bright. Instead, he died a tragic death at the age of 22, shortly after the end of the 1976 season, after a long, horrible bout with malignant melanoma. Through it all, Joe showed remarkable strength, courage, optimism, and compassion, as he never stopped fighting to live.

In 1977, atthe California-USC game, Joe Roth was remembered and honored as his number 12 was retired—the first number ever to be retired and currently the only football jersey to ever be retired at Cal. In addition, there was a moment of silence before the game for all cancer victims in addition to Joe Roth. To this day, the home game against either USC or UCLA is designated as the Joe Roth Memorial Game to honor his memory.

On the Friday before each home game, a rally is put on at noon on the Sproul Hall Steps. The Band, Cheerleaders, Dance Team, Mic Men, Oski, and the Rally Committee all join together for a short rally, usually only fifteen to twenty minutes, to catch people on their way to and from class and pump them up before the game the next day.

For special occasions such as the first football game of the season, Homecoming, or Big Game Week, a night rally is held. A night rally is a moving rally in which the Rally Committee, Cal Band, the Mic Men, the California Cheerleaders, and Dance team move from place to place around campus to raise support and excitement for the Golden Bears. Most recently, night rallies have begun at Bowles Hall, pass through teh Greek Houses, head on to Unit 2, Unit 1, and then Unit 3, with a finish on campus either near Lower Sproul or Upper Sproul near Sather Gate.

Before each home game, a rally is held in front of Sproul Hall with the Cal Band and all of Cal Spirit. After playing a few fight songs and rallying the Cal faithful, the band and all of Cal Spirit marches up through the campus to Memorial Stadium. 

Before each home game, members of Cal Band and Cal Spirit gather outside of the north entrance to California Memorial Stadium with Cal fans of all ages to cheer on the Golden Bears before the game.

The Pajamarino Rally is held at the beginnig of the school year during the evening. Like all rallies, it features the California Dance Team and Cheerleaders, Oski, the Mic Men, and Cal Band, with one small twist: a concert follows, and the dress code is pajamas only! In 2009, the rally was revived with a concert immediately following, a tacticthat proved incredibly successful. The revived rally was held before the California-Maryland game in 2009.

Usually held sometime in the Spring, Cal Day is the University of California's annual open house for prospective and current Cal students and their families along with alumni and their familes. The day long festivities include hundreds of events and culminates with a concert on the steps of Doe Library. Around 45,000 people usually descend on Berkeley for the massive event.

Calapalooza is Berkeley's annual new student activity fair that takes place on Sproul, Dwinelle, and Wheeler plazas and is the heart of the Welcome experience. All new freshmen, FPF, and transfer students are invited. Participants meet representatives from student organizations, as well as view performances by student groups. For questions contact the LEAD Center at (510) 642-5171 or email

Each Monday after a football or weekend basketball game, the student store and other local Berkeley merchants offer a discount of 3% per touchdown scored (or three pointer made) by the Bears the previous weekend.


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