Can’t bear it any longer

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Note: the following is a work of satire.

That’s it.

I’m officially jumping off the blue-and-gold ship. Count me out.

When Cal started off 4-1, I wanted to believe. Sonny Dykes had turned the program around. Quarterback Jared Goff looked like the best passer Cal had put on the field in years. The offense was clicking and was actually outgunning the disappointing defense.

Maybe this “Bear Raid” thing could actually work.

Or maybe not.

Just when it looked like the Bears were ready to claw their way to the top of the Pac-12, they went back into hibernation. Cal has lost its last three games in a row, and in two years and 20 games under Dykes, the Bears have only emerged victorious five times. Two of those wins came against FCS teams — Portland State and Sacramento State. Do those even count? I don’t think so.

So, Cal is 3-15 in two years against FBS opponents. They say, “Three strikes and you’re out.” Well, Dykes has 15 strikeouts and only three hits. That’s a .200 batting average for the second-year head coach — below the Mendoza line.

Maybe it’s time to send Dykes back to the minor leagues.

Everyone keeps talking about the offense and Goff like he’s some kind of football messiah. Sure, they’ve been good, but the last time I checked, you have to score more points than the other team to win. Well then, Cal just didn’t score enough. Next time out, the offense will have to just drop a few more than the other team.

Sure, Cal has improved this season, but how patient are Cal fans expected to be? It’s been 56 years since the Bears last made a Rose Bowl game, and they shouldn’t have to wait one more month for the next one. I don’t give a damn that the game isn’t played until January — that’s just another excuse.

And don’t tell me that their recent losses have come against Washington, UCLA and Oregon, three teams with more talent, experience and depth than Cal. That might be true, but it’s just another excuse. And those excuses are quickly becoming a broken record.

After all, there’s just an expectation when a team starts 4-1. That expectation is to make it to a bowl. But now Cal is at 4-4 and might not be able to go bowling, even if the bumpers are up. But they’re not — Cal has to beat two of Oregon State, USC, Stanford and BYU to become bowl-eligible.

Good luck.

Will another postseason whiff be enough to buy Dykes a third year at the helm of this program? Apparently, his $2.3 million salary can’t even buy a football team that can string together more than two wins. More than two losses, though, has never been a problem.

Everyone thought Sonny would brighten up the football culture in Berkeley, but it seems to me like a cloud has hung over the team for two years. And not to liken the problems to something that is too simple, but, frankly, I think everything starts at the top. Coaching football is an art, and it’s clear that Dykes is more Picasso than da Vinci — everything’s an incoherent mess.

Dykes’ defenders can cite every statistic they want — the Bears are, after all, second in the conference in offense in both scoring and yards. But I’ve always thought that there’s only one statistic that counts — wins. And there, the Bears are just 2-4 in the conference.

Cal’s two wins aren’t even impressive — one came in double overtime, and the other was only won when Washington State missed a 19-yard field goal. The Bears could be 0-6 right now, and it wouldn’t even be a surprise.

Winless in the conference? That’s not good enough for me, and it’s not good enough for the Cal faithful who pour their hearts and souls into California Memorial Stadium every Saturday. Cal fans shouldn’t have to bear the losing anymore, and maybe it’s time we all moved on.

Riley McAtee covers football. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @riley_mcatee

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