Voting on the tastiest donut, trying to figure out if a certain head also stars in “Game of Thrones” and getting messy with some slime stole the show in star-studded Hollywood. During the 2017 Pac-12 Media Day, senior Tre Watson and redshirt senior James Looney of Cal football, along with head coach Justin Wilcox, took a break from the practice field for some fun and games.
The fun and games were highlighted as Coach Wilcox’s photo was place side-by-side with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, better known as Jaime Lannister on “Game of Thrones.” And although running back Watson has never seen Game of Thrones, he could not deny the striking resemblance.
Both Watson and Looney had nothing but great things to say about their new look-alike coach, attesting to his gritty defensive background paired with his natural affinity with other people. “Wilcox is just a cool guy to be around,” Looney said. “I’d hang out with him outside of football. … He’s got this good personality about him, he’s always happy.”
On the topic of looks, Looney proved that while he is nice at the defensive end position, his hair game should not go unnoticed. “I wake up in the morning,” said Looney. “God has blessed me with good genetics and I kinda just flow it out.”
Even amid the joyous, light-hearted leisure, Cal’s hard-hitting academics were not forgotten. “The education and the football, you can have them both,” Wilcox said.
Watson and Looney attested to that comment when they made it known that they were expert scientists — experts at making blue and gold slime, that is.
Regardless of records and lack of success in the past for Bear football, the academic rigor which comes with being a student-athlete is hardly ever questioned. “First and foremost it’s who we recruit,” Wilcox said when asked about Cal’s Academic Progress Rate. “Finding the right fit for us, academically, athletically is always going to be critical in our recruiting progress.
Lastly, each team was assigned a particular donut flavor and fans were asked to vote on their favorite. Cal did not win the tastiest donut competition, perhaps foreshadowing that wins will not come easy in the stacked Pac-12.
In another category, Washington was voted most likely to win the North Division and Cal was voted most likely to come in last in a Pac-12 media poll.
If Cal wants to stay competitive in this conference, an essential part of its game must be staying healthy. Four Bears were announced as out for the season, including redshirt sophomores Zeandae Johnson (defensive end) and Evan Rambo (safety), junior Billy McCrary III (running back), and freshman Daniel Juarez (offensive lineman).
Cal also announced its fall training camp schedule that begins July 31 and commences August 19 that will feature seven practices open to the public. There will undoubtedly be less fun and games on the field, as the Bears have much to prove this 2017 season, but with Watson on offense, Looney on defense and Wilcox at the head of the ship, the waters will be smoother if these three men are at the top of their game.
Christie Aguilar is the assistant sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].