Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kitchen Sink!

Last August, a friend invited me to the first Cal game of the season, a night game against a ranked Northwestern team. During the uphill walk towards the stadium he filled me in on everything I needed to know about his Cal Bears, “This is a young Cal team led by a new coach who earlier in the week said, 'We're going to throw everything and the kitchen sink at them (Northwestern).' Expect a lot of offense and very little defense.”

We found our seats just in time for kickoff. I surveyed the stadium, the crowd was electric but what really caught my eye was the Berkeley sky. The shifting of complementary orange to blues and yellows to purples as the Bears began their first offensive drive of the 2013 season was a spectacular sight. Three minutes into the game the Bears had already driven the length of the field to the opponent's fifteen yard line. Unable to convert a first down on the next three plays to keep the drive alive, the Bears were forced to bring out the field goal unit on fourth down. Everyone in the stadium expected the easy, point blank field goal but the Bears ran a trick play on the right sideline for a surprise touchdown.

The crowd erupted, cannons were shot and my friend yelled “kitchen sink!” at the top of his lungs as everyone cheered and high fives were exchanged. On their first drive, the Bears set the tone and said, “We're not interested in the easy three. We're playing at home, the crowd's behind us and we want all six!” That was the “kitchen sink” the Bears threw at Northwestern.

From the stands I made a note on my phone, sketched it the next morning and shelved it for months. A week ago I decided to finish it, frame it and gift it. I wanted to capture everything that I could remember but also illustrate “home field advantage” by turning a normal football field into a Bear's natural habitat. With so many things happening, I decided on a simple, graphical approach.

Here's a picture from the game that I used as reference:

And the final product: