Local football fans continue unique tradition
October 31, 2008 1:32 PM
There aren’t many rules on top of Tightwad Hill, the steep wooded hill that flanks Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. But if you try to wear a red shirt, you’re in for trouble as one unsuspecting visitor found out.
A man had just trudged up the well-worn path and sat down when he was met by a chorus of chants, demanding he “take off that red shirt.” Immediately he complied. It’s one of the traditions on Tightwad Hill that no one wears a red shirt.
Since the stadium was built in 1923, local football fans and the occasional interlopers from rival schools have made their way up the 100-foot hill in pursuit of a raucous alternative to the assigned seating and expensive beers within the gates of the stadium.
“There are certain traditions. There’s certain thing that make that team unique. There’s certain things that make that institution unique and for Cal that’s Tightwad Hill…And you can kind of get away with more than you can anywhere else and that doesn’t hurt,” said Berkeley native Michael Kalkanis.
In 2007, local advocates of the hill filed a lawsuit in order to block a potential expansion of the stadium that would have partially obstructed the hillside view. During the summer of 2008, an agreement was made ensuring planners would work with the community to find a compromise.
Though the specifics of the plans are uncertain, football fans continue to amble up the hill and thoroughly make themselves at home. Lawn chairs and coolers are arranged strategically in the areas that offer the best views through the trees. Some intrepid fans, looking for the best view, sit on benches that are built into the trees.
There is a lively atmosphere on Tightwad Hill. Every time Cal scores, the crowd erupts into rowdy jubilation. The firing of the nearby cannon sets off a round of chants demanding that their opponents – on this day, UCLA – “tell the story; this is Bears ter-ri-tory.”
You can also experience more multimedia.
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University