As of 11:37 PM EST, every Cal Football fan is waiting to hear if the 121st Big Game is still on, thus giving us the chance to to beat Stanford for the first time since 2009.
And storm the field…
What’s the problem? The bad air quality.
The Camp Fire, the giant set of blazes that blanketed a significant portion of Northern California, destroying the town of Paradise, and killing 63 people (the death toll so far), has caused smoke clouds so large, the air quality in the entire San Francisco Bay Area has been severely diminished. It’s so bad that many government offices, schools, events, meetings, and gatherings have been cancelled.
The City of Oakland issued a press release stating…
Due to unhealthy and worsening air quality, and recommendations from public health experts, tomorrow, Friday, November 16:
All of Oakland’s Head Start centers will be closed
All recreation programs and centers will also be closed to the public.
We regret the difficulty and inconvenience this may cause some families as we all grapple with extraordinary circumstances and take precautions to keep our community safe.
– Libraries, senior centers, and City offices will remain open normal hours.
– The City will continue to monitor air quality conditions and provide updates.
And at UC Berkeley, the planned basketball game pitting the Golden Bears versus visiting Detroit Mercy was postponed because air quality levels reached a “very unhealthy range” in the East Bay, and a “significant amount of smoke” managed to get into Haas Pavilion, the home of Cal Basketball.
The Bay Area Air Quality Index surpassed 200 in Berkeley on Thursday afternoon, and is now at 265 as of 11:30 PM PST. With that, I’ve received conflicting reports on what Cal itself will do. Here’s a tweet from the UC Berkeley Law School:
Classes cancelled across UC Berkeley campus tomorrow due to smoke from the Camp fire. Burning eyes and N95 masks were common around campus today. The fate of the Saturday Big Game match-up with Stanford still up in the air. Here's a shot today from hills above Berkeley Law. pic.twitter.com/7NkDYlo21b
— UC Berkeley Law (@BerkeleyLaw) November 16, 2018
Still, given that the Cal Band and Cal Cheerleaders performed for the employees at KGO San Francisco, and Big Game celebrations mark the week leading up to the game, it’s easy to understand why Cal’s seemingly reluctant to pull the plug on the Big Game for this Saturday.
When the CAL Bears Band and cheerleaders fight the smoke and show up at your place of business 2 days before “The Big Game” in Berkeley pic.twitter.com/Y4LJmrQcUc
— JayRandy Gordon (@GordoSF) November 15, 2018
But, many in the community are taking to Twitter to call for the game date to be moved back…
Cal has now decided to cancel classes for tomorrow. I still want to know about the Big Game on Saturday. https://t.co/psDXZEeoQA
— Angela Corral (@kqedangela) November 16, 2018
HUGE NEWS! @UCBerkeley Chancellor Christ takes decisive action, just emailed us students that classes are canceled tomorrow because of poor air. While she said determination of BIg Game is still pending, she would do her legacy HUGE by ppd'ing it, assuming @Stanford agrees. @Cal
— Ken Montgomery (@MontgomeryKen) November 16, 2018
And in this update, the Cal Rally Committee has cancelled The Big Game Rally, which marks the end of the week leading up to the game.
The Big Game Rally has been cancelled. The entire @rallycomm year revolves around #BigGameWeek; The Big Game Rally is the culmination of the week. While this was a painful decision, it was the correct one. Even w/o a Big Game Rally, The Spirit of California endures. #GoBears pic.twitter.com/VebRWYPLxC
— Sean "Yoda" Rouse (@seanyodarouse) November 16, 2018
And still waiting for the official word…
— Coach Dos (@robertdos) November 16, 2018
Stay tuned, and…