Cal’s Tree Hugging Hippie Problem Continues Or: The Saga Of Dumpster Muffin

You’d be forgiven for trying to figure out what the hell a judge’s ruling means for Cal’s plans to build an athletic facility where a bunch of old growth oak trees stand right now, because both sides are claiming victory and nothing’s more confusing than a judicial ruling where both sides think they’ve come out ahead. Ah, such is the morass that is California state law.

Here are the essentials, boiled down: the judge ruled that the university can build its facility there, take down the trees, and kick the tree-sitters out. HOWEVA (SAS-style for a reason), the university has to comply with local zoning and earthquake zoning laws established at the state level, and the activists’ lawyers believe they won’t be able to at all — especially considering that Memorial Stadium already sits on a fault line.  The Alquist-Priolo zoning law of 1972 denies new projects or extensions to anything on a fault line that exceeds 50 percent of its current value. They argue Memorial Stadium is worthless. (I would beg to differ; I don’t think you can really put a price tag on the heartbreak of the Cal faithful at continued mediocrity despite promises of excellence.)

Thus, the Bears may be in the same state of legal buttlock that they’ve been in over the past 18 months while trying to remove people who go by names like “Dumpster Muffin” (must resist cheap, easy oral sex joke) from the trees. People are watching this woman as the arborists and authorities try to get her down (which they did not do yesterday), and as another named “Millipede” bites an arborist and gets arrested.

Only in fucking Berzerkley, people. Only in Berzerkley.

Photo: Bob Larson, Contra Costa Times

Above The Rim: Pauley Pavilion Makes Refs Eat Whistles

College hoops only-edition.

UCLA’s Josh Shipp makes an amazing circus shot to stave off the upset from a bad Cal team, but it never should have gotten to that point after Kevin Love’s 3-pointer. Russell Westbrook fouled Ryan Anderson on that in-bound and the refs swallowed the whistles instead of sending Anderson to the free throw line — making it the second curious (to put it mildly) officiating call the the Bruins have been the beneficiary of this weekend.  Ultimately, I believe UCLA will wind up a #1 seed in the West — even if they had lost to Cal — so they do not need extra help from the zebras.

An odd thing about O.J. Mayo, watching him — he cranks it up slowly, waiting for the game to come to him, and bam, he has 25 when the game is over.  The Trojans flat-out out-hustled Stanford at the Galen Center yesterday. Now, I understand the difference between 2nd and 4th in the Pac-10 is really not that much, but when you have two 7-foot centers patrolling the insides against a lanky 6’8″ forward in Taj Gibson, there’s no excuse for not dominating the boards.

Georgetown beats Louisville in a squeaker via a three from DaJuan Summers in the final seconds — plus some bad free throw shooting from the Cardinals late. It gives the Hoyas back-to-back regular season conference titles for the first time.

Kansas is playing lights out — of course, when the opposition is oft-hapless Texas A&M, it helps make getting a share of the regular-season conference title easier.

Xavier’s Drew Lavender sits out with an ankle injury while his teammates lock up their second straight Atlantic-10 title against Richmond. The Musketeers are a scary team that plays tough for any of the bigger teams that will have to face them in a first round match-up.

This year’s UNC team did what it should do when you look at the match-up on paper — beat Duke for the ACC regular-season title.  The reason why? Duke missed its last 11 shots in the game and had 15 shots blocked by Tar Heel players. This is why Duke will be out fairly quickly in the tourney — not first round early, depending on the team they face — when their outside shooting doesn’t hit, they don’t have a whole lot else.

Take The Skinned and Headless Bowling, Part II.

Kentucky 35, Florida State 28 – Not like FSU wasn’t completely shorn of players for the Music City Bowl, but it certainly didn’t look like it. The Seminoles were able to get offensive drives scoring and put up plenty of points — but the absence of players hit them hard defensively, where Kentucky QB Andre Woodson threw for four touchdowns and 358 yards against Bobby Bowden’s squad.

Cal 42, Air Force 36 – It seemed like Cal had no get-up-and-go early, with the offense sputtering under Nate Longshore and the Falcons getting out to 21 first half points. Kevin Riley then relieved Longshore and it was a completely different ball game, turning into an offensive shoot out. The crucial part came when Air Force QB Sean Carney had his leg bend in a way that really shouldn’t happen (so much so that announcer Dan Fouts told the audience to turn away), and the Bears were able to come back and solidify another winning season.

Oregon 56, South Florida 21 – Two things I learned from the Sun Bowl: the Big East isn’t as good as I thought yet, because South Florida, on paper, should have been much more competitive against a down on its luck Pac-10 team; Oregon is more resilient and has a better system than I thought, because for most of the season, I thought Dennis Dixon really was the ultimate key to it. He may be the best catalyst, but Justin Roper ran it well by using a heavy dose of running back Jonathan Stewart — 253 yards rushing.

Fresno State 40, Georgia Tech 28 – Pat Hill’s Mustache Riders romp on a BCS-conference opponent again while the Chan Gailey Equilibrium (TM EDSBS) strikes in combination with what is quickly becoming the Curse of the Interim — Jon Tenuta’s balls-out defensive calling skill didn’t work against Bulldog RB Clifton Smith, who rushed for 152 and 2 scores. Wait, Bulldogs? No wonder Tech folded — dogs, whether from Fresno or from Athens, seem to give them issues, and the Humanitarian Bowl was no different.

Oklahoma State 49, Indiana 33 – The Cowboys won on the strength of Zac Robinson; the QB threw for 3 scores and more than 300 yards in a game that very few got to see (thanks, NFL Network, not like many outside the fans of the two schools wanted to see the Insight Bowl.)

Auburn 23, Clemson 20 – So the Tigers have something interesting offensively going, with somewhat of a two-QB system between senior Brandon Cox and the future QB, Kodi Burns, who scored the winning touchdown in overtime after a game in which Auburn was able to put the screws to Cullen Harper, limiting Clemson’s attack in the Chk-fil-A Bowl.

Photo: AP/Bill Waugh