From Where We Are

Students make the trip to Berkeley ‘weekender’ despite game cancellation

After several Berkeley football players tested positive for COVID-19, USC’s game against Cal was rescheduled--this didn’t stop students from making the almost 400-mile trip to Northern California.

A photo of California Memorial Stadium with a sunset in the background.

Once a year, hundreds of USC students make the almost 400-mile trip up to our Northern California football rivals – UC Berkeley or Stanford depending on the year. This past weekend, the trip known as the weekender led students to make the trip to UC Berkeley. The real kicker? There was no actual football game to attend due to a COVID outbreak on the Golden Bears team. We spoke with some USC students who headed up North. Here’s Meredith McCabe with the story.

UC Berkeley athletics canceled the highly-anticipated game four days before the Golden Bears were set to face the Trojans at the California Memorial Stadium. Students were left with a decision: cancel their trip and forfeit money spent on non-refundable hotel rooms and plane tickets or try to find the fun in a trip up North to beat the Bears. Even though there were no Bears to beat.

I think a lot of people already had like plane tickets and set plans and reservations like before they even heard that the game got canceled. So at that point it was just kind of like, we’re already going like we might as well make a weekend of it, you know, see some friends we might have at Berkeley.

Another USC student admitted that, for her, the trip itself and the people who go with her are the highlights of the weekender, not the football.

I was never going to go to the game in the first place, so it didn’t really change my plans. I just have some friends who go to Berkeley, so I was just going to hang out with them.

Despite there being no game, Trojans still dressed in cardinal and gold from head to toe and found fun at Cal’s tailgates. Tailgates that ended in naps rather than a football game… but tailgates nonetheless.

Pretty much everybody came on to the Berkeley campus and was on Berkeley’s Greek row. And even though there were a bunch of different things happening and everybody was kind of coordinating with different people and you had a bunch of alum coming down as well, everybody kind of ended up from what I saw in the same spot.

She added that she loved the feeling of running into USC faces and instantly having the bond of the Trojan family even outside of Southern California.

There were more USC people there than Berkeley people, even though it was at their school.

The weekend left some with a question in mind: do we even need a football game to have a good time?

I think it’s more fun without a game because I don’t care about football games, but I imagine for everyone else, it’s probably more fun if there was a football game.

This year’s weekender with no football game seemed to show that it’s fun either way and it’s worth the trek. Maybe it’s an itch to get out of L.A. or maybe it’s just an excuse to tailgate with new people. The game against the Bears has been rescheduled for December 3rd.

Trojan die-hards are already preparing to go back up there, whether that game is canceled again or not.