Pearl Harbor, the '41 Spartans


Pearl Harbor, the '41 Spartans

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Watch this feature tonight on SportsNet Central at 6, 10:30 and midnight.
Ten years ago, in my final television class at San Jose State, I came across what was one of the best story ideas ever passed my way. A professor had told me about the 1941 Spartan football team, which was in Honolulu the morning Pearl Harbor was attacked. I grew up in the Bay Area, and thought I had heard every "important" local sports story over the years ... but this one was new to me.

As a member of the Journalism schools weekly newscast, I diligently tracked down phone numbers and leads to any of the players who were either still in the area, and in good health. Sure enough, persistence led me to Fred Lindsay, who was still local and lively, and recollected the tragic events and his accounts from what President Franklin Roosevelt described as a "day of infamy."

I eventually put together one of my best collegiate feature pieces to commemorate the 60th anniversary of a most devastating event in American history.

Fast forward to the middle of this past summer. I was going through old tapes (yes, I save almost everything), when I came across my original story from college. I literally blew the dust off the tape, watched it, and realized I needed to "re-tell" what is an under-told, incredible tale on its 70th anniversary. I passed along the idea to our CSN senior coordinating producer Dave Bernstein, and immediately the wheels were in motion.

Unfortunately, Lindsay had passed away at some point in the last decade, so we desperately hoped to find someone else. It took us a long time to finally get in touch with someone who fit the same criteria as 10 years ago -- a team member in good health, and someone we could have access to. Luckily, Jack Galvin, a 90-year old Citrus Heights resident was a perfect fit, and willing to share his account with us.

Myself, photographers Keith Manglona and Sandro Barcelos had a good afternoon meeting with Jack, and hearing his story of what transpired on that unforgettable Sunday morning. In total, the interview went almost 40 minutes ... a long time in television standards, and was interesting from start to finish. Its good to see Jack still living life to the fullest, and I hope you appreciate his efforts in putting words to his memories.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe


Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof


The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.