A ticket for illegal parking within 10 blocks of Cal stadium on football game days will now cost $225. These tickets used to cost $98, but I think this big increase is understandable. Cal students who live near the stadium have been charging people $100 to park in their driveways and on their lawns on game days. A lot of people coming to Cal games have been intentionally parking illegally on the street in 1-hour zones and at meters that they know will expire long before they return to their cars. They figure that a $98 parking ticket costs about the same as parking in somebody’s driveway, so why not? That’s why I say this big increase is understandable. Parking tickets should discourage illegal parking.

The Fraternities.
My guess is that this big increase in the cost of game day parking tickets will have the full support of Berkeley’s fraternities. All of Berkeley’s frat houses are within a few blocks of the stadium. On the night before football games, the guys in the frat houses park their cars on streets outside the restricted zone. Then on game day they charge $100 to park at their frat houses, and some of the frat houses have a lot of parking spaces. Now that illegal street parking is going to cost $225, the fraternities will be able to charge more than $100 to park on game days, perhaps a lot more.

Bringing Stuff To U.C. Berkeley Football Games.

Because of the increased number of terrorist attacks in the U.S., U.C. Berkeley has further restricted its bag policy for fans coming to football games at Memorial Stadium. Backpacks and gym bags have been banned for years, but until this year fans could bring opaque bags up to 14 inches wide to games. Under the new policy, which is now in effect, fans can only bring 1 gallon clear plastic zip-lok bags or clear plastic bags up to 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches. The new bag policy will also be enforced at games at Haas Pavilion. Medical necessity bags will be excepted. By requiring that fans bring things in clear plastic bags, the university expects that this will also speed up the time it takes fans to get through security lines. Just within the last few months, U.C. Berkeley students were killed in terrorist attacks in Nice, France on Bastille Day and in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Why Football Is Doomed.

I believe that football has become a gladiatorial sport, like boxing. All boxers, if they fight long enough, will suffer brain damage. The reason is CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE is a degenerative disease caused by repeated head concussions. CTE is very common among professional boxers. It is also common among professional football players, and it will become even more common in the future. That’s because football players are getting bigger, a lot bigger. In 1980, there were 3 professional football players who weighed 300 pounds or more. Back in the 1980s, a 300 pound football player was so unusual that everybody knew their names, like William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry, and crowds cheered when one of them came onto the field. Today, there are over 400 professional football players who weigh 300 pounds or more. On many teams, 300 pounds is just the average weight of the line. The size of players on college football teams is also growing. I just checked the roster of this year’s U.C. Berkeley football team and found 10 players who weigh 300 pounds or more, and remember, these are college students, many of whom are still putting on muscle and weight. I don’t think it’s possible for 300 pound men to head butt each other hundreds of times every season without inevitably suffering brain damage. In TV interviews, retired football players often show obvious signs of CTE: slurred speech, confusion, and memory loss. I don’t think that this trend will be reversed. It is in the nature of football that size and weight are advantages to a team, and team owners and coaches are not likely to throw away advantages that win games. As Vince Lombardi put it: “If winning isn’t everything, then why do they keep score?”