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Virtual Festivities Highlight Big Game Week

Nov 23, 2020

Big Game Week | Tuesday's Football Panel | Wednesday's Big Sing | Friday's Big Game Rally

Big Game Week is traditionally the University of California Rally Committee's busiest week of the year, and considering the various challenges that 2020 brings, this year is no exception.
Cal hosts Stanford in the 123rd edition of the Big Game on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at California Memorial Stadium. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the student-run UC Rally Committee has had to pivot from producing the week's normal in-person events – such as the Cable Car Rally in San Francisco or the Big Game Rally at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley – to hosting virtual activities that fans can participate in by using Zoom.
The first event of the week is a panel on Tuesday with current and former Cal football players discussing their careers, with fans encouraged to ask questions of the Golden Bears through Zoom's Q&A function. You can also submit questions for the Q&A here. Click here for the Zoom link for the panel, which begins at 7 p.m.
The Big Sing – the a cappella showcase that is a staple of Big Game Week – starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and features performances from campus choral groups including the California Golden Overtones, Noteworthy, Cal Jazz Choir and the UC Alumni Chorus. You can watch the Big Sing by clicking here.
Fans can also watch the Big Game Rally on Zoom at this link starting on Friday at 11 a.m. The celebration of the Spirit of California will include performances from the Cal Band, the Golden Overtones and Cal Logging Sports; appearances by Oski and the Axe; and possibly a visit from members of the football team.
Each of the three activities will last about one hour.
"It's definitely been a challenge," Rally Comm Chair Maria Martinez said. "Not only are we working in a space we didn't even know existed prior to seven months ago, seven months ago we didn't know we would still be working in a virtual landscape in November of 2020. We were still very much planning an in-person event, socially distant, very safe. But things kept getting worse, and the outlook was, 'We're going virtual, if at all.'"
Rally Comm tested the virtual concept with rallies for Golden Bear Orientation and Homecoming Week earlier in the fall semester. The tests went well, giving the group the confidence to create a virtual Big Game Week.
The GBO and Homecoming rallies drew about 400-500 fans each.
"The Big Game Rally always draws a lot of excitement from alumni and the general campus community, so we're expecting a lot higher turnout," Martinez said, "especially from people who can watch from home and who can't typically make it to a Big Game."
Not knowing when the Bears would play the Big Game proved problematic early on for Rally Comm.
"The date was up in the air for quite a while," Martinez said. "We had five or six schedules. We even got a UCLA game on a Sunday. We were like, 'We don't know when this is going to happen.' But eventually we were able to plan it, and now we're going to have the first-ever Big Game Rally on Gameday. That's just navigating life in the COVID days."