Cal's Rally Committee tries to fire-up Big Game fans without traditional bonfire following smoke postponement

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Smoke from the deadly Camp Fire forced the postponement of the Big Game between UC Berkeley and Stanford two weeks ago. Friday night Cal students held the rescheduled rally trying to fire-up fans while respecting victims of the wildfires.

"I'm actually going to start with something kind of serious," said Chancellor Carol Christ as she addressed some 2,500 Cal fans at the Greek Theatre.

RELATED: Bad air quality forces postponement of Big Game between Cal and Stanford

Dangerous air quality from the fire in Butte County postponed the Big Game rally and the 121st match-up between Cal and Stanford.

"We're out here all day setting this up and we definitely didn't want to put everyone through the smoke," said Ryan Dana, UC Rally Committee Chairman.

Friday's reschedule had all the old traditions from Cal fight songs to stories.

"I really like how he gave the story of the axe and how it was really significant. How they stole it from us," said Ayman Azizuddien, Cal freshman.

But the legendary bonfire did not happen this year out of respect for the Camp Fire victims.

"It's a tradition dating back all the way to 1903 when the Greek was made," explained Dana.

In place of the pyrotechnics students illuminated the theater with the flashlights on their cell phones.

"Due to global warming honestly it gets harder and harder every to justify burning a fire right next to the hillside," said Dana.

"I am so proud of them they act like such mature adults understanding that both the fire was dangerous in the current fire conditions and also understanding that the symbolism just didn't work in the context of all this loss," said Christ.

The rally committee is fundraising for the California Fire Foundation. The University is giving one-thousand big game tickets to first responders. Showing that the spirit of California is about more than football.

For more stories and videos related to the Camp Fire, visit this page.
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