Grin & Bear It 

Can Powe hang in there?

11/25, 11/26

Faced with diminishing expectations from our professional athletic teams, long-suffering Warriors fans have been joined by the Raider Nation and the 49er Faithful on the tears-in-their-beers train. And with a disappointingly underachieving season for Cal football -- once ranked in the BCS Top Ten, and a mere touchdown away from beating UCLA -- the hopes of Bay Area sports fans now rest on Leon Powe's broad shoulders and battle-scarred knees. Unfortunately, two days before last Friday's opener against Eastern Michigan, it was announced that the Cal Bears' most golden player, expected to be a first-round NBA selection after this collegiate season, had somehow fractured his right foot and will be out at least four games. Adding to their woes, Cal's other big man, six-foot-ten Rod Benson, has also sustained a stress fracture and will miss a minimum of two games. Bear backers are hoping Powe will be back in action for December 10's game against perennial NCAA powerhouse Kansas, but in the meantime, as the Golden Bear Classic looms this weekend at Haas Pavilion, their chances may rest on the shoulders of sophomore DeVon Hardin and freshman Jordan Wilkes. Their effectiveness in the post could be the difference between a fast break to March Madness and a fadeaway to "see ya next year." CalBears.com -- Eric K. Arnold

SUN 11/27

Rain Out

High and dry in the hills

We're getting into the "rain cancels" time of year for organized outdoor activities, which means keeping an eye on the weather reports as well as the sky before you make weekend plans. Nobody knows this better than the Berkeley Hiking Club, which has planned two different hikes for this Sunday, either of which is a no-go in case of precipitation. First is the easy one: a mini-hike (up to five miles) that loops around the Little Farm in Tilden Park, led by Gil Melese (510-601-0296). It leaves from the club's usual meeting place, the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Way, at 9:30 a.m., and reconvenes at 10 at the Little Farm. Then there's an eight-mile trek through Redwood Regional Park to Canyon Meadow, led by Nancy Sampson (510-653-1867). It leaves at 8:30 a.m. Go to BerkeleyHikingClub.pair.com for more details. -- Kelly Vance

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