An idea that was first conceived on a pile of dirt near Strawberry Canyon in Berkeley over a decade ago finally became a reality last night as A’s Fan Radio Producer & Co-Host Keith “Cpl Oaktown” Salminen aired the debut edition of his long plan side project, “The Bear Raid”.
The show’s origins begin in the late 2000’s as Keith, who at this point in time was also planning ways to bring back AFR, began to have discussions with Tad Dellinger III, a fellow Cal fan from Tightwad Hill, about the idea of a show similar to AFR. The difference with this show: it would be dedicated to covering Cal Athletics and, in time, would be either set up as its own 24/7 internet radio station/podcast or as part of 24/7 station that would include other shows discussing various topics. The title, with Cal of course being the Golden Bears, would be “Bear Raid Radio” and would feature content and shows produced & hosted by Cal fans and even former Cal Student Athletes that would be interested in coming aboard.
Following the relaunch of A’s Fan Radio in October of 2011, Keith added a segment to the 2nd half of the show that would serve as the testing ground for Bear Raid Radio. The segment, titled “The Bear Raid”, debut in the fall of 2012 and covered Cal Football’s first season back at the newly renovated California Memorial Stadium along with what would turn into a dismal 3-9 season for the Golden Bears and also gave listeners a chance to hear many of the stories that make up the oral history of Tightwad Hill that you would only be able to hear in person at a game.
In the following years, Keith would add Cal Baseball, Cal Basketball and even Cal Rugby to the list of subjects along side Cal Football covered on “The Bear Raid” segment during the year. Tad also from time to time would pop in on some segments, usually either for a preview of the up coming Cal Football season or when looking back on what went down the previous season during a “season in review” version of the segment. There were also a few times that the segment would be recorded right on Tightwad Hill following a game to add a different dynamic to segment from time to time.
In 2020, Keith finally made the decision to launch “The Bear Raid” as its own stand alone podcast. Before he could being planning the launch of the show however, the Coronavirus Pandemic hit stateside in March, then the Pac-12 originally cancelled its football season, as well the rest of its fall sports programs, in August, all but dashing hopes of The Bear Raid launching in 2020 and looking like its debut would have to wait until 2021. However, once student athletes across the Pac-12 were able to convince the conference to resume fall sports, the launch of the show was back on and its debut set for November 12th following the release of the shorten Pac-12 Football schedule. The debut show however would end up getting delayed to the night of November 15th following the cancelation of the ASU game due to positive COVID tests with ASU Football and the addition of the match up with UCLA.
Joining Keith as part of the cast for “The Bear Raid” is Donnie “Knucklehead” Hudson, who started attending Cal games on Tightwad Hill around the same time Keith and Tad began kicking around the idea for this Cal themed podcast. Its also expected that at some point down the road that Tad will join the cast lineup as well. Keith is also open to fellow Tightwads, fellow Cal fans and former Cal Student Athletes joining on so it can in time become a show/program that cover all of Cal Athletics as Keith has envisioned its final form to be for so many years. The podcast will be sponsored & presented by Tightwad Hill. A’s Fan Radio will also continue to run their segment version of “The Bear Raid” on select broadcasts of their show.
Until Tightwad Hill launches a new official website, we have created a page here on our site that will house the links to past recordings of The Bear Raid. Live show broadcasts will air on our Twitch channel while recordings of past shows will be on Twitch as well as our YouTube channel. For more information in regards to both “The Bear Raid” & Tightwad Hill, visit facebook.com/tightwadhillofficial or follow @tightwadhill23 on Twitter.