How quick is Stanford to forget its heroes? Well, if football signs and Facebook victory statuses are any indication, about 9 months. That’s how long it’s been since the last time Andrew Luck took the field for the Cardinal at the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, straight off of his second straight selection as runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
What am I talking about? In case you didn’t watch last night’s Stanford Football upset over USC on TV (dude, you missed out) or aren’t quite so Facebookily active as I, I’m referencing the signs, statuses, and news articles claiming that “Luck had nothing to do with it.”
Nope, luck – in the sense of good fortune – had nothing to do with it. Stanford Football has got what it takes to remain in the top ten, even after the honeymoon of our transformation from a ho-hum team in 2006 to a stellar one last year with the NFL #1 draft pick. But to say that Andrew Luck had nothing to do with Stanford’s current status as a football powerhouse does a disservice to his devotion to the Cardinal and is just plain inaccurate.
Stanford Football stands upon the shoulders of giants. Jim Harbaugh ushered in a new era of Stanford football success, bringing pride, organization, and sweet black jerseys to the little Farm that could. GoStanford.com puts it best: “the Stanford football program hardly resembles the one Harbaugh inherited following a 1-11 season [in 2006].” Harbaugh’s coaching style was complimented by the ascendance of the young Andrew Luck, who “emerged as one of the best young signal callers in the nation… under Harbaugh’s tutelage.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking Andrew Luck who swatted off defenders like so many flies. Andrew Luck who threw 50 yard touchdown passes. Andrew Luck who creamed the Trojan recipient of a loose ball on a Stanford fumble. (Seriously, that clip never gets old.)
Add to that the tank-like plowing power of running back Toby Gerhart (’10). Add a hearty dollop of pure Cardinal pride (“whooooooose house??”) from now Seattle Seahawks starting cornerback Richard Sherman (’10). Mix in the double threat (and luscious locks) of FB/LB Owen Marecic (’11). Season that with the sweat, blood and tears of hundreds of other Stanford players, and now you’ve got yourself a program.
What I’m getting at is this: fantastic recruiting classes like ours don’t go to historically mediocre schools: they go to schools with an established, well-oiled program. Stanford’s football dynasty has been carefully cultivated since 2006 by the likes of Harbaugh, Luck, and Gerhart, and it’s thanks to the heroes of yesterday that we’re reveling in the victories of today. I’m proud and a half of Josh Nunes and the rest of the 2012 team for their upset over USC last night, and I don’t mean to steal any of their thunder. But there’s enough glory to go around.
Celebrate today’s victories with a respectful eye to the past: you can never have too much Luck.