Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Battle of the Rose Bowl

Monday, December 31st, 2012

The Rose Bowl kicks off tomorrow at 2pm PST and I’ll be watching it all the way from Hawaii. I’ve got chips and dip ready and I’ve convinced Stanford and non-Stanford friends to come join me in my living room. My friend and her family plan to bring their TV out to their garage to watch. They’ve already warned their neighbors. I hope the rest of you are just as excited as we are! Here’s another infographic to help you prepare for tomorrow’s game:

 

d.newsframe is currently recruiting graphic artists and visual designers so if you’re interested, send an email to lindsey@dnewsframe.com.

Stanford Football: Rise to Prominence

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Ready for the Rose Bowl? Check out how our football team has developed over the past six years in the infographic below, created by d.newsframe:

d.newsframe is currently recruiting graphic artists and visual designers so if you’re interested, send an email to lindsey@dnewsframe.com.

TUSB Contest: Stanford Football Fanatic

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Think you’re the Cardinal’s biggest, craziest, most devoted fan? Then bring your camera to the Rose Bowl this Tuesday and take a photo to prove it! Send your best shot to stanfordblogging@gmail.com by January 11 for a chance to win a $25 Ike’s gift card and have your photo posted on the Blog. Consider it TUSB’s Fan of the Game competition. Runners up will receive $10 dollar gift cards to Coupa Cafe. This contest is open to current Stanford students. We’re looking for crazy, so (short of harming yourself or others) go as nuts as you possibly can. Go Card!

Stanford Fans

Not bad, but you can do better!

 

Jordan Williamson — our long awaited hero rises from ashes

Friday, November 30th, 2012

November 16, 2012 – Source: Steve Dykes/Getty Images North America

As we get ready for today’s epic game against UCLA, I’m going to take a minute and time-warp a couple of weeks back to the epic game against the University of Oregon. Kevin Hogan played one of the best games of his life and Stepfan Taylor steamrolled through defender after defender. Our defense racked up sac after sac… but Oregon was damn good this year (as they were last year– remember the humiliation after waking up at 5:30am for College GameDay?!) and they gave us a run for our money. All our best efforts ended up with us going into a nail biting overtime, but thankfully we won the coin toss and chose 2nd possession. Basically this means that Oregon goes first, starts on our the 25 yard line, and has to score in one drive.

They get close and it’s 4th down. They send in their kicker. Solid snap and he kicks….. It hits the post and bounces off. No good.

Now’s our chance to make it happen. Surely between Talor and Hogan we can get this done.

4th down comes and we’re still 37 yards away. This can only one play left and everyone knows what’s going to happen. Shaw sends in Jordan Williamson.

Oh no…

Mind you, I’ve never met Jordan before and I’m confident that he’s been a solid kicker since his first day at Stanford, but this guy has gotten massively shafted during his time here. I won’t go into details on his Stanford playing career, but needless to say when he took the field on Saturday night to attempt to seal the deal for us, the sports-bar I was at in NYC (full of newly minted Stanford alumni) came to absolute silence. Jordan lined up, the snap was made, his kick connected and…

this

I know I’m not the only one who’s glad to see Williamson finally get the redemption he deserves.

See you at the game today. Oh! and also:

 

I before E, except after Cal: A response to The Daily Californian

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This post is in response to a Daily Californian blog, which can be read here. The opinions expressed in this article are not the opinions expressed by The Unofficial Stanford Blog, The Stanford Daily, or its writers. Oh man, have I always wanted to write that. Buckle up.

Dear Daily Californian,

Recently, you published a blog article (blarticle) entitled “No competition” which, in my humble opinion, went too far. The Stanford Daily has already issued a response, which can be read here, but I thought I would take advantage of this blog’s Unofficial-ness to say some words that the good people at the Daily are too nice to say.

I… I can’t look away. So horrifying, and yet… so beautiful. (Credit: Jasmine M.)

Originally, my article just had the words “get over it” and a detailed sketch of the Tree mooning a bear, but my editor said the text had to at least fill a whole line.

So I wrote more words:

While I’m as pleased as anyone that you’ve learned to proofread, and have access to a platform to show other people this new skill, this is the saddest and most asinine drivel that’s ever been mistaken for a blog. And that’s after I learned “Birds with Arms” exists.

I realize that this post was written in good fun, something with which to placate the ire of students and alumni after Stanford’s beatdown of Cal, but I implore you to keep it classy, or at least relevant. When you fault a young woman for what might have been a keystroke error (Although a score of 10-1, while unlikely, is certainly possible), or insult the readers of the Daily (which include professors, Nobel Laureates, and freshmen in Stern Dining) in one sweeping generalization, you are sucking on the dregs of the stupidest Stanford-Cal rivalry there is, or ever will be: proofreading.

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Celebrate the Big Game Victory Like the GSB!

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

If you haven’t seen this already, or even if you have, take four minutes to celebrate today’s 21-3 triumph over the Golden Bears with some inspiring dance moves by a GSB flash mob of “Gangnam Style.” How they found a rainy day to tape this video is beyond me, but the content and choreography are worthy of the Cardinal brand.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Freshmen, Welcome to the RED ZONE

Friday, October 5th, 2012

RedZone demonstration of the loud, proud first-down cheer.

Daniel Kozlowski is Vice Chairman of the Stanford Axe Committee, the student group responsible for the protection of Stanford’s most prized possession “The Stanford Axe.”

Welcome, freshmen. I hope you have enjoyed your first three weeks here at Stanford.  I remember this being an exciting time for me two years ago.  I was in a new, interesting, exciting, and fun place with some of the most articulate, intelligent, and friendly 18-22 year olds in the world (pat on back).  I had just turned in my first PSET and finally had a vague understanding of where my classes were.  It was also around this time that Stanford Stadium hosted its first football home game when school was in session.  It was a big game…not THE BIG GAME (that came later in the year, in which we clobbered that other school across the Bay 48-14 and got back the Axe).

Our beloved Cardinal were playing the University of Spoiled Children Southern California Trojans.  Stanford hadn’t beaten the Trojans in Stanford Stadium since 2000, a full decade prior; needless to say, the excitement was palpable.  A back-and-forth game between the two teams featured some heavy hitting (by a quarterback-turned-linebacker) and its fair share of drama.  The game came down to Stanford kicker Nate Whitaker, who earlier in the game had missed a PAT that stood as the lone difference in a 35-34 game.  Turning from goat to hero, Whitaker split the uprights and gave Stanford the win it had been waiting ten years for.  Fans, many of them students, came rushing onto the field as the Cardinal celebrated its victory.

Side Note: Since then, we have extended our win streak against USC to four (the longest ever) and won eleven regular-season games in back-to-back years (before 2010, we had never won more than nine games in a season), leading to two BCS Bowl appearances (2011 Orange Bowl, 2012 Fiesta Bowl).  Stanford has become a football powerhouse.

That game was Stanford’s closest (and most exciting) of the 2010 season, made all the more special because of the support of the RED ZONE (the student section), which can actually affect the outcome of games: loud crowds cause opponents to incur False Start and Delay of Game penalties; they also throw off the opponent’s rhythm and give the defense a tactical advantage.  Our alumni, awesome as they are, are not the best at being loud; sometimes, they need a push.  The RED ZONE gives them that push.  Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for the student section that will help our team win on Saturdays:

DO

  • Come to all the home games and the Big Game (which is at Cal’s newly-renovated-but-still-crappy Memorial Stadium this year). This week we have a home game against Arizona (Kickoff at 12PM on Saturday).
  • Attend the viewing parties on the Row and show that we support our team even when they aren’t playing at home.
  • Wear Cardinal Red (or some color in the red family) on game day.
  • Yell/cheer/make noise (bang on the seat backs, shake maracas, perform light construction work with a jackhammer, etc.) while we are on DEFENSE, especially on 3rd and 4th downs.
  • Be respectful of the opposing team’s fans. Stanford is a world-class institution and you, as students of the University, should represent it with pride and class. (more…)

Actually, Luck had a lot to do with it.

Sunday, September 16th, 2012
http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22475988/34965279

The dynamic duo ushered in a new era of Stanford Football. (Source: Getty Images.)

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.

http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2010/09/college_football_plus_big_east.html

Luck and Sherman celebrate a resounding victory over Wake Forest in 2010.

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.

Breaking the Fall: 2012 Autumn Course Guide

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Ah, summer. One minute you’re shotgunning a beer celebrating with friends after your last final, the next, you’re waking up and rolling over to find that two months of beaching, traveling, summer-schooling, tanning, grilling, working, and/or your resume-building b****work meaningful internship experience have flown by and it’s already August. Which means it’s time to maybe, possibly, conceivably consider what you’ll be studying in the fall. Even at Stanford, summer doesn’t last forever, and eventually we’ve got to come to grips with  all of our first-world problems – namely, enrolling in classes at the happiest place university on earth. But, fear not – I have spent the last fortnight scouring every course in every department this school has to offer (upon reading this line, my proofreader claims that I “need to get laid a life”), with the hope of delivering the BEST list of classes to get you STOKED to come back to campus. It combines all the things I love most in life: cool classes that don’t physically drive me to tears (yes, I’m talking to YOU, “Inventing Classics“), excessive linkage, personality stereotypes, semi-snarky commentary, giant over-generalizations and massive assumptions, and most importantly: THE MUPPETS.  In any case, I hope the article piques your interest in something you might have otherwise overlooked, missed, or been to lazy to go look up.  And if not, all I can say is that I hope it makes you laugh (if only in pity). Other than that, here’s to the remaining MONTH of summer (suck it, Cal) and the boredom and restlessness that will inevitably accompany it. Cheers.

 

Autumn 2012 classes for…

the wise-guy

Old Guys Rule.

AMSTUD 140: Stand Up Comedy and the “Great American Joke” Since 1945

I took this class last fall. Actual (read: more or less deeply paraphrased) quote from the prof: “Hey, Hennessey – I’ve got an idea for a class. It will involve abundant sexism, racism, elitism, lewd and scatalogical references, innappropriate behvaior, excessive profanity, and – above all – some of the most brilliant and observative writers, performers, and anthropologists of our time.  What’s this class called, you ask? Well, it’s Stand Up Comedy and the Great American Joke”. Take this class. It’s awesome.

MUSIC 36N: Humor in Music

My visions of this class involve Steel Panther, Weird Al, and Parry Gripp.

Thank God I’m not teaching it.

 

the romantic

Living up to his name like an absolute champ

HISTORY 33A: Blood and Roses: The Age of the Tudors
Mystery, murder, sex, and scheming? And you thought your family was dramatic.

ATHLETIC 39: Fencing: Beginning
So you can do THIS.

ENGLISH 154: Mapping the Romantic Imagination
The map of MY romantic imagination involves horseback trips through the Florin countryside with Wesley, a sunset on the bow of the (intact) Titanic with Jack, the California coastline in Benjamin Bradford’s convertible, getting stuck on an island in the Caribbean with Cap’n Jack Sparrow, Patrick Verona’s paintball park, and wherever Ryan Gosling is currently located (though, preferably here). To my great disappointment, however, I believe this class refers a bit more to the English romantic poets and novelists and the sublime countrysides they envisioned. Then again, is anything quite as lovely and romanticized as curling up with a little Keats and Byron?

 

the hipster

This muppet is actually called Harry the Hipster. You've probably never heard of him.

ENGLISH 121A: Tattoos, Scars, Marks and American Cultures of Inscription

I feel bad for the poor sucker of a TA who has to read 60+ papers on “Why the dolphin/butterfly/Chinese symbol for “peace”/shooting star/infinity sign/angel wings/song lyrics/Bible verse on my ankle/lower back/shoulder blade/neck/wrist/sideboob/part of my hip that totally gets gets covered by a bikini is a unique artistic expression of my inner self”.

ARTSTUDI 131: Sound Art I 
Because taking just “music” was too mainstream.

FILMSTUD 301: Fundamentals of Cinematic Analysis 
Take this class so that the next time you’re giving your pretentious opinion about the latest film showing at INSERT NAME OF UNKNOWN THEATER HERE, you’ll be able to reference a little-known technique/genre/style/paradigm/buzzword that your professor mentioned once in class.

COMM 182: Virtual Communities and Social Media
This should prepare you well for your vague “job” in the vague cross section between “media” and “social networking” at that start-up no one has ever heard of.

 

the history buff

I want that blazer.

HISTORY 95C: Modern Japanese History: From Samurai to Pokemon
Samurai…. Pokemon. SAMURAI… POKEMON. I’m not quite  sure what’s between these two poles (the history of sushi?!?!) but it’s guaranteed to be awesome.

COMM 125: Perspectives on American Journalism
I don’t know enough about journalism or, frankly, television to confidently explain why “The Newsroom” sucks and “The Wire” is the bestest thing ever since Ike’s Menais a Trois. Admittedly, I should probably take this class and many others on this list. In any case, if you believe the slow death of the newspaper is a genuine travesty or that Cronkite and Murrow could give Colbert and Stewart a run for their money, then this might be the class for you.

HISTORY 103F: Introduction to Military History
It’s like the Military Channel… sans couch.

HISTORY 243G: Tobacco and Health in World History
Not to get all Nick Naylor on you guys, but I’m genuinely curious how one-sided this class is.

HISTORY 59S: The Digital Historian’s Toolkit: Studying the West in an Age of Big Data
From my quick read of the course-description,  it seems like this class involves old documents, scanners, and many a rubber glove. That said, if you like seeing history immortalized and like to wonder “what did they think back then?” and “how did that really happen?” then this is the class for you.

EDUC 116N: Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History’ and the Quest for Historical Truth
If you’re reading this section, theres a decent chance that you identify yourself as a history buff. Howard Zinn was the guru/godfather/mack-daddy of all American history buffs. Student, meet the ultimate teacher.

HISTORY 308D: Pre-Modern Warfare
I’m not exactly sure at what point/what contraptions fall under the heading of “Modern Warfare”, but if you’re telling me that I get to take a class on how to use the history of ninja stars, crossbows, catapults, and broadswords, then SIGN. ME. UP.

CLASSGEN 103: The Greek Invention of Mathematics
My sole incentive for taking this class would be figuring out exactly which Greek mathematician to fantasize about brutally torturing  whilst in the middle of my Math 52 midterm.

 

the patriot

Coming Soon: Muppets take 'Merica.

CSRE 51K: Election 2012

I should really, REALLY take this class. Seriously, because – besides Obama – I’m not really sure who’s actually still in the race.

COMM 162: Campaigns, Voting, Media, and Elections 
See above comment.

COMM 164: The Psychology of Communication About Politics in America 
I’d like to think that, to the individuals who plan to lead my country and allegedly have my best interest at heart, I am more than just a number and that my opinions and behaviors are more than just statistics.

ECON 18: The Washington Debate About American Competitiveness
If I take this class, will I get a job?

PUBLPOL 170: Political Corruption
It’s not cheating if you don’t get caught.

PUBLPOL 154: Politics and Policy in California
Let’s hope that by the time this class is over, Michael Tubbs will have a place in its curriculum.

ECON 25N: Public Policy and Personal Finance
Something about tax-brackets… maybe. I expect to see a lot of pitchforks and raised fists.

HUMBIO 120: Health Care in America: An Introduction to U.S. Health Policy
Obamacare. And other stuff. Probably.

(more…)

PAC-12 Network: Plus or Minus?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

It is my first real week of summer.  And yes, I am already bored.  My general routine for curing boredom involves 1) indulging in crappy TV 2) attempting to repair my sleep debt (impossible) and 3) keeping up with my sports teams like no one’s business.  Being that I’m not emotionally invested in basketball (read: I’ll-watch-it-but-eh), that leaves me Giant’s baseball and my football teams, the Niners and of course our Stanford football team.

Amidst my avid googling, I came across this SF Chronicle article.  It notes that our first football game of the season (at home v. San Jose State) has been moved from Saturday, Sept. 1st to the night before at 7pm.  That is right, ladies and gents, we will have a Friday season opener.  While this may not be that significant in and of itself, I think it gives us Stanford fans something to think about.

While Friday home opener is a little disappointing, the change itself is not the most significant part of the story, especially since not many students will be able to attend anyway (you can count me there).  It leaves me to question, how many more times/dates will be switched on us to satisfy the PAC-12 Network?  Looking at other team’s schedules, we aren’t the only ones to have Friday night games (which I’m not that opposed to. High school anyone?), but some teams even have Thursday games scheduled.

With late Thursday classes and sections, I wonder, if we do have a home game yanked to a Thursday, how many people will we lose?  How many season ticket holders won’t go because of work early the next morning? How many students will have a mandatory attendance section?

Our home game schedule already sucks, as noted by Kabir earlier this year (article here).  We have only three home games while school is in session.  USC happens before school starts.  Big Game was moved to… OCTOBER.  While I may be a tad (okay, REALLY) emotional about this since it will be my last football season as an undergrad, I still feel like any Stanford undergrad who attends home games probably feels like they got cheated…just a little bit.

The upswing to all of this, of course, is that every PAC-12 football game will be televised nation-wide, which is great for revenues and visibility and especially great for Stanford alums that live out of area.  This is an amazing perk and will be great for the conference and for our school.  I am personally hoping for a full season of hard-hitting football in which last year’s middling PAC-12 contenders really step up, and we give SEC fans something to think about.

Still is the weird schedule worth the perks?  I, for one, am on the fence.  Let me know what y’all think!

Do you think the PAC-12 Network brings more good than bad?

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Day In the Life: Dominik Pasalic

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Part one of a series detailing Stanford students and the awesome things we do outside of class

7:15AM on Sunday morning and my alarm sounds, piercing my post-Saturday night partying foggy consciousness. Detesting the idea of waking up at this godforsaken hour, I hit that glorious invention the snooze button and roll back into blissful nothingness. 5 minutes later my phone screams at me again, and an image flashes through my mind: I’m floating atop the water, the sun warming my face and the wind whipping through my hair. I’m drinking beer and laughing with friends. From the depths of my slumber, a slightly accented voice booms at me “Pull in the jib sheet Jesse, we’re tacking!” In a rush of excitement, I fly out of bed and begin searching for warm clothes, finally remembering why I got up this early on the day most college students never see the a.m. hours: it’s sailing time!

Stanford Senor & Skipper Dominik Pasalic

If you think I’m nuts for giving up my one guaranteed morning of sloth to schlep all the way to Santa Cruz to battle the wind or lack there of, wait until you meet Stanford senior Dominik Pasalic, Croatian born and raised, and an ocean lover since day one. Despite his passion for the sea and fascination with all things maritime, it wasn’t until his mid teens that Dom took his first one week sailing class in his home country. “Learn how to sail an old Croatian sailboat,” he tells us, “and you’ll be able to sail any boat in the world!” he emphasizes as he points to the electronic controls on the modern 46 ft Beneteau sailboat that we’ve chartered (sail speak for rented) for the day from Pacific Yachting in Santa Cruz. (more…)

Linsanity and #RevengeOfTheNerds

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Landry and Jeremy prove that it's hip to be square.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are that you’ve heard of NBA player Jeremy Lin and his meteoric rise to stardom.  Failing to acquire athletic scholarships, Lin attended Harvard on the basis of academic merit.  Looked over in the 2010 draft, Lin has ultimately become the “the first NBA player to score at least 20 points and have seven assists in each of his first five starts.”

“I need to get a Jeremy Lin jersey. This dude [is] making all nerds proud!” – Doug Baldwin, Stanford ’11, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

While his tale is certainly one of dedication and personal triumph, I think the reason that Lin’s success has so resonated with the Stanford crowd is that his story is a victory for nerds everywhere.  Reflecting on Stanford’s current dose of Linsanity, I quickly realized that Jeremy Lin isn’t the only “nerd” taking the sports world by storm – Stanford athletes throughout professional and Olympic sports demonstrate the true importance of smarts and dedication.

Join me as I trace the stories of a few of our favorite Stanford nerdthletes.

#RevengeOfTheNerds and the Seattle Seahawks:

Sherman and Baldwin celebrate a Seahawks touchdown.

It’s difficult to overcome misconceptions about athletes from elite universities in the professional sports world.  Former Stanford cornerback Richard Sherman once said, “I feel like people give us the short end of the stick a lot of times because of the academics.  They assume you’re slow, they assume you don’t have explosive players, you don’t have the best athletes, because of the academic standards.”

He and fellow former Stanford teammate Doug Baldwin have been working hard to overcome these prejudices ever since they signed with the Seahawks.  Indeed, per the Seattle Sports Hub, “they’ve done nothing since then but prove beyond any doubt that they belong in the NFL just as much as any guy drafted in the top 10 of any draft in the last decade at least.”

Sherman and his fellow Stanford athletes have embraced the “nerd” label, promoting the use of the “Revenge of the Nerds” battle cry from Twitter to the stadium.  With his inspiring personal story, determination (his twitter bio reads: “I lead by example / Confidence is a Prerequisite for Success”), and undeniable star power, role model Sherman is showing the next generation of scholars and athletes that it’s possible to be both. (more…)

Life After Luck: The Lowdown

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

As you may or may not have heard, Andrew Luck, our hero and savior of the Stanford football program, is off to the NFL. While he could have stayed one more year, he’s done with his degree and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Andrew Luck (artist's depiction)

Besides, I don’t exactly envy the guy. Though he’s going to get drafted first overall and make gigantic piles of money, he’s headed to the Indianapolis Colts. The team recently went 2-14, fired its head coach and general manager, and has a huge dilemma at a key position (I won’t tell you who’s in the middle of it, but I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a “P” and ends in “eyton Manning”).

Luck isn’t the only important name headed to the pros. Offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro, two major cogs in the Cardinal’s success on offense, are both likely to be drafted in the first round. A bunch of other important contributors are gone too, like safety Delano Howell, tight end Coby Fleener and wide receiver Griff Whalen.

But never fear, dear readers! The Cardinal has a bunch of young playmakers eager to step into starting roles for next year’s (shamefully poorly scheduled) season. We caught flashes of these underclass dynamos last season, but an extended introduction will have to wait until spring practice. Head coach David Shaw and his staff is also hard at work assembling a top-25 recruiting class, quite a feat for a school with Stanford’s academic standards.

Will Stanford go 11-1 and make another BCS bowl? Probably not. Can we score a solid record, a trip to a decent non-BCS bowl, and an upset or two over some Pac-12 heavyweights? Sure, I definitely think so. The program isn’t quite at the point where it can just reload after players like Andrew Luck leave (and it probably never will be), but there’s no reason Stanford can’t return to the elite after a rebuilding year or two.

So who, you ask, are these mystery youngsters that form the next generation of Stanford football? To the breakdown! (more…)

Stanford Football’s Scheduling Travesty

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

If you’re anything like me (that is, a rabid follower of college football and our beloved Stanford Cardinal), then you’ve already gotten over our gut-wrenching, heart-stopping loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl and are looking eagerly forward to spring ball and the start of next season. Basketball? A silly game where unnaturally tall people run back and forth for no discernible reason. Baseball? Can’t keep me awake past the second inning. The NFL playoffs? OK, I’ll admit you got me on that one, but those only last until February.

I always knew Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott cared only about money and not at all about students, and this just confirms it. (Image courtesy of the Pac-12)

So that’s why I was appalled when I saw the full 2012 football schedule the Pac-12 Conference released earlier today. To summarize, here’s the Cardinal’s full 12-game schedule for next season:

Sept. 1: San Jose State
Sept. 8: Duke
Sept. 15: USC
Sept. 27: at Washington
Oct. 6: Arizona
Oct. 13: at Notre Dame
Oct. 20: at California
Oct. 27: Washington State
Nov. 3: at Colorado
Nov. 10: Oregon State
Nov. 17: at Oregon
Nov. 24: at UCLA

This schedule sucks and it’s extremely unfortunate that our athletic department didn’t try for something better. Let’s start with the fact that, out of Stanford’s six home games next season, three come before the start of fall quarter: San Jose State, Duke and USC. This is hugely unfortunate for two main reasons. Obviously, the vast majority of students won’t be able to attend any of these games; since next year will be my last on the Farm, I’m especially ticked off that I’ll get to see Stanford football in person a grand total of three times in a 12-game season. Nearly as important is the fact that USC is one of those games. Whenever the Trojans come to town, it’s always the biggest home game of the regular season and a guaranteed sellout, so it’s an incredible letdown that only a few of us will get to go to that one.

This year's Stanford-USC matchup was a triple-OT thriller. Too bad we won't get to see these teams play next year.

Next, let’s take a look at the three teams we will get to see at home: Arizona, Washington State and Oregon State. These three programs were at or near the bottom of the Pac-12 in 2011, and were three of the five conference teams that failed to earn bowl eligibility. Arizona and Washington State both ended up firing their coaches, and Oregon State’s top man enters the season on the conference’s hottest seat. While we’re probably not going to steamroll these teams the way we did this season, I’m not exactly excited to see games featuring some of the Pac-12′s cellar dwellers. As an addendum to all of this, five of our last seven games are on the road, meaning it’ll be tough for us to follow the team and put more pressure on the team to win road games late in the season.

Last but certainly not least, notice how the Big Game has been inexplicably moved up to mid-October, when it has traditionally taken place in late November (usually the Saturday before Thanksgiving). Big Game, and the week leading up to it, are among the most hallowed traditions both on the Farm and across the Bay at Cal; putting the game in mid-October messes everything up and makes Big Game highly anti-climactic.

The reason for all of these shenanigans is two letters: TV. The Pac-12′s scheduling priorities are dictated entirely by the conference’s television partners. The upshot is that every Pac-12 game will be available nationwide on television, which I guess is supposed to substitute for taking away our game day experience.

 

We’re Cardinal Red?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Did anyone else notice the new uniforms at the Stanford vs. Notre Dame game? I couldn’t be there in person but I made sure to tune in. The first thing that struck me was the fact that these uniforms had longer sleeves. A trivial matter, until you watch the promo below explaining the entire uniform:

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Apparently they build uniforms like they used to build armor – every layer and piece has a purpose. Nike went all out for the uniforms and even made an amazing commercial about it! The commercial was intense. Hopefully as intense as the Stanford fans at next year’s Bowl game! The title of this post is a question, but we are Cardinal Red. It’s our official color. I did like one line from the commercial – “Cardinal Red is a metaphor for the very pulse of life.I don’t think that was ever the intent but it sounds awesome.  For the history of this quote check out the comment below! Get inspired Stanford! The football season may be done but things aren’t over for our football team yet!

P.S. I saw the number 12 and didn’t see Andrew Luck. That part of the ad wasn’t quite as authentic as I would have liked but it’ll do.