On May 26th, for the first time in my undergraduate career, I think Stanford finally hosted a legitimate alternative rock band! Unfortunately, it wasn’t really Stanford’s gig – this time the student body owes thanks to Verizon. As part of their Coffee Shop Series, Verizon Wireless invites local bands to have free events for the coffee shop cultures around the West Coast. For some reason that I haven’t quite picked up on, they chose the CoHo!
And unfortunately for the CoHo (and fortunately for the rest of the student body) the event was moved to Memorial Auditorium. Lead singer Stephan Jenkins explained on stage that the fire marshal had a few problems with Third Eye Blind playing in such a small coffee shop. I’m glad he did, especially since the student population came out in droves. MemAud was packed with students who stood swaying to the music who eventually crowded the aisles to be closer to one of their favorite bands. Fans sang along to songs from the band’s new album Ursa Major, and to old favorites including Jumper.
But the night started out a little bit earlier for the some of Verizon’s VIP winners. These lucky students arrived around 6:00 pm to meet and take a picture with the band. Students excitedly waited in line to have their picture taken, which they received when the show was over. I got a few minutes with the band as well. Jenkins and drummer Brad Hargreaves were kind enough to answer a few questions for me before the show:
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled, “No, We Should Not Pay Jim Harbaugh More Money.” Not surprisingly, this generated a lively, and mostly fruitful, discussion that included a number of War and Peace-length comments. I want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the points from the comments and also offer a few more rebuttals.
But first, two important items of business:
1. Congratulations to the football team–they’re going to the Orange Bowl in Miami to take on my cousin’s beloved Virginia Tech Hokies.
2. Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby has already offered to “sweeten” Jim Harbaugh’s contract to try and convince him to stay.
Now, back to business. One popular argument in favor of raising Harbaugh’s salary is that it he brings in more money for the school (or, more accurately, the Athletic department, since both his salary and the resulting benefits are essentially self-contained within Athletics). As Tkim writes:
Football has the chance to fund every other program in the athletic department (if Josh, you would actually come to the games). The ROI on the investment is much higher with Harbaugh.
This is true, but using this as reasoning creates a problem. If what matters is the amount of money brought in, there are a number of other obvious ways we can increase this quantity. The first is obvious: we can stop holding our student-athletes to high academic standards. Every year, our athletics program turns away thousands of talented athletes because of insufficient academics. Accepting these athletes would undoubtedly make our football program better and therefore more lucrative, but does that mean we should do it?
My guess is that most, if not all, Stanford supporters would be against lowering academic standards because considerations outside of football are important. Harbaugh himself has been vocal about the importance of putting the student in student-athlete. At other schools, football players are students in name only (see: Heisman-trophy winner Cam Newton of Auburn). But that’s not adequate reason to say that we should allow that.
Big Game 2010 was absolutely glorious. From the not-actually-that-bad weather, to the epic LSJUMB costumes, to – oh, yeah – our domination of Cal, Big Game consisted of epic Stanford supremacy from start to finish.
Hopefully you cheered alongside me through rain and shine (and touchdown after touchdown after touchdown). If not, however, don’t worry: here are my top picks of priceless Stanford moments, as accompanied by Big Game photos taken by yours truly.
Notable Big Game Moments:
Stanford senior Sam Pressman was celebrating today’s 48-14 Big Game victory when the cops decided to be bad sports. As Pressman encouraged his fellow Cardinal fans to rush the field, Cal security surrounded and physically restrained him:
Pressman was last seen being escorted off the field in handcuffs:
Never mind that Cal rushed our field after their victory last year. Their authorities treated student section members like protestors in an autocratic state. Apparently Berkley is the town of hippie tolerance only when Cal is winning.