Posts Tagged ‘football’

Gangnam Style, Global Citizenship, and the (Secretary) General

Friday, January 18th, 2013

As Stanford students, we have been charged – by the Stanfords themselves in the Founding Grant – with the responsibility of “promot[ing] the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization.”  The words that Leland and Jane wrote down over 120 years ago in honor of their late son still ring true today, for fuzzies and techies alike.  Whether you are applying for a visa to study abroad or someday praying for favorable trade relations so that you can expose your product to a new market, international relations matter.  So if you’re curious about IR or just wondering why there were police dogs outside of Dink yesterday, read on.

Today, the UN has 193 member nations.

Crash Course: Meet the U.N.

Founded in 1945, the United Nations was born out of the need to address global hostility post-World War II and the League of Nations’ failed attempt at creating an international body that could effectively address international issues.  Despite starting afresh, the formation of an international regulating body still did not sit well with some countries, and after the Soviet Union turned about-face on first Secretary General Trygve Lie due to the UN’s role in the Korean War, the UN was almost doomed to the same fate as the League of Nations.

Like a boss.

Fortunately, Lie’s fellow-Scandinavian successor, Dag Hammarskjöld, strove to prevent the UN from disappearing altogether.  However, the UN has had its share of drama, from the Soviet Union’s desire to create a troika to replace the Secretary General to the Annan family’s Oil-for-Food scandal.

Despite the issues that have arisen, the United Nations remains the predominant world body persistently working to maintain peace between nations and provide aid to those who are hungry, oppressed, illiterate, and ill, deploying approximately 120,000 peacekeepers from over 110 countries and feeding over 90 million people a day.  In the words of current Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “we [- the UN -] deliver more humanitarian aid than anyone.”

BMOC: Ban himself

The man with a plan

This Thursday afternoon, Ban Ki-moon came to address the Stanford community and discuss the role of the UN in our rapidly transitioning world.  Expressing his excitement at being able to speak on campus, Ki-moon joked that “Stanford has subtly made its mark on the world…… and that is just your football team.”  But beyond voicing his appreciation for California and joking that after a trip to America as a teen, he “was the 1950s equivalent of PSY” because he was so popular when he got home, Ban Ki-moon emphasized a need for American citizens to help address the profound global change that our world is facing today.  To make his point clear, Ki-moon elucidated three primary ways to navigate our changing world – his points are as follows.

1) Sustainable Development

First, Ki-moon urged individuals to be more conscious of their consumption of Earth’s resources, as “there can be no plan B… because there is no planet B.”  Asserting that “we cannot drill or mine our way to prosperity,” Ki-moon explained his goal for 2030: that everyone in the world will have electricity, solving a current dearth of energy for 1.4 million individuals.  His environmental stance reflects current initiatives at Stanford that you can get involved in, from the Stanford Solar Car project to the Green Living Council.  As Ki-moon said himself, “I know you understand – after all, Stanford’s mascot is a tree.”

2) “Dignity and Democracy”

Focusing on civil unrest in Syria and Mali, the Secretary General illuminated the main concerns for addressing international conflict, including funds, access, and political divisions.  He wants to provide certainty to young people who have uncertain futures, and uphold the human rights of those who can’t defend themselves.

3) Women and Young People

Similarly, Ki-moon argued that women and young people are the “most under-utilized resource” in today’s world.  He called for “more women in the Cabinet, more women in the Parliament, and more women in the boardrooms,” and is proud that South Korea has its first female president(-elect).  Because “half the world is under 25 years of age,” Ki-moon has appointed a special envoy on youth, who will hopefully be a proponent for children and young adults around the world.

“We Are the World”

In sum, Ban Ki-moon discussed a variety of pressing issues that he and his peers in the UN need our help to address.  It is in this vein that Ki-moon wrapped up his talk; rather than talking about how the youth are the future, he argues that it is time to recognize that young people “have already taken their leadership role today.”

So, Stanford students, let’s take Ki-moon’s advice.  Now, more than ever, it is our responsibility to recognize the importance of international cooperation and impartiality.  It is time to be global citizens.

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.

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…)

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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Duckburgers in Madrid’s Swanky Mercado de San Antón

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

It’s a real pain to watch football at 3am, but Oregon has never been tastier.

GameDay Signs

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Continuing the day of coverage, I thought I’d share some of my favorite signs.  “Oregon-ized Crime Doesn’t Pay.”   “Say No to Quack!”  “I Like My Duck Confit.” “I Had A Smart and Clever Sign But Oregon Fans Wouldn’t Get It.”   There are tons of great ones, so if I didn’t mention yours doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic.  Share your faves in the comments!

College GameDay = Crazy

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Hey y’all, Sasha here to update you on the ESPN GameDay madness. And madness is exactly what it is. On the plus side, Stanford students have showed up in mass. On the not-so-plus side, about a thousand of them cut in front of me in line…. On the plus side, I have a press pass sooooo it really doesn’t matter.  On the not-so-plus side, for  all of you who showed up bright and early at 4 AM only to not even get into the Pit, life sucks sometimes.  Also on the not-so-plus side, how could GameDay not foresee the massive problem that is people cutting in line?  Unclear.  Back on the plus side, the Pit is filled.  On the not-so-plus side, it took them long enough.  For a little while I thought this might be the first GameDay in which the Pit wasn’t filled…because GameDay took too long letting people in.   But all is bright and shiny now.  So be at peace Stanford fans.  College GameDay is here for the very first time.  We are going to beat Oregon to a pulp later on (fingers crossed).  And we go to STANFORD.  Life is good.  Want more updates?  I am here with one of our very own (Stanford-wise and TUSB-wise) who is tweeting for Scout.com.   Follow him @ksawhney1. And keep checking for more updates!

 

In Defense of USC

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I grew up in a house divided. My mom and I went/go to Stanford, my father and older brother to USC. That family dynamic, along with my upbringing in Newport Beach, California (where at least a third of the baby-boom generation of USC alums decided to settle down and raise families) left me a rare outsider on the inside of the infamous, very tight-knit Trojan family. And, up until very recently, that family drove me crazy.

The Fight Song on repeat. The peace-sign/victory wave. The ocean of red and yellow (ahem… “Cardinal and Gold” as my father would chastise me through childhood). The football obsession. The Tommy Trojan references. The endless parade of license plates, stickers, and flags adorning the cars in my hometown. The ridiculously perky “Fight On” attitude. For the longest time, I found the culture so nauseating that the only way I could take refuge from their inexhaustible pride was to adopt the outsider attitude and disregard all of it. I would make jabs about whether being platinum blonde was still a requirement for admission. I would assume that all USC students were vapid, superificial, and unfocused on anything but getting wasted. I made the U$C jokes and took pleasure in the puns: “You can’t spell ‘suck’ without USC”, and the classic “University of Spoiled Children”. With a school like Stanford in my sights, I wanted to make it clear how much above their shallow antics I was. I wanted my attitude to demonstrate how much better Stanford was than USC: how much smarter, less conservative, more diverse, and more successful we are.

"Because Stanford doesn't like me"

But one weekend changed my perspective. With little to do and an itching for a bit of fun, I swallowed my pride, dropped my preconceived notions, and asked my brother if I could tag along for a couple days and get an insider peek at his life as a Trojan. The experience that followed was anything other than what I might have expected. The classes were incredibly engaging and dynamic; the campus was extremely welcoming and filled to the brim with excited students advertising their interests in every culture and activity, and a night on the infamous 28th street left me wanting more.

Admittedly – any college brochure will give you that. But what really caught me off my guard was how authentically friendly and kind everyone was. When I told people that I go to Stanford, every single person I spoke with was genuinely excited to hear about it, showered me with compliments about the Farm, offered references to friends of theirs’ who go here and rave about it, and were noticeably reverent of our fair university – usually tossing in some form of, “I applied there but didn’t get in. But I would have loved to go there”. Not one person had anything rude or snarky to say about Stanford, nor did anyone seem to be withholding any such comments.

Even this past weekend, when the university played host to what one USC student called “one of the most epic games and biggest letdowns I’ve seen in my college career” – Trojans were still surprisingly respectful of the Cardinal win. Especially under circumstances that most Trojan fans identified as “the closest thing to a bowl game we’ll come to this year” – my in-person interactions with students were generally tame. Understandably, most students were disappointed, felt they got gypped, and said they won in spirit, but I didn’t run into anyone who was out to seriously bash Stanford. The harshest comment I heard came in the form of Facebook status: “Whatever Stanford, your helmets are still ugly”.

Which begs the question – why do so many Stanford students seem to harbor such resentment – whether legitimate or in jest – toward our private Pac-12 peer? Why do we feel the need to put down USC at every possible opportunity? (more…)

Andrew Luck Returning to School: Is it a Bad Thing?

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Could Luck be on the same path as Matty Lite?

As you probably already know, star quarterback Andrew Luck is returning to school for in all likelihood his last hurrah with Stanford Football. If the school wasn’t already practically buzzing with that Orange Bowl high, it sure will be now. That loud party this weekend? Andrew Luck’s coming back. Those three guys passed out in that hedge? Andrew Luck’s coming back. Your roommate getting lucky and you getting sexiled? Andrew Luck’s coming back to Stanford.

However, a moment of silence as this decision amounts to a punch in the gut for Carolina Panther fans looking for a silver lining to an otherwise abysmal season. It’s their own fault for not being raucous and obnoxiously drunk at home games like proper fans (irony). Who knows, maybe they’ll be able to get him next year.

This decision is part of an older argument about the dangers of underclassmen passing up guaranteed money for more school. Did Andrew Luck make a good decision? So far, everyone at Stanford seems to think that Andrew Luck’s return is unquestionably good. Is it really? This post will analyze these burning questions, as well as touch on the Harbaugh situation. First off…

Could Andrew Luck returning for the 2011-2012 season be bad for Stanford?

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

(more…)

TUSGraph: Outsourced

Friday, January 7th, 2011

There’s some great stuff going on in the visual information world outside of my posts (hard to believe, right?). I thought I’d highlight some here.

First up is actually by a fellow Stanford student, Edward Segel. It’s a slick but simple recap of all of Pitchfork‘s album reviews from 2010, with a nice interface. If you’re like me and you hate reading words, then use this to skip the details of the Pitchfork reviews and go straight for the heart of the matter with the numerical album ratings. Well done, Edward. Pitchfork should be working harder to get a nice normal distribution.

This next one is all about color. Edgina simply posts a series of photos every day based on a color theme. The brilliant step was taken by dvdp when he noticed how awesome the time-mapped archive of all the images is. You wouldn’t be hurt by following either of those blogs.

Graphing Shakespeare is a sure way to work out both sides of your brain. These detailed script diagrams from Understanding Shakespeare are a visual and literary treat. Ditch the spark notes!.

Everyone loves it when their interests collide. Someone at Bill Sports Maps somehow found a way to nicely combine two of mine: geography and football..

A new take on people and perfection, this graphic is a great conversation starter. It’s very similar to the classic one: When you’re in college you get to pick two out of friends, school, and sleep.

Science nerds here at Stanford are constantly complaining about the scientific inaccuracies in movies, but it’s now nicely consolidated in a simple chart. Or maybe I just find this interesting after my roommate and I calculated that Iron Man would not be able to fly, even if we assumed his “hot pads” were hot enough to excite all the deuterium in the atmosphere enough to create a fusion reaction and propel him forward. Tony Stark must know something we don’t, but that’s not surprising.

Hope those will satisfy your graph cravings until the next TUSGraph. If not, stop by Sporcle!

Is Stanford Now a Football School?

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal hoist Coach Jim Harbaugh in celebration after their victory over Virginia Tech.

In the past five years, Stanford football has fought its way from mediocrity to the top of college sports. Monday’s 40-12 romp over Virginia Tech culminated that remarkable run. Yet in the midst of this hard-earned Orange glory, however, I ran into a frightening number of students who neither watched the whole game nor even knew who we were playing. I might not be somebody whose group of friends and acquaintances constitutes an accurate cross section of the entire Stanford populace, but I was hardly the only Stanford fan who encountered this situation.

And it’s not necessarily going to improve. Coach Jim Harbaugh is very likely leaving for the NFL. QB Andrew Luck has many incentives to go pro. Owen Marecic, the Cardinal’s versatile linebacker/running back, is an outgoing senior. In sum, Stanford Football may lose some of the vital star power that has caused its fan base to grow, and even in these fruitful times the extent of that base’s support remains unclear. If next year is successful but slightly less glamorous, will Cardinal fans rise to the occasion?

Part of the problem is our size. With 6,887 undergraduates and 8,779 graduate students, Stanford has a substantial population compared to its academic rivals, but pales in comparison with giants like Alabama, Michigan, or Ohio State. The normally-packed Red Zone only constitutes a small portion of our relatively small 50,000-seat stadium, which we filled just once this past season in our game against USC. Stanford alumni doubtless love watching Cardinal games, and the Stanford Fund experiences major spikes in donations whenever the football team has a big win. But their loyalty does not necessarily manifest itself on campus.

As a result, Stanford runs the risk of joining a club where it does not belong. How can we be a Top 5 Football team, a truly envied position of power, and have no idea what to do with it or how to appreciate it? To the vast majority of America that does love college football, that fanatically lives and breathes it whenever fall season comes around, our condition seems like elitism at best and hypocrisy at worst. Nobody would debate our team’s skills. This is purely a debate about the school behind them, about how much we deserve our team and whether or not we have incorporated their achievements into part of our fundamental identity.

A cheeky poster in the Stanford section on Monday proclaimed, “Revenge of the Nerds!,” complete with a Stanford Tree as the “S.” The poster also hit a little close to home. Vehemently loyal Stanford fans can be found on campus and abroad, and hundreds of them showed up yesterday at Maples Pavilion to welcome back the victorious team. But the fact remains that much of Stanford has exhibited little more than casual interest in this week’s monumental triumph. If we are to embrace our football team the way they have so forcefully embraced the pursuit of success on the field, our school’s collective attitude needs to change. Otherwise, we will be no more than a stepping stone for the Harbaughs and Lucks of the sports world, who make good use of our fabulous facilities, draw on our extensive resources, bring tremendous honor to our athletic program, and leave behind a school that prefers to hit the books while our country’s favorite college game moves on.

The Orange Bowl: A 501(c)3 Non-Profit?

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

What you should know: The #4 Stanford football team is facing off against #13 Virginia Tech in the Discover Orange Bowl.

What you might not know: The Orange Bowl is hosted by the Orange Bowl Committee, a tax-exempt non-profit organization whose mission is as follows:

The Orange Bowl Committee is a not-for-profit, 330-member, primarily-volunteer organization. It is a self-sustaining, independent organization that supports and produces activities and events that enhance the image, economy and culture of South Florida.

This sounds surprising for an event that generates huge amounts of money. Guidestar, the nonprofit database, reports that the Orange Bowl Committee has a total revenue of about 41 million dollars and expenses of about 34 million dollars. See graphic for full details.

However, not everything is peaches for the Orange Bowl Committee: the anti-BCS PlayoffPAC has filed a complaint with the IRS that the committee violated its 501(c)3 tax exempt status by treating its members as well as directors of other programs to a lavish Caribbean cruise. PlayoffPAC co-founder says:

This year’s Orange Bowl participants, Virginia Tech and Stanford, will again lose large sums. These loss payments aren’t just to keep the stadium lights on. They fund four-day Caribbean cruises for Bowl officials and athletic directors. If the BCS system actually served schools’ interests, BCS Bowl officials would cut these types of unnecessary costs rather than extract subsidies from cash-strapped colleges and universities.

If true, this would be particularly troubling for an organization that additionally receives, according to Guidestar, over a million dollars annually in government grants. (H/T Rob Reich for the story)

Our Athletes Are Better Than Yours

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Our athletes have won more Director’s Cups than any other school in the nation.  There, I said it.  Article done, right?  But I feel like that’s a cop-out – everyone knows we have the number one athletics program in NCAA Division I.  What’s actually newsworthy, what actually matters, is that our athletes are quantitatively and qualitatively the best in the nation.  Here’s why.

For Andrew Luck, luck's got nothing to do with it.

Our athletes are held to a higher academic standard than those at other schools.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said it best: “We’re looking not for student athletes but scholar-athletes. No other school can carry this banner.”

Take Andrew Luck, for example.  Our star quarterback, who by all fair comparisons was robbed of the Heisman Trophy, was his high school valedictorian and is majoring in architectural design.  There’s no doubt, as Fox Sports put it, that Andrew “has the smarts to go with the impeccable athletic skills.”  Indeed, according to teammate Doug Baldwin, “The only thing Andrew can’t do very well is sing.”  Luck‘s likely to be the #1 NFL draft pick and, according to the Mercury News, “it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”  Our beloved scholar-athlete seems like a pretty stark contrast to this year’s Heisman winner Cam Newton and the NCAA controversy surrounding his dubious recruitment.

Yeah, our athletes cure diseases. No big deal.

Our athletes are changing the world.

Chemical engineer Jake Vandermeer is a busy guy.  A United States Presidential Scholar and former principal cellist for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, Jake walked on to our #1 men’s volleyball team last year.  Just this September, Jake joined the team at the White House celebration of the 2009-10 NCAA championship teams.  But what really makes Jake stand out is how he’s radically improving the lives of others.  This summer he helped develop a potential cure for Legg-Calve-Perthes disease – a crippling disease that affects about 1,200 children a year.  That’s really something to cheer about.

(more…)