Posts Tagged ‘orange bowl’

Hot Prowls and Unsubscribe-List-This: Stanford 2011 Year in Review

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Yeah, that's about right.

A predominantly factual, occasionally satiric reflection on the crazy year that was 2011.

January:

  • After a record 11-1 season, Stanford Football continues to dominate in its 40-12 romp over Virginia Tech.  The almost banned Band celebrates with a party on the beach as hundreds of students ditch the first day of Winter Quarter.
  • Beloved quarterback Andrew Luck proceeds to solidify his Stanford hero status by deciding to forgo the NFL draft and finish his Stanford career.  Arrillaga scraps plans for the fifth on-campus gym to construct an edifice in Luck’s honor.
  • Confusion, fear, and panic, but mostly confusion grips the campus as Stanford Police fervently warns the entire student population of a Hot Prowl via mass text alert system.  As is the case with most current events on campus, “Hot Prowl” quickly becomes a popular party theme.
  • To add to campus confusion, mid-January brings mid-60’s and sunshine.

Also offered starting spring: Math 2 / Music 4B: Days of the Week in Modern Song

February:

  • Based on the popularity of hit single “Friday,” the Office of the Registrar introduces Phil 240: Front Seat / Back Seat: Existential Determinism in the Age of Rebecca Black
  • Valentine’s Day week heralds the annual V-week and the sale of chocolate va-jay-jays.  Despite promoters’ claims to the contrary, the student population remains convinced that “V” stands for very-awkward.

March:

  • Rogue reporters “out” Stanford athletes through sensational reporting in a Stanford Daily article on “The List.”  Student-athletes respond: “dude, you could’ve just picked up a copy if you ever went to the gym.”  Professors respond: “don’t misquote me, bro.”
  • Kappa Sig loses its housing, and fratstars adopt a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, scavenging social entrepreneurship mixers and RA candy bowls for subsistence.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy graces the halls of Stanford, generating more fanfare than Bill Gates and the Cataracs (though I admit that’d be an awesome name for a band) put together.  Ms. Frizzle plans a visit for 2012.
  • Stanford men’s swimming wins its 30th consecutive Pac-10 championship.  In other news, Stanford Hospital completes its first successful gill-removal surgery.

Revelers participate in the Stanford spring festival.

April:

  • Embracing Stanford’s hippie tradition, Stanford students choose to tie-dye their entire BODIES!!  Just kidding, that’s paint from the Asha Holi Festival on Sand Hill Fields.
  • Fear once again grips the campus as students find themselves on constant lookout for Indian men smelling like apples.
  • The great mailing list fail of 2011 (see also: “unsubscribe-list-this“) proves that, given an audience of thousands, Stanford students choose to post dozens of videos of silly cats and zero profanities.  My faith in humanity is restored.
  • Perez Hilton visits campus.  Hilton’s tweets on the visit: 37.  Stanford students in attendance: 8.
  • ASSU elections come and go.  The Wellness Room is still doing well.

Ah, the semi-charmed Stanford life....

May:

  • ‘The annual 680 Lomita Exotic party committee runs out of words that rhyme with “exotic” and opts for more direct marketing.  “Sweaty, Partially Naked People” is a great success.  Or at least people think it was.  Most don’t remember.
  • The International Hide and Seek champion is finally apprehended in Pakistan.  Osama bin Laden’s death is heralded with fountain hopping and “America, F*** Yeah” blaring from freshman dorms.
  • Third Eye Blind hosts a free concert.  Excited to reclaim their youth, Stanford students show up in droves with Beanie Babies and Giga Pets. (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.

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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)

Follow-up: Debating Harbaugh’s Salary

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

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.

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