Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

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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Putting the “experience” back in “Stanford experience”

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

It shall ring and float away... hail, Stanford, hail!

A favorite high school calculus teacher of mine often said, “sometimes it’s hard to see the forest because all the darn trees are in the way.”

Sometimes I think it’s easy to miss out on crucial, amazing parts of the Stanford experience by getting too busy with academics to notice the amazing opportunities that are passing you by.  To avoid that problem this quarter, I’m taking fewer units and a different approach to making the most of my time here.  See, I’m planning on co-terming, so as the midpoint of junior year approaches, I’m reaching the midpoint of my Stanford career.  Have I made the most of it?

I hope so.  I think so.  But I’d rather know so.

I’m working to alleviate this fear the only way engineers know how: quantifying it.  I figured I’d share my game plan because if it works for me, it might work for you, too.  I’m trying to make my list well-rounded, but I’d love to hear your ideas!  Suggestions?  Pointers?  Please share ’em in the comments.  I love this place and don’t want to miss out.

The Game Plan:  

Each of these categories has a number corresponding to how many times per week to participate in a category.  The bullet point suggestions below list examples of how to fulfill them.

Swingtime takes flight at an on-campus performance.

Arts (1):  support Stanford’s incredibly talented student artists!  See world-renowned performers!  The arts may never be more accessible (or cheap!) than while you’re at Stanford.

Sports (1+):  so, you really ought to exercise every day, but as a bare minimum, here are some suggestions for your weekly quota.

  • Join a friend’s intramural team!  Subs are always appreciated.
  • Run the Dish.
  • Walk Palm Drive with a friend.  Feel free to grab gelato for the way home.
  • Dance Marathon is coming up.  Even if you’re not signed up, you can always swing by with a donation and get your groove thang on.
  • Sign up for Relay for Life.

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Upcoming Events!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Sometimes it’s overwhelmingly difficult to keep up with everything going on on this campus.  Have no fear, TUSB is here to keep you posted on everything ever in everness.*

Hijabi Monologues

Arts:

Activism:

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Stanford 37, USC 35

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Stanford students rush the field after the winning kick.

No. 16 Stanford took down Southern California tonight 37-35 before a sold-out crowd. The ending was dramatic, with Nate Whitaker compensating for a missed extra-point by kicking a field goal with four seconds left on the clock. Possibly the greatest moment of the game occurred when Stanford QB Andrew Luck flattened USC’s Shareece Wright after a fumble by Stephan Taylor in the final minutes of the first half.

The Trojans have now lost three out of their four most recent games against the Cardinal.

Stanford Athletics also scored a major victory in water polo against USC, defeating the No. 1-ranked Trojans 5-3 in a game dominated by defense. Stanford goalie Brian Pingree proved a dominant force for the Cardinal with a career high 14 saves.

Is it Okay to Want North Korea to Lose at Soccer?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

This puppet commits severe human rights violations when he's not coaching his national soccer team via invisible earpiece.

North Korea is a terrible place for human rights, and there’s a macabre irony to their inclusion in the “Group of Death.” At the same time, however, they are the underdogs of the tournament: today they held steady against Brazil, the best soccer-playing country of all time, before falling 2-1. It’s really hard to root for a team representing a country that epitomizes much of what is wrong with the world, but it’s also hard not to root for a gritty team of soccer unknowns facing huge odds. What’s a political idealist/sports fan to do?

North Korea’s soccer team, like the country, is shrouded in secrecy. The team is ranked 105th in the world by FIFA, a mere ten spots higher in the rankings than Cape Verde, an archipelago country off the coast of Africa with 500,000 people and whose Wikipedia section on soccer lists all of the great players who did not play for the country and decided to play for European countries instead.

One of the reasons North Korea is ranked so low is that nobody knows anything about their team due to the complete isolation of the country. And despite the accomplishment of the team making it to the Cup for the first time since 1966, the people in North Korea will not see, hear, or know anything about what happens:

Unfortunately, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has banned coverage of the World Cup in North Korea unless their team wins the tournament, meaning that even if they perform well against Brazil, the citizens of North Korea will likely never hear of their side’s performance.

But what about those North Korean fans at the stadium dressed identically and cheering loudly for the team? Those, it turns out, are actors from China. North Korea gave them tickets to pretend to be fans of North Korea.

The North Korean fans in South Africa are paid actors.

At the World Cup, the North Korean soccer team mostly reminds you of North Korea itself. They have essentially no contact with any other team. The team tried to add an extra striker by listing him as a goalkeeper; then, when FIFA pointed out the rule that players listed as goalkeepers can only play that position, the team claimed that the player wanted to play goalkeeper and the team was doing him a favor. And the coach’s answers to press conference questions included angrily rebuking a reporter who did not call the country “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” and answering a question about the team’s prospects against Brazil by saying:

This will bring a lot of joy to the Great Leader, it will show that North Koreans have great mental strength.

What’s more, six players play their club soccer for a team called FC April 25, the official team of the North Korean army and named after the day the North Koreans started a war against Japan.

The North Korean-ness of the North Korean team makes it fairly easy for me to root against the team. But despite all of these aspects of the team and the country, the players seem surprisingly non-North Korean and, dare I say it, likable.

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Women’s Tennis Wins National Title

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Stanford Women’s Tennis has won the NCAA national championship, bringing Stanford its second national title of the year. Women’s Tennis triumphed today over Florida 4-3 in Athens, GA, amidst windy weather and an initial scoring deficit. The tight competition came down to a final match between Mallory Burdette of Stanford and Merrit Boonstra of Florida, which Burdette won in a three-set thriller that included four match points. Stanford came into the finals ranked eighth in the nation, while Florida was ranked third. A full matchplay summary is available here. Congratulations to Stanford Women’s Tennis!