Ahhh.... Big Game week. A fine tradition in sports, where the Cal Bears are set to take on their hated, mediocre rivals, the Stanford Cardinal, from The Farm in Palo Alto, on the gridiron tomorrow. While the Bears are 8-3 on the season, and their national rankings dampened, they have clinched second place in the Pac-10 conference, behind USC, a strong achievement. Meanwhile, the hapless Cardinal has won but one game on their miserable season, making tomorrow's game somewhat of a laugher - were it not for the century-long rivalry.
Cal and Stanford are tied together in a multitude of ways, but are dramatically opposites of one another. Cal is public. Stanford is private. Cal is in an urban setting with stone features. Stanford more closely resembles an open field of neutral tan. Cal's bell tower is straight and pointy, while Stanford's bell tower is shorter and round on its top. Cal has a real mascot. Stanford has a color, but its mascot is a drunken tree. Cal has a marching band. Stanford has a scatter band. But both schools demand tough academic standards and constantly pilfer each others graduates for professorships and leadership positions. Both schools don't like each other much, and those feelings of animosity last well beyond the issuance of a diploma.
Cal still points fingers at Stanford for their lack of periodic elements, while they hold Berkelium, Californium, and others. Stanfordium is nowhere on the map. Cal students say they can study their butts off to get B's and C's, while a Stanford student starts with an A and can drop a class at any time, including after the final, with no penalty. Cal students often work part-time to support their education, while Stanford students are seen brimming with money and Beemers from Daddy Warbucks.
The assessments aren't always fair, but it's fun to have a rival. In a year where Cal has excelled and Stanford has floundered, we will be excited to keep their pain going. After seeing Cal lose to Stanford every year I was at the school (95-99), it's great to know we've turned the corner. My wife and I will be at the game, which kicks off at noon tomorrow, eager to parade the Axe around the stadium for one more year.
Listening to ''A Little Hazy Morning'', by Progresia presents Sokaya (Play Count: 3)