Game Day: 40+ Problems And The Points Ain't

De'Anthony Thomas said it, and I tend to agree; similar to what the great JayZ once sang, Stanford's got 40+ problems and the points ain't one.

Much has been made of DAT's declaration that Oregon should "at least put up 40" against the Cardinal later tonight, but it's tone was rather benign, Stanford players took little notice, and history tells us the following: He's right.

While outsiders have done their best to fan the flames of a rather innocuous remark, its role in tonight's game will be little to none between two teams needing little motivation. Oregon's undefeated, Stanford's one loss has them barely clinging to National Title aspirations, and the conference as a whole hopes to continue its assault on the SEC's "dominance," and may need an overriding performance from Oregon to do it. But while the Cardinal have an Oregon offense to concern themselves with, and the university is universally known as an esteemed institution of higher learning, I've put together a list of things the team and the university continues to sweep under the rug in hopes that you and I aren't paying attention. But the world deserves to know, and now I'm going to tell them why all isn't rosy on the "farm" in Palo Alto:

• Stanford will always be Phil Knight's "Cardinal-Headed Stepchild." In spite of an MBA from Stanford and gifts exceeding 100 million dollars over the years, the Cardinal will always be the "Jan," to the University Of Oregon's "Marsha" when it comes to Mr. Knight's affections.
• Say what you will about Oregon's recent improprieties surrounding Willie Lyles, but Stanford will forever be linked with Tiger Woods, the "Wilt Chamberlain" of the infidelity world.
• In 1972, Stanford ended 40 years of racial insensitivity by changing their name from the "Indians" to the "Cardinals" (which would later be changed to the now, "Cardinal"), in the wake of a decade-worth of complaint from past and current Native American students, over the mascot and his tribal dance regularly performed during football and basketball games.
• Condoleezza Rice…have you ever heard of the Gulf War?
• John Elway. Sure, he went on to a Hall Of Fame career in the NFL, won 2 Super Bowls, and made millions via a chain of successful car dealerships in the Denver metropolitan area, but he never took Stanford to a bowl game, never won the Heisman Trophy, and embarrassed the university through his "I won't play for Baltimore" tantrum, the likes of which are commonly found in and around a grammar school playground near you.
• Jim Plunkett. Great, a Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl Championship, but I'm still trying to figure out how he did both while wearing a helmet that looked the size of one of those baseball knock-offs that Dairy Queen puts my sundaes in. Pez dispensers think that guy's head's a tad irregular.
• The Lopez twins. One's underachieved, and the other's still trying to recover from dating Michelle Wie.
• William Hewlett (Hewlett-Packard), his computers suck.
• Robert Mondavi, his wines have a cork…how good can they be?!
• Stanford has graduated countless past and current U.S. Congressmen; how do you feel about our government right now? Enough said.
• Mitt Romney…loser.
• Mark Madsen…white guys think he can't dance.
Coby Fleener…he's killing my fantasy team.
Richard Sherman…failed a drug test.
Alex Smith, Tight End for the Cincinnati Bengals, let that quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs steal his name…pathetic!
Casey Martin…he's a Duck now.
Tom Watson…Jack Nicklaus is better than him.
• Kerri Strug…please, you didn't see anyone carry Reuben Droughns off the field when he broke his ankle against UCLA in 1998. He just decided to rush for 172 yards and a touchdown…with a broken Fibula.
• Stanford's under siege from the cast of Good Will Hunting. Due to Will's girlfriend Skylar's enrollment in Stanford's school of medicine, Will's pilgrimage west stole Professor Lambeau's prized pupil, Dr. Sean Maguire's prized patient, and Chuckie and his crew's prized friend. I'd sleep with one eye open if I were them.
• It's low-hanging fruit, but they have a tree for a mascot.
• They're home field advantage rivals that of the visitor's side of the field, of any given run-of-the-mill high school football game.
Marcus Mariota…he's really good.
Mark Helfrich…he's never lost to Stanford as a head coach.
• The Oregon cheerleaders. Sorry "Furd," but your squad side-by-side with Oregon's is like the Pi's standing next to the Omega Mu's (relax, I'm not calling them fat, just less attractive). • Fred Savage. I spent the bulk of my adolescence watching this guy getting thrown-out at third base by every middle-school-boy's dream girl, Winnie Cooper. You let us all down Fred…you let us all down.
• A Trombone player is the poster boy of your football program's most notable moment.
• I played in a golf tournament last Summer with Mark Harmon (no, not that one), the Stanford kicker in the infamous Cal/Stanford "pitch" game…and I beat him (sorry Mark, had to do it).
• In their last 8 meetings with Oregon, the Ducks are averaging 43 points per game.
• The Beavers had a legitimate chance to beat them 2 weeks ago.
• Tony Dungy's kid plays for Oregon, Barry Sanders kid plays for Stanford…Dungy's won a Super Bowl. Barry?
• And the last 10, or in this case 10.5, are the points Vegas is giving Stanford in order for the Cardinal to beat the Ducks. Why is that bad for "Furd," because in their last 11 games versus Oregon, Stanford is 3-8 against the spread, and in Oregon's last 10 games overall, they're 9-1 versus the number. Cue the Price Is Right loser music, now.

There you have it, 40+ issues besides DeAnthony Thomas' rant why Stanford should be concerned. Sure, they're a good team, are a fine academic institution, and offer a rather impressive list of alumnae over the last 80 years, but they have their warts, and my guess is – like myself in this column – the Ducks will expose them later tonight.


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