now to turn our attention to the "Latest Most Important Game in the Annals of
Stanford Football". You'll note that there's been a flurry of them
starting back on October 29 in the storied Los Angeles Coliseum (this is the
price of big-time football, which we'll gladly fork over any time). That triple
over-time win had to be the "Most Important W in History". I mean, lose that one and everything
turns to dross.
then, the very next week in Corvallis, it was the "Ultimate Trap Game Before the
Most Important Game" and therefore automatically qualified as that week's "Most
Important Game in Cardinal Gridiron History". Lose that one and everything
turns to dreck. Or its metaphorical
as we do in Internet Time, however, and in the always-on era of surgically
attached, handheld devices and no attention span, we were suddenly thrust into
the oh-dark-thirty live-TV of ESPN Game
Day. And the "Most Important Game in Farm History". Lose this one and
you don't have diddly. Poo.
But lose, Stanford did. And what happened? It just made the next game the "Most Important Big Game in Modern Stanford History". Which it was for a solid week until, at last, we arrived at the denouement of the Andrew Luck Regular Season Era and a workmanlike (dare we say "blue collar"?) dispatching of the disheartened, downcast Domers of Notre Dame.
of which was merely window dressing, just foreplay, just preliminary fanfare for
(cue drumroll and clash of cymbals)...The "Most Important Game of the Andrew
Luck Era and For That Matter, the Annals of Stanford Football".
Why is this "The Most Important (fill in whatever blanks with the hyperbole of your choosing)"? All-American, awe-shucks, brilliant, architecture major who is endearingly self-effacing to a fault, leads the storybook turnaround of a football program in a school not necessarily storied for its football programs. He reminds those of a certain age of Stanford's first and to date only Heisman Laureate. His college resume now lists three straight bowl games. Before his arrival, his soon-to be-alma mater had never played in three consecutive bowls since the Roosevelt Administration. But wait, there's more.
1. It's nothing less than the big-time statement game to which this entire season has been building and pointing: One, crashing crescendo of seismic proportion and symbolism (not to be confused with embolism, which it may very well cause amongst some of the more excitable witnesses on January 2).
2. Especially if (perish the thought) the young man in question comes up short in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, lighting up the University of Phoenix Stadium scoreboard like a pinball wizard would amount to a statement all its own -- against an Okie State team that many throughout the land considers "right there" as a legitimate contender for the Crystal Football. By out-dueling his aging counterpart in Okie orange & black, the younger man may, just may, silence the "we didn't see his Heisman moment" detractors with their lame whining and SEC-worshipping whimpering in the days leading up the Final Tally. Shining in Glendale in prime time, the kid would make a mockery of any Downtown Athletic Club Snub.
3. A win catapults Stanford into a likely NUMBER TWO in the final B.C.S. Reflect on this as you recall the dark days of Buddy Ball. As for Luck, is he the most interesting and unique football player in the collegiate world, or what? He may not always win, but when he does, he prefers to say something nice about everyone else.
And just to be clear: the 2012 Fiesta Bowl is the "Most Important Football Game in Stanford History". And it will be …until the next one. Until then, you can't have enough guacamole to go with those Tostitos.
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