Recent press in the Comical – the good stuff about Coach Baer's auditing the Baltimore Ravens at the behest of Raven mentor Brian Billick, late of the 2001 Super Bowl (and a Farm disciple of Denny Green) – got us into an Edgar Allen Poe state of mind.
Even if you're not a fan of the Ravens, or The Raven, for that matter, the story's juxtaposition with David Steele's column on the Stanford-kal co-marketing miscegenation should give you pause to, shall we say, "ponder weak and weary."
In other words, it's time to take a deep breath. Hike around the block. Soccer-kick some litter off Market Street sidewalks.
Better yet, just visualize a pitcher of Sauza Gold margaritas.
Anything to calm yourself while you try to digest the latest friggin' pratfall of the Department of Game Attendance Prevention (DGAP) -- a.k.a. football "marketing" on The Farm.
Apparently Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield have nothing on the prodigies who occupy the Educrat-Shack of Arrillaga Center.
While we weren't looking, it seems, DGAP sidled on up to kal's new AD regime. If that's not enough to make you grab for the antacid, get a load of what they hatched: the cockamamie co-marketing agreement with kal. This has got to be the most misguided pairing since Lyle and Julia shared the same rack.
That's right. Henceforth, Stanford will cordially invite Peninsulans to enjoy kal football. In exchange, kal agrees to encourage its East Bay constituents over to the Farm on those Saturdays when Holmoe's Heroes aren't stinking up Strawberry Canyon.
So "marketing" Stanford Football has come to this. Faster than you can say "seismic retrofit," we're partnering with Berkeley in one of the most egregious sports fiascos since Krazy Krab cavorted around the ‘Stick. Or Rusty the Robot did whatever it was that he used to do above right field at PacBell.
Problem is, we can't throw batteries at this abortion. Only thing we can do, really, is look the other way and let it run it course like an outbreak of herpes.
Oskie loves the Tree. It's enough to make you gag.
At least the jackass in the crab suit was good for a few laughs. This is just embarrassing.
I mean how desperate are these guys, anyway?
Hello? They don't do this at schools where football is a big deal. Imagine USC and UCLA selling each other's games on the buddy system. Oregon and OSU. Texas and A&M. Where the powers that be understand how a product is bought and sold. Where the head coach intuitively grasps the notion that selling his program extends beyond recruiting (read: reaching out to fans – see "Stanford Basketball").
Most important, where there's a kick-ass budget set aside for more than dinky ads and the big red tarpaulins to cover the seats you haven't sold in 30 years: promotional programs that kick ass. And get large numbers of them into the Stadium on gameday.
There are a few loose roof tiles over at Arrillaga. Don't they learn from history? The last time Stanford got into harness with U.C. both hospitals ended up in intensive care.
As for the yammering about this being a decision based on "good business," please explain why people who are already only marginally (at best) interested and short of time will suddenly carve out hours and shell out cash for a college football game an hour away – assuming light traffic.
And the comment that Stanford is budget constrained? Please. Stanford University is budget constrained the way Gary Condit needs time-release Viagra.
Truth be told, Stanford is priority-driven and football is still struggling for its place in the sun of DeGuerre Aquatic Complex. Why is that?
How long are we going to put up with this? It's bad enough that we have to sit through the faux "unity" of joint bands playing now before kickoff at Big Games – Stanford/kal's oh-so-PC gesture that did away with the LSJUMB's stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Another brilliant stroke of communal-think.
Now we're trying to save each other's gate: a mutual declaration of incompetence if I've ever heard one. "Help me help you. I'm helpless."