Big Game Sound Bites

“I want to embarrass Stanford. I will live in Palo Alto if we lose to Stanford.”- Brian Treggs may be responsible for the most infamous soundbite in Big Game history, but what other quotes through the decades sum up the legendary Cal-Stanford rivalry?

“Although the representatives of Palo Alto were out in strong force, the friends of the Berkeley team outnumbered them five to one…The Stanfords won the victory by four points, and it is hardly necessary to say that they ‘painted the town red’ last evening.” – The San Francisco Call, 1892. The first meeting all-time between the two sides ended with a 14-10 Stanford triumph.

“At every play it seemed doubtful what would be the outcome. The last twenty minutes of this half was an intense time for all. It was impossible to keep one’s seat. Even the request of ladies behind could not make then men in the front rows sit down.” – The Daily Palo Alto, 1894, describing Stanford’s 6-0 Thanksgiving Day victory

“To the players, coaches and trainer of our victorious football team Stanford University owes an everlasting debt of gratitude…How they rose to the occasion and made last Saturday one of the happiest days in the lives of Stanford supporters…” – The Daily Palo Alto editorial, 1905, after Stanford completed an 8-0 season – the first of only two undefeated/untied records in program history – with a 12-5 win over Cal.

“The California machine was bigger, more experienced. The better team won.” – The Daily Palo Alto, 1921, on Cal’s 42-7 victory, also the first game in Stanford Stadium.

“Stanford is on top now and we intend to keep it there for many years to come.” – Pop Warner, feeling fine after Stanford’s 27-14 win over Cal in 1925, the school’s first over the Bears in 20 years.

“We can think of nothing finer than to have the California students go down to the Farm tomorrow and show Stanford’s little ladies and gentlemen just what real spirit is. It would seem they need a lesson.” – The Daily Californian editorial prior to the 1935 Big Game.

“Cal editors, please note: Stanford’s conception of ‘real spirit’ does not include throwing apple cores and oranges at successful rivals standing before one’s own section; it does include mass Hitlerite salutes to an opponent’s hymn; it does not include destruction of the seats in an opponent’s stadium.” – The rebuttal from The Stanford Daily, two days after Stanford secured a Rose Bowl berth with a 13-0 shutout before 90,000 fans at Stanford Stadium.

“After the game was over, hordes of Stanford men poured onto the field to have at those goal posts…Triumphant Stanford marched those goal posts in front of the California Bear and let him know who’s king of the mountain.” – The Stanford Daily, chronicling the postgame scene of the Indians’ 13-7 win, wrapping up a 9-0 record to complete the 1940 regular season.

“Those Stanford underdogs deserved to win this ballgame.” – Cal coach Pappy Waldorf, after the heavily favored Bears pulled out a 21-18 victory over winless Stanford in 1947.

“No one won, but we lost.” – The Stanford Daily headline after the 21-21 deadlock in 1953. A win would have secured a Rose Bowl berth against Michigan State for the Indians, who led 21-7 in the third quarter.

“How can you decide not to go for two? It takes a pretty gutless individual to go for a tie in a situation like that, and I wasn’t raised that way.” – Stanford head coach Jack Curtice, on his decision to go for a two-point conversion late in his team’s 16-15 loss to Cal. The Bears clinched a trip to the 1958 Rose Bowl, their last, with the victory.

“We just got licked. We were beaten in every way.” – John Ralston, taking his medicine once Cal finished off the Indians by a 26-3 score in 1967.

“I was pleased with the record, but it was a much greater thrill to beat Cal.” – Gene Washington, who set the Pac-8 conference record for career receiving yards in a 20-0 victory at Memorial Stadium in 1968.

“He’d help our running game a bit.” – Guy Benjamin on Chuck Muncie’s performance in the 1975 Big Game, which included 166 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns and a 46-yard touchdown pass during Bears’ 48-15 rout.

“He’s the finest little back I’ve ever seen in my years of coaching. He broke our back time after time in the first half. I think he made the difference in today’s game.” – Cal head coach Roger Theder on Darrin Nelson, who rushed 17 times for 177 yards and a touchdown and added 36 yards on four catches in the 30-10 Stanford triumph in 1978.

"I saw one official do this [wave his arms] implying he was down. Then I saw this guy running with the ball." – Stanford defensive lineman Terry Jackson, describing his account of Dwight Garner and the 1982 Big Game’s deciding play.

“I don’t feel like a winner, and I don’t feel like a loser. We still are in limbo as to whether we won or lost.” – John Elway’s opinions on the subject.

“Oh my God, I can’t even describe it. I cannot describe it.” – Stanford tackle Darran Baird, in the aftermath of the 27-25 victory in 1990, when Stanford scored nine points in the game’s final 12 seconds.

“I've broken all the records, and I guess I could be known as the greatest who ever played here, but I haven't beaten Stanford, and I won't be satisfied until I do. I don't want the game to be close. I want to embarrass Stanford. I will live in Palo Alto if we lose to Stanford. I will not come back to Berkeley. Stanford doesn't have a defensive back who can cover me or Sean Dawkins or Mike Caldwell.” – Brian Treggs, voicing his plans for the upcoming 1991 Big Game and beyond.

“People want to act like, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys were a little bit closer this year,’ but that’s not a winning attitude. I hope that’s not a consolation to everyone that we were close, because that’s not good enough.” ¬– Evan Moore, following a 41-6 loss against Cal to end the 2004 season, when Stanford lost four games by less than a touchdown.

“It’s not like they’re the better team. No way, no how. You guys know that. Everybody knows that.” – Cal linebacker Worrell Williams, in no mood to credit Stanford for breaking its five-game losing streak to Cal in 2007.

“You don’t want to be that class that gives the Axe away. The seniors made it a point that we want to keep the Axe.” – Sound advice from Stepfan Taylor following the Cardinal’s 21-3 win in 2012.


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