The Big Ugly

Hold onto your hat - the 2003 version of the Big Game could turn into a ghastly affair if you're a Stanford fan. At least, so says Gail Tate....

This one, this game on Saturday, could get ugly.  Quickly, and loudly.  Don’t say you weren’t advised.  Big Game ’03 may go down as one of the Big Uglies.  All the incendiary elements are in place: good Cal team, motivated and drilled, great shot at a rare bowl appearance, thousands of walk-up front-runner fans with a rare opportunity to stick it but good to their ancient adversary.  In short, everything that Cal is in 2003 is everything Stanford is NOT, and has not been since departure of the ‘rone Regime and arrival of the new occupation forces.   Hell, don’t believe me, believe the numbers.  They’re in and they don’t lie.  And they suck.  Don’t be fooled, or lulled into thinking about turning this corner or getting over that hump.  It’s a depressing picture that’s part of a pattern, folks, but more on this subject when this season is mercifully euthanized after Thanksgiving.

It seems so long ago, now.  Big Game ’99.  A scant four years it was.  But a lifetime just the same.  We looked forward to football back then.  A Rose Bowl beckoned.  It was muddy and showery that morning, and more rain fell throughout the day.  But what did we care? The sun came out. We smelled roses and dreamed of Millennium Madness in Pasadena.  We had an offense, a defense, and special teams.  We kicked ass.  At least we did after coming back from Texas.

How long ago was it? We couldn’t find Afghanistan on the map.  “Al Qaeda” could have been a National League umpire or a mayor in New Jersey.  There were more jobs than people.  Dot.coms were respectable. And, with a win over Cal, WE were going to the Rose Bowl.  The friggin’ Rose Bowl.  That’s how long ago it was.

Today, as we look around and survey the nuked landscape of 2003, a.k.a. Stanford Football in Year Two of Buddy-ness, we reflect on past glories.  And we weep. Nah, scratch that.  We puke.  Aah-nold spoke of “puke politics” when he was campaigning for guv.  Then there is puke football.  Which is what Cardinalmaniacs have been stuck with, more or less, since Willingham cut and ran.  The ingrate. Imagine.  Abandoning the home of the Sears Cup merely for more money, prestige, fame, and self-actualization.  And a school whose A.D. makes a checkbook and a search part of the hiring process.  Problem is, we don’t have the Recall option.  Ted does.  Will he use it?  Time will tell. But more on that some other time, too.

Back to the ugly possibilities – and probabilities – this Saturday.  For the first time ever at our stadium, Blue and Gold may pre-dominate in the stands as well as on the field. Understandable lack of interest on our side, coupled with band-wagon Bears snapping up tix this week, may create a home-field advantage for Cal. Ted, keep those tarps on the seats.  Use Krazy Glue. Use Krazy George with a couple of gallons of Krazy Glue.  Game day security, field-wise, may take on the intensity of Bush in London this week.  For good reason: Cal’s been known to vandalize goalposts when they lose this game.  What happens as the clock blinks down to zero, they’re up by 50 and all that’s between them and the north end zone is the cyclone fence?  The one put up to prevent Stanford fans from joining the celebration with their team after Big Game ’99.  A concept still lost on me, but then I’ve been lobbying for such frivolity as pavement on walkways outside the stadium.  Just a dummy, I guess.   As for that 50-spot, don’t be surprised. Should Buddyz Boyz bring their now famous State-of-Oregon game against Tedford’s troops, watch out.  Save your crying towel to wipe the muck off your footwear.

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