The House of Hymns

We are just days away from the highly anticipated opening of the new Stanford Stadium. The sight lines, seats, scoreboards, sound, concessions and restrooms will all be light years ahead of what you previously knew on The Farm. John Jasberg says that this all misses the real opportunity. We can seize the new stadium with original crowd anthems that make it a true one-of-a-kind in college football.

Ed. note:  The following opinion relates to an 8 ½ x 11 inch dossier known as the Official Stanford Cardinal 2006 Fan Playbook that was recently mailed to season ticket holders.

Are we on the same page, gang?  Everybody's packing their Official Stanford Cardinal 2006 Fan Playbook?  The Guide Michelin, if you will, to that dark, 20th Century art known as "cheering for the home team."  Now, hold them up in the air where I can see them.  Very good... very good... and... relax.

Look, I'm not deaf.  I've heard the grumbling.  I know the playbook's bulky and sort of hard to carry while binge-noshing and double-fisting it around the portable gazebo.  I also realize that the whole dead tree thing is so very, very wrong in Silicon Valley.  But c'mon people, how about showing me a little right brain?  Underneath that faux-pebble grain, the playbook's just a piece of cardboard.  Roll that sucker up Hank Stram-style and have a go at the fruit flies as they dive bomb the baba ghanoush.  Or what the hell, wear it a la defensive coordinator, shoehorned between your Sansabelts and your sun-don't-shine.  Go crazy.  It's your playbook.  Just be sure it's in your possession at all times.  Otherwise, gang, what proof does any of us have that you know what to do and how to act at a college football game?  I mean, check out at exhibit A over here...

    - Yo, Mister.  Three Mojitos and an Amstel Light for lunch.
    - Um, me?
    - Yeah you, the one stumbling out of that meet-and-greet underneath the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Heritage Oak @ Chuck Taylor Grove™ and weaving your way towards the stadium along Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers Cart Path™.
    - You mean Kleiner Perkins funded the start-up that grew this cart path from idea to reality?
    - Something like that, Spalding.  Go ahead and open up the iBook satchel for me.  Real slow.  Now show me your playbook and everybody wins.
    - Easy, guy.  My life's on that hard drive.
    - Okay, there it is.  Hmm, Advantage Section, row six.  I guess that means you're one of us.  Go Card!  And watch out for the Bollards by YouTube.com™, okay buddy?

... I know what you're thinking, gang.  Profiler.  Or worse.  But trust me, these are different times and this new fan smell takes some getting used to.  As our friends over at Hoo Tow used to say, better safe than sorry.  Where were we now?  Oh yeah, the Official Stanford Cardinal 2006 Fan Playbook.  Open it up and... hmm, what's this here?...  tasteful inserts for Lexus, Cingular, and Tempe, Arizona.  Tempe?  Okay, gang.  Deep six the inserts.  That's right, no reading, just scatter them like confetti at an Emerald Nut Bowl parade and grind them into the dirt - if there's any dirt left around here - like blackened shards from a detonated Tedford bobblehead.

Now proceed directly to the A.D.'s Game Plan.  This is the important part, gang, so read along with me...

... come ready to wear cardinal and white as in the past...  Wow.  Where did they find this Bowlsby guy, Tusca-freaking-loosa?  I'll tell you one thing.  He better lighten up on the dress code stuff or I'm un-retiring the lucky Peanut Farm t-shirt and Sergio Valente cutoffs that took us Bluebonnet Bowling back in, what was it gang, 1978?

... arrive early for stadium-wide card stunt...  Card stunt?  Earth to Bob-o: that's why the Lord made the Sigma whatevers.  We're way too old and way too set in our ways for that groupthink stuff.  On the other hand, I guess we could try showing up on time.  Go cold turkey on the avoidance tailgating, you know, waiting for that first sickening roar from the enemy fans before we put on our game faces and climb the stairs to the gallows.  I mean, I'm not exactly saying that we need to be occupying our seats at kickoff, waving some sort of commemorative Sears Trophy towel with the rest of them, but we could promise to be inside the stadium, right?

... stay in the game from start to finish...  Whoa.  Intervention time, gang.  There's room for improvement in this department.  Major room.  And why wouldn't we stay in the game?  I mean what else is there to do now that going under the stands and sifting the dirt for those elusive Nixon-era pull-tabs is a thing of the past...  What's that, kid?  What pull-tabs?  I'll tell you what pull-tabs.  The ones that prove that we used to drink beer inside the stadium, no matter what lies the revisionistas from the student affairs office might be feeding you.  The ones that mean we aren't half as crazy as we seem, and that maybe you should put down the razor phone and listen when we tell you about the Stanford Indians, and how they whipped up on top-ranked Ohio State in the Rose Bowl courtesy of the strong right arm of a Chicano Heisman trophy winner from San Jose with two blind parents and probably a goldfish without a dorsal fin.  Man, I'm going to miss those pull-tabs.

Whew!  There you have it, gang.  That's your Official Stanford Cardinal 2006 Fan Playbook in a nutshell.  The powers-that-be have had their say and it's a good thing, I guess.  Because after all this advice taking, I have a little advice of my own to dispense.  So when everybody is giving me their undivided attention... and yes that includes you, Mr. Four-color Blackberry Spreadsheets... and you, Ms. Walking Talking Zagat Guide... I'll say my piece...

CHRISSAKES PEOPLE, WAKE UP AND REALIZE THE SHEER ENORMITY OF THIS THING!  The Arrillaga Bowl, er, new Stanford Stadium is fully enclosed.  Depending on who you choose to believe, the acoustics are either state-of-the-art, bleeding-edge, or straight-up phat.  Catching on, gang?  See where I'm heading with this?  Never mind those hi-def sightlines that The Genius is forever talking up.  And forget about the Bellagio-esque creature comforts.  This is a room that Pavarotti would be proud to play.  Do we really want to concede it to the noise polluters?  Are we prepared to meekly forfeit it to Gilligan P. Yell-leader, visiting fans and bands, Sousaphones decorated with cannabis leaves, our ever-objective PA announcer, visiting fans and bands, the Yahoo!™ yodel, and did I mention visiting fans and bands?

Hell no, we shouldn't.  And you know why not?  Because once you get beyond those watery athletic department platitudes about "supporting the team" and experiencing a "fun game day environment," there's something else going on here: the opportunity to create an atmosphere that's unique in all of college football.  C'mon gang, it's time to pick up where the LSJUMB left off (a passable Fawn Hall gag circa 1987, if memory serves) and show some wit and creativity.  It's time to put our throats together.  It's time to turn the new joint into Wembley frigging Stadium!

Stick this songbook in your playbook.  Stick it right where that brochure about Tempe used to be.  And use it, people, use it early and use it often!

Cardinal Songbook

Navy (Sept. 16)

-- if we're winning:

I Like Walt

* sung to the tune of I Like Beer

Tyrone's too gruff, Bill's had enough, and Buddy's at Dartmouth thank god,
This little refrain should help me explain, as a matter of fact I like Walt.
I like Walt, he seems like a jolly good fellow,
I like Walt, his offense is cool, and sometimes his defense is mellow.

He comes from South City, his fiancé is darn pretty, he took Pittsburgh BCS bowling,
This little refrain should help me explain, as a matter of fact I like Walt.
I like Walt, he seems like a jolly good fellow,
I like Walt, his offense is cool, and sometimes his defense is mellow... sometimes it's mellow.

Oh Where

* sung to the tune of Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

sunny side: Oh where, oh where is your little Ro-ger,
shady side: Oh where, oh where can he be?

sunny side: Oh where, oh where is your little Na-polyun
shady side: Oh where, oh where can he be?

-- if we're losing:

Pork Barrel

* sung to the tune of Overrated (a.k.a. Who's Your Daddy? or, um, UC Davis)

Spend-ing... scan-dal... spend-ing... scan-dal
Six-bill... ash-trays... six-bill... ash-trays
Eight-grand... tea-pots... eight-grand... tea-pots
Tail-hook... scan-dal... Tail-hook... scan-dal
Five-bill... strip-pers... five-bill... strip-pers
Four-grand... hook-ers... Four-grand... hook-ers


Washington State (Sept. 23)

-- if we're winning:

I Like Walt

* see above under Navy

Mike Price

* sung to tune of Overrated

You're-no... Mike-Price... You're-no... Mike-Price

-- if we're losing:

Go Plow a Wheat Field

* sung to tune of Cielito Lindo (a.k.a. Frito Bandito theme)

Aye, yay, yay, yay... go plow a wheat field


Arizona (Oct. 14)

-- if we're winning:

I Like Walt

* see above under Navy

Bob Stoops

* sung to tune of Que Sera

Que sera, sera
If only your bro was here
Que sera, sera
He'd know how to stop this cheer

-- If we're losing:

Still No Rose Bowl

* sung to the tune of Overrated

Still-no... Rose-Bowl... Still-no... Rose-Bowl


USC (Nov. 4)

-- if we're winning:

I Like Walt

* see above under Navy

John David Booty

* sung to the tune of John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt

John David Booty is a fraud, that's SC's prob,
Whenever he drops back, Pete Carroll's jaw goes slack,
John David Booty is a fraud, na na na na na na na.

-- If we're losing:

O.J.

* sung to the tune of O-lay

Oh-Jay.... OJ OJ OJ... Oh-Jay... Oh-Jay
Oh-Jay. . . OJ OJ OJ... Oh-Jay... Oh-Jay

S***hole Called L.A.

* sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine

You all live in a s***-hole called LA... a s***-hole called LA... a s***-hole called LA.
You all live in a s***-hole called LA... a s***-hole called LA... a s***-hole called LA.


Oregon State (Nov. 18)

-- if we're winning:

I Like Walt

* see above under Navy

Matty Moore is Useless

* sung to tune of Glory, Glory Hallelujah (a.k.a. I've Been Working on the Railroad or Peter Crouch is Useless)

Matty, Matty Moore is useless,
as a quarterback.
Matty, Matty Moore is useless,
Like the OSU attack.

-- if we're losing:

Buck-Toothed Rodents

* sung to the tune of Overrated

buck-toothed... ro-dents... buck-toothed... (on second thought, let's leave the mascots out of it)

Phil Knight

* sung to tune of Cielito Lindo (aka Frito Bandito theme)

Aye, yay, yay, yay... Phil Knight's your daddy

Sgt. Riley's Lonely Study Hall

* sung to the tune of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

It's Sergeant Riley's lonely study hall,
we doubt your juco transfers show.
It's Sergeant Riley's lonely study hall,
they're probably somewhere doing blow.
It's wonderful to sit there,
it's certainly a thrill,
it's such a lovely Taco Time,
he'd love to teach them all some words,
if only they would show.
They don't really want to take the test,
and Sergeant Riley thinks that it is best,
if they hang out at the Applebee's,
do exactly as they would please,
so let me introduce to you,
the one and only Dennis Erickson,
and Sergeant Riley's lonely study hall.

John Jasberg lives in San Francisco.  He welcomes your in-stadium song suggestions at johnjas@earthlink.net


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