Unwrapped: Cardinal Boot Camp 2007

The most important non-game event in the 115-year history of Stanford Football? Yes sir! Cardinal Boot Camp 2007 is this Saturday, August 18 from 11am to 3pm at Stanford Stadium, redefining the relationship between the Cardinal and its surrounding community. But there is much more we need to tell you than a time and place. Please read our open letter explaing how and why we need your support.

Dear Bootleg Supporter and Stakeholder!

We are pleased and proud to make you aware of an unprecedented Stanford Football event happening this coming Saturday, August 18, 2007 from 11AM to 3PM.  You absolutely cannot miss Cardinal Boot Camp 2007, the inaugural and revolutionary fan festival being held in Stanford Stadium.  Open to all ages, with FREE ADMISSION.

Jump to Cardinal Boot Camp 2007 flyer

The fan fest will feature the varsity team, the coaches, a carnival with various kids activities and arcade games, a football "mini-combine" run by dozens of former Stanford Football players, audio and video highlights, music, races, prizes, drawings and a lot more.  It is going to be flat out ridiculous!  You will not want to have missed this!  A list of former Stanford players, including many former NFL players, who are committed to attend the big event will be posted on The Bootleg message boards to show the community that there is indeed, contrary to popular belief, dedicated support of the program from its own alumni!

Sure, it is late notice.  Sure, we wish we had a lot more time to prepare for the event, rally attendance and volunteers, and raise financial support to cover the various activities at the event.  But hey, if wishes were horses, Booties would ride - first-class!  It is what it is.  We are trying to raise dramatically the bar as it relates to community support for the Cardinal.  Yes, it is probably insane to attempt this as the program struggles to bring itself back from the near-dead.  After all, it is insanity that the past five years (maybe even the past 20 or 30 years) have driven us.  We would be driven to drink, but dang it, that isn't allowed at the stadium!

What started as a grass roots operation known as "BootStock 2007" has turned into a full-fledged officially-supported Stanford Football Fan Festival now known as "Cardinal Boot Camp 2007", quite possibly the most ambitious "non-game" event in the 115-year history of the program.

The "Boot Camp" is envisioned as a way for fans of all ages and backgrounds to get in shape for the upcoming football season.  We want to be able to market the "Stanford Football" brand, as efficiently and effectively as possible, to the general public and the surrounding Peninsula communities whose support and attendance at games Stanford currently lacks and so desperately needs.  The AD has recently put its weight behind the project, devoting its external relations, marketing and media relations resources to help get the word out to the local press and to the University community, and rallying its facilities and ops folks to prepare for the big event!

As many of you are only too well aware, The Bootleg has spent the past 14 years tirelessly striving to promote and improve the Stanford Football program and the Bay Area's support for it.  It hasn't been easy.  We have kept at it through some incredibly difficult times and managed to grow our scrappy operation into a slick and top-shelf web and print publication that bows to no program!  This over-the-top fan festival has ended up becoming a unique opportunity to coordinate with Stanford Football and the rest of the Athletic Department in pursuit of some common goals:  Fill the stadium, sell more tickets, create a home field advantage, have the players play with greater intensity, and ultimately win more football games so we can all have fun, be highly entertained, and feel good about ourselves.  It is no picnic.  Well, we are up to any challenge, this one must be included!

In all candor, the success or failure of this special event is likely to have very real ramifications for the future of The Bootleg and its relationship with the Stanford Athletic Department.  Can you please help us demonstrate that we are a unique and important part of the Stanford Football landscape?  There is tremendous pressure on us to help produce an event that is not only successful and safe, but is also something of which the entire University community can be proud.  This loose association (not affiliation!) represents an unprecedented level of coordination and cooperation in pursuit of a common goal of promoting Stanford Football and building the program's fan base for the future.

For those of you who have been traveling during a very busy summer, you may not have noticed that we have set up a special BootStock™ message board, where you can hear the latest news about the upcoming event.

As Ross Perot used to say, "now here's the deal!"  We are flat-out, good old-fashioned asking for your help!  You, yes you can be a big part of making possible this the all-time greatest non-game event in Stanford Football history.  Here's how:

1) Help spread the word through viral e-mail marketing!  E-mail is easy, fast and inexpensive.  Done right, with a warm personal introduction, it can avoid being viewed as "spam."  This event is open to the public and features FREE admission, so people can't complain that we are pushing a commercial endeavor, although we freely admit we are trying to expose potential fans to our incomparably gorgeous campus, our spectacular modern football stadium, our exciting eight-game 2007 home schedule, and our best asset of all, our extraordinary Stanford student-athletes.  If you haven't already done so, please go through your personal and professional contact lists and get to word out!  Sending to non-Stanford alumni friends, relatives, neighbors and work colleagues is actually better than sending to the same folks you see each Saturday in Chuck Taylor Grove, but heck, send to them too!  Forward the flier (download: JPEG or PDF) as an attachment so people can print out hard copies and be able to post them at their places of business, clubs, churches, favorite restaurants and bars.

2) Attend the event.  The more people, the better atmosphere.  I personally guarantee this will be a remarkable event and will refund the cost of admission to anyone dissatisfied with their experience!  Your attendance would be great, but Stanford already has your interest.  We need to find new fans and need you to spend a little of your precious personal time helping us discover where they are!  The guy at the office with two hyperactive kids.  That mom with twins in your wife's playgroup.  The members of your local school PTSA committee!

3) Pitch in as a volunteer on the day of the event!  We need to raise an army of Bootie volunteers!  You can agree to work a shift or two on the day of the event.  Helping run some of the events and activities, like supervising arcade games, helping time 40-yard dashes.  We are not asking anyone to work more than one or two shifts, because we really want you to come and enjoy yourself at this event.  If you are interested in attending and are willing to volunteer, please e-mail me at jim@thebootleg.com.  Our sincere thanks to those of you who have already responded!

4) Write a check!  You can help us with financial support or connections to potential final week sponsors.  I can forward interested parties a "Sponsor Support Registry," a version of a wedding-style gift registry that lists what we still need and what it would take to cover each item.  All contributions will be tax-deductible.  Please make out your check to "Stanford Athletics" and e-mail me at jim@thebootleg.com for my mailing address, as well as any other questions regarding your tax-deductible support.  For the record, while the AD is covering a few things like Red Coat security, tables and chair rental and a live video crew, I am having to personally guarantee the cost of much of this event and am relying on my ability to inspire other program loyalists to chip in.  Please do not assume we have enough support at this time.  We very much need your support.  I don't mind asking because I am taking on a sizable financial risk in this endeavor.  What we die-hard railbirds won't do for Stanford Football, right?  Thanks to those of you who have already made generous contributions to the cause!

5) Please plan to attend the team practice/scrimmage, which will take place right as "Cardinal Boot Camp 2007" is winding down at 3PM.  We really want to pack the practice field and get the team fired up to witness an unprecedented display of Cardinal love from the fans.  We want to show the team, the press, and the Bay Area that we are not throwing in the towel, but instead are going to go out and smoke somebody!

6) Attend the actual "BootStock."  This is actually the third event of the day, the final, essential leg of the Cardinalmaniac™ triple crown!  After the practice/scrimmage, we will be holding a phenomenal "BootStock 2007" event at a still-to-be-determined local watering hole.  Come join your fellow Booties, toss back a few cold ones, and rekindle the Cardinal fire that burns while we blast late '60s, early '70s music, crank up the LSJUMB's Greatest Hits on the bar sound system and yell like crazy as we watch vintage highlights of great Stanford Football games of the past and listen to ex-players embellish their past exploits!

Thank you for your attention. Thanks in advance.

aka Jim Rutter

Organizer, Stanford Football Fan Fest: "Cardinal Boot Camp 2007"

Co-Founder, The Bootleg
Editor, The Bootleg Magazine

Stanford Sports Archivist

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