MURPH: Phase Two

Our irrepressible instigator, columnist John Jasberg, unveils his "Manifesto Urging the Revival of Passionate Homerism" [MURPH] in a hilarious stream-of-consciousness rave, helping us all relax before our critical bout with the Sinister Slouches of the South Bay, responding to the FAQs ["Frequently Asinine Questions" posed by our ever-excuse-offering Stanford fan base.

Editor's Note & Disclaimer: Before reading further, please be aware that The Bootleg organization considers Bob Murphy to be an unassailable Stanford icon, one of the Cardinal's crown jewels, one of the pillars of Stanford Athletics. Bob is talented, witty, charming, and absolutely priceless in his grasp of Stanford's rich history and heritage. He has also become a public figure for the Stanford sports community and to an extent for the national sporting scene, known for his truly unique style and clear appreciation of the moral, ethical and, occasionally, the athletic superiority of his alma mater. Nevertheless, we think that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, even when satire rears its comic head. We admit that we can't carry Murph's lunchbox, but we sincerely hope (and pray) that he will appreciate the marvelous mirth Mr. Jasberg's column is certain to generate.  

Last time out, in "Casa de Schneid" aka Phase One of MURPH, we detailed the shocking lack of fan support at Stanford football games and offered timely suggestions for developing a home field advantage worth of the Pac-10 Conference. Unfortunately, many of our suggestions failed to address the complex needs of the Stanford community; All week, our inbox has been pinging with questions from people who still aren't entirely clear on the upside of going to the San Jose State game, not to mention the value proposition of cheering for Stanford or the return on staying for all four quarters. So we read through the questions carefully and chose the most frequently asinine questions, agonizing long and hard over the answers. The result of our labors, MURPH: Phase Two, follows. Email it to the more tragically confused Stanford people in your life, or simply print, cut, laminate and take it anywhere you go.

Print, cut, laminate, and go!

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Manifesto Urging the Revival of Passionate Homerism [MURPH]


Stanford Football FAQs (Frequently Asinine Questions)

Our entire family is crazy-busy with soccer on weekends. How can we possibly find the bandwidth for Stanford football games? - Tina, West Redwood City

MURPH: Touchdown Stanford. How about that folks, Toby ran it in right between the "R" and the "D." Wowie zowie. He took it straight at them, John Platz, straight at the Spartan defense, and he hit that hole so fast, it was like he had a head start.

I work for a MP3 player company that gives back to artists while putting even more gigs of hard drive space into the pockets of even smaller children. After working 60–70 hours during the week, it's hard to see how a Stanford football game has any "big picture" relevancy. I mean, why bother? - Zach, Audio Alley, SF

MURPH: And those of you who go back a ways will remember another number seven named John Elway who threw a couple of TD passes to a skinny kid named Kenny Margerum in that same end zone. John used to hit Kenny right between the 2 and the 8 on his jersey, folks, and Kenny used to catch them.

One-hundred yard field. Ten yards for a first down. I say football is an outdated decimal construct in an increasingly binary world. What say you? - Sergey, Costco Pointe

MURPH: Mike Dotterer and I used to kid Kenny about that afro. I used to joke about it looking like a bird's nest and "Dot" told Kenny that he and Vincent White and Darrin were going to hold him down and cut that mop and then they'd see who the short guy was.

Football games seem like such a target-rich environment for child abductions. How can you guarantee my children won't end up on the side of a milk carton? - Jen, Blackhawk

MURPH: They had a lot of good laughs, that team. Gave our old pal Paul Wiggin a few gray hairs. And look at this, John. What's left of the Stanford band is across the way and they're not playing after Toby's touchdown. Not even that so-called fight song by the Rolling Stones. The dollies are standing there in their outfits, John, but they don't have anything to dance to. And the Tree isn't cheering. Toby ran it in straight between the "R" and the "D" and the tree . . . isn't . . . cheering. Wow. If I'm in the band, I'm hoping that this game isn't televised because otherwise my parents might stop paying tuition. It's that bad, folks.

How, um . . . unruly do Stanford football crowds get? - Cory, Multimedia Gulch, SF

MURPH: But look down there, John. Right down there in section 214 between rows J and L, there's my old roommate Hap Hardeman and his lovely wife Janice. And they're singing the real fight song. How about that folks, Hap and Janice are singing "Come Join the Band". just like we used to.

I have several masters' degrees and I'm currently pursuing a PhD. Give me one logical reason why I should put up with the ugly Neanderthal brutality of a Stanford football game? - Claude, Escondido Village

MURPH: That was back in the dark ages, folks. Back before our old pal John Ralston and the two consecutive Rose Bowl wins. Way, way back before Cactus Jack Curtice came riding into town from Utah with such high hopes and even before Brodie drove that fire engine down into Lake Lagunita and you couldn't do that today, John, not with those protected salamanders.

Me and my girlfriends just can't afford to be seen standing and yelling when Stanford kicks off. I mean, like, how Eisenhower Administration is that? - Taylor, Santana Row, San Jose

MURPH: Hap and I were Delts or maybe Dekes. There was a triangle on our sweaters and that's Greek for the letter "D." Hap was wearing that sweater with the triangle when he met his wife Janice down at Rick's Swiss Chalet. She was waitressing and boy was she a vision back then in that Swiss outfit! Wowie, zowie—she was straight off the package of hot cocoa, folks.

I got into Stanford but I always seem to miss third downs. What's up with that? - Chad , Stern Hall

MURPH: I was just a kid from San Mateo High, lying in bed worrying about my curveball and Hap would tiptoe in smelling of sauerkraut and Lavoris. It was that strong, folks, you could smell him across the room.

All those running plays are boring. Any idea where they put that neon Coke bottle with the slide? - Shep, Ikea Landing

MURPH: Oh, and they're calling Toby's touchdown back. The penalty flag is lying on the turf. It's lying exactly between the 15 and the 16, John, and the back judge is pointing at it.

Back in the day, when a Stanford opponent screwed up I used to hurl epithets and spew invective with the best of them. But ever since incorporating feng shui into my real estate business, I've grown disgusted with the whole schadenfreude gig. Have I evolved or what? - Deb, Whiskey Glen

MURPH: Why, John? Why are they calling it back? They're saying Toby was moving forward when the ball was snapped and how on earth can they say that? Wow. Wow. WOW.

I'm a highly motivated endurance athlete with a B-school degree and I find it increasingly hard to high-five after Stanford touchdowns. Does this make me exceptional? - Bev, West Menlo Park

MURPH: And Harbaugh's seeing red. Harbaugh played his high school ball a three-iron away, folks, a seven-iron if your name is "Tiger" or "Phil", and he wants to know why the referees are calling it back.

My children are extremely bright and attend rigorous local schools. How can I possibly ask them put their lives on hold for three to four hours while Stanford plays? - Rex, Lower Woodside

MURPH: And now Harbaugh's talking to Toby. He's putting his arm around him and explaining that you can't do that. You just can't do that, John, not when you're trying to become champions. Harbaugh's probably telling Toby about winning the championship at Paly High, about how he won it, folks, on the same side of the old 101 as Dinah's and Rick's and the Sundance Mine Company.

Staying for four quarters would be an absolute no-brainer if there was some way to benchmark the value of wins and losses. Say, any idea how many Sears Cup points Stanford earns for each Pac-10 victory? - Chip, Upper College Terrace  

MURPH: The Sundance is still there, John. And they still know how to grill a porterhouse and how to make a highball properly. Hap was in there last night with Janice. Kenny and some of the other coaches from the San Jose State staff were in there too, but I'll stop right there because I see our old pal Dick Tomey down on the sideline with his headset on. Dick if you're listening, Kenny and the rest of the guys left early. And boy oh boy, John Platz, Janice is a bit older than when she worked at Rick's Swiss Chalet, but she still looks good in Cardinal. 

John Jasberg can be emailed at:

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