It has been confirmed: "The Spirit of Stanford" will meet "The Spirit of 76" at Noon on Thursday, December 31, 2009. The "Spirit of 76" is the theme of the 2009 Sun Bowl. Yes, after Saturday's dizzying array of interesting outcomes, Stanford will be headed to the 2009 Brut Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Sun Bowl officials made the official announcement on Sunday (today).
Since the Alamo Bowl selected Texas Tech, the Oklahoma Sooners is the opponent. After Cal got summarily smoked by the Washington Huskies, 42-10, they dropped out (and should probably decline to accept a bowl bid). Oregon St., Arizona and Stanford were therefore the only "Sun Bowl-eligible" teams. The Holiday Bowl already invited the Arizona Wildcats, and the Sun Bowl did not want to select Oregon State for the third time in the last four years (especially after last year's defensive snoozer). That made Stanford the Pac-10's representative in the 76th Sun Bowl, second only to the Rose Bowl in terms of longevity! The Sun Bowl stadium crowd should be about 53,000. The 2009 Sun Bowl halftime show has a theme of "Helen of Troy" (were they expecting USC this year?) The City of El Paso is located on the border of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, with the City of Juarez right across the Rio Grande river.
Official 2009 Brut Sun Bowl Website: http://www.sunbowl.org/ In the past the game has been carried on television by CBS Sports.
Some Cardinal fans are lamenting the venue, which perhaps is not quite as "ideal" as San Diego or as convenient as San Francisco, but we have to say that both prior trips to El Paso were absolutely terrific. The Sun Bowl Committee and the local community go out of their way to make the Sun Bowl a unique and enjoyable experience for the teams and fans.
Other than the Rose Bowl, the Sun Bowl is the only non-post-season bowl game in which Stanford has participated more than once (1977 vs. LSU, and 1996 vs. Michigan State) and it should be noted that the Cardinal won each of those games! In fact, the program's last bowl win came in El Paso!
1977 Sun Bowl: Stanford 24, Louisiana State 14 (The Card defense manned up and shut LSU down in the second half!)
1996 Norwest Sun Bowl: Stanford 38, Michigan State 0 (Nice motivational job by then-coach Nick Saban!)
Cardinal DE Kailee Wong, who played in the 1996 game, was honored last year as a member of the "75th Anniversary All-Sun Bowl Team". Insulting that the 1977 Sun Bowl's Outstanding Defensive Player, Stanford LB Gordy Ceresino, was not named to the same team.
Stanford fans should be making big plans as it is not every year that we get such a wonderful opportunity to have some fun. Who would have thought in 2001 that it would be eight years before we would go bowling again. Do not miss out!
Lots of events surround the game. The annual pregame "Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta" (Wed. 12/30 from 4:00-8:00PM at the Convention Center) is actually a lot of fun! Fireworks, battle of the bands, etc. There is also a Sun Bowl Parade, a 5K run, a Punt, Pass, and Kick competition, an international soccer tournament, a volleyball tourrnament, etc.
There is even a literal "bowling" competition - how can you beat that?
And to make things even better, Miss Stephanie Smith, the 2009 Sun Bowl Queen, is seriously hot!
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