Sunday, November 23

The Axe

The Axe, which goes to the winner of the Cal-Stanford Big Game, returns to its rightful home in Berkeley (picture from the Cal Daily archive) as we thump our private school preppy lame ass rivals 37-16 at Memorial Stadium. Go Bears! 

The first Big Game was March 19, 1892, on San Francisco's Haight Street grounds when Stanford beat Cal 14-10. It is the tenth longest rivalry in NCAA Division 1 football while the Cardinal leads the series 55-45 with 11 ties though I have never seen one (in '96 the NCAA created over-time). 

Happily, Cal has won six of the last seven including yesterday. This year, as every year, the Big Game makes up for a season's failings - Cal, we know all too very well, has not been to a Rose Bowl since '59 and Stanford 2000 (Brown went strangely in 1916 and a first college-memory is an advertisement for that in the Brown Daily Herald). 

While there has been many a cliffhanger, including 2000 when Stanford caught the winning touchdown on the final play of overtime, nothing matches '82 or the year of The Play. Grace, Moe and I were on the 40-yard-line to watch Cal's five-lateral run through the Stanford band including my distant-cousin Carl who plays trumpet (and was tackled by Kevin Mohn). John Elway shed teards on the following morning's Today Show. 

 Ah, sweet Jesus that is a fond memory and a moment right up there with getting into college or my wedding. I am glad I was present.