Sunday, September 30, 2007

Women's Soccer vs St Mary's 9/30/2007

Stanford 4 St Mary's 1
Yet another nice, sunny autumn day. Stanford weather is definitely not hard getting used to. I entered through the Upper 90 (student section) entrance for the first time. I wish they'd give people who have all axe-cess the Upper 90 shirt, just like in volleyball, instead of making us pay $10 for a shirt and free entry to all the men's and women's games (which we already have). I wonder how many people who have all axe-cess actually pay $10 for the shirt.

It was yet another dominating performance by our team. We out-shot St Mary's by 22-4 and created tons of chances. I saw Ali Riley play for the first time since she came back from representing New Zealand at the Women's World Cup. It was also nice to see Kelley O'Hara back from injury. I can't wait for the showdown against Santa Clara on Friday.
~ Zhihao

Football vs Arizona State 9/29/2007

Stanford 3 Arizona State 41
With orientation over, the student turnout wasn't as impressive. A recurring comment about the Oregon game was of how we imploded in the 2nd half. I, on the other hand, was pretty pleased with the 2nd quarter. Perhaps last year has made me savour the small victories more.

Upon entering the stadium, I was pleased to discover that any student on a Stanford dining plan could use a meal towards a hot dog, fries and drink at the stadium. I'm not sure how I was charged because I suspect that they swiped my card incorrectly, but it's a steal considering the exorbitantly priced stadium food.

The field show today was good but not spectacular. They might have outdone themselves during the San Jose State and Oregon games. I did, however, appreciate the drum major's Wheatie Box costume. It was also fun seeing our '09 basketball recruits with their parents and some members of the basketball team. I recognised Mann, Plumlee (with his younger brother perhaps) and of course Brandenburg with his dad. I think Green might have been there too. All the potential that I won't get to see play in Maples!

The game itself was obviously disappointing. I still think the O-line did a decent job pass blocking and the defense battled but was on the field too much. By the end of the 4th, the student section had pretty much cleared out. I can't say that I was surprised seeing as how badly we played but a message to the freshmen: Welcome to a game in our football lives last year. This will make you appreciate our improvements in the years to come.

Unknown to us all, Walt Harris and Jim Harbaugh switched bodies before this game. I guess since it was the Director's Cup presentation game, Walt decided he needed to come back and cement his legacy as a craptastic coach. Although the numbers show otherwise our defense actually played decently in the first half. We got burned on the one long pass play to Burgess, and that was promptly compounded by TC's pick 6 on the very next play. All of a sudden 21-0 instead of 6-0 or 14-0 going into half. We also did not capitalize on Tim Sims' interception earlier in the second quarter. If our offense does not put up points, or at least keep the defense from living and dying on the field, it will be a long season.

Men's Waterpolo vs UCLA 9/29/2007

Stanford 7 UCLA 6
It was a beautiful day and there was a nice turn-out to the game which conveniently led up to the football game against Arizona State. I was surprised to see a decent-sized UCLA fan base. Perhaps they were family and friends.

We were ranked #4 and had lost to #3 UCLA two weekends ago so this was a pretty big game. They got out to an early 3-1 lead. We fought back but it seemed that every time we levelled the score and got some momentum going, they would score and seize back the advantage. The pendulum finally swung in our favour during the 3rd quarter when our goalie saved a 5 meter penalty shot with the score knotted at 5-5. He maintained the 3rd quarter shutout and we scored 2 goals to take the lead. We managed to hold onto it despite some nerve-wracking moments at the end of 4th after UCLA scored to pull themselves within 1 with about a minute left. It was a huge victory.

For the length of the dramatic game, I was seated near someone who I presumed to be a dad of one of our players. It was really neat to see the rollercoaster-like game unfold through his eyes. As much as I enjoy Stanford sports, I'm just not as vested in certain teams like waterpolo, but the dad definitely reminded me of myself at basketball games. I can only imagine the pride and joy of seeing your child playing at such a high level of competition.

"Water polo is basically a bunch of guys trying to drown each other."-Alissa Haber
All I know about water polo is you have 30(35?) seconds to shoot, the object is to score more goals than your opponent, and Sandy Hohener is good. Thankfully Alissa gave me that nugget of knowledge for the little bit I checked the 3rd and first half of the 4th period.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Women's Vball vs UCLA 9/28/2007

Stanford 3 UCLA 0
After dismantling #4 USC the previous night, I wondered how we'd play against #5 UCLA who had beaten Cal 3-2 the night before. Albert and I helped distribute Block Party shirts for the first part of each game and missed quite a bit of the action, especially the strong starts we got off to in Games 1 & 2.

Maples was packed in what was season-high attendance. For the first time in a long while, the Block Party section filled up. So were the student seats, aided by the football team, all clad in black. Several of them looked thoroughly bored during the game. I guess they now know how many students feel about their games.

It was an impressive turnout which I hope will be sustained as the quarter progresses and midterms approach. It's hard to tell with freshmen who make up a large fraction of the non-athlete fans. I also spotted the first Gabi sign in the student seats. I fail to recall the exact wording but it was a nice play on the word "Dig" and along the lines of "We Dig Gabi". Hopefully I'll see it in 2 weeks time.

With another convincing victory under our belts, my only concerns were Alex Fisher's arm related injury after a great performance the previous night and Jessica's struggles. Hopefully Alex sitting out was precautionary and she won't be plauged with injury troubles. Jessica seems to be in a funk but if she regains consistency and we stay healthy, we'll be an even greater force to be reckoned with.

On a side note, my schedule is now clear for a potential Final 4 semi-final match up in Sacramento after my Thursday 7-10pm final was brought forward to Wednesday. I now have 3 finals on Wednesday but I could not be happier. But first, let's take care of business on the road against the Oregon schools before welcoming the Washington schools to Maples.

Unfortunately I don't have much to say about this match because I missed most of it helping out with Block Party again. Alex broke her wrist last night. I'm assuming it was when she fell against USC midway through Game 3. As for this game, there isn't too much to report. UCLA looked marginally better than USC did, but we still outclassed them by a lot. The only game that ever seemed to be in doubt was Game 3, but we came back to win that one.

One thing I did notice in this game that had happened in some other ones was that UCLA attacked Alix on their serve. Sometimes her passing is a little shaky but with as much work as she is getting from being served every single time she's in the back row. It's probably also a function of them not wanting to serve Cynthia or Gabi when they're back to receive, but for now one of my few nitpicks with Alix's game is her serve receive. And how much can you complain about 19 and 19 anyways?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Women's Vball vs USC 9/27/2007

Stanford 3 USC 0
The #4 Trojans may well be the highest ranked team we play at home all year and so there was much anticipation for the showdown between the 12-0 teams. Some might say that it was our biggest home game of the year.

To promote the Block Party (Women's Volleyball student section), this week's games were free for all students. We received our new Block Party shirt and I think that the design is an improvement over last year's. Seeing as this was the first home game with the freshmen on campus, and we have some notable freshmen on the squad, the turnout was pretty good. There were numerous Alix Klineman signs. Where's the love for Gabi? Albert might have to work on that.

There were lots of athletes at the game, most notably members of the men's basketball team, who had also appeared earlier in the day at White Plaza to promote the 6th Man Club (Men's Basketball student section). Perhaps they'll show up tomorrow night with a certain prized recruit. Members of last year's volleyball team were also present and Cissy Pierce of the women's basketball team was playing in the band. Speaking of the band, the drum major is off crutches and appears to be back at full health.

As for the game itself, we came out aggressively and set the tone early. It seemed like we were always in control, apart from a run in the 2nd when Foluke rotated out. It was nice to see Alex Fisher come in and do some damage as well. All in all, it was a great performance as we clicked on almost every facet of the game. Bring on the #5 Bruins!

I missed the beginnings of all of the games because I was helping pass out Block Party t-shirts, but I was not impressed with what I saw from USC. If they are the number 4 team in the nation, then it's a 3 team race for the championship in Sac-to. As such, it would be nice if we made it there and didn't have to face Penn. St. in the semis. I didn't watch much volleyball freshman year, but I think this may be the best team we've had in the 4 years we've been on campus.

This freshman class is living up to the hype they had coming in. Alix may get all the pub and attention, but Gabi is the true stud. Our defense looks much more solid this year than last year, and libero play is a big part of that. She gets to many balls it doesn't look like she has a chance for, and she's always going all out. It feels like you can't go more than 2 or 3 plays without Gabi diving around for a dig. Alix is nice because she takes the pressure off of Cynthia and Foluke and gets them better looks because defenses respect her so much (Yes, I know that is putting it lightly).

The key to the team however is and will always be Bryn. When she is on with our hitters, we are unbeatable. Case in point, Foluke with 18 kills and 1 error and hitting .625. Against Cal, Bryn struggled with her timing a little and the match was much harder. You can't judge a setter without looking at the passing behind her, which is why our improvement on defense and passing is such a good sign. Gabi and Cynthia were digging some bombs from USC and putting them spot on to her. Conversely, USC's passing was synonymous with garbage and Carico had no chance to salvage many of the passes that actually stayed on their side of the net. Maybe UCLA will be better?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Football vs Oregon 9/22/2007

Stanford 31 Oregon 55
This was the first game that the freshmen were in attendance and thanks to a clever ploy which gave them a free meal at the stadium, they showed up early and in full force. I cannot recall an orientation game that was this packed that early so kudos to Class '11 for their enthusiasm and the Orientation Coordinators for their planning.

One grouse of mine was the speaker system, or more appropriately, the lack of it. After spending that much money on a football stadium, surely we can have better speakers. It made it difficult to hear the yell leaders (not that it mattered much with their ill-timed cheers, especially when players were injured), the announcer for the 1st down chants which I think are going to be a disaster this year, and the field show commentator.

Speaking of the field show, the Europe Jim parody of Azia Kim was hilarious. It's too bad that most of the freshmen, who formed a majority of the people there, didn't get it. The drum major's Flintstones-themed wheelchair and crutches were a great touch too.

One thing I noticed was that the Oregon fans were deafeningly loud at times. I guess it's to be expected if you are willing to drive down all the way from Oregon to watch your football team play. Non-student Stanford fans in attendance also felt pretty low to me. Hopefully it'll improve after a year or two under Harbaugh.

Finally, I'm glad that our team continued to fight after going into an early hole. I'm pretty sure we would have given up last year. All in all, it was a respectable loss to the #13 team in the nation with an offense that no one has stopped. As a friend said, we made them take us seriously. Hopefully we can continue to improve (especially in the passing game), get Toby back and get our corners healthy. And oh yeah, Happy 21st Birthday, Albert.

We will not win many defense struggles this year, but at least the offense has a pulse. It doesn't really say much for last year's offense when you match your home output in one game against San Jose St. and almost match it again against Oregon.

As for the game, Oregon is probably the worst style matchup we'll face all year. USC is by far the best team, but John David Booty is not the running threat that Dennis Dixon is. I don't feel like we ever actually stopped their offense except for garbage time when they were running "Off Tackle Left" and "Off Tackle Right" for their entire offense. We respected the option so much that we played mostly zone on defense with big cushions for the wideouts. Bellotti and Co. countered this by dinking and dunking us to death. Flares to wideouts and the running backs were always there and Dixon took advantage. The only time we were really into the game was when they deviated from this plan and we recovered three fumbles in the 2nd quarter. In the second half they went back to the read option and flares and we see how that turned out.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Women's Vball @ Cal 9/21/2007

Stanford 3 Cal 1
It was fitting that the first game we travelled to was against rivals Cal. We got there just in time to see the last of the Stanford player introductions and were immediately impressed with how many Cal fans were in attendance. It might have helped that Cal was ranked #11 and were playing us.

Their student section was packed and the general atmosphere was a lot louder than last year. Some taunts targeted at our players that I could discern were: Urkle to Foluke and Elf to Gabi. It's definitely wishful thinking but if we could get a student section like that at Stanford for the upcoming USC and UCLA Volleyball games, that would be amazing. The acoustics of Haas Pavillion were also great and I can't imagine what it must have been like on the court. It might have contributed to our rattled play early on as Cal jumped on us right out of the gate, further fuelling their crowd.

Stanford fans were not to be outdone and there was a solid section of red in the corner behind the bench. It was nice to see so many students at the game, especially compared to last year where it felt like we were the only ones there. We continued to ride Morgan Beck of Cal by repeating her name whenever she served (much to the confusion of Cal fans). It's been an ongoing theme since last year and she always seems to play below par against us. She ended up hitting .071 and was targeted repeatedly on Stanford's serve.

The band was also attendance which is always nice to see. They sounded great thanks to the acoustics. Interestingly the drum major was in a wheelchair, and had been in one all day. I wonder what he'll bust out of the Oregon field show. The Tree got into an altercation with 2 members of Cal's band towards the end of the 3rd. I didn't see how it started but heard that Cal provoked it. The tree was not asked to leave the arena and so I tend to side with that account of the story. Down 22-28, we ended up taking the 3rd after going on an amazing run as Cal choked. The moral of the story: Don't mess with our Tree!

I believe I've been designated as the one in the group to discuss the games and comment on the various things that I noticed. The atmosphere in Haas was ridiculous, and I don't really remember being that louder last year for volleyball and maybe not when we went for basketball as well.

As for the game, we came out flat and Cal jumped all over us like they should have. What impressed me the most about Cal initially was that their consistency looked much improved over last year. Hana seems to have learned that she doesn't always have to destroy the ball with each swing, and they also did a good job taking what we gave them with their swings.

Their game plan on defense appeared to be denying Foluke in the middle and forcing our outsides to beat them. Alix and Cynthia both got good 1 on 1 swings on the outside. JD definitely shortened the rotation for Pac-10s as well. I believe only Jessica and Janet subbed in, and Janet was only to help the block/let the coaches talk to Franci for a bit. Although we hit fairly well percentage-wise, Bryn's timing to the middles was off for the first couple of games and that definitely didn't help either. She was money to the outside and the back row, and our defense played really well. All in all it was a road win in the Pac-10, and you can't complain too much about that.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Women's Soccer vs Rutgers 9/16/2007

Stanford 4 Rutgers 1
Coming into the Stanford Invitational, Rutgers was ranked #12. They dropped their opening game to #4 Santa Clara 2-1 in overtime. I expected a good match but it wasn't even close as we looked much better than the previous night. Our offense was fluid and we converted most of our chances. Barring the last 10 minutes of the game when we were already ahead 4-0, we cut down on sloppy passes in the midfield and defense.

Rutgers looked average. I'm not really sure whether it was our great defense but for the most part, they showed very little imagination offensively. Their keeper was also pretty much helpless against most of our goals.

We ended up winning the Invitational based on goal difference although I'm sure everyone would have loved to see a #1 Stanford vs #4 Santa Clara match up.

Oh yeah, my friend came to her 3rd Stanford sporting event!

Football vs San Jose State 9/15/2007

Stanford 37 San Jose State 0

Wow, now I know what it feels like to have a running game. Toby was Mike Alstott-like, bowling people over. We ran well outside the tackles, something you almost never saw last year. Our full back made some solid blocks to spring people. It took so much pressure off TC that he finally made some throws in the second half. Sure, TC can do much much better and San Jose State looked terrible, but right now, I just want to savour the moment.

Kudos to our O-line who did a fantastic job with pass protection. Granted this was San Jose St but it's amazing the difference that coaching can make. On the defense, Bo McNally was a stud, flying all over the field. Everyone was rooting for him to take that interception all the way. The "Marching Cardinal" also did a great job with their half time show which was a good dig at our administration for how they've dealt with the band. It was hilarious especially after San Jose State's stuffy display. Cheering wise, we need to get people on the same page for the 1st down cheer. It's after the announcer says that we made a first down. I guess the sohpomores didn't get a lot of practice last year.

After the season we had last year, it's always good when you can get the opposing coach to say: "Well we were awful, we were badly coached. We were a bunch of prima donnas. We just don't compete. We are going to practice at 6:30 in the morning. Full gear. Anybody not there is cut and any coach who is not there is fired." Let's see what we can do against Oregon with all the freshmen in attendance.

It wasn't long into the third quarter when the crowd started to disappear, until there were maybe three hundred people scattered around the stadium for the end of the game. Except the student section, still packed in like sardines until the clock ran down to 0:00. Like me, many of them had never seen us win a football game, and those who had had even more reason to want to stay after a year of losses. It was fantastic. Even with our butts on the goal line we still managed to run it up the field for a second first down and then a punt that landed them back near the 40. We can talk about how horrible SJSU was as much as we want, we were still the ones doing the creaming.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Women's Soccer vs Missouri 9/14/2007

Stanford 3 Missouri 2
This was my first regular season game at Maloney's Field. The only other women's soccer game that I attended was the NCAA round of 16 game last year where I stood by the fence and watched us lose on penalties (it was after a basketball game). I had convinced a friend to go to her second ever Stanford sporting event (her first was synchronised swimming, something that even Albert hasn't attended!) and so the night was off to a good start.

Not having any basis for comparison, I thought it was a pretty sloppy game on our part. Missouri failed to capitalise on its chances. We did, and that was the difference. The second half was a lot of fun to watch, especially towards the end when tiring legs on defense opened up the field. The 88th minute game winning goal helped as well. One of the takeaways I got out of the game is that Shari Summers is a stud. I've obviously heard about how good she is but seeing her in person really drove home the point.

My favourite moment other than the game winner was someone behind me likening Missouri's continuous cycle of substitutions to a line change. I'm not sure whether it was a function of the game being part of an invitational but it seemed excessive. All in all, a great first soccer game at Maloney's.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Women's Vball Stanford Invitational 9/6 - 9/8

The Stanford invitational marked my first sporting event of the year as well as the first volleyball home stand. There were lots of athletes on opening night. I recognised members of the football team, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s water polo, men’s gymnastics, women’s basketball and women’s swimming among others. Lizzie Suiter (member of last year's volleyball team) was also in the stands.

St Mary's (3-0)
The freshmen looked good. Alix Klineman (AK) was welcomed to Maples in the 2nd game with a kill that hit her right in the face but she shook it off and recorded a career high 18 kills. We need to work out some of the kinks in our game, especially with passing (quite a few over-passes), service errors and communicating with each other, but the players showed a lot of hustle defensively. Favourite band moment was when they shouted John the Baptist as St Mary’s was about to serve.

Cal Poly (3-0)
Cal Poly had beaten BYU the previous night and I was interested to see how we would perform. We rose to the challenge and played much better than the night before. Very few over-passes and service errors, the block looked better and defensively we were solid. Gabi made some amazing digs. She’s going to be special. Our attack was very well rounded and Foluke was unstoppable. In the 3rd game, we slipped up a bit when AK and Bryn were subbed out but managed to eke out the win after they were brought back in. Favourite moment was when 5 girls with “I love Alex Fisher” signs came up to her after the game.

BYU (3-1)
Before the game, the team received recognition for its Pac-10 championship the previous year. Michelle Mellard and Kristin Richards were present to receive their awards. As Albert commented, we were lackadaisical in Game 1 after taking a lead, with several over-passes and service errors. BYU played a hell of a game too. I wasn't too worried about losing Game 1 though since it would put our team to the test and we could see how they responded. We came out really well in Games 2 and 3 with great defense, strong serving and getting great blocks. Game 4 belonged to Foluke who hammered down kill after kill. We struggled a little bit when she was out of the rotation but hung on to win. Favourite moment of the game was the absolute domination of Foluke in Game 4.

First of all for those of you who don't know, has a free, live webcast of home volleyball games with Rebecca's KZSU broadcast along with it. The video is what they show on the Maples video board, so it's a pretty good deal. The main things I got from this game in no particular order:

1) If Cynthia is not careful Gabi will become my new favorite player. I believe once she has a little more time to adjust she'll solidify our defense even more.

2) I was really surprised at how slowly BYU's block reacted to the slide to Foluke throughout the course of the game. With Foluke, Alix, and Cynthia, we have enough options to where if one of them is having a bad game, the other two can pick her up. However, at the same time I'd still like for Erin to get back her form from the end of last year. We're going to need all 4 of them plus not too big of a drop-off when Foluke rotates out to keep up with Pavan, Larson, Houghtelling, Stalls, and the rest of Nebraska.

3) Passing and serve receive looked pretty good minus the times in the 1st and 4th games where we let BYU go on a couple of a long runs on their serve. But on the whole, defense seems improved over last year. I didn't notice too many of the times where we just let balls drop between 2 defenders because of miscommunication like what seemed to happen all too often last year.

All in all, it was a great opening home stand. I know our freshman class was ranked #1 but seeing them play for the first time, I've been really impressed by the play of AK (no surprise), Gabi (she made some incredible digs) and Cassidy (very solid whenever she's on the court). The upperclassmen are doing their thing and if our block continues to improve, we serve well, and manage to stay healthy, we're in for a great ride. It's premature but I need to find a way to take my 7-10pm 13 Dec final at another time.

From Alex: They pretty much covered it, but I do have a photo to add:

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Point of No Return

And so this madness begins with the purchase of a ticket to fly to Denver for the 12/2 Basketball game against Colorado
Reservation complete: See ticket details below

Your ticket(s) have been issued as an E-Ticket

Your confirmation number is *************

Welcome to Mileage Plus! Your member number is *************.

Total price: USD 79.40

Sun, Dec 02, 2007 - OAK to DEN
United 0696
Depart: OAK 06:00 AM
Arrive: DEN 09:31 AM Non-stop
2h 31m
Boeing 737-500
957 miles traveled Fare basis code:
Booking class: L
957 Award miles
No Meal Service



Sunday, September 2, 2007

Football vs UCLA 9/1/2007

From the stadium:
First I'd like to apologize for my lack of football knowledge- I have yet to see Stanford win a football game, so I can't say they've really convinced me to become a fan. But I'm willing to be optimistic about this year- it's our last chance.

The first football game of the year is always a good time, because you never know what's going to happen. Yesterday was not only no exception, but everyone who went had positive hopes. The first seven minutes of the game for which we kept UCLA scoreless we were thrilled with every play (except perhaps T.C.'s fumble). For the first half of the game (for which I was there), the student section roared with every complete pass, every rushed yard, every defensive stop (although those admittedly happened far less often).

"I learned we had a football team today."- Jim Harbaugh, as quoted in the SJ Merc. From my corner of the stadium, a few rows behind the less-optimistic band, we felt the same way.

Unfortunately, our cheering sucked. If the yell leaders were there, I didn't hear them. It's been so long since we won a game that it seems as though we've forgotten all of our cheers, except "Let's go Stanford" and the keys for the kickoff... which I have never understood. The kicker is not a dog, and we are much louder yelling than shaking keys. Oh well.

The best photo of the afternoon was taken with pre-school friend and college nemesis (not quite) Courtney (left), my UCLA ridiculous sports counterpart:

Seeing one half of the game is quite unsatisfying, however, and I'm looking forward to seeing the entire SJ State game in two weeks.

From London:
The concept of American football hasn't seem to have caught on too well here yet, even though the NFL is coming in a couple months. I couldn't find any sports bar here that was going to be showing any games live this weekend so I sat in and listened to KZSU. Even though I couldn't see anything, there seemed to be a lot that could have been taken from this game. Number 1, the coach didn't give up on his players and vice versa. Number 2, we scored 17 points against a solid defense and could have had more. Number 3, we were still in the game into the 4th quarter. Who knows what would have happened if we would have recovered the onside when we were down 14? The defense still has some work to do, but I'm looking forward to seeing(er...listening) to what we can do against San Jose St. on the 15th. 2 1/2 weeks until the glorious return for the Oregon game.

From Singapore:
Thank god for KZSU. Kickoff was at 3:30am Singapore time and despite just getting back from Macau the previous night, I knew that I couldn't miss the first game of the Harbaugh era. I was also able to tune in to the women's volleyball game against Minnesota during half time. Sure we lost the football game but as numerous sources will tell you, there were lots of positives and I'm one to be optimistic about our future. I'll be back in time for San Jose St.

In Harbaugh I trust.

Introducing the 2007-2008 Cardinalmaniacs™

2007-2008 Cardinalmaniacs™

Hailing from the Class of 08, we were all in Branner freshman year. It was sophomore year when we were in different dorms that the 3 of us started camping out for basketball with a group of Brannerites (Albert and Alex had camped out with some of them freshman year). Junior year we joined forces with a group of former Larkin freshmen and Melissa, the RA who inspired our generation of camp outs.

Sophomore and Junior years, Alex was mainly into basketball, as was Zhihao who also enjoyed volleyball, tennis and started to get into football. Albert is, was and forever will be an all-sports fanatic. And that's the goal for senior year. Our schedules will revolve around Cardinal sports.

Zhihao (#32, will be the one in the white Stanford cap)

I'm originally from Singapore and came to the US for college. I'm doing my BA in Economics and co-terming (MS) in Management Science & Engineering. I almost made the mistake of graduating last year. Thankfully I saw the light and am back for 1 more year. I'm also writing an Economics honors thesis on the betting behaviour of blackjack players and plan on working in casino management or as a casino analyst after I graduate. I enjoy gambling but only when I have an edge. I probably know the Strip better than Stanford.

Growing up in Singapore, I was a huge NBA and NFL fan. Not many other people were. That's when I knew that I belonged in the US. We never received much college sports coverage except for the NCAA Championship game and the College World Series. I can't quite pinpoint the moment that I fell in love with college sports, but it was some time midway through freshman year. Ever since Albert recruited me to camp out sophomore year, I have never looked back.

The main reason I came to Stanford was that I fell in love with the campus when I visited at age 16 as part of a college tour. I guess that's one thing I have in common with many of our recruits. You have no idea how glad I am that I chose Stanford.

Favourite Stanford Sports Moment: Sophomore Year Men's Bball vs Washington at Maples (Chris Hernandez fouled with 0.2 seconds left). We had camped out for a week and down 3, inbounding from under our basket with 2.1 sec left, it looked like the writing was on the wall, but neither we nor the team was giving up.

Albert (aka The One in that Silly Hat)

I am proof that Director's Cups are good for something. I grew up all around the Southeast(stops in Georgia 3x, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and currently in Texas, but prepping for another move back to Georgia), and would not have heard of Stanford if not for those Director's Cups. Unlike Alex, the local, or Zhihao, who probably would have ended up at Stanford regardless, I chose to come to Stanford based on it perpetually having the top overall sports program in the nation. Where else could I go to get top notch football(still waiting, give Harbaugh 2 years), basketball, baseball, track and cross country, and everything else? It also didn't hurt when I realized that Stanford was in sunny California where there is no humidity, and it wasn't half bad academically either.

I'm currently a senior double majoring in International Relations and Portuguese, even if my colleagues don't think I actually attend class. I've tried to watch at least one event for every varsity sport at Stanford, and I think I'm only lacking Crew, Sailing, Synchronized Swimming, Golf, and Squash. On top of that I'm also a manager for the Softball team and get to travel around with them during the spring.

Favorite Stanford Sports Moment: 1) Taking a final in the morning last fall quarter, then hopping on a plane to Omaha immediately afterwards and arriving there just in time to catch the Volleyball team start their national semifinal game against UW. 2) Being the only group of students to camp out consistently for the last 3 years for every home basketball game, including sophomore year where our group had 5 people and a certain unnamed freshman dorm(cough Larkin cough) seemed to have their entire house on rotating one hour shifts, but couldn't quite touch us.

Alex (the redhead)

I'm from the far-away town of Palo Alto... but I had never seen a Stanford basketball game before freshman year. Before that I was a swimmer and only enjoyed watching individual sports (swimming, diving, gymnastics, ice skating... you get the picture). However, sick over Spring Break senior year, I happened to catch the beginning of a Duke-UNC game... and have been sold on NCAA basketball ever since. I am a senior drama major, and looking forward to not having a particularly rigorous academic schedule, although the million shows I'm working on perpetually get in the way of basketball.

On January 6th, 2005, Stanford lost to ASU 81-69- I watched that horrible loss squished into an upper corner of the 6th man section, filled to the brim with fans at our first conference game still high off of the previous year's 30-2 record. Following that game, not only did we lose Evan Moore and Mark Bradford to be exclusively football players (although it's easier to appreciate them there at the moment), but the next day we all heard about Tim Morris's failed biology class. Bang Bang Bang. On the evening of the 7th, one of my RAs sent an e-mail to the Branner chat list asking if anyone wanted to camp out for the Arizona game. Four of us trekked out to Maples in the pouring rain, set up a tent that was missing a pole and had to borrow Larkin's tiny extra tent, and slept squished together in a puddle of water until the next morning. And there, from the front row of a depressingly small crowd, I watched us smack #13 Arizona 87-76. And that's why I'm here today.

Favorite Stanford sports moment: Well that's one of 'em, Zhihao stole another, and there's always Kenny Brown's three to bring us back from our 20 point deficit to beat UCLA last year.


Saturday, September 1, 2007

It begins

Senior year began on 25th August when women's field hockey and volleyball had their first games of the season. This is it for those of us in the Class of 08. We've become accustomed to sporting success with 13 straight Director's Cups, but we haven't had a bowl game or beaten Cal. Our men's basketball team underperformed freshman and sophomore year after a magical season when I had gotten into Stanford but was stuck in the Army. Women's basketball can't seem to get over the elite 8 hump. Our baseball team is no longer as dominant as it once was.

But the past doesn't matter. This season is going to be special, no matter what happens, because of the people.

The goal: At least 100 Stanford sporting events

The process: Documenting the travelling, camping out, victories and defeats through a video blog like or at the very least, a blog with pictures.

The plan: M Bball trips to Northwestern, Siena, Colorado, Pac-10 away games and the Pac-10 Tournament. W Vball to Sacramento (if we make the Final 4). Away football games. Multiple games at Cal etc.. Basically, if it's worth going to, we'll try and be there.

The outcome: A great year in Cardinal sports and a 14th Director's Cup

The people: Anyone who wants to come along for the ride!