Friday, August 26, 2011

We're Back!

It’s been just over 3 years since a memorable senior year where we travelled around the county in the name of Stanford sports. After graduation, Alex headed to New York to pursue her passion for theatre while Albert and I stayed in the Bay Area. We’ve had 3 football seasons since – a painful 5-7 season where the decision to red-shirt Andrew Luck has been second-guessed ad nauseam; a respectable 8-5 season that made El Paso the place to be for New Year’s; and finally a ground-breaking 12-1 season that made Stanford football relevant once again and was perhaps best captured by a friend’s proclamation before kick off in the Orange Bowl, “Can you believe it? We’re playing in a motherfucking BCS bowl!”

Except for the San Jose State game in 2008 where Harbaugh gave credence to the Old Pro saying: “Good coaches win, great coaches cover”, I’ve been to every single home game in those 3 years. Additionally, Albert and I have an active streak of 19 consecutive games dating back to the last home game against Arizona State on 10/24/09 which was followed by the home shootout against Oregon and then the man-handling at the Coliseum. Not a bad way to start a streak! Since this is my blog, I’ll declare it as the longest active streak among Stanford fans, but would be happy to hear otherwise and of other similar streaks both active and not active.

I don’t necessarily think it was the belief that we would go 12-1 that led to our travels last year, but rather the desire to visit every single Pac-10 football stadium. We were at Pasadena for Slick Rick’s apology to Bruin fans following the first of 3 defensive goose eggs; South Bend for the rich gameday tradition and Owen’s back-to-back touchdowns; Eugene for a taste of the College Game Day set, deafening noise of Autzen stadium and painful loss that may have been averted if the ball had bounced differently; Seattle for the pouring rain and absolute dominance on both sides of the ball; Tempe for a hard-fought victory that culminated with Wilkerson’s knee (one of the better strategic calls in an end-game situation during Harbaugh’s tenure); Berkeley for the storming of the field as we reclaimed the Axe and celebrated on their field for a change; and finally South Beach where we not only played in but dominated in a motherfucking BCS bowl!

Throughout our journeys, we have been fortunate enough to become acquainted with a group of fans who are much like ourselves in their dedication to Stanford football. These are diehards who fly in from LA for home football games and speak their mind at basketball scrimmages no matter which player’s father might be sitting nearby, deck themselves out in face-paint while remaining steadfastly loyal to our student athletes, stand up and make some noise at a football game despite the consternation of their neighbors, and engage in online debates before the Chuck Taylor Grove tailgates. These are the types of fans I yearned for during my senior year and it’s been a privilege to meet them.

With the 2011 football season rapidly approaching, I’ve decided to bring back this blog as Albert and I plan to attend all the football games this year. I’ll be moving to Las Vegas right after the home opener but that’s only a minor inconvenience as all plane and game tickets have been purchased. Expectations are sky high as insiders are less concerned by the coaching transition, loss of receivers and loss of three starting O-lineman that the pundits. If anything, this could be a once in a lifetime team in terms of pre-season expectations and potential. Stay tuned because it’s going to be one hell of a ride!

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