I posted this video last year, and I'll continue posting it every year as we ready for Big Game, because it's my duty. Somewhere out there, there might be a young Stanford fan who doesn't know the story of Big Game 1990. Nothing I write here could ever do justice to what it was like to be in the stadium that night (I tried a few years ago, read for yourself), and not even the video can quite capture it. You can't quantify a miracle; you can't digitize magic.
So if you've never seen it before, watch it now.
If you've seen it a million times, watch it now.
If you were there that night, watch it now.
If your name is John Hopkins and you split the uprights that night, thank you. Watch it now.
Please, watch it now. (Oh, and watch for quick glimpses of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and a quick shot of David Shaw.)
How better to get ready for 2013 than to relive 2012? You could reread all the game recaps (they're conveniently posted down the right-hand side of this page), or you could click play on the video below. Created by our friends at the Cardinal Channel, this forty-four minute feature is rich with player interviews and game highlights, but you should watch it for the locker room speeches. It's interesting to watch David Shaw guide his team through the season, encouraging them early on, giving them a tongue-lashing after the narrow win over Washington State, and urging them towards greatness over the final few games. Also, watch for Shaw's wingman, Shayne Skov, the clear heartbeat of the team.
If you don't get goosebumps at least two or three times, you should probably call a doctor. Oh, one more thing. Spoiler alert: it ends well for the Cardinal.
Most of us are familiar with TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks -- short speeches given by experts in their fields, made up of equal parts information and inspiration. The speaker typically describes what he or she does, then explains how we as viewers can apply certain aspects of the speaker's expertise to our own lives, regardless of what we do. As you might expect, TED speakers are often the names you know -- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Al Gore -- and cover topics ranging from story-telling to acrobatic robots (both of those two are awesome; watch them now).
The popularity of the annual TED conference -- held in lovely Long Beach, CA, by the way -- led to the TEDx, the x indicating an indepedently organized TED event. Enter Stanford head coach David Shaw, who spoke recently as part of a TEDx at Stanford University. His topic was eye-opening: "Can Stanford Football Change the World?"
In his speech he focuses on themes and philosophies he's been espousing for the past few years, but this is much more than a twelve-minute recruting pitch for Stanford football. He doesn't just point out that Stanford runs its football program the right way, he questions why other schools don't.
For the past year or so the athletic department has produced several slick videos promoting Stanford Football. My guess is that they aren't aimed at the fan base, but rather at those young men across the country who aspire to wear the Cardinal and White. Here are the two most recent clips promoting the defense, the first highlighting the defensive backs, the second the linebackers. What strikes me most is the swagger, attitude, and intensity that absolutely bleeds through the screen. This is Stanford Football? Damn right, it is.
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