Win Big And Have Fun With Rivalry – The Top Casino Site In India – In the 14 years since 2006 (above), when Cal beat Stanford 26-17 at California Memorial Stadium, the Bears have taken home the Ax just three times. (Photo: DAVID GONZALES/isiphotos.com)
For more than a century, the rivalry between Stanford Bay and UC Berkeley has been an integral part of the Cardinal’s identity.
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«Beat Kal is a global symbol of friendship among the global Stanford community,» said Abe Oliver ’22, a member of the Stanford Ax Committee. «My parents screamed when I got on. I said it on the first day and I’ll say it all at the drop of a hat.»
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«I’ve had strangers call me on the street when I’m wearing a Stanford t-shirt, and it’s the only thing I’ve ever heard about a college crowd,» Oliver added.
But this year, Stanford and Berkeley are entering an unprecedented 123rd matchup. Although Stanford leads the all-time series 65-47-11, Cal defeated the Cardinals last year at Stanford Stadium to return to the Ax for the first time since 2010. Entering the game, both teams were 0-2 without a win, the first in the history of the rivalry.
The rivalry is the 10th longest in college football and the oldest on the West Coast. The first big game was organized in 1892 by Herbert Hoover ’95 and his friend Herbert Lang of UC Berkeley. Hoover and Lang sold only 10,000 tickets for the first show and were forced to seat 20,000 people at San Francisco’s Haight Street Stadium. The Big Game moved to the home field in 1904, now alternating between Stanford in odd-numbered years and Berkeley in even-numbered years.
Axes are an important part of wrestling history. Before there was an actual Ax, there was Ax Yell – introduced by Will Irwin (class of 1899) in 1896 as a play on Aristophanes’ Frogs, a holdover from an era when students were expected to know ancient Greek.
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Hal Mickelson ’71, a former student union announcer and Stanford stadium announcer, said, “Is Irwin just ignoring the screams they made at Yale? Mickelson attributed the song’s popularity to Yale’s «taking it for granted» singing of the ancient Greek hymn. The Ax Yell quickly became a staple of Stanford sports and is still used at both Stanford and Berkeley.
Stanford graduate William Erb (class of 1901) introduced the physical ax in 1899 at an antebellum rally, where he used it to cut into a blue-and-gold straw hat. Ax was kidnapped by Cal students two years later and captured in 1930 by a group of Stanford students called the «Immortal 21». 21 students dressed up as photographers and carried out the plan. a complex that includes masked lights, interesting bombs, detail. destroys fast cars to get Axe.
In 1933, the schools agreed to use the Ax as the trophy awarded to the winning team. Despite the agreement, Sekera was stolen several times, most recently by Stanford students in 1973.
The competition also experienced sad times. In 1900, the Big Game became the site of the worst spectator disaster at an American sporting event. When the roof of the San Francisco Pacific Glass Works collapsed, spectators watching the game fell from the roof, killing 22 and injuring 78.
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Perhaps the most famous moment from the competition was Berkeley’s second victory in 1982 with «Play». Stanford took a 20-19 lead, but with four seconds left in the game, Cal kicked a controversial field goal (taking a Stanford player in the process). The Stanford Daily retaliated by publishing a fake version of the Daily Cal, claiming that Berkeley’s victory was a fluke.
In 1990, Stanford also had a last-minute turnaround, scoring nine points in the final 12 seconds of the game to close out the game with an improbable 27-25 victory.
More recently, in 2018, the Great Game was postponed for the first time since the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The game was postponed two weeks due to poor air quality caused by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, about 200 miles from the Stanford campus.
While the Big Game is always a must-win for either team, Cal’s 2019 win — ending Stanford’s nine-year streak, the longest of any school — makes 2020 an especially competitive year.
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Even with the largest districts, 123 Big Game, school spirit is down significantly this year, with many of the traditional Big Game Week events being moved online or canceled entirely. While California Memorial Stadium will be missing many of the game’s classics — including marching bands, the halftime show, Oski and the Stanford Tree — the Ax will still be on display and presented to the winning team at the end of the game.
«In the old tradition, when almost all college students lived on campus, the big game was ubiquitous and overwhelming,» Mickelson said. “And you can’t ignore the fact that there’s a big rivalry coming up with California.
Michelle Wie ’12’s shoes during the 112th Big Game on November 21, 2009 at Stanford Stadium. Wie now plays golf professionally on the LPGA tour. (Photo: DAVID GONZALES/isiphotos.com)
Mickelson considered all the traditions, from The Gaieties’ Ram’s Heads performance to all the events organized by the Ax Committee, to be «the quintessential Stanford experience.»
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«It’s heartbreaking that the [COVID-19] lockdown is taking away so many of these traditions from students,» Mickelson said.
Ax Comm member Alex Bradfield ’21 said the competition «brought me closer to my friends at Ax Comm through Big Count Games.»
“The week-long Birdcage Campout is a fun way to deepen friendships and get to know the entire Stanford community, which comes together to celebrate the Stanford spirit,” continued Bradfield. «It’s hard to replicate, but I love seeing Ax Comm members and Stanford staff share what makes the big game so special with the videos they post on their Instagram accounts.»
«It’s unfortunate this year that so many are different and we can’t do a normal count,» said Ax committee member Carlino Cuono ’22 M.S. It was written by 23. «But we’re trying to make the most of it with a good video rating (@axecomm) and it’s going great!»
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«I think so far people are enjoying being able to join the big game,» Cuono said. «And I think it’s been easier for different college celebrities to get involved.»
Fans, like the one above in 2007, are usually a big part of the competition. But this year, the stadium will be nearly empty due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo: DAVID GONZALES/isiphotos.com)
To be cool, connecting with the rivalry and spirit of the Stanford school was especially difficult given the distance from the Stanford campus.
«I think it’s very hard to bring the spirit together online without the social aspect of sporting events like the student section,» said Mario Nicolas ’24. «I watched the first game of the night in my luggage room, which was an interesting experience and I think the Big Game will feel the same way.»
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«It’s very hard to meet school spirit online and the Big Game is such a small neighborhood,» he added. «The academic and athletic experiences are isolated without the sense of community that comes with people encouraging and pushing each other.»
“Having the same event and competing to see who connects really helps build community,” said Nicolas. «I’m trying to make sure that with the Big Game, all the group discussions and clubs have something to discuss and agree on.»
Mickelson expressed sympathy for the students, especially the great ones, who are trying to connect with the Stanford community through the screen, saying, «I hope we will be able to find special ways to continue the tradition of the Big Game.»
Mickelson also pointed to parallels between the current climate and the origins of the Great Game and many of Stanford’s traditions.
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As I play this great rivalry, I look back at some of the highlights that have marked its amazing history.
The rivalry between the Stanford Cardinal and the California Golden Bears is unique. It is the oldest rivalry on the West Coast, predating the Apple Cup and the two-year Civil War and the USC-UCLA rivalry by decades. The Big Game featured some of the greatest players and most memorable performances in football history.
Both schools were very competitive with each other, sometimes even opposite. Cal
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