The Big Game

Thomas Lifson
Now that the election is over, I am beginning to have a personal life. No better symbol of my process of recovery from the stress of 14 hour days at work (I call it "vegecuperating©") could one find than attending what is called locally The Big Game -- The Berkeley-Stanford football rivalry that has been ongoing for 111 years now.

The point of the Big Game is as much social as athletic (though I must note that Cal won decisively). Although the rivalry is fierce, in point of fact, many of us have dual loyalties. I was given tickets by friends (thanks, Jeanne and Mike!) who could not use them. They are both Berkeley grads, but their daughter recently graduated Stanford. I attended Stanford briefly myself, but am the proud father of a Berkeley student, and live within walking distance of campus. This situation is not uncommon, as I spotted this banner while walking to the game:

A house divided

While the gridiron battle is fierce, there are plenty of traditional hijinks. During the singing of the National Anthem, partisans of the two teams loudly shout out at key points. In the first line, "Oh say can you see", the Stanford section shouts, "Can UC!". Berkeley partisans retailate by quickly and briefly yelled "blue!"* after the word "red" in "the rockets' red glare."

The battle of the bands before the game and during the halftime show is also notable. The Stanford Band has a
reputation for vulgarity and insensitivity, and this year was no exception. The public address narrator (from Stanford) noted that Stanford's linear accelerator is longer and has more powerful emissions than Berkeley's shortly before the band depicted a sperm fertilizing an ovum on the field. The Berkeley student card section depicted the Stanford tree mascot bursting into flames and being consumed by them.

Berkeley's band responded with a tribute to '90s Boy Bands including the Backstreet Boys and N Sync. Fitting punishment.

Tightwad Hill, where people can watch the game for free was also crowded:

Tightwad Hill

All in all, it was juvenile, funny, and just the tonic for a bleak mood.

*thanks to commenter Calguy for a correction on this point.
Now that the election is over, I am beginning to have a personal life. No better symbol of my process of recovery from the stress of 14 hour days at work (I call it "vegecuperating©") could one find than attending what is called locally The Big Game -- The Berkeley-Stanford football rivalry that has been ongoing for 111 years now.

The point of the Big Game is as much social as athletic (though I must note that Cal won decisively). Although the rivalry is fierce, in point of fact, many of us have dual loyalties. I was given tickets by friends (thanks, Jeanne and Mike!) who could not use them. They are both Berkeley grads, but their daughter recently graduated Stanford. I attended Stanford briefly myself, but am the proud father of a Berkeley student, and live within walking distance of campus. This situation is not uncommon, as I spotted this banner while walking to the game:

A house divided

While the gridiron battle is fierce, there are plenty of traditional hijinks. During the singing of the National Anthem, partisans of the two teams loudly shout out at key points. In the first line, "Oh say can you see", the Stanford section shouts, "Can UC!". Berkeley partisans retailate by quickly and briefly yelled "blue!"* after the word "red" in "the rockets' red glare."

The battle of the bands before the game and during the halftime show is also notable. The Stanford Band has a
reputation for vulgarity and insensitivity, and this year was no exception. The public address narrator (from Stanford) noted that Stanford's linear accelerator is longer and has more powerful emissions than Berkeley's shortly before the band depicted a sperm fertilizing an ovum on the field. The Berkeley student card section depicted the Stanford tree mascot bursting into flames and being consumed by them.

Berkeley's band responded with a tribute to '90s Boy Bands including the Backstreet Boys and N Sync. Fitting punishment.

Tightwad Hill, where people can watch the game for free was also crowded:

Tightwad Hill

All in all, it was juvenile, funny, and just the tonic for a bleak mood.

*thanks to commenter Calguy for a correction on this point.