Road Warriors Guide to the 2012 Season Part 5 – Palo Alto

“He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand.
And I said, “Listen, I’ve traveled every road in this here land!”

After stops in Provo, Las Vegas, Seattle and Corvallis, we’re off to Palo Alto and a late October tilt with the Stanford Cardinal. For most Wazzu alums, Stanford was their “safety” when applying for colleges. So a visit to Palo Alto is a reminder of what may have been, had that acceptance letter from Pullman not arrived. Whew, thank GOD it did, am I right?

In my exhaustive research for these articles, I come across a lot of interesting stuff and what struck me most when researching information about Stanford was their list of notable alumni. They have whole categories with labels like “Presidents, Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers and Royalty”, and “Astronauts”. Both of these categories somehow outnumber the WSU notable alumni listed under “Animal Husbandry”. That was a surprise, but perhaps the biggest shock of all came when I compared their list of “Fictional Alumni” to ours. We, of course, have Tom Tuttle from Tacoma, Washington. Meanwhile, Stanford has over 40 fictional alumni from television and movies. Just once I’d like to see a ficitonal president or scientist portrayed as a Wazzu alum. Just ONCE! Oh well, what other information did I uncover that will in no way enhance your trip to Palo Alto this year? Click the jump to find out…

 

 

A lot of people don’t know this, but Al Gore did not invent the internet. Stanford did. Stanford alumni will tell you this demonstrates the kind of brilliant ingenuity their institution is renowned for, while Cal fans will tell you it demonstrates the lengths they were willing to go to satisfy their porn addiction. I say, why can’t it be both? Either way, I feel kinda bad using their own invention to bag on them, so I am going to tell you all the wonderful things that await you down on the farm.

For starters, a more sophisticated take on tailgating.

I’ve never shotgunned a chablis, but I’m willing to try.

You may be hard pressed to find any beer that indicates its temperature by changing the colors on its can (although Stanford did invent this technological marvel), but who cares when you can kick it with Hall of Famer Jim Plunkett!

That ticket in his pocket must be for someone else. I’m sure Jim Plunkett’s own face is his ticket to any Stanford sporting event.

This blog gives you fairly precise directions for locating Jim Plunkett’s tailgate. How cool would that be? Plunkett was one of my heroes as a youngster, not only because of his hard-scrabble upbringing as the son of blind parents who had to work extra jobs to support his family, but also because, like Steve Largent, he was a member of what I like to call the Mark Duper Club… players who refused to give up their old timey face masks, well into the 1980’s.

      

I think these guys were the football equivalent of those last few hockey players who wouldn’t wear helmets.

Another thing to look forward to when visiting Stanford is their ridiculous band. I think it’s fair to say that this is the most polarizing band since, perhaps, Nickleback. You either love them, or (for some reason I can’t figure out) hate them. They are known for their antics more than for any music they play and of course there are the costumes…

Is that a violin? Of course it is.

Basically you wouldn’t be surprised if Hunter S Thompson was their drum major. But the ridiculousness does not end with the band. There is also the Stanford Mascot… the tree.

The Stanford Tree is one of the most absurd things in all of sports, and I love it. Here are a few reasons you should too:

  1. The Stanford Tree has actually been arrested for public drunkenness during a game.
  2. During a fight with Cal mascot Oski the Bear the tree actually tore Oski’s head off despite not having any arms.
  3. To become the (unofficial) Stanford Mascot, the Tree had to beat out, amongst others, the Robber Barons, The Griffins, a Steaming Manhole Cover and a French Fry.

So now you have all the reasons you need to make the trip to Palo Alto this year. I’ll see you all at Jim Plunkett’s tailgate. Be sure to tune in next week as we return to the state of Utah, or as Amieble and I like to call it, our stomping grounds, for a date with the Utes in Salt Lake City. Until then, GO COUGS!

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