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The Big Game
The Big Game in October? Cal fan Erin Dealey and Stanford fan Debbie Duncan agree it's just not right.
By Erin Dealey and Debbie Duncan
Debbie Duncan: Erin, you ready for Big Game this Saturday?
Erin Dealey: We bleed blue at our house. Go Bears!
Duncan: Well, I'm not. Scheduling Big Game in October, it's like...
Dealey: ...moving New Year's Eve to the 4th of July because the weather's better?
Duncan: Exactly. Big Game tradition goes back to the 19th century...
Dealey: ...when it was called the Thanksgiving Game.
Duncan: Because it was usually, and traditionally, played around Thanksgiving.
Dealey: Until this year.
Duncan: Now it's all about TV, and the lure of revenue that comes in to both Cal and Stanford from broadcasting games...
Dealey: ...with student-athletes as "products"...
Duncan: ...and universities as "brands."
Dealey: Meanwhile, alums, students and other fans of the Blue and Gold-
Duncan: -and the Cardinal ...
Dealey: ...right, all of us who buy the tickets and cheer in the stands ...
Duncan: ... must go along with the money-counters who run big-time college sports.
Dealey: And accept a crazy Pac-12 Conference schedule.
Duncan: Twelve schools!
Dealey: Four of which are nowhere near the Pacific.
Duncan: Which meant Stanford had three home games-half the season!-before students returned for the school year.
Dealey: I'd like to say that it bugs me that random athletic programs get paid big bucks for those pre-season away games. Whatever happened to playing for the love of the game?
Duncan: Between longstanding sports rivals? Giants-Dodgers ...
Dealey: ... Cal-Stanford. I even have a favorite game, a favorite play.
Duncan: Here it comes ...
Dealey: " ... the most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heartrending, exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football!"
Duncan: Thirty years later I can finally say it: I'm glad I was there for The Play. Though I still say his knee was down.
Dealey: Not! I'd wish you Luck this year but he's a Colt now. And we're in our new stadium ... Our house.
Duncan: You do remember the last Big Game-2010-in the old Memorial Stadium? And we still have the axe.
Dealey: Don't get me started. Instead of rock-paper-scissors, we should play bear-tree-axe.
Duncan: Let's just agree we're looking forward to another exciting finish.
Dealey: May the best brand win!
With a Perspective, I'm Erin Dealey. Go Bears! And I'm Debbie Duncan. Beat Cal!
Erin Dealey and Debbie Duncan write books for children. Erin lives in the Sierra foothills, Debbie on the Peninsula.