The Big Game

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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.