My rightward-leaning readers enjoyed the national games of interest. My leftward-leaning readers enjoyed the conference championship contests of consequence. Now, in a stirring show of bipartisanship anticipated by DC Trojan, I will bring consensus to a waiting world by demonstrating that politics stop at the water's edge, provided that the water's edge borders the Pacific Ocean.
There's one game they can both agree to ignore.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this week's national game of disinterest:
Cal at Stanford
No, this isn't a narrowminded S.E.C. fan's eye-rolling diatribe in derogation of Pac-10 football; you all know I'm not that guy. It doesn't take an East Coast bias to see that calling this contest "The Big Game" is an exercise in overcompensation.
The Golden Bears and the strangely singular Cardinal first met during the 1891-'92 scholastic term, at the end of a season in which California's murderous schedule had included the Olympic Club, the Berkeley Gym, and two---count 'em, two---stirring showdowns with the San Francisco Boys High School. (Hey, look it up if you don't believe me.)
Stanford stinks. No, I don't care that Walter Camp, Fielding Yost, Pop Warner, and Bill Walsh all coached there; right here, right now, the Cardinal---is? are?---lousy, and the Bears, losers of five of their last six outings following a 5-0 start that put Jeff Tedford's team one boneheaded quarterback decision away from being ranked No. 1 in the country, aren't far behind (or is it ahead?).
The fact that this is going to be a crummy football game is only underscored by the fact that this year's so-called "Big Game" marks the 25th anniversary of one of the sport's most memorable moments. You know the one I mean:
Why are they even bothering to play this game this year? Can't we just cancel tomorrow's contest at The Farm and re-run the 1982 game? Is there anyone who wouldn't prefer that result? Let's go with that, then, shall we?
While we're at it, let's at least admit that, when everyone would rather watch a game from a quarter-century ago than watch the game you're actually going to play, your game is, by definition, the national game of disinterest.