The game of the year in the Pac-12 takes place this Saturday in Palo Alto, CA as unbeaten Stanford (ranked 4th in the BCS Standings) hosts Oregon (ranked 7th in the BCS Standings). Here are five things you need to do before you embark on what should be the most exciting game of the season, or at least better than the 9-6 defense fest of LSU-Alabama last week.
1) Find the Right Lot
If you want free parking, you have to get to Parking Lots L-62, L-63 and S-6 located near Wilbur Hall and Cantor Arts Center. These lots are generally about a 15-20 minute walk from the stadium, so bring your beverage with you, because alcohol is not served inside Stanford Stadium. If you’re not up for walking that far, you can pony up 15 bucks to get a spot in Lots 4, 8, 9 and 13. These latter three lots are located in a grove of eucalyptus trees so tailgaters have more room to party as opposed to the tight quarters of Lot 4. For all parking and tailgating information, visit Stanford University’s Official Tailgating Guide.
2) Ride in Toby The Van
The best place to tailgate before the game is Lot 2 with Toby The Van. This tricked-out “Ultimate Stanford Tailgating Automobile of Bada**ness” named after former Stanford RB Toby Gerhart is a symbol of the excitement Stanford football has generated in the past few seasons. Four friends (Wade, Brian, Tino and Mike) bought this van off Craig’s List and promptly decked it out with Stanford logos, a flat-screen TV and a working beer tap on the side of the vehicle hooked up to one of the numerous kegs inside. They welcome all guests, and just ask that you donate $10-$20 for all the food and beer they supply. For more information, check out Toby the Van.com.
3) Check out the Crazy Band
Although the Leland Stanford Jr. University Marching Band (LSJUMB) will always be remembered for “The Play” in 1982 when they entered the playing field during the last play of the Cal-Stanford game when Cal won the game with a crazy multi-lateral, kick-return touchdown, these guys and gals have also made headlines with several off-beat antics. From mocking the kidnapping of Cal student Patty Hearst with a “Hearst Burger” (two buns and no “patty”), to criticizing the logging of the spotted owl habitats in Oregon by forming a chainsaw on the field, to driving a white Ford Bronco with bloody handprints during a USC game in reference to O.J. Simpson’s murder case, this band continually pushes the limits. They also employ a five-woman dance team called “The Dollies” that help in the shenanigans, such as appearing in wedding veils with the Band Manager proposing to each one in a Mormon polygamy skit during a game against Brigham Young University. Their traditional pre-game meal of LSJUMB dubbed “Breakfast of Champions” consists of beer and donuts, and possibly cigars for bigger games.
4) Bring the Kids
If it’s more cleaner fun you crave, check out the Stanford Fan Fest, located in the Hammer Throw between Stanford Stadium and Cobb Track. This free family-friendly party begins 2½ hours before kickoff and features activities for the kids like face painting and a jumbo slide. There is also a food booth so parents can continue to stuff their faces while their children bounce happily down the slide.
5) Don’t Blink During the Game
Because this game features two of the top-5 scoring teams in the nation, the scoreboard is expected to be lit up like a Christmas tree. Which is kind of what the ridiculous Stanford “tree” mascot (pictured above) looks like if the Christmas tree were drunk. Las Vegas has set the Over/Under at 68 total points, but many pundits think this game will wind up in the 80’s. Oregon scores 46.0 points per game and has the nation’s best running back in LaMichael James (152 rushing yards per game). Stanford puts up 48.2 points per game led by quarterback Andrew Luck (26 TD, 5 INT), who will most certainly be drafted first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.