Know the Enemy Q&A: Stanford Cardinal Football

I know we don't want to know, but more laughter if we do know.

We asked some “friends” over at Channel Tree Sports to answer some questions for us! If you want the podcast version with Eric from Gate 13 Podcast, you can check it out here!

After a Covid-shortened season, we've seen more of a shift to normalcy in college football. Is it weird being back inside an empty stadium?

We looked it up! Your biggest home crowd this year was 40,286 for the Wazzu game. Ours is 47,236 for the UCLA game. Speaking of UCLA, the last time Kal went to the Rose Bowl game was pre-civil-rights-era 1958 (you lost).

Real question: why does Stanford struggle to fill the stadium even when the team is good? Is it a marketing issue? An engagement issue?

Again we had a higher peak attendance this year, but if I had to answer I’d say we’re too busy starting the companies you use for shittalking online to go to games. In all seriousness, we know you’re busy, too. Cal is easily a top 3 or 4 UC school.

David Shaw has led Stanford to 4 wins in each of the past two seasons. How do you feel about your chances against Notre Dame and making it three straight?

This question implies that Big Game was cancelled, I’d guess due to the 1000 Kal players who got COVID last week. I don’t know what they teach you and Aaron Rodgers over there at Berkeley but by the holy name of Bill Walton please just get vaccinated.

Every year, somehow, the Tree manages to be more embarrassing than last year’s edition. How is this possible?

This is intentional! We hire a focus group consisting of colorblind art students each year who collectively vomit onto a canvas. The Tree (in their supreme wisdom) slurps up the resulting art, which sparks the divine inspiration for their gut-wrenching, cocaine-infused, monstrous green tornado creature. This year’s Tree is named Herman, and he’s a special boi.

Do people actually like watching a Shaw offense or is it just a painful process that delivers a good outcome?

Oh it’s pain. “Up the middle, up the middle, pass, punt” was a fun tongue-in-cheek cheer in 2014, but it’s losing its luster from the stands with each season.

Which player on offense should Cal fans know about?

QB Tanner Mckee. When he plays, Stanford is (let’s say) a 7-5 caliber team. When he’s out we’re a 1-11 team. He’s been questionable all week and was recently upgraded to playing, but if something changes Kal could be in luck.

Which player on defense should Cal fans know about?

Kyu Blu Kelly. He’s had his injuries, too, but he has all the makings of the next Stanford NFL corner. His ball skills could lead to a game changing play.

Who’s one under-the-radar or X-factor player who could swing this game for you?

WR Michael Wilson is playing in only his third game of the year, and his first with McKee. He’s arguably the best route runner on the team, even when everyone is healthy. He might not make the most flashy plays, but he’ll keep the chains moving. 

What does Stanford need to do to win the game?

Keep the offense on the field. They have to stay ahead of the sticks and perform better on third downs. 

What does Cal need to do to win the game?

Win the time of possession battle. Stanford’s front four has been pushed around this year, and they’re thin. If they get worn down, it could spell doom for the Cardinal.

How do you see the game going?

I’m feeling another repeat of the 2018 Cheez-it bowl. Ghastly football and an eventual Kal loss.

Whom do you most want to punch in the face?

Anyone from either school that participates in the “stare down” tradition lol