Ed. Note: Nam Le is a friend and colleague who writes for our wonderful Cal site California Golden Blogs.
To those who do not know any better, Stanford appears to be a likable program. Sterling academic reputation. No sense of entitlement to success. And perhaps most impressively, even with their recent rise back to relevancy, they remain plucky underdogs in the eyes of many.
DO NOT BE FOOLED, FRIEND. These can only be the thoughts of those who have not laid eyes this particular incarnation of Cardinal football, for those who have could come to no other logical conclusion except to despise those that wear the red and white.
Sure, there is a well-coached defensive unit that tackles well and continues to rank among the elites of college football, but that is hardly redeeming when factoring what happens when the Cardinal actually have possession. Andrew Luck's heyday this is not -- few can turn an excursion into the red zone into fruitless ineptitude the way David Shaw and the exceedingly mediocre Kevin Hogan have this season.
Go ahead, spin the wheel of outcomes. Wildcat run stuffed? Missed field goal? Punt from the opposing 32 yard line? Anything is in play with these two at the helm. Save for Ty Montgomery and maybe the wildly mismanaged Christian McCaffrey, watching the Stanford offense operate is too often akin to viewing a looping snuff film. One way or another, only sick, twisted individuals have fun, and somebody always dies -- an impressive feat given that they literally have the second coming of Barry Sanders on the two-deep.
Further volumes could be written on the laughable abomination that is the Stanford Band, and even more on the "mascot" that leads them, but the less said of each, the better. Should they appear on your television sets, health care professionals suggest that you drink until they aren't, and escort all impressionable children out of the immediate vicinity, for nothing good can come from extended exposure to either.