A little more than 3 hours from now, Stanford will kick off the 2011 Cardinal & White Spring Gameat San Francisco's Kezar Stadium, where Minnesota Vikings defensive end infamously returned a fumble 66 yards the wrong way in a 1964 game against the 49ers. The stadium, which was demolished and rebuilt with a much smaller seating capacity beginning in 1989, has been host to a number of great Stanford moments over the years. Among them:
- June 4, 1932: Stanford middle distance runner Ben Eastman broke the world record in the 880-yard and 800-meter events at the Pacific Association track and field championships. (Two tapes were stretched across the track at each distance at the end of a single race.) Eastman's time of 1:50.0 in the 800m shaved .6 seconds of the 10-year-old record set by Sera Martin of France.
- Oct. 24, 1942: Stanford's football team upset heavily favored USC, 14-6. From the AP's account: "Some 25,000 fans, in Kezar Stadium prepared to witness another Stanford debacle, were treated to a gridiron surprise. The rejuvenated Indians, coupling a smashing ground game with all-around heads up football, rushed over a touchdown in the first quarter and scored again through a ball-stealing episode in the third quarter that made the Trojans, 1-2 favorites, look foolish." Fullback Randall Fawcett accounted for Stanford's rushing touchdown, while guard Chuck Taylor orchestrated the "ball-stealing episode" by recovering a fumble and rumbling into the end zone. USC's only touchdown came in the final 30 seconds.
- April 17, 2010: Vic Fangio's defense didn't allow a single touchdown in the Cardinal's return to Kezar Stadium for the 2010 Cardinal & White Spring Game. The performance was a sign of things to come, as Stanford's improved defensive unit helped carry the Cardinal to its first BCS bowl game since 2000.
What does today hold? We'll soon find out. I'll launch an Open Thread shortly before the game kicks off at 2 p.m. PST for anyone interested in chatting Stanford football while watching the action on ESPN3.