Big Game Buildup

July/August 1997

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Big Game Buildup

Illustration: Cyril Cabry

Perennial foes on the football field, Stanford and UC-Berkeley are on the same team when it comes to promoting the 100th Big Game. The schools are planning dozens of joint events in the weeks leading up to the November 22 contest. Topping the list: the Big Auction, a fundraiser expected to bring in $2 million in athletic scholarships to be divided evenly by the two schools.

Items on the auction block range from adventure travel (Alaska, the Amazon, the African bush) to a visit to the set of The X-Files guided by actress Gillian Anderson. Other goodies include (no kidding): TV walk-on parts on Murphy Brown and Melrose Place, Herb Caen's battered manual typewriter, 100 rounds at the Stanford Golf Course, a photo op with the Axe, a chance to have a character named after you in Scott Turow's next novel and an opportunity for your child to appear in a Gap ad. "We told everyone working on the auction to imagine the most outlandish things--and then try to get them," says Cameron Bianchi, '68,auction co-chair.

The live auction will take place at the Cow Palace the night before the centennial Big Game. More than 3,000 friends and alums from the schools are slated to attend; tickets range from $250 to $1,000 and include dinner. Others can join the action by telephone and the World Wide Web by purchasing a bid number for $250.

The countdown to this biggest Big Game began in the spring with the opening of a six-month exhibit at San Francisco International Airport on the history of the football rivalry. In August, look for the start of the "Hundred Days of Wonder" media blitz in local newspapers, on TV stations and on a special website. Closer to game day, there will be a Cal/Stanford luncheon for past faculty winners of the Nobel Prize, the selection of an All-Big Game Team by a Bay Area media panel and a series of televised quiz shows with students and faculty. And don't miss the "World's Biggest Tailgate Party and BBQ," to be held at Angell Field. Then, not quite an afterthought, comes the game itself.

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