Football and the Farm

A new book chronicles the ups and downs of 115 seasons.

December 2023

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John Platz standing in front of a bookshelf with the book Farm Foundation featured

Photo: David Gonzales, ’93

In 2010, John Platz got a seat on a “rocket ship” about to launch. The longtime radio voice of Stanford basketball, Platz, ’83, JD/MBA ’89, was hired to help broadcast Stanford football just in time to report on one of its greatest years. The Cardinal shut out three conference opponents, won Big Game 48-14, and rode roughshod over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. “That was the best team I’ve seen in all the years I’ve spent watching them,” Platz says. “I was spoiled.”

But Platz is equally appreciative of all 115 years of Stanford football: the peaks, the troughs, and all between. He throws his arms around it all in a hefty new book, Farm Foundation: An Illustrated History of Stanford Football, weighing in at five pounds, 420 pages, and 160 photos. It begins, naturally, in the beginning, but Platz—the author of 100 Years of Stanford Men’s Basketball—pays closest attention to the decades since 1970. If you’re interested in the years you went to school, there’s probably 10 pages on just that, he says. It’s available at the Stanford Bookstore.

Sam Scott is a senior writer at Stanford. Email him at

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