Funny the World
Today in My History
Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2021
Cast (updated 7/16)
22 November 2021
The Stanford Axe is a trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Big Game, a college football match-up between the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University. The trophy consists of an axe-head mounted on a large wooden plaque, along with the scores of past Big Games.
The Stanford Axe was originally a standard 12-inch lumberman's axe. It made its first appearance on April 13, 1899 during a Stanford rally when yell leaders used it to decapitate a straw man dressed in blue and gold ribbons while chanting the Axe yell (given 'em the axe, the axe, the axe," etc.)
The Axe made its second appearance two days later on April 15,
1899 at a Cal-Stanford baseball game played at 16th Street and Folsom in San
Francisco. Led by Billy Erb, the Stanford yell leaders paraded the Axe and used
it to chop up blue and gold ribbon after every good play by the Stanford team,
while shouting the Axe yell. However, Stanford lost the game and the series, and
the yell leaders debated if the Axe was a jinx and whether to dispose of it.
For the next 31 years, the Axe stayed in Berkeley as a prize of
conquest. In 1930, 21 Stanford students plotted to take back the Axe from Cal.
For three years after the raid on Berkeley the Stanford Axe lay in a Palo Alto bank vault while both universities decided what to do with it. In 1933, both sides agreed to designate the Axe as the annual trophy to be awarded to the Big Game's winner; in the event of a tie, it would be kept by the side already possessing the Axe.
Stanford has won the axe more times than Berkeley (48-36) but we keep hoping each year that this will be the year when we take it back. I only attended one Big Game, in 1963, the week after Kennedy was assassinated (Stanford won that year).
But we try to keep track of the game and this was the year Berkeley took the axe back.
I watched most of the game, which I don't normally do. Char is on a cruise through the Panama Pacific Canal and I was sending her pictures of the game, as it became clear Cal was going to win.
At the end of the game, the crowd rushed onto the field for a celebration.
I really only attended Cal for 1-1/2 semesters so don't have the Cal pride that most of the Pinata group (all graduates) do, but I am very proud each year that Berkeley wins the game.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7913