2013 the year of the Cardinal

year of the cardinalThe Stanford victory over the boyishly frail mighty Ducks cemented 2013 as the year of the Cardinal. Although no national championships or final four banners were won an endless list of athletes from the Farm have sent shock waves to throughout the sports world altering perspectives, challenging bias and making many people uncomfortable along the way.

Seattle Seahawks All-Pro Richard Sherman, class of 2010, altered our view richard shermanon what many thought a Stanford graduate was supposed to look like and act. However, behind the dreadlocks, trash talk and brovado this football genius terrorized opponents and made life uneasy for opposing quarterbacks. Week in and week out he showed fans it was not only his mouth that brought him praise, but his superb play on the field.

As apart of the college football playoff inaugural committee Condoleezza Rice, class of 1981, will play a key role in giving fans what they have been begging decades for. Although her appointment ruffled a few feathers in the Plains her contribution along former Cardinal football coach Ty Willingham and others will play a key role in determining future national champions for decades to come.

Both Jason Collins and Jonathan Martin have caused franchises and their front offices to jason collins be trueacknowledge the pink elephant in the room – homosexuality and mental health. Although both of these men are colossal in size their situations reminded us that you can not judge a book by its cover. Martin and Collins may never play another down or grab another rebound but their contribution to the sports world will be immeasurable.

When we think about Stanford we think about academics but in 2013 the Cardinal truly stood alone. Who will be the next Cardinal from the Farm to show up and show out? There is certainly no shortage of candidates: stanford athleticsIndianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, is it you? Does Shayne Skov have another goal line strip in him? How about you Coach Johnny Dawkins? Or maybe 3-time All-American Chiney Ogwumike has a title run in her? The possibilities are endless, who will it be? Stay tuned…I know I will? – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

Speed wins but not at the Farm, sorry Oregon run tell DAT

brian shaw stanford cardinalsFor eight weeks the Oregon Ducks have barely broke a sweat overwhelming opponents with speed and then forcing teams to take huge risks on offense leading to costly turnovers by the Ducks defense. Since most of their games had been decided by the half, Heisman front-runner Marcus Mariota has spent the second half watching from the bench.

So far, victories for the Oregon Ducks have been easy to come by, but beating the Stanford Cardinals on Thursday night at the Farm will not be so easy. The Ducks have yet to play a team that will punch them in the mouth and make life uncomfortable forstanford defense vs mariota Mariota.

Although, the Stanford-way may never ever win a beauty contest, their formula of ball control, behemoth offensive linemen and a dominant defense has caused problems for the fastest team on turf and Thursday night may be no different.

The Ducks have a combined record of 36-4 over three years. The teams that have beat the Ducks had a dominant offensive and defensive line; well, Stanford has both. If the Cardinals control the line of scrimmage as they have in the past running back Tyler Gaffney will force nine in the box leaving the Ducks susceptible to the play action pass to Ty Montgomery, whose always one tackle away from taking it to the house.

On defense the Cardinals offset the Ducks speedsters by playing disciplined fundamental assignment football, it may not be pretty but it has proven to get the job done. Despite being undermanned the Cardinals defense led by All-American linebackers tyler gaffney stanford offensive lineShayne Skov and Trent Murphy are no slouches, they will certainly put Mariota’s Heisman contention and the Oregon Ducks championship hopes to the test. The Cardinals feasted on Beavers last week, is Duck next on the menu?

Ecclesiastes 9:11 says the race does not always go to the swift, we will soon see if that scripture was right. Stay tuned…I know I will – A. Denmark