FanPost

Hot Off the Presses: The 1920 Big Game Program

We have a brand new addition to California Golden Blogs: a digital version of the 1920 Big Game Program.  I happen to be the lucky owner of an original 1920 Big Game Program.  Our very own TwistNHook suggested that we could share that online with the CGB community, and he has undertaken to make my scans of it available to you. The entire 52-page program can be accessed here (where you can zoom in to get all the detail) and also on CGB's Facebook page.  After the jump, a little background on just what makes the 1920 Big Game Program so special, and a little more about the program itself.

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The front cover of the football-shaped 1920 Big Game Program

What's so special about the 1920 Big Game?

Lots of things.  First,1920 was the first year of Andy Smith's Wonder Teams.  That was the year when the Bears went 9-0, blew out their opponents by a combined score of 510-14, destroyed favored Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, and won the first of four consecutive national championships. (For more about Andy Smith and the Wonder Teams, click here.) All the Wonder Team coaches and players are included in this program.

Second, the Bears won the 1920 Big Game 38-0.  That makes it Cal's biggest blow-out win in the history of the Big Game -- except for the Bears 67-0 victory in 1918, which Stanford insists doesn't count.  Stanford actually had a good team in 1920.  They were undefeated in the Pacific Coast Conference coming into the game.  And they managed to keep the Bears' offense under control in the first half, with the score being only 10-0 in Cal's favor at the half.  But the Bears were just too much for them and in the second half Stanford crumbled before the Wonder Team. Cal scored almost at will.  As far as the Stanford offense went, they were never able to accomplish anything during the entire game.  The final statistics tell the story: 

Passing:  California, 7 of 13, 88 yards;  Stanford 2 of 12, 10 yards

Rushing: California, 382 yards;  Stanford, 26 yards

First downs:  California, 18;   Stanford, 0

And finally, the 1920 Big Game is special because it was the last Big Game played at old California Field, which had been the Bears' home since 1904.  Although California Field (located on the site where Hearst Gymnasium is now) held only 25,000 spectators, more than 28,000 were jammed into the stands for the game on November 20, 1920.  The feats of the Wonder Team had created a demand for tickets that required a new stadium.  So, for the next two years, the Big Game was played in Palo Alto, at the new 60,000-seat Stanford Stadium, while the University of California planned and built its own new 73,000-seat stadium, California Memorial Stadium. (For more about the history of California Field and the building of Memorial Stadium, click here.)

A Bit About the 1920 Big Game Program

The 1920 Big Game Program is as special as the game.  In its 52 pages, it contains pictures of all the players on both Cal's great Wonder Team and on the Stanford team. (And those photos are are much easier to see in the format Twist has provided on CGB's Facebook page and also here, where you can zoom in.)  The 1920 program is considerably rarer than the other Wonder Team Big Game programs, because it was sold at a game played at the small California Field, while all the other Wonder Team Big Games were played at the much larger Memorial Stadium and Stanford Stadium, where many more programs were sold. And if all that weren't enough to make it special, how about the fact that it is 91 years old!

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Photos of all the members of the Wonder Team are found in the 1920 Big Game Program

The program includes explanations of how "American Football" is played (this being only a few years after California returned to playing American football after several years of playing rugby, and only two years after Stanford returned to the American game).  The program also contains biographies of the coaches, Cal and Stanford yells and songs, a score card, and much, much more.  It even includes a synopsis with photographs of each of the Wonder Team's first seven games of the 1920 season.  And it has several pages of ads, which give a fun glimpse into Berkeley and the Bay Area in 1920.

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So go on and browse through a piece of Golden Bear history.  The 1920 Big Game Program will be available as a permanent feature of the California Golden Blogs website. 

 

GO BEARS!

The opinions expressed in a FanPost are, in every way, reflective of the opinions of every California Golden Blogs Marshawnthusiast. Moreover, they are reflective of every employee of SBNation, including Tyler "Blez" Bleszinski.

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