Some things fade away over the years. One of the things that generally has remained constant is the presence of Big Game week. The traditions for the most part have stayed intact.
One of the most important is the Big Game Luncheon, which is brought together by the Guardsmen. The money from the event is raised toward helping out children in the Bay Area, and a quite of lot of money has been raised over the past half-a-century. More from a description of the event which took place at the Fairmont in San Francisco.
The Guardsmen is a group of Bay Area men mobilizing their significant talents and resources to enhance and improve the lives of at-risk youth. This all-volunteer organization, founded in 1947, provides access to high-quality educational and outdoor activities for inner-city youth. The opportunities created through The Guardsmen's scholarship and campership programs mean that every year kids who otherwise would not have a chance at success are given the opportunity to excel as productive members of society. Each year The Guardsmen sends 2,500 youth to outdoor education programs and provides scholarship support to more than 250 students at Bay Area private schools.
The Guardsmen is committed to making sure that fundraising dollars are spent wisely, with the greatest need and highest returns always in mind. In fact, approximately 90 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to support programs for kids.
And a lot of money does gets raised at these events! Tables at these things go for thousands of dollars. That's a lot of money that has been utilized for good and has gone back into the community. Over a million dollars is raised annually ($1.7 million was raised in 2012) by the Guardsmen that goes to serve 2,500 children to outdoor programs and 250 students, and the Big Game luncheon is part of this philanthropic tradition.
But it looks like this tradition is going the way of the Trees. Stanfurd has decided they're above this event, and thus a great opportunity to raise money for a good cause is in danger of extinction. For the THIRD YEAR in a row, David Shaw no-showed the event along with many Stanfurd alumni, leaving Sonny Dykes and nearly 80% Cal alumni at the podium.
Shaw was wildly mocked for a supposedly cringe-worthy video he sent instead.
"If you are a Stanford alum and you are involved in the Guardsmen and you know what this means to this community and how much it's worth to kids and people who need help so badly, I think it's time to send a message back to your University and say 'Where the hell are you?'" ~Joe Starkey
Tasteless Damon Bruce joke aside (seriously dude?), it baffles me why Shaw can't bother to show up to this event. Apparently, the official excuse that Shaw doesn't attend this event is practice time, because lord knows you need all the time you can get to prepare your gameday Chili's buffet of "Run up the middle iso power play" and "throw to tall dude on a six yard stick route" options. Plus, this excuse makes little sense when he skipped the Luncheon LAST YEAR when Cal was a flaming wreck and the Cardinal were four touchdown favorites to take Axe back. Heck, Sonny showed up, and his team arguably needed all the practice time they could get last season.
In the end, this strikes of the rising Furd arrogance that has permeated the program the last four years. They now feel they are above these events, that they carry no attachment to the Bay Area and its people, and that they can do whatever they feel like without getting called out for it.
To be fair, the media has been their willing lapdog--the Stanfurd envy has been so heavy, you can taste it in any football game. Just the very notion that a school with a strong academic tradition can be good at football can elicit more reaction out of a TV announcer than a halftime Viagra commercial. (Hate to break it to you media-types, but unless you're loading up on bags of cash in your Scrooge McDuck vaults, lapping up Stanfurd will not be enough to get your kids into college.)
No more free rides Cardinal. Now that the wins are no longer coming, your golden class has all graduated, and the media has moved away from your tire fire of a program, you need to own up to your prickish behavior. You need to make sure the Guardsmen Luncheon doesn't end just because it inconveniences your precious little entitled schedules, or combine forces with Cal to make sure this event doesn't happen. Otherwise this so-called gentleman's rivalry is going to fast turn into something uglier, and we will maul you.
Actually. What am I saying? Keep on creating your own PR fiascoes Shaw! I'm sure your team loves playing for an uncreative heel who has trouble putting up seven points on the board!
Go Bears. Beat Stanfurd.