February 11, 1998

Alphabet Soup: Va & Rob Examine Rivalries

By Robin Davidson
and Vanessa Nygaard

Since Vanessa just completed her last game against California, a series in which Va is 10-0 (she's a fifth-year), we decided to focus this week's column on the Stanford-Cal rivalry and what can be done to improve it.

Robin: Vanessa, have you enjoyed the rivalry with Cal in your athletic career?

Va: No, Robin. In fact, it hasn't lived up to that rivalry status. It's no North Carolina-Duke, Harvard-Yale, Hatfield-McCoy.

Robin: Hatfield-McCoy? I'm not sure I see the connection.

Va: It's not Cal's fault, but as holders of the prestigious Director's Cup, it's hard for someone to equal our athletic prowess.

Robin: Good point. Last year's cup was our third in a row, and we were the first school to break the 1,000-point mark (1,084.5) in the scoring. But Cal was in the top 25, coming in with 503.5 points. How do we level the playing field?

Va: I'm taking the high road today, Robin. I'm calling for an end to the rivalry. We need to help the less fortunate, not hurt them. Why must we hate? Why can't we love?

Robin: But isn't that part of the good-natured spirit of a rivalry?

Va: The point of the rivalry is to push us to become better. We need to be pushed; we need to make Cal stronger. I mean, who was Rocky without Apollo Creed? Or that scary Russian guy?

Robin: But Stanford won a record six NCAA titles last year; Cal only won one. Don't you think there's only so much we can do as controllers of the free world?

Va: Yes, that's why I've come up with some other possible solutions.

Robin: Do tell.

Va: First, we could forget about Cal altogether, which isn't that hard to do. And split Stanford in half, based on the ultimate equalizer - the alphabet. Then we could compete between ourselves, and we could hold a Stanford Olympics. Oh, that's the regular Olympics. And I'm sure my half of the alphabet will win. Go N-Z!

Robin: But Vanessa, I'm a "D.". We'll be split up. I'd have to find a new person to write a column with.

Va: There's no one as witty as me in A-M.

Robin: Yeah, but I've got Kristin Folkl, a.k.a. Man Hands.

Va: I'm still your mama, punk! See, it's already heating up.

Robin: That sounds logistically impossible.

Va: Not only that, but people would just keep changing their name to Zinkowski to be on my team.

Robin: Whatever, Baby Hands.

Va: You're asking for it. Yeah, yeah!

Robin: Well that sounds like an interesting solution. What were some of your other ideas?

Va: Well, my favorite solution transcends sports. We could take all the negative energy that both of our institutions place in this rivalry and band together to fight an adversary bigger than ourselves. No, not Norway.

Robin: Then what?!

Va: World hunger. I'm serious. No one will get mad at us for hating world hunger. What university official could protest us saying, "Down with world hunger. World hunger sucks! World hunger scored low on its SAT."

Robin: I don't know about the SAT, but it sounds like an incredible idea. You could win a Nobel Prize or something.

Va: Chalk up another one for N-Z, you loser.

Robin: Well if the world hunger thing doesn't work out, we can always band together against the L.A. schools. Do you have any other solutions?

Va: No, but Ann Landers might. Did you know she's an alternate on the Olympic curling team?

Robin: That's not true.

Va: Maybe not, but wouldn't that be cool?

Robin: On that note, maybe we should end. Do you have any last words about the Cal rivalry?

Va: Once a Weenie, always a Weenie.

Vanessa would like to share that an elephant's farts in one day produce enough methane to propel a car 20 miles.