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For me, it\'s easy -- 1990.  I wrote about it here:

I\'d love to hear everybody else\'s.  Also, if you remember 1990 better than I do, can you help me fill in the blanks in my memory?  I can\'t seem to find a box score or play-by-play on line.
Best part was John Hopkins warming up by kicking footballs into the Stanford section of the stadium.  (I think Cal called a timeout to try to ice him.)  I found out much later that some of the equipment, including the net that the placekickers warm up with, had been packed away already.
Some of the details about the 1990 Big Game . . .

It was a shootout. The stars were Glyn Milburn of Stanford and Russell White of UCBerkeley. Russell White ran for 177 yards and 2 TDs for UCBerkeley. Glyn Milburn did even better, with 196 rushing yards and a TD for Stanford. Milburn had a total of 379 all-purpose yards, a Pac 10 record at the time and still the Stanford record.

Although Stanford moved the ball up and down the field, it had trouble getting into the end zone. Milburn scored on a long run (I think it was about 53 yards), but that was Stanford\'s only TD before the final sequence of plays. On its other drives, Stanford repeatedly turned to kicker John Hopkins. Before Stanford\'s final sequence, Hopkins had kicked four field goals.

Russell White scored a TD in the fourth quarter to give UCBerkeley a 25-18 lead. Stanford took over the ball on its own 13 yard line with a few minutes remaining in the game. Quarterback Jason Palumbis, who passed for 253 yards, led a long, agonizing drive down the field, including a 4th down conversion on a completion to Chris Walsh. It was clear that this would be Stanford\'s final possession. There wasn\'t time to get the ball back. The tension was incredible. I remember turning to my wife in the stands and saying "No matter who wins, this has been a great game."

Stanford worked the ball down to the UCBerkeley 19 yard line with 20 seconds left, if I recall correctly. Ed McCaffrey ran a deep out pattern to the right side, and Palumbis hit him in the end zone for the TD with 12 seconds remaining.

The Stanford crowd went crazy. The score was 25-24. There was a long delay before the conversion attempt. Lots of fans had found their way on to the field around the south end zone. There was a lot of junk that had been tossed into the end zone. The officials finally cleared the end zone and pushed the crowd back. The two-point conversion attempt was a pass by Palumbis to the back of the end zone. UCBerkeley cornerback John Hardy intercepted the pass.

The UCBerkeley crowd went crazy. The UCBerkeley team and many fans poured on to the field to celebrate. But the game wasn\'t over. The officials threw a penalty flag.

Because of the penalty, Stanford kicked off from the 50 yard line instead of the 35 yard line. Hopkins\' onside kick was recovered by Stanford. The official account gave credit to Kevin Scott for the recovery, but it was later reported that Dan Byers actually recovered the kick. In any event, Stanford had the ball at the UCBerkeley 37 yard line.

It would have been a 54 yard field goal attempt from that spot. John Hopkins had the range to connect from there, having previously hit a 54 yard FG against San Jose State. But Stanford decided to run a play to get closer. Palumbis threw a pass along the right sideline, which was incomplete. But UCBerkeley\'s John Belli hit Palumbis after the throw. Belli was flagged for roughing the passer. The ball was moved up to the 22 yard line. The field goal attempt would be 39 yards.

After the recovery of the onside kick, Hopkins started warming up on the sideline. But somebody already had put away the kickers\' practice net. Because he couldn\'t kick his warm-up attempts into a net, Hopkins just started kicking footballs into the crowd. It was quite a sight -- Hopkins kicking footballs high into the night sky as the tension rose even higher.

Hopkins, of course, drilled the 39 yard field goal right down the middle. It was his 5th field goal of the game, a Stanford record (tied this year by Nate Whitaker against Notre Dame).

What a game. It was one of the best games I\'ve ever seen, and one of the most incredible comebacks I ever expect to see. Just a fantastic day of football for Stanford.
Terry -- thanks for such a thorough recap.  Was that seriously off the top of your head?  Either way, I\'m impressed.
Nope, that wasn\'t all off the top of my head. I remember that game well, but I had to look up a few things, such as White\'s rushing yardage and Palumbis\' passing yardage.
I have two: 1991 with a bunch of white and gold defenders lying on the turf just after Vardell plowed through them for the exclamation point; and 1999 as Casey Moore went up the gut for 94 and I told my nearby 8-year old daughter in a very calm voice: "Holy ****. We\'re going to Disneyland."  She started screaming. Touchdowns are good, but Disneyland is better.  (And I was so nervous before that game, I could barely board the train.)

I also have keen memories from 1990, but not nearly as encyclopedic as Terry\'s.  This was my first BG as a newlywed in a mixed marriage. That marriage-to-be was nearly destroyed the previous Berkeley BG when Tuan Van Le preserved the tie and in my (c\'mon it was a tie) joy I basically concussed the eventual Mrs. Jacketree.

Great, great game as Terry lays out.  I\'m smack dab in the middle of the 50 on the west side rubbing elbows with BearBackers.  I have on GT gear to avoid getting rolled and sheesh, GT is on its way to a MNC, so I\'m wearing the gear regardless. (I think they crushed Wake that day.) Stanford drives at the end, pulls 4th downs out of their butts and scores.  Green goes for 2.  Lord knows I wouldn\'t be jumping up and down for a tie this time.  (It\'s one thing to get dumped by a girlfriend; much more expensive to get kicked out of the house and divorced.)  Still, so much time on the clock when you think about it....

Hardy intercepts the 2 point conversion pass; my wife is going crazy; my father-in-law looks like he wants to shove something up my anything in glee; the fans on the field!, the fans on the field! My mother-in-law and I look right at each other and know. Stanford will win. I\'m smiling. She\'s not.

Soooo....onside kick. Bearbackers quiet.  Penalty. Bearbackers mad. Field goal. Bearbackers cry. Yep. Quiet ride home. :D
I dug the Vardell road grader game.  Watching Bears just sort of throw themselves ineffectually at Vardell and just give up at the end of the game was SWEET.  Some teams you look at the scoreboard and you know they\'re beaten.   Some teams you just look at their players and you know they\'re beaten.  91 was one where you didn\'t need the scoreboard.


The Berkeley games in 88 AND 90 stick out in my memory more.   In 90 one of our group had media pull and got us up into the press box.   After first quarter we moved from the cramped endzone seats  to looking over the field.  And the windows were opened so the sound just poured in.  Visceral.  Enveloping.   White and  Milburn tearing off outstanding runs and from up top you could see the plays develop.  Never saw this aspect from the low-angle of either Stanford or Memorial stadiums.  Went back down for the last quarter.  Glad we did.  You want to be with your own people when hammer comes it did.  

But the tie in 88 was equally memorable.  Sitting dead center behind the goalposts.  The kal rally squad or whatever those losers are called come around to the back of the south endzone.  The Stanford Axe Comm carries the Axe and faces off with them, maybe a yard apart.  The Kal people are jubilant and taunting.  The Bars line up,  kal axe people are jumping up and down....and Tuan Van Le blocks the kick.  I wish I had a camera to show the look on those bastards\' faces.  A couple of the kal girls started to cry.  And the Stanford Axe Comm people did an about-face, held up the Axe and ran off to join the party at the bottom of the Stanford section.  The kal guys had marched in formation down to the endzone before the end of the game.  They just sort of trickled back like Napolean\'s retreating army.  Some stopping to hug and console some of their compatriots.   Maybe that is where I caught the Schadenfreude addiction.   That first hit was oh-so intoxicating.  

Also memorable because 90 was the last time I got to rush the field.  SO much more fun down there.  Really got the adrenalin pumping when the yellow jacket security guys did their turnstile imitation and a wave of kal punks swarmed down on us 40-somethings like they meant business.  I squared off with some kid who turned out to have more spirit than actual capability and a counter-rush by a bunch of Stanford  fans sent them running back.  Azzholes.  But, more Schadenfreude with a personal adrenaline chaser.

Oh, one other thing.  I didn\'t notice what I was seeing in the 1990 pressbox,  but figured it out later.   The press guys were sitting there
typing on typewriters.  No sound quite like it and to this day I prefer the clacking of typewriters to the subdued clicking of keyboards   Not a laptop or terminal that I saw.   The pressbox had fax machines-- the internet of the day.  They\'d type, tape, edit with pencil and send.
Mine is definitely 1990. Sure, I like the routs, but nothing stands out like the magical feeling that evening.

My roommate and I had an older hippie type behind us. During the team\'s second to last possession, he said, "We\'re going to win this ballgame." I wasn\'t so sure, but I liked that we were at least making a game of it.

When John Hardy intercepted the pass for the 2-point conversion, I was deflated. I can still remember his hands going up. The long-haired guy behind me said matter-of-factly "We can recover an onside kick, march down the field, and kick a field goal."

Then, as the events began to unfold just as he had said, I began to pace back and forth, saying "I can\'t believe this. I can\'t believe this."

Then, I can remember seeing John Hopkins\' kick sail into the night sky, and just inside the western side of the south end zone goalpost.
All 4 Big Games during my time at Stanford were so special.

1989 - The Budweiser Big Game - What are those crazy Berkeley drunks thinking?  The Stanford team had so little on field success, but watching those b.ea.r fans get crushed by security was almost as entertaining as watching the team run at will.
1990 - Please clear the field - And I did tell those around me that the celebration would enable Stanford to kick an FG if the onside kick is recovered.  Glass half full type even then.  :)
1991 - Palo Alto Property Pledge - That was a good year to buy too, but we knew Treggs would never follow through.  I remember the block "S" on some of the socks too, that was a nice touch.
1992 - Walsh II\'s Great year - Sometime during 4th quarter it dawned on me that the game was a blowout.  What a delight because that meant 4 wins, 0 ties, 0 losses & 4 full years with the Axe on campus.

They were all fun, but the onside kick recovery was the best moment.  I was in the student section looking right down that sideline and knew instantly it had been recovered by Stanford.  And consistent with my glass half full perspective I knew that making a 50-55 yard field goal on that artificial turf was a very real possibility.

There were a lot of glass half empty types that were not there to see the end since they left during the first celebration.  Those types have become hard to find, but that night they were easy to identify.  They were the ones that just couldn\'t believe the stories that the other Stanford fans were telling.
Count all yourselves lucky. I\'ve been to 4 BGs, all during my undergrad time and all losses. Class of \'06, first class since the 30s without a BG victory.

Needless to say this season has provided a lot of catharsis, but I still need to get to a few more BGs and set my record right. I have a few thrown shoes owed to the fans at Memorial.
During my undergrad days, I saw four memorable Big Games:

1979 - Cal DB Ron Coccimiglio made a great play to knock down Turk Schonert\'s 4th and goal pass on the last play of the game.  Cal wins 21-14.
1980 - Late in the 4th quarter, Vincent White fumbled a handoff from John Elway inside the Stanford 5.  Cal recovers and scores.  Cal wins 28-23.
1981 - Stanford blitzed Cal 42-21.  The memorable part was cheering Darrin Nelson afterward in his last game.  Until recent times, the greatest running back in Stanford history.
1982 - everyone knows the story of the last minute.  Yet this game was bizarre in other ways especially the phantom Mariet Ford TD in front of the Stanford section.

Other vivid memories:
1985 - Cal kicker Leland Rix misses a chip shot FG late in the game.  Stanford wins 24-22.  No one named Leland could beat Stanford, right?
1986 - a horrible loss in Berkeley.  Almost got ill watching Joe Kapp carried off the field.
1987 - Brian Johnson to Walter Batson for 82 yard TD.  I may still be a little hoarse from yelling at Batson as he sped away from the Cal defenders.
1990 -  ;D
1991 - Vardell running behind Whitfield.  Pound it, pound it, then pound it some more.  Vardell carried 39 times that day.
1997 - Stanford won 21-20 in the 100th Big Game.  But both teams played poorly.  The weather was overcast and drizzly.  And the Cal fans tore down the fence and stormed the field after the loss.
Hey, thanks for the memories, everyone. I say its time to start a new era and a new streak. Saturday, November 20, 2010.
at the 1990 big game when the two point conversion failed and people began to file out a fellow near us in a red and white plaid jacket started yelling, "you\'ll be sorry, read about it in the paper tomorrow" and he was right (we stayed and saw the win).  I saw him again at a Big Game in Berkeley either 4 or 6 years ago, he had the same jacket.......
In 1990 I remember looking heavenward and saying, "God, you owe us one." All even now.
Another Big Game memory . . .

1976 -- Jack Christiansen was fired as our coach the day before the game. He was carried on to the field by his players before the game -- only time I\'ve ever seen that. The game was a back-and-forth affair, with a little bit of everything. Stanford alternated Mike Cordova and Guy Benjamin at QB in the last game of their long-running QB controversy. Stanford\'s Mike Michel hit a 68 yard punt at a key moment. Late in the game, Stanford pinned UCBerkeley deep in its own territory. A UCBerkeley running back, Markey Crane, fumbled. Duncan McColl recovered for Stanford. Stanford scored with less than a minute remaining, with Ron Inge getting the TD. Stanford won, 27-24. A really entertaining game with a very satisfying result. But for me, the most memorable thing was that this game was my first date with a girl I liked. It worked out pretty well. We\'ve been married for almost 31 years.
Quote:I\'d love to hear everybody else\'s.

Andrew Luck knocking Sean Cattouse on his rear during his 58 yard scamper.  Big Game 2010.
Already up on youtube -

Call it "Cattouse on his caboose"
What you got out of the 1976 Big Game is a lot more important than bragging rights for a year!  ;)
Quote:I\'d love to hear everybody else\'s.

Andrew Luck knocking Sean Cattouse on his rear during his 58 yard scamper.  Big Game 2010.

This, too.  I was going nuts, jumping up and down, and so was the crowd here in Austin.  The Doug Baldwin double-coverage catch and the Doug Baldwin leaping TD reception were highlight-worthy plays as well.
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