The San Francisco Chronicle, Friday morning, Dec. 1, 1899
Vol. 70, No. 139


Triumph of Blue and Gold



Thirty to Nothing against Stanford

For the second time, and with a score decisive enough to discourage opponents less stubborn, the red-shirted football athletes of Stanford University went down yesterday before the more skillful eleven of the University of California.

Sixteen thousand people, the largest crowd ever gathered on a Pacific Coast field, saw the young giants grapple. It was almost a foregone conclusion that California would win, but that did not cause the victors to slacken their sinews, nor did it dampen the ardor of the vanquished. As the game unfolded, and defeat for the Stanfords became a certainty, those shock-headed sons of Thor gritted their teeth and fought still more stubbornly every inch of ground. Their game in the latter half was far stronger than in the first. They held California down to 6, while in the first half the blue-and-gold men made 24. The total score, which Stanford has vowed with a terrible vow shall be wiped out next year, was 30 to 0.

A cool, almost cloudless day added vastly to the enjoyment of the great contest. Filmy clouds at times dimmed the sun, making the temperature perfect for lively, crisp work. The gridiron was in fine condition, though a coating of fresh sand, quite moist, made quick starting rather difficult. To the layman the most striking feature of the game was the kangaroo leap of Kaarsburg, full-back for California, who invariable gained a few yards by his unique play. Stanford's chances were injured, rather than helped, by Captain Murphy's plucky playing when sadly out of condition.

The sweetness of victory and bitterness of defeat are made more keen by reason of the fact that yesterday's game places the Tilden-Phelan trophy permanently in Berkeley's hands. This trophy is Douglas Tilden's famous statue, "The Football Players," which was offered by mayor James D. Phelan to the team winning two out of three straight games. As Berkeley defeated Stanford last year-for the first time-and again yesterday by a still more decisive score, the bronze statue will go to the Berkeley campus. It is one of Sculptor Tilden's finest pieces, and was designed from football players studied by him in London. The statue was cast in Paris, and was exhibited in the Salon, where it was greatly admired. It was shipped around the Horn, and for some time has been on exhibition at the door of the Hopkins Institute.

The Stanford cohorts were disconcerted during the morning by an incident that at first seemed to be an invention of the enemy. The Forty-second Infantry, marching down Market Street to take ship for the Philippines, swing past the Stanford headquarters at a lively gait, and its band suddenly struck up "Palms of Victory," Berkeley's favorite song. The first glance taken by the Stanford boys revealed an interminable line of men, marching in good time and keeping step to the music of Berkeley. Until the situation was clear, the boys from Palo Alto thought a whole regiment of rooters had been surreptitiously trained by Berkeley to overwhelm their adversaries.

The gathering of the clans began early in the morning, and continued long. On every street the cardinal of Stanford and the blue and gold of California blossomed out in violets, carnations and chrysanthemums. Later, as the crowds began to swell, long ribbons were in vogue. Red neckties and huge yellow chrysanthemums opened a battle of color that was waged all day. The shrill cries of the coming conflict, too, were borne on the wind, when knots of young men and rehearsed their yells.

Before noon there was a crowd of over a thousand persons at the grounds at Sixteenth and Folsom streets, though the game was scheduled for 2:30. by 12:30 there were several thousand in their seats, and the incessant waving of ribbons and flags had begun. The long, high bank of seats on the south side of the gridiron was divided by bunting into Stanford and Berkeley camps. There were seats for 5000 or 6000 people in each division.

By 1 o'clock the uniformed rooters found their seats, and pandemonium came in with them and stayed while they stayed. Berkeley was distinguished by hats whose crowns were trimmed with alternating cones of vivid blue and yellow. Each youth staggered under a golden chrysanthemum, and bore a horn or some other disturber of the peace. Stanford men wore inflammatory red vests, which bulged to the bursting point when the interior bellows expanded. Five hundred Berkeleyans thus confronted an equal number from Stanford.

Nobody noticed the long wait for the players, so active were the rooters in giving their lungs a trying-out. After a few preliminary skirmishes the rival shouters mingled their yells in a great center rush and tackle, with solid bucking and interference, that tore silence to tatters. The atmosphere was attacked on all sides, and by all manner of weapons. It was stabbed by razor-like shrieks, and punted by hoarse roars, and mauled by concerted yells. Fertility of resource vied with youthful enthusiasm in a mighty effort to shatter heaven's blue dome. Even before the game began the air overhead was like a slack circus tent and the echoes lagged.

When the Stanford band appeared, playing a merry tune, more noise was poured out. The red-vested young men stood up and waved their flags and hats. Stanford's band was a good one-better than Berkeley's in appearance. The players wore long black boots and white trousers, blue jackets and caps. Seated they appeared like a bunch of daisies in a red poppy field. Then the Berkeley band came in. They did not play until seated. Perhaps if they had they could not have been heard, for the bi-colored rooters, always superior to the others in volume of noise, outdid themselves in cheering.

Nearly every seat on three sides of the gridiron was occupied by 2:15, and the rooters were not left unsupported. Berkeley's colors predominated, and its noise did more damage than Stanford's. Sometimes both bands played at once, their tunes sparring and clinching in a combat that proved a death struggle for harmony. Then the rival yells went up in prose, in verse and in ejaculations. When the whole 500 of Berkeley shouted "We want President Wheeler," the sound arose like a huge balloon. The Palo Alto team exploded its bomb, " 'Rah, 'rah, Stanford!" Cries of all kinds and complexions went off together, tied by the tails like firecrackers.

Dr. David Starr Jordan, president of Stanford, went along the side lines, stepping softly as if afraid of awaking the dozing demon of noise. A Stanford man saw him, and the cry he gave swept over to the bleachers and ignited the enthusiasm of the whole crowd. Three or four or five or six thousand Stanford partisans stood up, howling and yelling, the boys sending up their rocket-like battle cries and their sisters waving flags and squealing. Dr. Jordan wore a big cloak and his customary black slouch hat. He waved a graceful acknowledgement to the salute and hurried into the seclusion of the crowd.

Some time afterward President Benjamin Ide Wheeler of the University of California went through the same experience. He wore a shiny tile and a frock coat. Berkeley's yell in greeting him was like the voice of many waters. He stayed down on the side lines during the whole game, and during the interval between halves went among the boys and exchanged enthusiasm.

At 2:45 the teams appeared. All previous pandemoniums were wiped out when the adherents of the two colleges saw their champions enter. Hats, ribbons, flags, gaudily bedecked canes and umbrellas went up into the air, along with connected and fragmentary cries, yells, and whistles. The boys in the filed went immediately tow work, in business-like fashion. Stanford's men seemed heavier, and Berkeley's more active, at first glance. The first test revealed at once the superior team coherence of Berkeley. The players moved like clockwork. Stanford was ragged and faulty in comparison. Long drill in one case and inexperience in the other told the story.

When Captain Murphy of Stanford kicked off, with Stanford facing north and Berkeley south, silence reigned while nerves and necks were stretched to the uttermost. But immediately the bombardment of noise was resumed and kept up with more or less intensity all through the game. When the band played for Berkeley, the boys took off their hats and waved them to and fro in time with the music. The effect from across the gridiron was exactly like that of a high bankside of pansies blowing in the wind. In the great stand adjoining the Berkeley rooters were all kinds of blue and gold combinations, but in kaleidoscopic fragments that merely made a mass of confused color. On the other side, where cardinal glowed, the effect was striking, if not as gay.

There were many incidents showing the genuine friendliness that was under the intensity of rivalry. The Berkeley boys gave President Jordan a rousing cheer, and the Stanford boys cheered Dr. Wheeler. Early in the game it became apparent that Dr. Murphy, captain of the Stanfords, was suffering agony from his broken rib, and his grit in sticking to his work called forth three cheers from his opponents as well as from his own side.

Women were by no means behind men in their enthusiasm. Some of them, indeed, were so wrought up that they joined in the yells, rang cowbells, stood up and waved their parasols, and rooted generally. A young woman on the west side of the gridiron attracted considerable attention early in the game by her shrill cry, which cut the air like a knife. A particular player riveted her attention, and whenever he was the center of the play the razorback shriek went up in ecstatic praise, "Good boy, Jim!" another who drew a little of the general attention was a gray-headed and bent old man, who became so enthusiastic over Berkeley's mounting score that he gave a cracked war-whoop and waved his arms like a Dutch windmill.

Though the game lost something in tense interest through the overwhelming superiority of Berkeley, every move was watched by the thousands of eyes, and every inch of gain called for appropriate boisterousness. Captain Murphy, fighting with the desperation of a gladiator, was finally so nearly in a state of collapse that he was forced to withdraw toward the close of the first half. He did so with the greatest reluctance, and long after he had been advised to do so. Generous cheers for his pluck went up from Stanford and Berkeley alike. He lay down at the sideline, and drew a sweater over his face, completely done up, though he subsequently walked off the grounds with some assistance. Three other men were injured on Stanford's side-Gilman, Boren and Smith, who were replaced by Cairns, Rodolph and Erb. The Berkeley boys got through without a scratch.

When time was called on the conclusion of the second half, there was a sudden bulge in the high bank of Berkeley bleachers, followed by a solid stream of humanity breaking over the fence and rushing into the gridiron. The band played, wild cries went up, and a scene of uproar and confusion occurred, in which stalwart partisans picked up favorite players and bore them on their shoulders from the field, while the rooters for Berkeley crowded around their big champions and howled praise into deafened ears. A match of victory, partaking of the elements of a Moqui snake dance and a grand promenade, wound up the afternoon. In this march several thousand Berkeleyans, most of them blazing with college colors, moved along with a hop, skip and jump in a long serpentine line, with arms interlocked. The line completely surrounded Stanford's defiant red banners. The band tooted out what was probably a paean of victory, but at times only the bulging cheeks of the players proved that there was a music being played, for braying brass was drowned by the exhaustless yells of the Berkeley boys.

A long procession down Market street proclaimed the second victory of the University of California. The Stanford boys, recovering from the disappointment of defeat, joined in the procession and their band aided the other in giving glory to the victors.

 

Feedback
Copyright © 1999-2005
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Last updated 04/11/01.