I don't know about you, but my year has already been made, and it happened on January 1, my beloved Stanford University won the Rose Bowl game for the second time in the past four years.
To say I'm a fan of Stanford, a college football team from America is an understatement. Along with the New England Patriots in the NFL, I follow and support them during the NRL offseason when my Penrith Panthers are on the summer break, then once the season is over the NRL kicks off again and so the cycle of my year-long sports watching continues.
Stanford qualified for the Rose Bowl by winning the Pac-12 title. College football is broken up by geographical location, and, being from the San Francisco area, they are part of the Pacific-12 conference.
Stanford were scheduled to meet Iowa, a team from the Big-Ten (the Mid-West region), who had only lost one game all year and were ranked 5th, Stanford had lost two games and were ranked 6th.
The Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl has always been played on January 1 since its inception over one hundred years ago. When most people have a sleep in on January 1 after a night of partying, I set my alarm for 9:00am to watch the game on TV.
What was billed as a defensive game was anything but. Stanford opened the scoring with a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the game thanks to Christian McCaffrey, who finished second in the prestigious Heisman Trophy voting—breaking through a tackle and racing down the sideline.
This all occurred after Iowa had possession that went nowhere, Stanford got the ball again and scored soon after. Now they were up 14-0, an interception by Iowa gave Stanford a 21-0 lead and they never looked back—being 35-0 up at halftime and finishing 45-16 victors.
A stellar season
It was a great end to a fantastic season for Stanford, whom the critics thought would have a re-building year after losing a few players to graduation or into the NFL.
Kevin Hogan played his final game for the team, and did his late father proud as he scored three touchdowns; while Christian McCaffrey broke the long-held record of running metres in a game with 368.
Stanford now looks to next season that starts in September, meanwhile I set my eyes on Penrith Panthers season that kicks off in early March. If Penrith could do half as well as Stanford, I'm set for a good year.
Now, you might imagine that as a youth leader at New Life in Blacktown my passion for Stanford is not as enthusiastically shared with everyone which creates quite some humour at my expense. I think Jesus joins in the laughter!
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is a Youth Leader at New Life Christian Church in Blacktown. A voracious reader, he ploughs through many books in a calendar year, with a bookcase that is constantly being rearranged to accommodate new additions.
Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html