Summer Sanders, the Stanford diehard

It was more than a bowl game. It was something Stanford students (and alums) haven't seen very often: our school's name so close to the letters B-C-S. I can remember a few other times when I had this feeling -- once when we were in the Final Four, and once for another bowl game -- but those were nothing close to this. It is truly crazy the pride you feel when your school does well in football.

As you might have gathered from a previous post, I love football. Always have. And, I am not going to lie to you: This season was much more exciting for Stanford fans than previous seasons, which made it easier to cheer for and follow the Cardinal. I think a lot of us jumped on that bandwagon. But watching this bowl game was the first time I ever wanted to be back in college.

I am not one of those people who wishes they could go back. Not even to my days when I was swimming in the Olympic Games. I truly love where I am in my life now, and I try to live in the present... but on January 3rd, I wanted to be 19 again! My best friend, Heidi, and I wanted to get ourselves to the Orange Bowl. She called me and said, "Summer, we have to go!" As if it were our duty. So we immediately got on the internet to look for flights... and that's when reality set in. $1200 a ticket for a less than ideal flight schedule to Miami. Add that to the fact that it would be tough to say to our hubbies: "Hon, can you hold down the fort for a couple of days while we head out to watch a football game?"

Long story short, we didn't do it. About 15 minutes before the game started, we were jumping up and down with excitement, cursing ourselves for not having bit the bullet and bought those tickets! ShouldaCouldaWoulda. Instead, we promised to call or text each other with every great play. It was as if we were transported back to "The Suites" (our residence) for our sophomore year! It was fabulous and silly all at the same time. I loved every second of the game for so many reasons... because it was a close first half, because Stanford dominated the second half, and because with every shot of the crowd, I pictured my crew right there cheering with our crazy band!

It is fun to be a part of something and I was reminded, once again, how cool college sports are. It goes beyond the present; it digs into the past and brings out everything that was great about school. I am proud to wear Cardinal red, I am proud of our football team and I still wish I had gone! Maybe next time... if Harbaugh doesn't leave!