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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Cal - Stanford Big Game viewing party Hong Kong -tradition and linkages continue in Asia

Dear Cal Alumni in Hong Kong,
I realize my blogging is long and infrequent but then again if you want to follow what I ate for breakfast you can track me on Facebook, Twitter, CampusFork, and Foursquare.  I like to think of my blog as a thoughtful archive of significant Cal events. Haha. But in the social media style I'll loosen up tone a bit.  Look here is a smiley for you. : )

The annual Cal - Stanford Big Game viewing party in Hong Kong certainly fits the profile for a Travis Darrow blog update.  This year the event took place on Friday, Nov. 26, from 7pm to 10pm at Bulldog's, G/F, 17 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong.

This annual joint gathering of the Cal Berkeley and Stanford alumni clubs always attracts a great fun crowd.  It takes place at Bulldog's in the center of Lan Kwai Fong where we have a private room so we can watch, network, eat, drink, and make noise!  I have been involved with the event since 2005.

Of course, the Big Game is the annual American football game between University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University. The first Big Game was held on March 19, 1892 on San Francisco's Haight Street grounds and it is the tenth longest rivalry in NCAA Division I football..

"The Play" also took place in this rivalry at the conclusion of the 85th Big Game on November 20, 1982 becoming one of the most remarkable plays in college football history.  In what is now known simply as "The Play," four Cal players lateraled the ball five times on a kickoff return with four seconds left on the clock. Kevin Moen, who was also the initial ball carrier, ran for a touchdown while knocking down the final Stanford "defender," trombone player Gary Tyrrell, who had run onto the field with the rest of the band to celebrate prematurely.

The Play was famously covered by KGO radio announcer Joe Starkey which he hailed as "the most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heartrending, exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football!"  We were delighted to host Joe Starkey in Hong Kong in 2007.  Here is the video:

Notice we call our event the Hong Kong viewing party above?  Yes, given the game is played in the US when it would be 4:30am in Hong Kong we generously supported by international relations and the athletic department with a DVD to watch one week after it has played live in the US and we still attract a great crowd of 50 or more every year.  Photos from over the years but you can see all of them here:

Wow, looking at my Flickr stats I see there were 686 photo views from our latest event on Nov 26 (to Dec 1), so some interest in seeing what took place at the event too.  Great.  All time photo views 105,174. Cool. Attendees of note in 2010 were Rayfil Wong, Christine Su (seen below), Cheryl Lo, Raymond Kei, Zhenzhen Qi, Carmen Mak (and friends from HKUST), Flora, Tak Chow, Jeff Sze, Scott Hagerman, Jeanne Zhao-Clot, Barron Sun, Barry Ko, Peter Yu, Flora Kong, and Alex Eiranova.  We nearly had an appearance of famous alumnus John Deng, CEO of Vimicro who was in town and I had seen earlier in the day but he had another meeting.

Let's not talk about the game this year.  Since I've been organizing this event in Hong Kong Cal won the game and axe in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 so we lead the series 4 games to 2.  Impressive!

Sure Cal and Stanford have a rivalry but we also have a lot in common.  In fact AnnaLee Saxenian who is professor and current Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Information, in her book Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128, discusses such key Bay Area and business links to explain why California's Silicon Valley was able to keep up with the fast pace of technological progress during the 1980s, while the vertically integrated firms of Route 128 fell behind.  Considering our common history and neighborhood background when far away from campus in Hong Kong and we a much smaller alumni base here we can find a way to get along.  Or at least do so for the annual happy hour.  : )

Past Cal - Stanford Big Game viewing party Hong Kong photos here:

Best regards and Go Bears!

Travis Darrow
Berkeley Club of Hong Kong
External Relations Officer
M: +852-6718-1339

Berkeley Club of Hong Kong (and friends) Facebook:

My Berkeley club of Hong Kong pix on Flickr: