Sports

Stanford settles into its schedule after a day at Disneyland

 

Preparations are already under way for this Friday's annual Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, with Stanford facing Iowa. Here's a look at what the Cardinal is doing leading up to the New Year's Day clash.

On Saturday, Stanford's travel party left The Farm's Arrillaga Family Sports Center promptly at 7 a.m. PT and boarded its 240-seat charter flight less than one hour later.

After landing at Los Angeles International Airport, the first of many police escorts on the week acted as lead blockers to the team hotel in Century City.

Suits and sweaters were traded for sweatshirts and sandals, when a quick lunch came before a crosstown trip to Disneyland.

The afternoon at the "Happiest Place On Earth" started with a press conference. Several Cardinal student-athletes met with their counterparts from Iowa before the press conference in a private lounge area at the Grand Californian, school-themed cookies included on the snack spread.

Disneyland, celebrating its 60th anniversary, continued its tradition of hosting the two Rose Bowl participants following their Southern California arrival, a tradition started by Walt Disney himself in 1959.

Formal introductions at the welcoming ceremony were made by Michael Colglazier, president of the Disneyland Resort and a Stanford graduate. Colglazier oversees a workforce of 25,000 cast members at the 500-acre resort.

Colglazier graduated from Stanford with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. Colglazier said he chose Stanford in part because U.S. News & World Report featured the school on the cover of its annual college survey edition, showing an undergrad in a bearskin coat, the California sun blazing gloriously behind him.

Head coach David Shaw spoke on behalf of the Cardinal contingent.

"We're so excited to be here," said Shaw. "We love Disneyland. We love the Rose Bowl. This is phenomenal. But as we told the guys, the Rose Bowl prep starts tomorrow (Sunday). Today is all about Disneyland. We're going to have a blast."

Shaw received quite the surprise when he ran into former Cardinal tight end and United States senator Cory Booker, who was on vacation, at the park.

The team held its first practice on Sunday. Student-athletes attended a comedy show later that evening.

It may have read Sunday on your calendars at home, but for the Stanford Cardinal, it was Monday all day in Los Angeles.

In order to stay in its usual game-week routine, the Cardinal has shifted the calendar to accommodate for the Friday kickoff at the 102nd Rose Bowl.

Upon arrival at Disneyland on Saturday, Shaw urged the team to enjoy the experience on what was viewed as the team's typical off day.

"The way we look at it, if we were home, this would be the day off -- six days before the game. We'll worry about Iowa starting tomorrow. Enjoy everything about this place . . . and tomorrow we'll get to work."

They did. On Sunday, the Cardinal went right into their Monday routine. Meetings, practice and lift all mirrored a typical first day of the week.

That was with one exception -- the players-only outing to the Hollywood Improv Comedy Show, hosted by the Rose Bowl.

The team will enjoy more of the festivities surrounding the BCS bowl on Monday as well, but on the field and in meetings, it will seem like Tuesday for the Cardinal as it moves closer to New Year's Day kickoff with the Hawkeyes.

— Stanford Athletics

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