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Palo Alto does a quick rewrite to finish with happy ending

Original post made on Sep 8, 2018

Palo Alto High stumbled but never fell and the Vikings recovered from a nightmarish start to finish a dream-like comeback in beating visiting McClymonds, 29-20, in a nonleague football game Friday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, September 8, 2018, 2:09 AM

Comments (39)

7 people like this
Posted by Former Viking
a resident of Woodside
on Sep 8, 2018 at 6:56 am

Hiring nelson Gifford was a shrewd move by the Paly admin. He has gotten the players to respond to his leadership style and moved the offense into the modern era. With the death of the Gunn program due to a variety of factors, Paly becomes the only show in town for students that want to play real football at a school with top notch academics.


4 people like this
Posted by No surprise
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 8, 2018 at 7:43 am

SHephard's quote in the last line sums up why football is such a great team sport. Contrast this feel good story with the Gunn forfeit story earlier this week. With football participation dropping every year I hope schools like Gunn can find ways to keep their programs alive it would be a shame to see them go away.


39 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 8, 2018 at 8:56 am

> With the death of the Gunn program due to a variety of factors, Paly becomes the only show in town for students that want to play real football at a school with top notch academics.

Absolutely.

>> Contrast this feel good story with the Gunn forfeit story earlier this week. With football participation dropping every year I hope schools like Gunn can find ways to keep their programs alive it would be a shame to see them go away.

On the other hand, Gunn has a very enthusiastic badminton following in which to demonstrate its athletic prowess...plus top notch academics.

Eldest son (Senior/varsity football) was very disappointed with the recent forfeiture but has no immediate plans to participate in the 'softer' sports.



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Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 8, 2018 at 9:48 am

R.Davis is a registered user.

Curious. While the 'demographics' of Palo Alto have become somewhat diverse over the years, why does Paly have enough student/athletic interest to field a varsity football team while Gunn doesn't?

Is this due to the ethnic population of certain neighborhoods and the respective high schools resident/students are assigned to? It would seem so but I'm still trying to comprehend the actual reason as I see folks of various backgrounds throughout the city.

Then again, I don't follow them home. *L*











30 people like this
Posted by Demographics Revisited
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm

> Is this due to the ethnic population of certain neighborhoods and the respective high schools resident/students are assigned to?

With the possible exception of the Palo Alto foothills, PA neighborhoods whose students are assigned to attend Gunn (e.g. South PA, Barron Park, Terman area etc.) are generally less expensive than the Palo Alto High School designated neighborhoods.

While spending $2-$4M for a house is still a lot of money, the initial outlay for Gunn designated residencies is considerably less than Crescent Park and some of the other nearby Palo Alto neighborhoods designated for Pay attendance.

It's one thing to pay $4M CASH for a house and another to shell out over $7 million+. Frugality and 'value-added' factors are prime considerations amongst many foreign homebuyers.

Thus the interest in badminton over traditional sports like prep football.


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Posted by Demographics Revisted
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm

correction/edit: Pay attendance = Paly attendance (as in Palo Alto High School).


4 people like this
Posted by What a game!!!
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 8, 2018 at 8:53 pm

What a game!!! is a registered user.

OMG people, can we just stick with the topic, and acknowledge that was an incredible game!! Congrats to all the players and coaches.


30 people like this
Posted by Gunn Gambit
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 2:50 pm

"...acknowledge that was an incredible game!!"

Agreed. But you probably wouldn't be saying or writing that if it were a high school chess or badminton match.


2 people like this
Posted by What a game!!!
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 9, 2018 at 5:04 pm

What a game!!! is a registered user.

I find this thread very disturbing, and somewhat racist.

I think chess and badminton can be incredible matches/games to watch. But it helps if you understand them. That's why I have trouble getting excited about water polo, for example -- I don't have a clue what is happening when I watch. In chess and badminton, as in football, players can be very aggressive, skilled, risk-taking, and more. Matches and games can be thrilling. Maybe you don't understand chess or badminton very well. That is fine. But why denigrate people who have interests that are different, as is happening in this thread?


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Posted by ban all sports
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Water polo?

"A first-of-its-kind survey has confirmed what some water polo players – especially goalies – have long suspected: Concussions seem to be prevalent in the sport.

More than a third of water polo participants reported sustaining a concussion either during games or in practice, according to a poll conducted by UC Irvine researchers."

Ban water polo.


2 people like this
Posted by JMan
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 7:55 pm

JMan is a registered user.

Congrats to Paly Football on a big win. Good to see them come back after last year's struggles.

By the way, Gunn aquatics (water polo and swimming) and boys volleyball kick butt.
Besides Bellarmine, the only boys swimming team that has won CCS in the past 30 years was Gunn (2016).


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Posted by Former Titan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 10, 2018 at 3:18 pm

With football participation dropping off at high schools I would like to see Gunn and Paly merge their football teams. They could combine their resources and make one really good program that would give athletes at both schools the opportunity to experience competitive football. It would bring both schools together and unite the community. Games and practices could be played at both schools.

In Pacifica the athletes from Oceana High School don't have a football program so they play at Terra Nova High School.


18 people like this
Posted by Name That Team
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 10, 2018 at 3:33 pm

>> With football participation dropping off at high schools I would like to see Gunn and Paly merge their football teams. They could combine their resources and make one really good program that would give athletes at both schools the opportunity to experience competitive football. It would bring both schools together and unite the community. Games and practices could be played at both schools.

While your idea makes sense (to a certain extent)...who gets naming rights to the football team? Paly certainly isn't going to give up the Vikings and shouldn't have to.

If Gunn can't field a regulation-sized varsity football team, then the Titans (as related to prep football) should disappear off the face of the map forever.

Plus...with the surplus of rally squad members from both high schools, it's going to look like a pro-football cheer leading ensemble on the sidelines and during halftime as you can't have one without the other. The same goes for the marching bands.

Blame all of this on the badminton/chess proponents at Gunn.


22 people like this
Posted by Just Say No to Chess
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Perhaps it's time for the newer demographic population at Gunn to step-up in regards to traditional high school 'letterman' sports.

Instead of clamoring for block letters in games like badminton and chess, go put on some pads and a helmet. Learn the finer points of the game through your mistakes and try to improve along the way. When you get tired of getting clobbered, you might just develop some proficiency and finally earn the respect of fellow classmates and parents who still cherish football as a traditional fall sport.

You're not going to achieve that with badminton and chess. And to wear a block letter representing those two pastimes will make you little more than a laughing stock amongst those who compete in legitimate athletic endeavors.


2 people like this
Posted by ban all sports
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:58 pm

@justsayno: " to step-up in regards to traditional high school 'letterman' sports"

Knock it off. Chess and badminton are cool. They are great activities. The strawman about 'lettering' is ridiculous.

This from someone who will do everything to make football as safe as possible, and be available in the future to every kid who wants to play.

Football ain't for everyone. Doesn't make their passions (chess, water polo, whatever) any less valid.

But it ain't football... :)


12 people like this
Posted by Old School
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 11, 2018 at 6:01 pm

> Chess and badminton are cool. They are great activities.

'Activities' is the key word. Not a block letter worthy endeavor.


Like this comment
Posted by Zhao
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 12, 2018 at 2:37 pm

How about issuing all students a block letter representing their respective schools regardless of any participation in after-school sports activities?

That way people will know what high school they attend.


44 people like this
Posted by @Zhao
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 12, 2018 at 4:38 pm

@Zhao is a registered user.

The block letters are awarded to varsity athletes as an honor of all the physical work, time, and dedication they put into their sport. I don't think it's appropriate to dilute those to mean just "I go to xyz school". There are plenty of shirts people can wear to demonstrate that.

If kids in non-varsity activities (theater, chess, robotics, etc), want a symbol of their activity that shows their pride, I'd encourage them to think of something beyond the varsity letter. I don't think you will win over many folks by essentially taking that symbol away from all the varsity athletes.


46 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 12, 2018 at 5:05 pm

QUOTE: How about issuing all students a block letter representing their respective schools regardless of any participation in after-school sports activities?

That way people will know what high school they attend.


It doesn't work that way Zhao. Read below. Seriously.


QUOTE: The block letters are awarded to varsity athletes as an honor of all the physical work, time, and dedication they put into their sport. I don't think it's appropriate to dilute those to mean just "I go to xyz school". There are plenty of shirts people can wear to demonstrate that.

If kids in non-varsity activities (theater, chess, robotics, etc), want a symbol of their activity that shows their pride, I'd encourage them to think of something beyond the varsity letter. I don't think you will win over many folks by essentially taking that symbol away from all the varsity athletes.


Zhao...If you want some form of school identity without actually earning a varsity letter for sports, consider a 'school tie' (like in private eastern US preparatory schools) or perhaps one of those little caps like they wear in British schools (e.g. similar to the one Angus Young wears while performing onstage with AC/DC). You can even opt for the short pants if you choose. *geeze*


34 people like this
Posted by What a Novel Idea
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2018 at 3:03 pm

How about issuing all students a block letter representing their respective schools regardless of any participation in after-school sports activities?

This idea sounds more like a participation award just for going to school.


Like this comment
Posted by Zhao
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 13, 2018 at 10:26 pm

Can you buy a block letter or have one made somewhere? My son would like to include one with his picture on application.


2 people like this
Posted by M-A Rally Squad Member
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 14, 2018 at 9:31 am

QUOTE: Can you buy a block letter or have one made somewhere? My son would like to include one with his picture on application.

I would advise against it but since you asked...

www.neffco.com/chenille-varsity-letters

A word of cautionary advice...I wouldn't get too carried away by adding any individual sports awards pins. And wearing an unearned block letter around town (or at your school) could cause some unforeseen problems. Just saying.

Do you go to Gunn or Paly? We don't get these kinds of requests at M-A.



34 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 14, 2018 at 9:44 am

QUOTE: We don't get these kinds of requests at M-A.

Consider yourselves fortunate.


30 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 14, 2018 at 2:23 pm

> Can you buy a block letter or have one made somewhere? My son would like to include one with his picture on application.

Bad idea.

>>...wearing an unearned block letter around town (or at your school) could cause some unforeseen problems. Just saying.

Agreed. It's not a casual fashion statement like wearing those Calvin Klein/Tommy Hilfiger T-shirts. You will be held accountable.










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Posted by sikh
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 14, 2018 at 3:25 pm

"You will be held accountable"

Y'all way too serious. Big whoop.


26 people like this
Posted by A Former HS Letterman
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 14, 2018 at 5:46 pm

>Can you buy a block letter or have one made somewhere? My son would like to include one with his picture on application.

>It's not a casual fashion statement like wearing those Calvin Klein/Tommy Hilfiger T-shirts.

So block letters and letterman jackets are destined to become high school fashion statements in PA despite their original intent?

Questions...Will Macy's be stocking them? Will they be made overseas? Will we be seeing performers wearing them in music videos?

Man. Traditional American culture is goin' downhill FAST.


20 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 15, 2018 at 9:17 am

QUOTE: So block letters and letterman jackets are destined to become high school fashion statements in PA despite their original intent?

Questions...Will Macy's be stocking them? Will they be made overseas? Will we be seeing performers wearing them in music videos?


Quite possibly as just about any form of apparel can become a temporary fashion statement. If Madonna, Lady GaGa or Justin Bieber were to go onstage wearing a 'designer' letterman jacket complete with a nondescript block letter, you could pretty much assume that countless fashionistas & poseurs (both young & older) would be trying to source one of their own.

We've already seen this phenomena occur with WWII era leather flight jackets and black leather motorcycle jackets...like how many wearers actually flew bombers or own a Harley?

Market a pseudo HS/collegiate letterman jacket at a high enough price (with overseas manufacturing to keep production costs down) & people will buy them for a 'retro look'...as shallow as it sounds.

@Gunn Parent - despite your obvious objections to this fashion-oriented mentality, perhaps it will amount a losing battle.


22 people like this
Posted by Gunn 1978
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 15, 2018 at 2:16 pm

OK let me get this straight.

We have gone from questioning certain games for block letter consideration to just buying a facsimile outright?

This reminds me of those opening lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality

Though I'm carbon-dating myself, I was a junior at Henry M. Gunn (back in 1976) when this song came out.

In those days, real athletes wore block letters.


14 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 15, 2018 at 6:30 pm

>In those days, real athletes wore block letters.

As it should be today. In another sports-related thread, someone even asked about awarding block letters for Tai Chi and Yoga.

Can you imagine such lunacy?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 15, 2018 at 9:44 pm

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Paly beat Aragon last night 34-7 to go 4-0 on the season against a string of good teams. And Jackson Cryst had an 82 yard bootleg. Nice job!


16 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 16, 2018 at 9:22 am

>> Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Paly beat Aragon last night 34-7 to go 4-0 on the season against a string of good teams. And Jackson Cryst had an 82 yard bootleg. Nice job!

Congrats Paly fans and students. Gunn also won last Friday...ironically when the opposing team (Marina) had to withdraw from the game due to injuries.

To prevent these kinds of unfortunate occurrences, it might be advisable to keep the JV teams as taxi squads for the varsity. That way games will not be forfeited or withdrawn in the future.

Besides, it is the obvious goal of most JV'rs to become members of the varsity football team at a later date so you might as well go in there and take some licks early on to get acclimated to the real deal.


2 people like this
Posted by Blocks Letters For Sale
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Block letters for athletic recognition are an anachronism just like sock hops and soda shops. The only ones who actually care about this kind of triviality are nostalgic parents from a previous generation. Most high school kids today could care less about jock recognition and even being a HS cheerleader is no big deal anymore.

If someone wants to go out and buy a block letter to wear as part of their casual wardrobe, big deal. Outside of the immediate Palo Alto community, who would even notice or care?

And while we're at it, recognition for all forms of competitive activities is OK in my book...even a Gunn tiddly-winks team.


20 people like this
Posted by Welcome to the New PA
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 17, 2018 at 1:56 pm

^^^^The sign of the times. Simply buy what you cannot earn legitimately.


10 people like this
Posted by The Wave of the Future?
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Kids today are becoming such weenies and in certain instances, their parents are to blame. From a demographic standpoint and from what I perceive in this thread...

(1) Parents/students from overseas backgrounds want to see non-traditional sports recognized as block letter worthy.
(2) Traditionalists are against this notion.
(3) There is a growing concern about head injuries in football.

Getting back to demographics, the Pacific Islander peoples seem to have no problem playing football and many of their athletes have gone to major success on the collegiate level as well as the NFL.

Is football going the same route where like basketball, it will eventually become dominated by specific ethnic groups?

If so, just call 'Omaha' and snap the football.


Like this comment
Posted by Baqri
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm

If everyone in the bleachers is wearing block letters, will that add to school spirit?

If so, they should be made available for sale at each school along with the purchase of student body cards, sweatshirts and other promotional apparel.


14 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 20, 2018 at 10:04 am

>If everyone in the bleachers is wearing block letters, will that add to school spirit?

Not sure of the school spirit factor but it would look incredibly lame and make Paly/Gunn the laughing stock of the peninsula.

Is that what you really want?

Is 'school spirit' conveyed differentally in other parts of the world?


10 people like this
Posted by Be True to Your School
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 20, 2018 at 3:10 pm

> Not sure of the school spirit factor but it would look incredibly lame and make Paly/Gunn the laughing stock of the peninsula.

Picture a bleacher full of spectators wearing lettermen jackets/sweaters and cheerleader outfits with their respective school block letters...hilarious.

A You-tube moment for the ages and perhaps only in Palo Alto.




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Posted by Shakiri
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 20, 2018 at 5:54 pm

^^^^ What's the big deal? People wear various baseball/football/basketball jerseys to watch sports.

You don't have to be an athlete to look like an athlete.

These block letters are highly overrated by some.


6 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2018 at 7:48 am

QUOTE: You don't have to be an athlete to look like an athlete.

A silly question given the multi-billion dollar fashion industry but...why would someone want to look like something (or someone) they're not?

Have we de-evolved into a world of poseurs?

As far as traditional athletic block letters are concerned, they are a school acknowledgment and award for earning one's place on a league-sanctioned team. To hand them out randomly like pennants and bobble-head dolls would cheapen its significance.

Comprende?



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