Sept. 4, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - A tradition almost as old as Stanford Football itself, "The Walk" has been a centerpiece pre-game ritual for the Cardinal and its fans for decades. Stanford supporters of all ages line the pathway that Stanford players and coaches walk from their locker room in the Arrillaga Family Sports Center, past the Chuck Taylor Grove, into the Gate 1 entrance to Stanford Stadium. The Stanford Band lines up behind the team during The Walk and plays to the delight of fans.
Join Stanford Football for "The Walk" at 4 p.m. on Saturday against San Jose State, as this week's theme will be players who played for Coach Bill Walsh, and include: two of the school's top rushers, Darrin Nelson and Mike Mitchell, mid 1990's quarterback Steve Stenstrom and Athletics Hall of Famer Chuck Evans.
The tradition of The Walk has evolved through the years, and today Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football and head coach Jim Harbaugh has announced some new updates for The Walk to better accommodate the needs and pre-game routines of his players. Instead of departing 80 minutes before kickoff, Stanford players and coaches will now conduct The Walk two hours before kickoff. The travel squad of Stanford players will don their travel sweats for The Walk, rather than dressing in their helmets, full pads and uniforms.
"I greatly value The Walk, a tradition I came to know and embrace as a young Stanford fan while my dad coached here," Harbaugh says. "I want to preserve the experience for our players and coaches to feel rousing support when they enter Stanford Stadium, and I want the fans to maintain their emotional connection with our players and coaches on gameday. We are making these updates to The Walk, in both time and dress, to allow our players to put on their pads, braces and uniforms in the Stanford Stadium locker room. Each player and each position group will now be able to conduct their most beneficial pre-game warmups and routines before putting on those pads. This updated tradition will also protect our players from extra exposure to the sun and heat in full pads."
"I expect that the earlier start to The Walk will do nothing to lessen the outpouring of support we are accustomed to seeing pre-game Saturdays at Stanford," Harbaugh says. "The complete gameday experience on The Farm includes hours of tailgating, the Fan Fest, touring campus and buying armloads of hats, shirts and gear from the Stanford Athletics Shop and the Stanford Bookstore. Cardinal fans can now set their watches to join me and our players two hours before kickoff, each and every Saturday we proudly play at home in Stanford Stadium."
"Come early and come often this fall to Stanford to support your Cardinal inside and outside of the Stadium," Harbaugh says. "I want to see your faces and hear your voices, lifting our spirits and multiplying our enthusiasm in these emotional moments before entering the finest college football stadium in America. For our first Walk of this season, on September 19 against San Jose State, I would like to see every Stanford fan, young and old, line our path to Stanford Stadium. Listen for the drums of the Band, calling you to cheer our players at 4:00pm on September 19 ahead of our 6:00pm kickoff. I hope to make this first edition of the updated Walk the best showing we have seen in years."
Tickets for all Stanford home games are available at the Stanford Athletic Ticket Office, on-line at GoStanford.com or by calling 1-800-Stanford.