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A love letter to the Stanford offensive line's gigantic formations

Shakespeare is sports, and he was always meant to talk about Stanford's offensive line.

Dear Stanford,

Roses are red, violets are blue. Your consistent approach to your offensive line bludgeoning the hell out of every opponent it faces makes me happy, too.

"To be or not to be, that is the question," and Stanford remains true to what it is.

And as college football continues to embrace high-flying offense, the Cardinal are still doing stuff like this:

Look at the pad level. Look at the leg drive. Look at poor No. 45 from USC getting crowbarred out of his stance and pried aside. "I’ll not budge an inch" is the consistent attitude of this dominating group of brethren.

The result of the play isn’t the focus, it could have been a turnover for all I care. That which we call a rose [bowl] by any other name would smell as sweet.

"But love is blind, and lovers cannot see."

There is no love in Stanford. There is only pain and touchdowns.

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't."

Stanford is 4-0. They win like this:

To the uncouth eye, it is unattractive, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Coach David Shaw punted on the 39-yard line, and the team still won a slugfest over UCLA. This is Shaw thinking ahead of all of us and trusting his team. When you have such renaissance men piloting the offensive ship such as this, it makes sense.

"Beauty, wit, High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service, love friendship charity are subjects all to envious and calumniating time. One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

While ol' Billy Shakespeare would have you believe everything in nature is created equal, he has clearly never seen a Stanford offensive line. He has not seen the force of nature that is former Stanford lineman Joshua Garnett.

At Stanford, the offensive lineman is to be praised. With bigger chairs in the front of team meeting rooms, he is valued in a way Romeo never could value Juliet. Your offensive line does not produce like the Cardinal's because it is not cut from the same cloth. "Intellectual brutality" is not its claim to fame. Stanford is not kin, for Stanford is pure, unaltered brutality, and the natural human bloodline would only serve as mere pollution.

"Brevity is the soul of wit."

And there is nothing brief or funny about Stanford. The drives are long and the method of play soberingly serious.

You tell me what is funny about this. This is Stanford trotting out n-i-n-e offensive lineman for a formation in practice.

The whole coaching tape is here, and there are extremely serious, extremely beautiful drills of Stanford offensive linemen attempting to get as low as humanly possible on the goal line.

Think that formation is a gimmick? Well, you'd better get your candy ass out of the way, as Stanford runs through you with eight offensive linemen in a formation in its 2016 season opener.

Laugh if you want, but when a 6’6, 320-pound behemoth barrel-rolls onto you, it’s not so funny anymore.

But alas, I must accept that you will not accept my affection, for I am but a star-crossed lover. Unrequited love is the nature of this union for you are not a bride meant to be held. Stanford fancies itself with the cuddliness of the black bears that roam the redwood forests for which its mascot derives its identity. It’s only slightly less menacing than Ursus americanus on its way to the end zone.

"Hear my soul speak. Of the very instant that I saw you, Did my heart fly at your service."

Stanford, you have bereft me of all words.

With love,


Visuals from: EDSBSLandthievesCalifornia Golden BlogsCougcenterBurnt Orange Nation, and Sports on Earth.