clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Florida vs. Stanford, Game Thread: Will we give thanks for a Gators win?

Happy Thanksgiving! Have some basketball.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Oklahoma vs Florida Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive year, somehow, the Florida Gators are playing the Stanford Cardinal in men’s basketball on Thanksgiving.

It’s a Christmas mira ... I’m being told that is the wrong holiday.

Anyway: This is likely to be a slightly worse version of the Cardinal team that Florida torched in the PK80 Invitational a year ago, with Reid Travis now at Kentucky and fellow bruiser Michael Humphrey off doing whatever mastering of the universe Stanford grads do, and I do not sincerely think you care much about the contours of this game now, in the midst of post-dinner comas, so I wanted to write something different in place of a preview.

Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, a son named Leland Jr., who had died of typhoid fever a year prior. Because Leland Stanford Sr. was a powerful and very rich railroad magnate, the school was well-positioned to be a West Coast rival to some of the prestigious universities of the eastern United States, and Stanford raided Cornell for both faculty and philosophy, adopting some of the Ivy League institution’s more progressive ideas, like nonsectarian and coeducational schooling.

And Stanford remained at the forefront of progressivism in higher education into the 20th century, when it formalized policies of nondiscrimination and recruited students with minority backgrounds well before much of the rest of the country.

Yet Stanford’s athletic teams were named the Indians by some of its students — assuredly, very few of them of Native American descent — in 1930, and were known as the Indians until the early 1970s, when common sense and the objections of Native American students finally won out.

Happy Thanksgiving. Go Gators.