Stanford Cardinal super-fan Cliff (am sure someone knows his last name, but I don’t) is a gnomish old guy who reportedly made a fortune in Silicon Valley, retired, and for years has shown up at Stanford sporting events all over the country. Last week before the national NCAA semi-final women’s volleyball match between the Cardinal and the University of Minnesota, Cliff came up to a couple of us and said “I know we are going to win the championship, and here is how I know”.
He held out his hand, on which was written in pen the number 71217. Cliff told us that before the men’s soccer final match (that Stanford won) the previous week, he had calculated the number of minutes and seconds that the soccer team had held opponents scoreless prior to the final, and then had added 90 minutes, with the sense that if Stanford could hold the other team scoreless for the match, they would win the national title. That total time worked out to 712 minutes and 17 seconds. He wrote the number on his hand…and Stanford went on to win that final by holding Wake Forest scoreless and winning on penalty kicks.
Cliff then said that he realized the number had special meaning for the women’s volleyball team as well, so he did not wash it off. We looked and could not figure it out, which I guess is why some people make a fortune in Silicon Valley and others don’t.
Stanford won it’s 7th national volleyball title last Saturday, on 12/17. 71217. Proud to be a member of Stanford’s Nerd Nation!