One of College Football's Greatest Pranks: Stanford's Fake "Daily Cal"



Simply put, this is one of the greatest pranks that I've ever heard of.

Four days after Cal beat Stanford with "The Play," a kickoff return that's as famous for its numerous laterals and on-field chaosas it is for the Stanford trombonist that was run over in the end zone, brilliant members of the Stanford Daily student newspaper saw fit to create a fake edition of Cal's Daily Californian filled with stories meant to convince students that the NCAA had awarded the game to Stanford.

From ESPN Playbook:

Thirty years after several Stanford Daily newspaper staffers produced a fake, four-page “Extra” Daily Californian that reported the NCAA had overturned Cal’s famous, last-second, lateral-filled kickoff return against Stanford four days earlier, they still have trouble picking out their favorite part.

But lurking on the Berkeley campus that Wednesday morning of Nov. 24, 1982, posing as Cal students while watching real Bears faithful pick up the fake Daily Cal, is definitely at or near the top.

“Oh, it was a total crackup,” says Adam Berns, 50, who came up with the idea, sold it to the paper’s editor-in-chief and business manager and recruited his best buddy on the staff, Mark Zeigler, to write most of the stories with him. “People were everything from being really super pissed off to a couple crying to, you know, all sorts of reactions. In fact, Mark and I probably stayed later than any of the other people [at Cal] ... to watch the reaction of people, which was really funny.”

Says Zeigler: “Obviously we were never going to change that outcome, but this was probably the next best thing.”

For the rest, see ESPN Playbook.

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