I don't know why it took until late February for the Stanford athletic department to release a behind-the-scenes "director's cut" look at their trip to the Rose Bowl, but I'm not going to complain about it. These kinds of videos are like a sunny day in a Russian winter at this time of year.
The 10-minute video chronicles the Cardinal's entire trip to southern California, but we're going to skip to eight minutes in, when David Shaw gives his post-game address after Stanford's win. First, a quick recap of the game: Stanford jumped out to a 14-0 lead through one quarter, but Wisconsin pulled to within 17-14 at the half. The Stanford defense forced six punts and an interception in the second half, and the Cardinal held on for a 20-14 win.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of you guys," Shaw said to a jubilant locker room. "The unity that we displayed day in, day out, game in, game out, is so special. You young guys have to realize how hard it was to get here."
Stanford's outgoing seniors signed to play for a program that hadn't had a winning season since 2001. Stanford's incoming freshmen signed to play for a program that has gone 35-5 and finished in the Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl in the last three seasons. It's an entirely different challenge for Shaw and his staff, one he began battling immediately.
"We don't start talking about next year," Shaw continued. "People are going to be heaping all kinds of praise on us. That's not us. We don't respond to that. We respond when it's time to work. When we get back into school, we're going to put our noses back down to the grindstone because this is a great feeling, isn't it?"