“The Big Game” is the annual football game between Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. The first big game was held in 1892 and the annual match is one of the oldest rivalries in college football. Stanford v. Cal football programs are some of the most interesting and collectible vintage football items available.
A very good copy of this vintage program sold recently at auction for slightly over $1,000. This is a nice price for a vintage program, reflecting its uniqueness and rarity.
What is curious about this game and program is that it is actually for a Rugby game. Between 1906 and 1914 the “Big Game” was actually played under English Rugby rules and not the standard game of football that it was prior and subsequent to. Apparently, both Stanford and Cal abolished the standard version of Football as being too violent and instead instituted English Rugby during this period. After the resumption of games that were suspended during the First World War, the teams again began playing under American Football rules.