PASADENA, Calif. -- Red, green and silver confetti covered the middle of the Rose Bowl field like a fresh coat of snow. Newly issued gray T-shirts that read, "Tree Mendous," strained to cover the shoulder pads of several Stanford players.
Cardinal coach David Shaw, encircled by security personnel, slowly made his way toward a stadium tunnel when he was stopped by a slightly gap-toothed woman in a red down jacket. They exchanged hugs.
"Great job," said Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary of State who now serves on the Stanford faculty.
Moments later, the Stanford band, which prides itself on being cool, on being above it all, began chanting, "Da-vid Shaw! Da-vid Shaw!"
This is what happens when a program that hasn't won a Rose Bowl in more than four decades, well, wins a Rose Bowl. Dignitaries appear. Players dance in confetti. Legacies begin to take form.