The Axe

The Axe [thee·axs] n. a trophy presented to the winner of the annual Big Game that resides with the winning team until the next year's contest determines its steward; consists of an actual axe head originally used by Stanford yell leaders circa 1899 that's mounted on a plaque listing the victors of every year's Big Game.   *also var., the Stanford Axe.   *note: Winning the Big Game several years in a row allows one school to keep the trophy for however many coinciding years. Having possession of the Axe is a point of pride, a mark of school spirit. At Stanford, the Axe is escorted to events by a group of student protectors, known as The Axe Committee. There is a school fight chant which extolls Stanford to "give 'em (Cal) the Axe, where? In the neck, there."

Origin Story: In 1899, Stanford yell leaders introduced the Stanford Axe as the physical manifestation of the Stanford-Cal rivalry at a baseball game. Afterward, the Axe was stolen by Cal students. The Stanford students gave chase. The handle was sawed off to make the Axe easier to conceal and Cal students were able to secret it back to Berkeley. The Axe was lost to Stanford for some 30 odd years.

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