How the Stanford-MIT ‘Bible’ came to be the ‘B’ word
Posted On August 3, 2021
Posted March 14, 2019 06:00:03 The ‘Bibles’ are the word of the day in the college football world.
They’re often the focal point of conferences and even national championship games.
But the word ‘Bolshevik’ was born out of the rivalry between the two schools in the 1950s, and the phrase stuck.
But where did it come from?
In the 1950 season, Stanford and MIT went to a bowl game, with the Spartans defeating the Cardinal 31-7.
“We thought that the Bs were a more attractive team to play against, so we thought we would try to beat them,” said Jim McPherson, Stanford’s athletic director from 1956 to 1959.
“I remember going out to the dorms, the dorm-room lobby, to the shower stalls.
I was trying to think of a way to make the most of our athletic talent, and this was a really good idea.”
The ‘G’ word “I remember being in my room in the dorm, I was thinking, ‘How am I going to do this?'” said McPhersons daughter, Elizabeth McPhearson.
“That’s when I realized that ‘B'”s a very nice word.
She said she came up with the name for her “B” school, which became known as the Stanford “Bolshies.”
“We called them ‘Stanford’s Bibles’ because they were more traditional than the Stanford Bibles, but we felt they would be more appealing to people who were not Stanford fans,” McPhetons daughter said.
“So we decided to call them ‘Bs’ Bibles.”
McPhesons daughter would go on to write a book about the rivalry, entitled “Bols” Bibles.
It was the first book written about the Stanford vs. MIT rivalry, and it was published in 1959.
That’s when Stanford beat MIT by 31 points in a game that featured the greatest quarterback duel of all time.
McPheears book, “Bolingers Bibles” is still out of print.
It became a best-seller.
“The Bibles were popular,” Mc Phearson said.
“The best book about that game was the book by James A. Martin, who was the quarterback of the ‘Spartan’ Spartans,” Mcpherson said.
The book became a popular best-selling title, and its publisher, A. J. MacDougall, bought the rights to it and made a deal with Stanford to use the book for promotional purposes.
“There were a lot of schools who had them, including Stanford, which is why it was so well-known and loved,” Mc pherson explained.
“Stanford was a big Stanford fan.”
“Stanford and MIT used to have a lot in common,” Mc Pattson said, “so I think that the ‘G’, ‘B,’ and ‘S’ were very popular.”
The ‘Bols’ were also known for their love of “B’s Bibles,” which Mc Pherson would later call the most popular book in the history of the Bibles series.
The Bols would go to three more bowls before going to Stanford, with all three winning.
In the 1960s, Mc Patts son was working as a reporter for the Stanford Chronicle, and he found a copy of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Athletics, and “BOLS” was the title of his article.
It went on to sell about 25 million copies, which meant that Mc Pattons “Bibles” book had become a hit with Stanford fans.
“In 1960, the ‘M’ word was becoming so popular,” he said.
“In 1961, the University of Michigan started using the ‘m’ word in its sports programs, and that was really the beginning of a trend,” Mc Padsters son said.
Mc Pattssson’s book became so popular that it was featured in a television ad for the NFL’s Michigan Wolverines.
Mc Patts book was also used in an episode of “Family Guy,” which aired in 1959, and featured a fictionalized account of a Michigan grad student named Ed.
When the Stanford and Stanford- MIT rivalry came to a close in the 1960 season, Mc Padstaffs book sold about 1.5 million copies in the U.S., and it became the best-known reference for the rivalry.
This year, Mc Pitts book is being used to promote a new film about the ’60s rivalry.
The film, called “Stanley’s Bols,” is scheduled to be released on March 23.
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