The enthusiasm and excitement starts up around this time every year at both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara because students and players are getting ready for the Blue-Green Rivalry game. Both teams met on the field in 1921, but the Blue-Green Rivalry officially started in 1994 and blew up in 2007. The rivalry encompasses all ten sports, but men’s soccer still continues to be the most popular because of the high attendance and sold out games.

This upcoming Saturday, Oct. 28 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium the two teams will face off once again for yet another nail bitting match.  With the game coming up, my team decided to dive into the history of this rivalry and get an insight into the build up of this game.

View from the press box at the Alex G. Spanos Stadium at Cal Poly where many Blue-Green Rivalry games have been played.

“There had already been a lot of coverage on the Blue-Green Rivalry in the past” Mandie Geller, Public Relations lead explains, “so we wanted to find the right people to to take a new angle on the topic.”

The first interview we had was with a former player, Trenton Matson. Matson was born and raised in Walnut Creek and a big reason that he decided to come to Cal Poly and play soccer was because of the Blue-Green Rivalry. We met with Matson in front of the Mott Gym and Navid Golemohammadi, our lead writer, conducted the interview. He came prepared with questions and recorded the interview on his phone so that he could go back and pull quotes for the article.

Golemohammadi interviewing Matson in front of the Mott Gym.

The only issue we had was our video and audio lead, Erica Hudson, brought her camera and tripod, but had forgot to buy a memory card so she missed that opportunity to get footage for the video that she was working on creating. Since we had a recording of the interview, we realized Hudson could use parts of the audio to put behind b-roll. As Hudson continued to put together her video, she said that she had the idea to “go through archived footage of precious UCSB vs Cal Poly games to assemble b-roll and a teaser.”

The second person we were able to meet with was the Assistant Director of Athletics Communications, Chris Giovanni. He decided to meet us in the press box at the Spanos Stadium to tell us about his experience of watching Cal Poly soccer evolve since 2016. Giovanni reminisces on some of the most significant moments as in “2008 when Cal Poly sold out for the very first time.” Once again, Golemohammadi led the interview and Reilly Roberts, the interactive lead, took pictures of behind the scenes.

Giovanni and Golemohammadi talking at the press box of the Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

Our interactive chair, Reilly Roberts, decided to tackle the data portion by creating graphs and charts to complement the article. “With lots of record breaking numbers within the Blue-Green Rivalry’s history, it was exciting to put all the numbers together and visually see what an impact the game has,” Roberts explains.

After getting a variety of perspectives from different people and collecting past information and facts, my group was able to put together a story that gives a better insight into the Blue-Green Rivalry. Golemohammadi realizes after interviewing various of people related to the rivalry that “the reasons for its birth can’t be pointed to on element alone.” Between the video, interactive data and information gathered to write the article, it has turned out to be a successful story that is relevant during this time.