The Stanford football team's visit here was disastrous in more ways than one. Aside from the defeat in the Rose Bowl, one of the players flunked a political science/geography quiz on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
He couldn't identify the governor of California (good thing Stanford isn't a state school). And the footballer couldn't tell Leno what bay the city of San Francisco is located by.
II FAR OUT: There were several wild Y2K rumors that failed to come true, including these:
* With the electronic message boards on the freeways malfunctioning, Mayor Riordan would inadvertently show up at the landmark Culver City sign (see accompanying) to usher in the year 2000.
* Members of the Raiders football team would be allowed to occupy one of the Rose Parade floats, a sight that would send parents fleeing from the scene.
* Vandals would finish construction of the Disney Concert Hall, following architect Frank Gehry's exact specifications--much to the horror of onlookers.
* Hollywood would be allowed to secede from L.A.--and would promise to do lunch with L.A. soon.
* The Eagles would open their concert at Staples Center with their signature song, "Hotel Nevada."
* A power outage would darken 12 regions inside producer Aaron Spelling's Holmby Hills mansion.
* A longtime urban folk tale would turn out to be true when a thawed-out Walt Disney emerged to personally host the ceremonies at the Magic Kingdom.
* East Hollywood would announce it was seceding from the city of Hollywood but change its mind when Mayor Charlton Heston threatened armed intervention.
COMING TO A GARAGE SALE NEAR YOU: Well, I guess it doesn't matter that I never did get around to reading such doomsday novels as "01-01-00" (R.J. Pineiro), "Deadline Y2K" (Mark Joseph), "The Book of End Times--Grappling with the Millennium" (John Clute) and "Millennium Rising" by Jane Jensen.
Then there was "The End of the Age," by televangelist Pat Robertson.
The millennium disaster in that potboiler is about a tidal wave that engulfs Southern California after a meteor hits that bay off Santa Monica--what do you call it?
MAYBE NEXT CENTURY: Another failed Y2K prophet was "Strange Days," starring Ralph Fiennes, a 1995 movie that depicted Dec. 31, 1999, as one long riot in Hollywood.
As anyone who saw the ceremonies at the Hollywood sign knows, Hollywood was one of the dullest places in the world on New Year's Eve.
Y2K MINUS 20: The late LSD advocate Timothy Leary had a radio show on KEZY in Anaheim in 1980 before being fired for, among other things, giving bulletins that warned of the disappearance of the San Diego Freeway and giant ice packs off Malibu.
HIT BY A BUG? Jeff Daniels had me log on to the http://www.millennium.com Internet site, where I received this message: "This site is currently under construction. Please visit us again in a few days."
We all get a bit nostalgic. But Kurt Adler of San Diego wonders if anyone would really want to take up one store's offer and experience carpal tunnel syndrome all over again (see accompanying).
Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053 and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.