Rivalry – competition for one objective; superiority on the same field.”
Around an hour prior to the 148th edition of the Lafayette-Lehigh football game, a press release was handed to me with this headline:
LAFAYETTE TO HOST 150TH MEETING AT YANKEE STADIUM
Same objective; spectacular field!
Probably my reaction was much like people across the nation who see anything with the name “Yankee” attached to it: you either love it or hate it. I must admit I had very ambiguous feelings towards the announcement myself. I loved it and (well, hate is a very strong word) I had some misgivings, mostly selfish ones. Allow me to explain:
I love it because the game deserves it. It is college football’s most played rivalry. This game was an integral part of a “rugby to American football” transition. This past Saturday kept an uninterrupted series going that began in 1884. It is known as The Rivalry. Lafayette actually started football first, two years prior to Lehigh. When they met for the first time, on October 25, 1884, Lafayette won 50-0. They played again three weeks later and Lafayette won 34-4. All in all, the neighbors have gone “at it” 148 times.
I love it because it will be great for the players. For two schools that are only 17 miles apart, traveling to play at such a historical site will be a memory they will cherish forever. My guess, too, is that the players who went before will vicariously live out the experience through the 2014 roster.
I love it because of the exposure it gives to two schools that do things the right way – academics first and athletics second. Even with football scholarships coming next year, the promise is that the academic standards will not change. I have no reason to doubt that the current admission requirements will be upheld. That is first and foremost what these two schools are about.
So, what’s not to like? The game holds a special place in my broadcasting resume. Much like the players and coaches, I circle this one on my calendar and, no matter what the records of the respective schools, I truly look forward to doing the play-by-play for this one. The audience is larger, the expectations (at least mine) are higher, the tension is greater, and I have my own streak of doing the game to maintain. Did I mention my reasons for some misgivings were personal? I fully expect this game to take on even greater national interest and, therefore, be cast into the national limelight – can ESPN read this? That means THEM, NOT ME!!
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- The personal alcohol carry limit for tailgating at the Lafayette-Lehigh game on Saturday was 144 ounces and it had to be in bottles or cans. It seems to me that it would be very difficult to drink 144 ounces of anything and not spend almost the entire game in the restroom. I arrived at the game at 10:30 AM and could have sworn I noticed a few people who had already consumed their limit.
- Alabama, Oregon, and Kansas State lose in the last two weeks, thrusting Notre Dame into the #1 spot in the college football rankings and Alabama bounces right back to #2. Maybe this “prayer thing” at Notre Dame works.
- Watching the Eagles on Sunday, I get the feeling Andy Reid is resigned to being resigned.
- Did you notice I went 13-1 this past week in my pro picks!! DAMN JETS!!!
- I will be with my family on Thanksgiving. I hope you are all with yours. Happy Thanksgiving!
NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 13-1) (46-22 overall for the season – 68%)
- NEW ENGLAND
- NEW ORLEANS
- GREEN BAY