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Last Saturday, for the first time since 1882, the Lafayette football team played a regular season game in the spring. Oh, there has always been spring football, but Lafayette always played Lafayette. It was a tune-up after weeks of spring practice to gauge where the team was and where they needed to be.
Last week was different. After 476 days for Lafayette and 483 days for Colgate, the two opponents were going to play a football game. Ironically, Colgate’s last opponent was also Lafayette. And about twenty miles away, arch-rival Lehigh would take on Holy Cross to “open” their Patriot League season. As you might expect, during the Covid era, one game – Fordham vs. Bucknell had to be postponed.
Lafayette had lost five straight to Colgate and had not even scored a point against the Raiders in the last three games. Besides playing an actual Patriot League game in the spring, this game would be different. Not only did Lafayette score, they scored first and second and won the game 24-10. The Leopards looked like they were going to make the best of the season and, perhaps, challenge for the Patriot League title, even though only four games would be played. There was a championship game scheduled for April 17.
Game two was to be against Bucknell. On Wednesday, due to Covid circumstances (this time on the Lafayette campus), the Saturday game was postponed. It turns out, by Wednesday afternoon, both the Lehigh-Colgate and the Fordham-Holy Cross games would also be postponed. In other words, by week two, the entire second weekend schedule had been scrapped.
The Patriot League foresaw that there might be problems and had inserted a make-up week in the schedule. The emphasis here is on “make-up week”, not weeks. Fordham and Bucknell had already missed two weeks. What happens now? I can only surmise that teams will try to play their divisional opponents first. In Lafayette’s case, that means they need to play Bucknell and Lehigh. Does a four-game schedule become a three-game schedule?
And there is a Lehigh game. It is scheduled for April 3. It would be the 156th meeting between the schools and continue their series as “college football’s most played rivalry”. If Lafayette and Lehigh are going to play any game, it would most certainly be this one.
Lafayette is scheduled to play Fordham this Saturday in New York at 1:00pm. Will they? You have to wait until Wednesday – that is Covid testing day, which has become, for the football teams, the most important day of the week.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- Lafayette College grad Beth Mowins was the main announcer for the Cubs’ spring training game this past Saturday. She will call her first regular season game for the Cubs on May 8. She will announce a select number of regular season games for the Cubs, filling in for their main announcer. Beth has been a part of a number of firsts for female announcers in her career at CBS and ESPN.
- Who had the better feeling on Sunday, the winning coach or the winning coach’s son? The Hall of Fame coach got to his 20th Sweet Sixteen win behind his son’s 25 points. Buddy Boeheim continued his great season under his father, Jim, as #11 seed Syracuse upset #3 seed West Virginia. Father praised son and son praised father, as it should be.
- The Central Catholic boys had the comeback of the year on Friday night when they trailed by 17 points to Archbishop Carroll, a Philadelphia Catholic district champion. Central, behind Tyson Thomas, outscored AR 33-12 the rest of the way to pull out a 55-51 win. The win carries them to this week’s semifinal and, hopefully, the state championship game on Thursday.
- The issue of athletes being paid for their services continues to be a major focus of college athletes. The hashtag #NotNCAAProperty is gaining momentum as the NCAA basketball tournament unfolds with the organization collecting billions of dollars for the television rights. This issue will not go away.
- Who hasn’t ripped up their NCAA bracket sheet? With the way the past year has gone, did you expect anything different?