Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Impossible dreams

What do you do when nobody believes in you?

What if people keep telling you your dreams are impossible, that people you know and trust keep telling you over and over again to not even bother with your dreams, that these dreams aren't realistic, that what you want to do is against the natural order of things?

I feel like though life, people are constantly telling you what you can't do.  Even when people say that you can do something, they don't really mean it - in their eyes, they feel like you can't.

Everything good that's happened to me in my life came from holding my dreams close, not allowing other people to define for me what my dreams are, can, and can not be.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lehigh Works Out Its Bad Karma, Gets First Win, 31-14 Over Cornell

There have been times this season that Lehigh has been agonizingly close to winning games they have ended up losing.

It's as if they've been stuck with bad karma; that they've been oh-so-close to winning, but some bad karmic event keeps them out of the victory column.

Against the Big Red on homecoming this weekend, the Bad Karma seemed to be at Schoellkopf Field for Lehigh once again.

A well-defended pass bounced into the hands of Cornell WR Collin Shaw set up one Big Red touchdown. and a low snap to punter junior P Austin Devine set up another, making a 17-0 Mountain Hawk become a very slim, thin-feeling 17-14 spot for Lehigh.

But then just like that, the Lehigh offense seemed to have finished with its bad karma, with senior RB Rich Sodeke leading the charge to set up one big touchdown, and scoring the final exclamation point on Lehigh's first win of the season.

It all added up to a satisfying return to winning for the Mountain Hawks.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How To Catch Lehigh/Cornell

This weekend's Lehigh/Cornell game, if you're not able to make it to Ithaca, will be available to be viewed online, but it will require a subscription and a fee to do it.

It's available to on the Ivy League Digital Network, and you can buy it on a school day-pass basis.

I forget the price of Cornell's day pass, but if you went for the monthly subscription to ILDN back when we played Yale, then you're good for this weekend's game at Cornell.

The game is Lehigh's latest start of the season, at 3:30 PM up in Ithaca.

My plan is to can listen to the game for free on www.espnlv.com (or on the radio at AM 1230 and 1320 of the Lehigh Valley).  The reassuring voices of Matt Kerr and Matt Markus will be on the call.

And I will also say that if you follow my Twitter feed (@LFN), I'll do my best to keep up with the action.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Game Breakdown, Lehigh vs. Cornell, 10/18/2014

We break down the Cornell game after the flip.

The Cornell Big Red are led by the youngest head football coach in all of Division I, David Archer.

His resume sounds like a college football player's dream; starter on the offensive line at Cornell, invited to remain on the coaching staff after a year as an assistant at Franklin and Marshall, and then, after five years and a surprise departure from then-head coach Kent Austin, being promoted from within to become the head coach at your Alma Mater.

What may not be a dream is Cornell's record ever since he took over.  While not entirely his fault, Archer has gone only 3-11 as head Big Red.  Still, it's more victories (and more losses) than I've enjoyed as a Division I head football coach, and he's not even 35.  (To both of you who are wondering: My Division I coaching record is a perfect 0-0-0.)

Cornell is a typical Ivy League school in that NFL prospects have been known to compete up in Ithaca, and this year is no exception, as you'll find out.

Game Preview: Lehigh at Cornell, 10/18/2014

You hate to put it this way, but this weekend's tilt between Lehigh and Cornell could be the anemic force versus the extremely movable object.

Lehigh's defense would be the movable object, ranking dead last in FCS in total defense, but the Not So Big Red's offense, ranked 121 out of 123 FCS teams, hasn't exactly impressed either.

It sets up two teams extremely hungry for victory this Saturday, eager to get something positive going before the rest of the regular-season schedule gets back underway.

In May, this might have seemed like a speed-bump up in Ithaca.  Now, it seems like a game that must somehow be a victory to get the bus out of the ditch.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

LFN Look Back: Chance At the Postseason On The Line in '77

The latest disco music was available right off campus at "Records and Things".  A young Phillies pitcher named Steve Carlton wins his second Cy Young Award.  Debbie Boone's "You Light Up My Life" topped the charts, spending 10 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard .  Rocky was still in theaters.  Billy Joel would tour Bethlehem and the valley, perhaps setting the stage for his later hit Allentown.

In local news in 1977, Lehigh was also in the running for an invitation to the football postseason.

Coming into the 113th meeting between the Leopards and Engineers, as they were commonly known at the time, never before had been so much on the line for Lehigh.  In front of an expected sellout crowd of 18,000 people, a win would in all probablility give them the Lambert Cup, given to the best team in the East, and an invitation to the Division II playoffs.

But a loss to the team that beat them last year would see all of Lehigh's opportunities fade away, the chance to qualify for the eight-team postseason playoff and championship Bowls, the opportunity to reverse last year's humbling loss to the Leopards.

It was win, and get the hardware, and a chance to compete for the championship.  Lose, and sit at home, wondering what could have been.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How To Cope With A Losing Streak In An Online World

As you may have heard, our family has been blessed with a new puppy.  As you probably have not heard, puppies require 7AM walks to do their business, and puppies don't care if you're tired, upset, frustrated, or angry.

At 7AM on Sunday, I exited the house with the dog, and promptly ran into another entirely too happy dog owner walking his dog.

My inner Clark Kent-ish personality jumped to the front, somehow pasting an easygoing smile on my face, packing away all the frustration of Saturday's game as I made smalltalk about being a dog owner, the same smalltalk that dog owners have probably been making about dogs since dogs showed up in our caves thousands of years ago.

It wasn't a bad conversation - I didn't regret having it, even though it was unmemorable.  I was glad to share some goodwill with the neighbors.  But it did demonstrate to me what sports fans have to do in this age when our teams are struggling.  You have to be able to put your fan alter ego away to get through life.