Monday, September 29, 2014

LFN 101: Course Name: How To Win

You are what your record says you are.

So yes, Virginia, Lehigh is 0-4.

It is also true that the Mountain Hawks have been right in the thick of three of the four games they've played, vs. Monmouth, James Madison, and Yale - three good teams, and squads with very strong skill players on offense.  It is easy to imagine an alternate-universe Lehigh, despite the well-publicized struggles, being 3-1.

With this reality, when senior DT Tim Newton is quoted as saying that "I felt it today. It's there," when it came to getting over the hump and into the win column, he's absolutely right.  "I felt like we just need that one little kick to get us over it. But it wasn't there. We obviously weren't able to finish the game," he continued.

Fortunately, "finishing games" is a chapter of my 27 part series on "How To Win Football Games," something that might be of use to any football player, or fan, that might want to call on my decades of experience of observing different Lehigh teams and what it takes for those teams to turn losses into wins.

Because the season is nowhere near over.  There's not any extra breathing room anymore, and it's not ideal to wait until your first league game in two weeks to figure out how to win, but the truth remains that with the right work and the right attitude, Lehigh can win.

Even if it looks right now that the Mountain Hawks could finish 0-11.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

On The Sixth Try, Monmouth Finally Sails Past Lehigh, 28-21

Taylor Jackson/Asbury Park Press
Monmouth was 0-5 versus Lehigh in their history going into this weekend's game.

Even with athletes like WR Miles Austin, WR Chris Hogan and a lot of other very good players, beating the Mountain Hawks was something that every Monmouth player was unable to achieve in their careers.

They had come agonizingly close before - losing games on last-second fumbles, and blocked punts advanced for 1st downs - and talked internally about playing all four quarters, about not getting worn down at the end of the game.

This Saturday, they were not worn down as QB Brandon Hill would get 40 of his 390 passing yards on the Hawks' final drive, none bigger than his 19 yard rifle to WR Eric Sumlin for the game-winner.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

How To Catch Monmouth/Lehigh (Broadcast Info), And Other Fearless Predictions

This weekend's Monmouth/Lehigh game, if you're not able to make it to Bethlehem, will be available to be viewed online for free thanks to the Patriot League Digital Network. 

If you're in the Lehigh Valley, you don't need a TV since the game will be televised on Service Electric 2, with Mike Zambelli and Mike Yadush on the call.

You can listen to the game for free on www.espnlv.com (or on the radio at AM 1230 and 1320 of the Lehigh Valley).

Game time is 12:30 PM.

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, September 26, 2014

Game Breakdown, Monmouth at Lehigh, 9/27/2014

We break down Monnmoth after the flip.

Looking at Monmouth, danger abounds if you're a Lehigh fan.  Jumping right into the preview, you'll see why.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Game Preview: Monmouth At Lehigh, 9/26/2014

A lot can change in a week.

At least that's what Lehigh players and fans are hoping.

Frustration abounds in Mountain Hawk Nation in their 0-3 start, and no matter that two teams they've played, New Hampshire and James Madison, have displayed that they are Top 25 caliber teams.

It can't be used as an excuse that Lehigh seems to be the opponent circled on every team's schedule, either.  That's part of being at Lehigh: you always have the target on you.

Monmouth (2-1), too, will have a very large target on Lehigh's back, after last years' narrow 28-25 loss to the Mountain Hawks and will undoubtedly have looked at the national defensive rankings at the FCS level and seen Lehigh's squad ranked 120 out of 121 total non-transitioning FCS teams in total defense, beating only Columbia, who has only played in one game this season.

But a lot can change in a week.  At least that's what Lehigh players and fans are hoping.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

LFN Look Back: Mob Scenes and Rioting Mark the Rivalry in 1962

It was the end of an era - in more ways than one.

Sure, Lehigh and Lafayette students had performed midnight raids on the others' campuses plenty of times before, and done plenty of shenanigans in the towns of Bethlehem and Easton, some above board, some not.

"The Rivalry" has always involved pranks, including the occasional arrest for painting the Lafayette Leopard Brown and White, for example.

But in 1962, at a smaller scale yet predating the big stuff that would be coming in six short years at Kent State ("Four Dead in Ohio", Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), it seemed like there was a rising level of tension between law enforcement and students in the air in the game between Lehigh and Lafayette in 1962.

"Over 400 Lafayette students marched on Easton Nov. 15th after the annual pep rally and bonfire before the Lehigh game and had to be dispersed with fire hoses," the Lafayette reported.  "Observers said the demonstration was the most riotous display in more than 30 years."

Monday, September 22, 2014

To Understand America Emotionally, You Need to Understand College Football

You didn't ask me, Alexis De Tocqueville wannabes, but to understand the American people you need to experience three things.

First, you need to spend a day at Walt Disney World.  Not Disneyland, out in California, but Disneyworld in Orlando.  There you will see all walks of life, all shapes, all colors, all sizes, walking through an orgy of consumerism and fantasy.  Don't look or think too much about the park itself, which is simply giving the people what they want in the most capitalistic way possible, but observe the people walking around, the folks in the Ron Jon T-shirts, the low-cut tops showing off tattoos that shouldn't be there, the Florida Gator fans.

You also need to spend a weekend at Las Vegas.  Not spending the time at the blackjack tables or poker dens trying to make it rich, understand, but watching the people, the paysan who acts like he's in control when the ace and the jack come out for him, the crying woman running after the man who obviously bet more money than the couple could afford.  Las Vegas shows extremes of emotion - highs that shouldn't happen, lows that are tragic, all in the pursuit of being the lucky one tonight.

You also need to attend a college football game.  Not watching it on TV, understand, but being physically at the game, smelling the food, seeing the pageantry, feeling the intensity of the crowd, seeing two sets of emotions on hand, with only one set of emotions winning on the day.