Friday, December 19, 2008

FCS Championship Game Tonight

The FCS Championship game is tonight (on ESPN2).

Go Griz!

We'll be back on our regularly scheduled program next weekend.

I promise.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The End of High School Championships Mean Recuiting Season Is Here

It seems like the Lehigh Valley isn't even done celebrating Liberty's first-ever state high school football PIAA 4A title (with a parade and everything), in this football-crazy part of Pennsylvania. But as the bands put away their instruments and the crepe paper is put away, folks in the Valley are already looking over the high school seniors to see which athletes might be able to play Division I football in the Patriot League.

Liberty has an assistant coach with a Lehigh connection - Jim Tkatch, whose son Bo played for Lehigh before tragically taking his own life only a year ago. Firmly ensconced in the Liberty program physically and emotionally, you have to hope that Mr. Tkatch might be pointing some high-academic seniors to South Mountain to play football. Liberty has recently put players like FB Andres Morales (Rutgers) and the son of former NFLer Bo Orlando, WR Joey Orlando (New Hampshire) in Division I programs.

Liberty isn't the only place that the rumor mill is starting, with RB Lyle Marsh (Bethel Park HS, PA) already getting floated as a possible recruit with a 4.0 GPA for Lehigh. (Bethel Park was Liberty's victim in the PIAA 4A championship game, played at Hershey Park Stadium two weekends ago.)

Here's some players that are rumored to be approached by Lehigh at this early stage, all local players:

RB/DB Michael Yaeger (St. Joe's Prep, Philadelphia, PA)
The Skinny: 5'10 171 lb senior rushed for 1,151 yards, averaging more than 100 yards per game.

WR/OLB Rick Bailey (Penncrest HS, DelCo, PA)
The skinny: The 6'3, 200 lb receiver led the DelCo area with 678 receiving yards and averaged 26 yards per reception.

QB/SS Eric Gilbert (Academy Park HS, Delco, PA)
The skinny: Running and passing QB: 791 yards passing, 1,011 yards rushing.

TE Harold Spears (The Pennington School, NJ)
The skinny: The 6'5 senior may play football or basketball.

PK Scott Trench (River Hill HS, Clarksville, MD)
The skinny: Has only made one FG attempt in career, but has 28 touchbacks on kickoffs and is 57/61 career on extra points.

[UPDATE:] One more name popped up:

RB Quinton Cobb
(Duluth HS, Duluth, GA)
The skinny: Two-way player has "interest" from Lehigh, Wofford and several other FCS schools. The article quotes "modest" numbers rushing (585 yards on 138 carries, 4 TDs).

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Love Being Called "Blissfully Pretentious"

As the Lehigh football offseason gets in full swing, it's time to get some dibs and dabs from "The Rivalry" that somehow got missed in the flood of football from "The Rivalry" to the FCS National Championship game.

But nothing is better than having your school called "Blissfully Pretentious" by a columnist for the Virginian-Pilot. Bob Molinaro is lamenting the fact that the Virginia/Virginia Tech game doesn't have a snappy nickname, and talks about - you guessed it - "The Rivalry":

This time of year, we're reminded of the catchy nicknames attached to college football rivalries.

Then there's Saturday's game between Virginia and Virginia Tech.

What it lacks, besides a decent rivalry, is a nifty nickname.


Football in the state wasn't much to shout about for many years, going back to the days when people didn't have anything better to do but hang silly colloquial names on games. By the time somebody tried to come up with a nickname for the Tech-U.Va. series, all the good ones were taken.


Then there's Lehigh and Lafayette, small football programs so blissfully pretentious that they call their game "The Rivalry." As if there's no other.


The Commonwealth Cup, though, doesn't work at all. Isn't there something catchier we can come up with? If you've got suggestions, reach me by e-mail.

At this late date, thinking up a good nickname for the series is going to be difficult, especially in light of Tech's eight victories over U.Va. in the past nine years.

While Lehigh and Lafayette claim "The Rivalry," what's going on between the Hokies and Cavaliers is "The Redundancy."

At first, I took exception to it - but I've warmed to the reference in Mr. Molinaro's column. Oddly, I don't mind having our school being called "blissfully pretentious". Maybe that's what happens when you write about a team (and a Rivalry) for so long - you start to wear the jabs as badges of honor. For the first time in my life, I think I understand why people get tattoos.

Speaking of tattoos, the classic dog-bites-man story about "The Rivalry" is that there were dozens of citations for underage drinking during the game.

Harris said one of the biggest busts was shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday when his officers confiscated 47 cases of Natural Light beer from a 20-year-old carting it around campus in a station wagon.

Andrew Horgan, of Delmar, N.Y., was cited for transporting alcohol after he stopped to ask a security officer for directions at a checkpoint on High Street.

Reached on Monday, Horgan said he told the security officer his age, but didn't think he was breaking any laws. As Horgan understood it, underage people could transport alcohol if it is not open, he said.

"I'm originally from New York and I didn't realize the law was different in Pennsylvania," Horgan said.

That certainly IS a crime. Forty-seven cases... of Natural Light??? It's unclear whether Mr. Horgan was getting busted for transporting beer because he's underage, or simply that he doesn't have good taste in beer. I mean, Natural Light? I mean, couldn't he have sprung for Yuengling Black & Tan? Magic Hat? I'd even give the boy some slack for bringing Coors Light. But Natural Light?

He may as well been transporting Zima across state lines. Which may not be a crime, but it ought to be.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending:

Harris said Horgan's beer is currently inside an evidence locker and will be disposed of at the end of the school year.
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