Thursday, June 03, 2010

Spring Season Wrapup: Fordham

Recently, the New York Times' George Vecsey  ran an article about Duke head lacrosse coach John Danowski. The last name "Danowski" means a lot to folks in the New York area: John is the son of former Fordham and New York Giant great QB Ed Danowski, who played football in the 1930s just prior to World War II.

Danowski was known for being an all-American halfback on the 1933 team that featured the proto-"Seven Blocks of Granite" line that would become legendary, and the following year was famously photographed putting on sneakers at halftime of the championship game versus the Chicago Bears. Played on a sheet of ice at the old Polo Grounds, the story goes after going into halftime with a 10-3 deficit, the Giants changed to sneakers which gave them the extra traction to come from behind to win the game 30-13.

The article then mentions: “He always said the sneakers were a good story,” [his son] said, “but the real story was that the Bears were arrogant and went for a first down in their own territory and the Giants stopped them.”

The story is a good one - and, oddly, has some parallels to Fordham's improvement of the program this offseason. One part of the improvements - offering athletic scholarships - is a "good story", but the real, more important, part of the story is about something else. (more)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Navy's Row On Admissions

(Photo Credit: ESPN)

Most schools the past few weeks were preparing great sendoffs for their students. Lehigh had humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel talk at graduation, and hosted a slew of reunion events, for example.

At Navy, however, a graduation headlined by Vice President Joe Biden was not all hats flying through the air and talk of a strong military for now and the forseeable future.

Instead, an old sore was opened.

Thanks to the New York Times and a controversial professor at Navy who is out of step with many of his academic peers, the folks at Navy instead were spending time disavowing the "academies' march towards mediocrity". Eight days before athletes at Navy should have been celebrating years of hard work and toil, they faced the ridiculous charge that somehow their degrees didn't mean as much as their classmates'. (more)

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