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Agony and One Regret After Watching My Team Lose a Huge Game

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LFN's Top Blog Reads of 2017

We're approaching the end of 2017, and it's been an interesting year where Lehigh football fans have experienced a multitude of emotions: anger; sadness; redemption, and, finally, joy.

As you all know, the Mountain Hawks came back from the precipice of a disastrous season to come back and win back-to-back Patriot League championships and back-to-back FCS Playoff appearances.

In that vein, I thought I'd share the best and most-read LFN pieces from last season, from No. 10 to No. 1.

Going through all my stuff from the past year, these were the pieces that really stood out to me.

Lehigh Inks 12 On Early Signing Day, And Here Are My Thoughts

(Photo Credit: Steve Hockstein/NJ Advance Media)

Yesterday, Lehigh announced the signing of 12 football student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, or NLI's.

Nobody knew exactly what was going to happen in regards to student-athletes, whether they would sign national letters of intent, or not.

What ended up happening was a floodgate of signings, not just at Lehigh but across college football.

I entered Wednesday thinking that a good target for announced Lehigh football recruits was six, based on little other than my history of observing this stuff.  As it stood, I saw schools like Delaware announcing six football recruits signed before breakfast, and Lehigh had inked their sixth recruit well before I had my leftover General Tso's chicken for lunch.

It wasn't just amongst Patriot League or FCS schools, either.  Penn State signed 21 recruits, including one of the top athletes of the Lehigh Valley, who flipped to the Nittany Lions from UCLA.  Some estimates speculate tha…

Patriot League Commit Tracker, Class of 2022

(Photo Credit: Steve Hockstein/NJ Advance Media)

With this year's early signing period in December, along with traditional signing day in February and additional signing of recruits up until May, it felt like the right time to resurrect the Patriot League Commit Tracker for the class of 2022.

This is intended to be a rolling list, updated as we go, as student-athletes going to any Patriot League school sign National Letters of Intent.

We don't know the whole story yet behind each school's recruiting class.  But this post is intended to put in one place what we know so far.

As I learn more, I will add more names to each list.

With Early Signing Period Approaching, What Does Each Patriot League Football Program Need?

You may not be aware that this year the NCAA has not one, but two, signing day periods this year.

Coined "Show Your Cards Day" by Arizona director of personnel Matt Dudek, Sports Illustrated calls it this "because programs and recruits now have to make their intentions clear to one another while the programs and the recruits still have time to make other arrangements."

Here at LFN, we agree that "Show Your Cards" day is an accurate way of describing the brave new world of football recruiting.  And, like all NCAA rules, this affects the Patriot League as well as the Big 10, Pac 12 or any other Division I conference.

For Patriot League programs, what cards are likely to be revealed?  What are the recruiting needs of each school going into early signing day?  Here at LFN, we take a stab at predicting what might be revealed this week.

Remembering Lehigh's Battles With The Late Tubby Raymond

(Photo Credits: Delaware Online)

When I heard the news Tubby Raymond, legendary Delaware head football coach, died last week at the age of 92, two immediate memories came rushing back to me.

One occurred on October 16th, 1999, when Tubby had made a complaint to the local paper or radio in the run-up to Kevin Higgins' Mountain Hawks beating his Blue Hens on Delaware's homecoming, 42-35.

I have no idea if the quote even actually happened, but my recollection is that Tubby said that Lehigh had "St. Bartholomew's" on their schedule, and hadn't played anybody.  It was a verbal jab that many Delaware fans took with them to the stands to heckle the Mountain Hawk fans that made the short trip to Newark.

Up until that point, I had watched a bunch of Lehigh football games over the years.  I experienced their rise in the 1990s.  I enjoyed wins, and championships, and playoff victories.

But never had I felt a win so viscerally vindicating than the one over Tubby Raymond&…

Lehigh Wrestling Gets Superstar Treatment at PPL Center. Lehigh Football Needs The Same At Murray Goodman.

"We knew it would be nice," Lehigh wrestling head coach Pat Santoro said. "But it was even better than we expected."

Pat was talking about the reception his Lehigh wrestling squad experienced at Allentown's PPL Center this weekend, when a sellout crowd over nearly 10,000 people came to watch No. 1 Penn State grapple with No. 5 Lehigh in a collegiate wrestling event.

It was, by all accounts, something special to behold. 

"I thought it was really cool and an exciting place to wrestle," said Penn State wrestler Nick Nevills. "These fans were really into it, a rowdy bunch. It's a lot more fun as an athlete to wrestle in an environment like this. I'd say it was one of the most exciting times I have had in my career."

The sense of spectacle at the PPL center, though, puts a spotlight on what more can be done at Lehigh itself to make their athletic contests into spectacles.  It requires money to be spent and energy to be expended.  But the…