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Showing posts from November 21, 2004

Heads Held High

Lehigh lost in the first round 14-13 to a tough, physical JMU squad that came ready to play. It was a defensive battle for 60 minutes, and the defense and offense came up with a great game that unfortunately fell short.

But the Mountain Hawks have every reason to hold their heads high this year, with a co-championship with Lafayette, a I-AA playoff berth, and a final game which the entire team can be proud of. Lehigh went toe-to-toe with a team that had more skill and more acclaim than Lehigh, coming from the toughest I-AA conference in 2004 - and was in a position to win at the end of the game.

Watch for game balls, season wrapups, All-Patriot, and more, tomorrow and in the next few days. Though I may just want ot forget about my playoff picks tomorrow, I'll probably go over them tomorrow too (though, I'd like to know anyone who picked New Hampshire to upset Georgia Southern *and* Eastern Washington to upset Southern Illinois.)

Still, 3-5. Yuck.

More tomorrow.

Playoff Press Roundup; Editorial; Playoff Predictions

No in-game commentary
Since I'll be covering the game one more time for I-AA.org, there won't be any in-game commentary this weekend. You'll be able to read my diary of the game on I-AA.org on Sunday.
For those of you who won't be able to catch the game live, there will be a few different ways:

Video
WFMZ-TV (channel 69 in the Lehigh Valley) live
Radio:
ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM

On the internet, there is your regular audio broadcast... but... you can also get the video broadcast of the game as well! Not a joke:
Link to Yahoo! Broadcast ($$ required)

Also, VCR alert: for those of you with CSTV, you'll be able to see the Lafayette/Delaware game. Worth a shot to watch that game (see my predictions later for details).

Playoff Press Roundup
Just wanted to add 3 more pieces to my media roundup for the "Redemption Match at Murray Goodman". (I think the Easton Express-Times guys were paid by the word this week):

Easton Express-Times:
Borda Has Arrived As Lehi…

Lehigh/James Madison Preview

Lehigh/James Madison Preview
Here is what you've been waiting for.. the special Lehigh Football Nation preview of Lehigh and James Madison. The Dukes will be, at this point, the best team Lehigh has faced all year.

They are a team, like Lafayette, that runs the ball to make their offense work with a multi-faceted rushing attack. Although they don't have one player that will kill you consistently, their team has solid scholarship talent across the board and features strong team play. The Mountain Hawks will have their work cut out against this squad.

Before jumping in the pool...
I wanted to feature some press on the upcoming game. Both the Easton Express-Times and Allentown Morning Call have been writing so many pieces it's almost impossible to keep up.

Allentown Morning Call:
Lehigh Happy To Be Home
Dukes Surprised, But Happy, To Be on Road
Easton Express-Times:
Lehigh Not Only Gets In, It Gets To Play At Home
Mountain Hawks Ready For Another Gridiron Battle
Richmond Times-Disp…

Bulletin Board Material

Print this... and put it on the Bulletin Board for Saturday
I am in the middle of working on my Lehigh/JMU Preview, and I read more bulletin board material than I've ever read in years covering Lehigh. I have to pass it on here.

[Scott, babe, I drop your name in my I-AA diary last week, and this is the thanks I get?]

Scott Garner, I-AA.org

"Let’s break down all 16 teams in the field, shall we, as only the High Priest can.

No chance in hell

If any of these teams win the national title, then we’re talking about Revelations-level events here. Fire and brimstone, cats and dogs living together, you know, real Wrath-of-God type stuff.

Colgate was a nice story a year ago, but the Patriot League has had its moment in the sun, and I’m not even done casting aspersions on every egghead school in I-AA (you’re coming up soon, Lehigh).

Cal Poly, oops, I mean Lehigh
Odds of winning the title: Same as the odds that Gilligan has of hooking up with Ginger.
What they’ve got going for them: the good na…

Press Update

Press Update
Tune in for my Lehigh/JMU update later tonight. However, more importantly, I'm being featured in a USA Today piece about "SuperSpectators", in regards to my Lehigh blog:

USAToday:
SuperSpectators

You can click on my "baseball card" to get interesting facts about me and the blog.

I believe it's also part of the print edition - check your local newsstand! I'll be buying a couple dozen copies myself.

Lehigh/Lafayette Wrap; Game Balls; Last week's picks; Playoff Stuff

Lehigh/Lafayette Wrap
With the I-AA playoff selection on Sunday (where Lehigh drew a home game against James Madison), and my I-AA diary on I-AA.org, I didn't have time to do a press roundup. For a blow-by-blow summary of the game, click the link to read my piece.

Before going to the press of Lehigh/Lafayette, doing the game ball thing, and putting this game to rest, I'd like to add my commentary on Lehigh's play last Saturday. As I implied in my I-AA.org piece, I felt that the game hinged on Lehigh's turnovers and miscues. Not just Eric Rath's fumbles, but muffed snaps and Borda's dropped balls as well. Simply, Lafayette is a good team who will kill you if you turn over the ball. We did, and they did.

That's not an excuse. But I feel that had Lehigh been able to execute their offensive gameplan effectively, we would have seen a different game. As it stood, the defense was on the field for effectively 4 straight drives at the beginning of the second half. I …

Agony to Ecstasy, Part II

Part II
As I was entering the post-game press conferences, I mingled with some of the beat writers and national I-AA sports writers. We had just seen Lafayette beat Lehigh 24-10 to grab a co-championship of the Patriot League with Lehigh, and win the automatic playoff berth.

The discussion was Lehigh's playoff chances. Could it happen? Would it happen? Would we need some help from around I-AA nation? How much? Should we be rooting for Stephen F. Austin and Sacramento State? How far away is William & Mary? What was the weather like in Statesboro, Georgia in December?

The mood was decidedly "undecided". But I don't think anyone there was thinking, "home playoff game".

As the Saturday results came in, it didn't look like Lehigh was getting a lot of help. My friends said outright, "I don't think it's going to happen." But I was defiant. I thought it was still possible to get into the playoffs. We were 9-2 and had played some tough t…

AGONY TO ECSTASY

We're hosting a playoff game.

I-AA Playoff Field

James Madison is coming to play us. James Madison! Coming to play us! At Murray Goodman! WOW!

This isn't a typo. This isn't some cruel joke. This is the real deal. The seniors have another meaningful game to play.

I am incredibly happy for the seniors. They have at least one more chance to wear the Lehigh football uniform. At home too!

More information later! What a weekend - from the depths of despair to - a chance at redemption.