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A thought on Lehigh/VMI; My Annual Tribute

Something from my press roundup from Friday really resonated with me after some reflection on yesterday's lo.... I mean, win.

"I've been telling our guys for two weeks that whether you're playing Army, Navy, Air Force, the Merchant Marine Academy, Coast Guard or any of the service academics, it's different," Lembo said. ''What these guys do from 3 to 6 daily at practice or from 1 to 4 on Saturday game days may seem like vacation to them. It's the easy part of their day.

"So, you know they are going to be very passionate, very physical and they will play you to the final whistle whether they're up 14 or down 14. Our guys need to understand that and respond."

It's redundant that the Lehigh players didn't totally understand this. But what really needs to be emphasized that the rest of of the teams on the schedule are going to be the same way. The target is on our backs now. Always. We were fortunate to get a win, and every game from here on in, against Ivy or Patriot opponents, is going to require 60 minutes of football. The funny thing is, this was evident on Wednesday.

Learn the lesson. Move on.

Tribute
I wanted to take this time to make a special tribute to my wife. September 25th holds a very special day for us. It's the anniversary of the day we met at a Lehigh football game.

On September 25, 1999, the first ever night game at Palmer field, that Kim and I met for the first time, wandering amongst the the dark trees on Princeton's campus looking for the stadium.It was a picture-perfect night for football. Single and carefree, I had somehow convinced my friend Matt to go to the first night game at Palmer Stadium in Princeton with me after he had come back from the Yankee game earlier that day. I drove down from Connecticut to meet him in central New Jersey to pick him up. That day the Yankee game fatefully had run late, and we got going late to the game. So we found ourselves wandering around the Princeton campus after dark, with the game in the end of the first quarter.

And that's where we met Kim and her friend. Kim wasn't even a Princeton alumna, nor had she ever seen a I-AA football game before that day. She had been volunteering for the Red Cross and was helping recovery efforts from Hurricane Floyd that had passed through earlier that week. (Seems like a stiff rain compared to Katrina and Rita now, but I digress.) She got a bunch of complimentary tickets from the Red Cross, and at the last minute decided to go to the game.

We bumped into each other struggling to find the biggest landmark on campus. She and her friend needed help finding the stadium, which we eventually found. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Think Kim realized at the time that her future husband would then expose her to many more Lehigh football games -- Lehigh/Lafayette, Lehigh/Colgate, and the thrills of I-AA playoff games? Much less having him spend his precious spare time writing a weblog about the experiences. Not to mention I-AA.org...

Although we're disappointed that Lehigh doesn't play Princeton this year, now that we're married and looking back on the day, it's incredible that it's been 6 years to the day since we met there, and that we've been through so much in that time - moving several times, changing jobs, getting married, having a family. And it's great that through these years, we look back at the day, and Lehigh games, as a very special time and place in our lives.

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