Skip to main content

Friday Water Cooler: Debates

Before I get into my Patriot League picks, admit it: this is a great weekend for the water cooler.

There's simply so much to talk about. Want to talk playoff baseball? (Well, maybe not if you're from New York.) Want to talk about Patriot League football weekend matchups? (Well, maybe not if you're from New York.) Want to talk NFL? (Okay, you got me there.)

In addition to the always-full buffet of weekend sports in the fall, there was something equally as fascinating last night: the vice-presidential debates.

Admit it; you watched them. There were 70 million viewers of the vice-presidential debate yesterday. Don't cha know. You betcha. I talked about them with my family at the kitchen table, wondering how we're going to pay the heating bills this winter. But we'll be OK. We're mavericks; and we'll get extra credit for watching them. too.

If the rest of America is like me, I didn't watch the debates out of any civic duty. The issues? Don't be ridiculous; I've made up my mind about the candidates just about last February. I'm hardly an undecided voter, and I seriously doubt much of America is undecided at this point.

No, I decided my wife and I had to watch the debates because of the entertainment value.

To me, it was reality TV at its finest. "In this corner, the gray haired veteran of the senate with diarrhea of the mouth! He extends sentences four minutes beyond their shelf life! He exaggerates! He flubs! Will he make a gaffe of Qualyean proportions tonight?

"And in the other corner, the exotic vice presidential candidate that no one has ever heard of! Will she avoid drooling on herself? Will she be able to put a nouns, verbs, and adjectives together in coherent sentences? Will she avoid leaving pregnant, er, pauses in the conversation?"

(I'm expecting the PC police to descend on me at any moment.)

Of course, as most TV shows are, this was a letdown. The closest thing to a gaffe that Mr. Biden made was being just a wee bit too enthusiastic about same-sex benefits; Ms. Palin broke the (as the PBS commentator put it) the "Gidget barrier" for vice president. Not by much, but she did break it.

My crazy brain, though, ends up with some weird thoughts. I keep wondering: what if Palin and Biden, instead of debating, well, the fate of the free world and stuff, what if they simply were talking sports?

Biden: John McCain calls himself a Mountaineer. He says he's a Mountaineer, but he voted against helmets for the football team. He says he's a Mountaineer, but he voted to stop funding for hiking shoes. You can call him a Mountaineer, but he's no Mountaineer. Wait, I tried to play football for Delaware... our Blue Hens would kick the Mountaineers' ass!

Palin: Thank you... Thank you to give me this opportunity to take off the FILter, to speak directly to the American People. Those Panthers, they just want to wave the white flag of surrender, don't cha know. Go Blue, we're mavericks, cut taxes, and of course those nuclear weapons are nasty. We don't want them in the hands of anyone from Pittsburgh. Especially the Penguins; I'm a hawkey mawm.

The saddest thing is how much sense this all makes.

Patriot League Picks; Week Six
Speaking of not making sense, two items: last week, I was 2-2 on my picks, putting me at 8-8 on the year. Some Patriot League expert! I can pick the rest of the games of FCS, but I've been simply pathetic this year. Hopefully this week will be better.

The other item: a key game cancellation in the Patriot League tomorrow. It turns out that the game between Georgetown at Colgate was cancelled due to an outbreak of norovirus on Georgetown's campus. The cancellation was the right thing to do; but it causes a major headache for Patriot League officials. Colgate does not have any bye weeks, and their only remaining out-of-conference game is against the Ivy League vs. Princeton - who doesn't have bye weeks in their 10 game season by design.

I think if Colgate is in the hunt for a playoff bid, the conference autobid will probably come down to a dreaded "vote with the ADs" of all the non-playoff schools. If Colgate goes 5-0 and Georgetown goes 1-4 or 0-5, Colgate probably would (and should) be voted the autobid anyway. If Georgetown goes 3-2 (remember they're already 0-2) there could be an issue, but (no disrespect to Georgetown intended here) that's an unlikely scenario.

Undoubtedly the league office is hoping that either Colgate goes undefeated or gets three losses. Any other scenario could potentially be a looming problem.

Here are my picks this week, partially reprinted from my CSN Way column from the College Sporting News.

Harvard at Lafayette. Has quarterback Rob Curley and the Lafayette offense gotten over the Ivy League ‘curse’; meaning, they consistently lose to Ivy League teams, no matter who they are? Crimson quarterback Chris Pizzotti is hoping the answer is ‘no’; but unfortunately for them, the real answer is ‘yes’.
Leopards Might As Well Be Walkin’ On The Sun 27, Black and Blue and Crimson 20

Holy Cross at Yale. Who would heve ever thought in a million years that Yale would miss… quarterback Matt Polhemus? They do, though; and the team with the all-American at quarterback (Holy Cross’ Dominic Randolph) wins this one with surprising ease.
Men In Purple 38, Polhemus-Less Eli 20

Bucknell at Marist. Quietly, head coach Tim Landis has been building the Bison's confidence, cumulating in what should be a dominant performance against Marist this weekend. Quarterback Marcelo Trigg should be out of this game by halftime.. and folks will start to think ahead and say... can they beat Hofstra?
Free Range Bison 44, Red Roadkill 3


allen said…
this game was a super disappointment
Also, every controversial call by the refs went against lehigh.
Mcgowan was down before he lost the ball, they ruled a fumble

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Troy Pelletier Hasn't Stopped Outworking His Rivals On His Journey To Professional Football

Many Patriot League football fans remember the 153rd meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette, one that ended happily for the Mountain Hawks.

They might remember the MVP performance of QB Brad Mayes, or perhaps the halftime speech by OL Zach Duffy that seemed to spur the Mountain Hawks to victory.

Or perhaps they might remember the spectacular single play of Mayes rolling right and finding WR Gatlin Casey in the end zone to give the Mountain Hawks a lead they didn't relinquish.  It was an incredible play by Mayes, who returns this upcoming year for his senior season, and Casey, who, having exhausted his eligibility at Lehigh, will be playing one more year at Middle Tennessee State.

As great as those individual moments are, though, they are not my biggest takeaway of that game.

Too many Lehigh people forget that Lehigh was down 31-21 at half, and that victory was no sure thing.  And they sometimes forget that so much of that victory came from the grinding of WR Troy Pelletier, deliver…