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Sweeping Up Before 2008 Comes to a Close

This blog posting is basically a hodge-podge of different things I wanted to mention before 2008 comes to a close.

My YouTube highlight film of Lehigh/Lafayette is still in the process of getting done (I forgot how much of a pain in the you-know-what it is to go through game film to make a ten-minute highlight reel), as is my announcement about the LFN "Hawks of the Year" (which, if I ever can get the hang of it, will have YouTube support as well). But those, alas, will have to wait until 2009 to be complete.

I've archived pretty much all of the Lehigh game wrap-ups for 2008 from the mainstream media on the CSN Log, before it's gone to the dusty archives of the Easton Express-Times and Allentown Morning Call. I've also been archiving much of the press clippings from the rest of the Patriot League, Richmond, and other schools. It's a big job - and I'm working to make it less so.

I also recently helped pick the College Sporting News Fab 50, as well as doing a full set of predictions and recaps for the national playoffs. Then it's doing the year in review - and by then, recruiting season will be in full swing.

Selected interesting headlines from the past few weeks before I close 2008:

  • While the Patriot League presidents sit on their hands, schools like Delaware are using their scholarships to lure disgruntled FBS quarterbacks like Penn State's Pat Devlin. Delaware, who were flat offensively with an Ohio State transfer quarterback last year, hope Devlin will be the next Joe Flacco - who, after getting drafted in the first round last year, will be starting for the Ravens in the playoffs as a rookie. We'll never know if Devlin, who hails from Downingtown, might have considered the "local Division I schools" like Lehigh or Lafayette as transfer targets had they been able to offer full scholarships. But it's a question worth asking.
  • Former Lehigh punter Ben Talbott ('97) has been putting his Lehigh degree to good use: as founder of Bird's Eye Sports, a repository of game film and information concerning Connecticut high school football.
  • The CEO of Schutt Sports, a firm who had done business with Lafayette College, admitted in federal court that he overcharged local school districts for supplies and failed to safety-test football helmets properly.
  • Lafayette alum Mike Palos was recently introduced as head coach at Bethlehem Catholic. He has an awful tough rebuilding job ahead of him, as he sits smack-dab of PIAA champion Liberty and Freedom, another high school powerhouse.
  • Not to be outdonw, Lehigh alum Brian Hensel ('90) was introduced as head coach of Central Bucks West as well. The most interestng part of the article was the following tidbit:

Brian Hensel didn't intend to become a football coach. Another guy had to have a heart attack first.

It was 1990, and Hensel had just graduated from Lehigh University, where he played guard before receiving a journalism degree. He was attending an early-season game at Towson when Fred Mariani, Lehigh's offensive line coach, suffered a heart attack right there on the sideline.

After the game, as he was mingling about and trying to inquire about Mariani, Hensel got to talking to Hank Small, the Lehigh coach at the time.

The two men lamented Mariani's possible fate — and then Small offered Hensel Mariani's job on the spot.

“He kind of said it tongue-in-cheek,” Hensel recalled. “I said, "Are you serious?' he said, "Kind of. Yeah.' And then my coaching career got started.”

  • A friend of the "Nitaninny Turkey" states his preferences, in regards to Penn State's upcoming spanking* I mean asswhupping* I mean game against USC in the Rose Bowl:
Sometimes, I wish I would have gone to Lehigh or Lafayette. That is real scholar athlete football. PSU football has gotten too big for its britches.It is almost like professional sports, which I abhor, even though I do watch Eagles and Steelers football. When my Club Seat contract expires, I probably won’t renew. I can save money by going through “Rick the Scalper” and only go to the better match-up Big Ten and other games. Even though we did not stay over, it cost me $492 to see Coastal Carolina, and I left at the middle of the third quarter. Perhaps if they go to a playoff, where you can play Alabama, Texas, Georgia and LSU and lose, but still make the playoff by winning you conference it will be worth $500 per game.

To this I say: Don't fret. Many, many a Penn State graduate has wished they went to Lehigh or Lafayette.

  • And finally... and certainly not least, the Lehigh women's basketball team did some sweeping of their own: namely, sweeping North Florida and LaSalle out of Stabler Arena to take their first Christmas City Classic since 2000. Best of all, they gutted out a win against a tough LaSalle team without the services of junior G Alex Ross. The 10-3 Mountain Hawks could be on the verge of a real special season on South Mountain.
Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year everyone.


ngineer said…
Congratulations to Quadir Carter named CSN Honorable Mention All-American team!

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