Skip to main content

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!

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…