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Showing posts from November 16, 2008

Lehigh 31, Lafayette 15, final

You know, I've never blogged about a game where Lehigh actually beat Lafayette.

I've blogged on the last regular season game of the year after blowout losses, heartbreaking losses, losses that kept Lehigh from championships.

But never have I blogged about a win.

While the MVP of "The Rivalry" officially went to sophomore QB J.B. Clark - and he did have a great game (12/22 passing, 201 yards, 2 TDs) - to me there really wasn't any one MVP. This was a complete team effort, with a lot of those long-suffering seniors having one play here, one play there to bring victory to the Mountain Hawks.

Plays like:
Senior P/K Jason Leo nailing a 40 yard FG in the 1st quarter to start the scoring. He'd be perfect on his kicks in this game, and also boot 7 punts for an average of 42.9 yards, including a 59 yarder. One would be downed at the 1 yard line.Junior LB Heath Brickner, who would stop Lafayette's opening drive by reaching up and grabbing an interception. Brickner w…

Preview of the 144th: Lehigh at Lafayette, "The Rivalry"

(Photo Credit: Lafayette Athletics)

"The Rivalry" makes you do strange things.

Today, I was looking in my closet for what to wear. I found a very, very old Lehigh University sweatshirt in its blocky "LU" glory. I'm not sure I ever wore it before.

Normally I'd wear a thin long-sleeved Lehigh shirt I got for Christmas last year. But when you've lost four games to "that school in Easton" in a row, you need to bring out the big guns.

So today, on this twenty-first day on November 2008, I'm here at my day job wearing a bulky, blocky LU sweatshirt from (generously) the early 1990s. And the only reason is that I'm trying in a weird, delusional way to turn this Lehigh luck around.

Because Heaven Knows this Lehigh team needs a little luck this year.

Four games lost by a grand total of 8 points. Games lost on the last play of the game - twice. And any one of those going the other way would have been the difference between an under-.500 season a…

"The Hate"

(Photo Credit: Brown & White)

The picture to the left certainly isn't politically correct. It's raw. It's irreverent. And it sums up the feelings between these two schools perfectly. Oddly enough, this tails into a tradition at Lehigh and Lafayette where fraternities and houses hang banners celebrating the game to come.

Why is it that we hate what we most resemble? It's not unique to Lehigh and "that school from Easton": Harvard and Yale are both schools with global academic brands that are more similar than different. Army and Navy detest each other, but both share in that armed forces life and face the same challenges as institutions.

Demographically, Lehigh and "that school from Easton" are very similar: most of their students come from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They are schools that are known for their hard-studying, hard-partying attitudes - and have had rocky relationships with the towns that host them in Bethlehem and Easton.

Yet th…

BREAKING: Coach Coen Will Return in 2009

As reported from the blog of Keith Groller of the Morning Call:

I talked to a bunch of people at today's Lehigh football luncheon and learned a lot of things.

But the most important thing to be learned was when I headed for the door at the Cooperhead Grille and Mike Stagnitta, Lehigh's football contact for the school's sports media relations office, stopped me on the side and assured me that Andy Coen would be back as head coach in 2009.

Mike was speaking on behalf of the athletic department, I am sure. Mike doesn't make those decisions, nor does he speak out of turn. He was told what to say after I speculated about Andy's future in a story earlier this week.
As I mentioned elsewhere, one huge subplot from Saturday's game has been taken away. Coach Coen, according to the highest levels of the Lehigh athletic department, assured Keith that Coen will be back in 2009.

My take? I'm happy that coach Coen - barring a complete disaster this weekend - will be around n…

"The Rivalry"

(Photo Credit: Jane Therese, 2004, New York Times)

"The Rivalry" is more than just a Lehigh Valley game that is sold out.

For those of you that are going to be attending one of the telecast parties from all around the country, those of you who are going to be catching "The Rivalry" on Channel 69 or on LehighSports.Com, those of you who will be seeing it for the first time in person, or those of you who are grizzled veterans approaching the coveted "50 Game Club", before trying to tackle the emotional side of things it's (still) helpful to get your mind around the numbers of times Lehigh and "that school from Easton" have played each other over the years.

The raw numbers about "The Rivalry" are only a Wikipedia click away, but even those written words and article don't totally capture the history that entwines these two schools.

No two football teams have faced each other as often as Lehigh and Lafayette have. They've met each o…

Find a Lehigh Telecast Near You

Looking for a Lehigh/Lafayette telecast party? Click here and get the information from the Lehigh Alumni website. Plus, you get to see a cool picture of last year's Rivalry that I took.

Included in this year's telecast parties? The first one taking place overseas... in London, England.

I have several more Webshots albums of Lehigh/Lafayette games past. Interested in what the mayhem was like? Click here for pictures of the 1997 clash at Murray Goodman or here for pictures of the 1996 game at Fisher Field. (In the 1996 album, look for secret parking places! Finding a parking space around Easton on Rivalry gameday isn't exactly easy.)

I promise, my yearly trip through the history of the Rivalry, a preview of the game, and -who knows, maybe some other surprises - are coming up in the next few days!

UPDATE: Essential reading for anyone within sniffing distance of the Lehigh Campus is this article from the Brown & White which talks about the school-sponsored events (calle…

Lambert Power Rankings, 11/18/2008

One more bit of housekeeping before it's "all Rivalry, all the time".

I crunched the numbers for my Lambert Power rankings this weekend and it spit out the following numbers:

1. (1) James Madison (CAA, 9-1, 113 points)
2. (2) Richmond (CAA, 8-3, 102 points)
3. (3) New Hampshire (CAA, 8-2, 98 points)
4. (4) Villanova (CAA, 8-2, 90.5 points)
5. (5T) Maine (CAA, 8-3, 87.5 points)
6T. (5T) William & Mary (CAA, 7-3, 78.5 points)
6T. (8) Albany (NEC, 8-3, 78.5 points)
8. (7) Colgate (Patriot, 7-2, 74.5 points)
9. (NR) Holy Cross (Patriot, 7-3, 72.5 points)
10. (9) Lafayette (Patriot, 7-3, 72 points)

Before you get upset about Albany being rated above all the teams of the Patriot League, let me just say that the winner of the Holy Cross/Colgate game (the de facto Patriot League Championship game) will definitely jump ahead of Albany next week.

Let me also say that the LPR has been pretty accurate, I think, overall in weighing the teams - with the possible exception of Villanova. Accord…

Official Release: Lehigh 31, Bucknell 15

The official release for Lehigh's victory over Bucknell was released yesterday.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Mountain Hawks have had their fair share of narrow losses in 2008, losing four games by three points or less this season. So the Brown and White decided not to leave Saturday’s game against Bucknell to chance, jumping out to an early lead and pulling away for a 31-15 victory in the home finale at Goodman Stadium.

With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 4-6 on the season, with a 3-2 mark in Patriot League play. The Bison, meanwhile, drop to 4-6 with a 1-4 record in league contests.

"I'm especially happy for our seniors for all of the hard work they've put in this season," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said during the post game press conference. "That group (of seniors) has been put through a very emotional season, so to see them walk off this field for the last time as winners makes me happy and I know they're a happy bunch."

Coen continued, "It w…

It Has Begun...

It looks like the shenanigans between "that school in Easton" and Lehigh has already started.

Just click on this link to the Wikipedia page about Lafayette's president for details.

And yes, I saved it off before the Wikipedia editors got a hold of it.

Daniel Weiss is the sixteenth president of Lafayette College, taking office in October 2005. He was formerly Dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University. It is rumored that he once lifted a city bus and occasionally snacks on glass to prove his awesomeness, although there has yet to be a single person who has challenged his claims of awesomeness.

Sunday's Word: 4,659

Usually, the week leading into "The Rivalry" would be spent with a passionate "Sunday's Word" talking about my hatred for all things Maroon, my desire to eat Bornean Clouded Leopard jerky, and making childish (yet anatomically correct) descriptions of the Lafayette fan base.

But something happened this weekend at Murray Goodman stadium this weekend, and it needs to be said. And it's today's "Sunday Word", and needs to be said before witnessing a game that has been sold out for months in Easton.

It's "4,659", Sunday's word.

"4,659" was the announced attendance at Murray Goodman this weekend. "4,659" was the number of fans that came out to honor the seniors in their final game in a Mountain Hawk uniform.

I did some research, and "4,659" is the second-smallest attendance that I could find for a Lehigh football game over the past five years, and very likely the second-smallest attendance in the last te…