Skip to main content

Friday Water Cooler: 10 Years Today

(Graphic courtesy WKYC)

Ten years ago today, I was late to a football game.

It was a picture-perfect night for football. While I wasn't a blogger about Lehigh football at that time, I still was a crazy Lehigh fan, and despite the fact I lived in Connecticut I had somehow convinced my friend Matt to go to the first night game at Palmer Stadium in Princeton with me. He was coming back from the Yankee game earlier that day, and I drove down to meet him in central New Jersey to pick him up to head to Princeton.

That day the Yankee game fatefully ran later than usual, and we got to Princeton after dark. So we found ourselves wandering around the Princeton campus, after listening to the first quarter on the radio.

It's then when we met Kim and a friend of hers. Kim wasn't a Princeton alumna, nor had she ever seen a college 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. 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. Out of the blue, she asked the guy with the sideburns and Lehigh T-shirt where the stadium was. I said we didn't know, but we walked and ultimately found it.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Serendipity is a word thrown around way to much these days, but after being married for eight years it's something I often think about. Two of the choices I made - going to Lehigh instead of another school, and getting to the Princeton game late - changed my life forever. Had I gone to Drexel, we may never have met. Had I made sure to get to Palmer Stadium on time - a game where Lehigh blanked Princeton, 31-0, incidentally - we may never have met. There are an awful lot of scenarios I can paint where we never meet.

But I remain very happy that it did happen. And Kim puts up with a lot from me that most other wives don't need to endure - some late nights writing previews, Saturdays at the game, post-game press conferences that sometimes drag on too long. She also puts up with a lot of chatter about Lehigh from me, too: either crooning on incessantly when they win, or endless kvetching when they lose.

That's why there's no one better. And I have a day ten years ago to thank for that.

****

This weekend ends a month-long drive to collect 5,000 books to support Reading Rocks!, a joint program between St. Luke's Hospital and Lehigh. If you're going to the game, you're encouraged by Lehigh Athletics to bring new or gently used children's books for donation. As a thank-you, you'll receive a voucher for a complimentary Lehigh University Men's or Women's basketball game. (Pretty good deal for children's books that you were going to bring to the yard sale anyway!)

The books will be collected at the St. Luke's vehicle near the Kids Day activity area, so don't forget!

****

Also, in support of the American Football Coaches Association's national charity project, Coach for the Cure MD, Coach Coen will be sporting an armband with their insignia. Coaches around the country this weekend will be raising awareness of the disorder Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

****

During the bye week, there were a host of interesting pieces on Lehigh football players that came out that I didn't compile. Here they are:

The Morning Call: Jim Thorpe's WR Craig Zurn an old-school player for Lehigh
Lehigh Athletics: SS Jesse Sanchez is Pursuing His Passion

****

Finally, here are my weekly Patriot League picks, partially compiled from my weekly column at the College Sporting News.

Fordham at Colgate.
The question is: which Colgate running back will get 200 yards this week? Sophomore Jordan McCord? Sophomore Nate Eachus? The third waterboy from the left? The only way qaurterback John Skelton and the rest of the Rams have a chance is if they keep the turnovers down and play much more disciplined ball they showed in their first two games. Don’t count on it.

‘Retched Raiders 41, Lovable Lambies 21

Penn at Lafayette. Hope you like defense: in the last three meetings between these two local rivals, no team has scored more than 24 points. Look for a lot of punts, hard-hitting, and maybe even a defensive touchdown: and a win for head coach Frank Tavani, linebacker Mark Leggerio, and the Leopards.

Tavani’s Blunt Objects 11, Bagnoli’s Raw Meat 9

Towson at Morgan State and Howard at Georgetown. With 0-3 FBS Maryland struggling so bad, Maryland and DC have an opportunity to showcase their FCS teams this week in interesting regional rivalries. At Morgan State, look for Towson defensive lineman Yaky Ibia to build on his sack totals, and at Georgetown look for the Hoyas to score their first offensive touchdown on the year. Running back Charlie Houghton might even score two.

Fightin’ Unitases 24, Fightin’ Roosevelt Browns 16
Hoyas Score-A 17, Georgia Brown’s Bison Burgers 6

BONUS GAME:

Marist at Bucknell. The Red Foxes come to Lewisburg at a good time for the Bison: they desperately need to develop some more offense and some more depth. The Red Foxes, who stunned Sacred Heart 31-12 on opening weekend but haven't scored much since, won against the Pioneers in a very Bucknell-esque way: through interception returns for touchdowns. Count on coach Landis to keep the ball on the ground more - and win the games.

Runnin' Bison 27, Flattened Foxes 12

BONUS EASTERN LEAGUE PICKS OF INTEREST:

Northeastern at No. 2 Villanova. You’ve got to figure that the Huskies will pull off an impressive upset against a CAA squad sometime this year. Could they do it against Villanova, ready to show up on national TV next week in an obvious letdown situation? While it’s tempting to pick against quarterback Chris Whitney and company, common sense prevails.

Wildcats Don’t Stumble 27, Don’t Try to Out-Rocky A Philadelphia Team 13

Delaware at No. 5 William & Mary. If Blue Hen quarterback Pat Devlin had problems with Delaware State’s pass rush at home last week (in a 27-17 win in the “First State” Cup), just imagine what trouble he might have against Tribe defesive lineman Adrian Tracy.

Yo, Adrians 24, Devlin’s Devils 0

Dartmouth at No. 6 New Hampshire. A good policy when picking games is to never pick the team that wants to cancel a series because in their minds it has become uncompetitive. In this “Granite Bowl", go with the nationally-ranked home team.

Granite Wildcat Gridders 56, “Play UNH Or Die?” 0

Stony Brook at No. 15 UMass. No disrespect to the Seawolves, who’s impressive last-second 28-27 win over Brown earned them a deserved first victory, but UMass, behind the efforts of defensive lineman Michael Hanson (16 tackles, 2 sacks), have been the class of CAA North this early part of the season and it’s hard to picture the tide stopping right now.

Roll Minutemen 40, Bowled-Over Fictional Sea Creatures 3

Brown at Harvard. Last year, this game catapulted wideout Buddy Farnham and the Bears to a share of the Ivy league title. This year, both the Crimson and Bears are coming back from late closes losses to Holy Cross and Stony Brook respectively. Look for a spirited battle between teams desperate to avoid an 0-2 start - and also look for Crimson quarterback Collier Winters to build on his solid week one performance and allow the Crimson to enact some revenge.

Red Shelly Winters’ 28, Brown Buddy Boys 27

Finally, I think Central Connecticut State will beat Columbia 27-21 this weekend. But I'll be rooting for the Lions.

Comments

ngineer said…
Colgate's amazing. They just keep plugging in different running backs, which leads one to believe "it" may really be the OL opening gaping holes. Any back, with some skills can get yardage if he has daylight to run to. I would hope we can start seeing a RUNNING GAME that will help set up the passing. As it is, we seem to be pass happy and being one dimensional is a recipe for disaster. Here's hoping for a balanced and smart offensive plan tomorrow!
Anonymous said…
Bring back the QB who should of started last year! horrible!
Anonymous said…
Send this staff on their way now!
Anonymous said…
Princeton could be the worst team in the Ivys and Lehigh still couldn't find a way to win. Gonna be a lonnnnnnnnnng season.
Anonymous said…
Actually your post is correct, Princeton is likely the worst team in the league. Sad to see how the once mighty has fallen. Has to be coaching.
Anonymous said…
This was a "Non-Scholarship" Opponent!

These are all Andy's recruits!

The weather was not a factor!

Many of our injured players are back! (As much as any other team)

We were at HOME!

The same unorganization on the field!

The same horrible play calling

When is this going to end?
Anonymous said…
We can be sure that Joe Sterrett sees what we see and more. Dwindling interest, lower ticket sales (did they even have 7000 in the stands today?), disorganization on the field, disgust among alumni and employees...

Eight more games in this nightmare era.
Anonymous said…
There were as many people remaining in the parking lot to tailgate as there were people in the stadium. Few care anymore.
Anonymous said…
The game day excitement at Goodman is GONE. The fans are simply projecting the energy, heart and coaching creativity they see on the field. We had so much more "talent" than Princeton, and look where that got us.

Two wins would be a HUGE accomplishment. I wouldn't be betting against GTown or Bucknell at this point.

Popular posts from this blog

Fifteen Guys Who Might be Lehigh's Next Football Coach (and Five More)

If you've been following my Twitter account, you might have caught some "possibilities" as Lehigh's next head football coach like Lou Holtz, Brett Favre and Bo Pelini.  The chance that any of those three guys actually are offered and accept the Lehigh head coaching position are somewhere between zero and zero.  (The full list of my Twitter "possibilities" are all on this thread on the Lehigh Sports Forum.)

However the actual Lehigh head football coaching search is well underway, with real names and real possibilities.

I've come up with a list of fifteen possible names, some which I've heard whispered as candidates, others which might be good fits at Lehigh for a variety of reasons.

UPDATE: I have found five more names of possible head coaches that I am adding to this list below.

Who are the twenty people?  Here they are, in alphabetical order.

How The Ivy League Is Able To Break the NCAA's Scholarship Limits and Still Consider Themselves FCS

By now you've seen the results.  In 2018, the Ivy League has taken the FCS by storm.

Perhaps it was Penn's 30-10 defeat of Lehigh a couple of weeks ago.  Or maybe it was Princeton's 50-9 drubbing of another team that made the FCS Playoffs last year, Monmouth.  Or maybe it was Yale's shockingly dominant 35-14 win over nationally-ranked Maine last weekend.

The Ivy League has gone an astounding 12-4 so far in out-of-conference play, many of those wins coming against the Patriot League.

But it's not just against the Patriot League where the Ivy League has excelled. 

Every Ivy League school has at least one out-of-conference victory, which is remarkable since it is only three games into their football season. 

The four losses - Rhode Island over Harvard, Holy Cross over Yale, Delaware over Cornell, and Cal Poly over Brown - were either close losses that could have gone either way or expected blowouts of teams picked to be at the bottom of the Ivy League.

Why the Ivy Le…

Remembering Andy Coen's Time As Head Coach As He Steps Down as Lehigh Football Head Coach To Address Health Issue

I read the announcement that head coach Andy Coen was stepping down as head football coach late Friday evening.

It was an announcement that I was expecting, to some degree. 

Those of use who have been following the program closely knew that something was amiss with Andy. 

And yet, the reason for him needing to step down was devastating.

"Life has thrown me a curveball," Coen said in the press release on Friday, December 7th, 2018. "I am in the early stages [of early onset Alzheimer's disease] and it is best for me to eliminate stress and concentrate on my health and well-being.  My wife, Laura, and my children, Molly, Nolan and Finn have supported me throughout my career and are my biggest fans.  This is a very difficult decision for all of us, but it is what is best at this time."

It was the gutting, pit-in-the-stomach diagnosis nobody wanted to be true.  Just like that, a bigger challenge than simply winning football games faces the man who has been heading …