When WR Wayne Chrebet came to Jets training camp in July of 1995 as a free-agent signee, the 5' 9 1/2 inch tall athlete from Hofstra was turned away by the security guard, thinking he was "just another Hofstra kid" trying to sneak his way in to see some of the big stars training in Hempstead, Long Island, like QB Boomer Esiason or LB Mo Lewis.
WR Ryan Spadola, too was a Jersey resident. He, too, came from an FCS school, a I-AA school. But nobody turned the blond-haired, 6'3 Spadola away at the gates of SUNY Cortland, even if the Jets depth charts had his name written in pencil rather than Sharpie, down at the very bottom, just like Chrebet years ago.
When Chrebet reached out to Ryan to talk pointers on Jets training camp, it wasn't just an email conversation between a legendary Jet and a rookie still learning the ropes. It was also a bridge between two powerful Northeast football programs in the mid-1990s, Hofstra and Lehigh, at the…
Today, Jet head coach Rex Ryan led his daily press conference with heaping praise about WR Ryan Spadola, who, in case you've just woken from a seven month nap, has been fighting and clawing to make the roster of the NFL's New York Jets.
This morning, on the first roster cutdown day, there was still doubt whether Ryan would make the 53 man roster. Even when four camp wideouts were released this morning, it still wasn't a done deal.
But that was before the announcement that WR Braylon Edwards was cut. And it was also before Rex Ryan spent a couple of minutes on talking about him.
More and more, college football is becoming more of a lifestyle than a diversion.
The experiences are more immersive; college football days don't just take place on one day a week, it's a three, or sometimes four, day weekend. It involves tailgates. Parties. Maybe a night out.
Most importantly, there are games on TV - or, now, the internet - all the time. There are literally hundreds of matchups available to watch, or stream, every day of the Experience Weekend. Whether you watch it a home, your butt firmly on the couch, or out with friends, it's becoming an all-encompassing affair.
Who will cut through all the channels showing Godspell, or Robinson Crusoe, and point you to where the Week 1 Experience Weekend games are being broadcast?
More to the point, where's a Lehigh football fan - old or new - to start?
The answer is - of course - you come here. You've come to the right place.
Starting on Thursday, there are plenty of football games available to enjoy…
If there's one word that describes Bucknell head coach Joe Susan, it's "stoic".
It's not that he doesn't have a sense of humor; he flashes it, at times, at media days and other interviews. But when it comes to talk of his football team, a stoicism takes over, a reflection of how he wants his team to be, how he wants his players to approach the game.
Going into the 2012 season, many media members saw Bucknell as a team that still needed a lot of work to compete for the Patriot League title, though I did not; I saw some real potential in Susan's stoic leadership, a defense that was best in the league, a potential breakout year after a 6-5 season.
But the Bison struggled to a 3-8 record, reversing on offense, struggling to score despite their strong "D". And while Susan has remained stoic, some of the frustration has started to peek through.