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St. Francis (PA) at Lehigh Tailgate 8/31/2019: Video Board, Dog Day, Tacos, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.  The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great!  It's at Murray Goodman Stadium this Saturday at 12:30PM.

If you can't make it to the game, the game is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320.  Matt Kerr, Lance Haynes, Tom Fallon and Matt Markus are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the webpage.  Full disclosure: When I'm at home, this is my preferred method to catch the game action.  Streaming the audio is #LFNApproved.

If through your cable service you get Service Electric 2 (this is available through Service Electric Cable in the Lehigh Valley), you can watch the TV feed on that station.  Steve Degler, Mike Yadush and Kristi Fulkerson are on the call.

If not, you can stream the game over the internet through the Patriot League Network.  PLN is the streaming service that broadcasts the Service Electric 2-produced broadcast.

PLN is free and allows you to stream most Patriot League home games and league football games.  It can be streamed in a web browser, or if you have a Roku box, you can access all the Patriot League Network games through the WatchStadium App.

Weather Report

Having sat through a lot of home openers that were in sweltering heat and oven roasted potato temperature, I was very encouraged to learn that this weekend's kickoff temperature is supposed to be a perfect 75 degrees under partly cloudy skies

It's going to be a tremendous weekend to play and watch football.

Murray Goodman Upgrades!

If you haven't been to Murray Goodman recently, there have been some major changes that have or are being implemented for the season opener.  The changes are detailed in this Lehigh Sports release, but he'res the changes netted out.

For those of us in the press box, the first big change is that a press box/media box has been constructed above the visiting stands.

Folks of the media who went to the spring game got to see the new press box, which wasn't yet finished, but the structure and many of the elements were there already.  Best of all there is going to be an elevator - no more making that sprint up the concrete with my laptop minutes before kickoff.

What that did was open up the old press box to allow for Murray Goodman Stadium to add extra SkyBox/Parlor Suites.  For example, for $1,000, you could gain access to the lower suites for the Lafayette fame for 8 of your closest friends with a flat-screen TV, food delivered to your suite, and (for those of you who remember the 1987 Rivalry game) heat.  It, too, will have an elevator for better access.

The Skybox and Press Box renovations were made possible through gifts from the family of alumnus, fan, friend and benefactor John J. Harmon '59, who passed away in September 2017, while the elevator project was supported by the Merksamer Family in honor of Norman Merksamer '52.

While it's a nice way for fans to watch a Lehigh football game, I must admit I wonder why, when the press was over on that side of the stadium, why there weren't elevators, a private restroom, and (perhaps most importantly) a mini-fridge available to the media.  (Which could have come in extremely handy for "LFN's Drinks of the Week", see below.)

What has me really excited though is the fact that one of the things I've been asking for at Murray Goodman is going to become a reality this fall.

Back in 2015, when Bethlehem Steel FC (the USL affiliate of the Philadelphia Union) decided to contest their home games at Goodman, I wrote a piece talking about how that deal could be an important driver to upgrading Murray Goodman for multiple events - and not just football.

"Imagine BethSteel 1913 FC competing for years in a multi-purpose Murray Goodman stadium - with, say a brand-new video scoreboard, some upgraded seating, and stadium lights," I wrote.  "Not only would it be a first-class experience for the fans of the USL team - an experience that could eclipse that of the Riverhounds in Pittsburgh, for example - it would also have many benefits to the Lehigh University community as well.

"Home football games would have all the great features the games already feature, with a gameday experience that would make them even bigger events.  And graduations held at Goodman would also feature the graduating students on a big stadium video display - a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime event.  Video displays, as shown by the many multimedia presentations at Yankee Stadium during the 150th meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette, can really be a great way for the University and the Patriot League to display its educational message to a wide audience in attendance."

This fall, thanks to the generous donation of Ron Ulrich, Lehigh is planning on installing a video board at Murray Goodman Stadium.  The plan is to have it reside underneath the current scoreboard behind the netting of the south side goalposts where the locker rooms are, and the current timeline for its completion is by October 26th, the date of the Georgetown game.

For this Saturday and the game vs. Merrimack the plan is to have a temporary video board up.  I'm not clear on how Lehigh Athletics is going to implement this but I'm eager to see how they will do so.

Personally I couldn't be more excited about the new video board and the other renovations, including sound system improvements, which finally should bring Lehigh's stadium into the 21st century.  Not all that long ago, Murray Goodman Stadium had a scoreboard with incandescent lights, a sound system that sounded like it was from the Eisenhower era, and a press box that doubled up as triple fitbit points for walking up and down stairs.  We'll see how it all comes together.

Special Stuff Happening

For the second year in a row, Lehigh's opening day will also be "Dog Day", an LFN fave.

Dogs are welcome at the stadium with donations being accepted at the stadium gates with proceeds going to the Center for Animal Health and Welfare.

As you may know, I'm a dog person and the idea of bringing the pooch to the game is something that I love.  Why not bring your best buddy if you can to the football game, right?

Lehigh is planning on have some special concession items and items available for your good dog, too. In addition, pictures of them enjoying their time at Murray Goodman stadium are also are very, very likely, if you run into me, to end up on social media.

LFN's Tailgate Chow of the Week

Full disclosure: The fine folks at El Jefe's Taquiera aren't funding Lehigh Nation.  They are also not supplying me with tacos, burritos, or huevos rancheros as payment, either.  (Note to El Jefe's: Slide into my DMs.)

However, since they have just engaged in a partnership with Lehigh Athletics, I thought the perfect way to kick off their partnership is to have El Jefe's Taquiera Tacos be the official LFN Tailgate Chow of the Week.

El Jefe's has started a promotion: if the Mountain Hawks recover a turnover during the course of the game, the end result is a free taco from El Jefe's for the fans in attendance.

But El Jefe's I could see being great tailgate fare, too.  Huevos rancheros are one of my favorite breakfasts, and it's really easy to see them being a part of a really good tailgate before a 12:30 PM kickoff.

Lehigh sure has come a long way from Greekers.

LFN's Drink of the Week

At LFN, I have one simple rule for my Drink of the Week - if it worked last time, it's unwise to tempt the Gods.  If it worked last year, do it again, no exceptions.

Last year, my family and I visited Ireland, and went to the Guinness brewery.  It was my inspiration for picking Guinness as the "Drink of the Week" against St. Francis, and - lo and behold - it worked.  You might actually believe St. Francis (PA)'s missed FG try came from tremendous special teams play, or a low kick from the Red Flash kicker - I know different.  It was the Guiness.  It had to be.

Guiness is one of my favorite beers, especially as I've gotten older.  It's actually not that heavy and its taste is unique in a world where beers are either too mass-produced, too quirky, too hipster, or just too unsatisfying.  It's increasingly become my go-to.

As always, Drinks of the Week have a place in responsible tailgates, but only if you behave yourself, don't get behind the wheel while impaired (or worse), and are over 21. Please do that.  And hard as it is to believe, no, I'm not a paid spokesman for Guinness.  I just like their beer.


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