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Archive For November 15, 2012

Game Preview: The 148th: Lehigh at Lafayette, 11/17/2012

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Game Preview: The 148th: Lehigh at Lafayette, 11/17/2012

(Photo Credit: Ed Koskey, Jr./Special to the Morning Call)

When you study “The Rivalry” as long as I have, the overall trends of Lehigh students, Lafayette students, the football players, and the citizens of Bethlehem and Easton break apart, and the individual stories from each specific instance come to the fore. 

Specific “game to end all games”, detailed game riots,  freezing games, or unusually hot games get broken out, sometimes breaking from the normal expectations of The Rivalry in general.  The Rivalry endures, and there are similar stories of seasons being made, or broken, or riots, or order, but occasionally games do have variation.  Not every Rivalry game is the same..

The story of the 148th meeting of the most-played rivalry in all of college football is probably more different than anyone might have ever imagined before the season.

For Lafayette, the story is one of unmet expectations, unbelievable tragedy, and, ultimately, they hope, redemption.  For Lehigh, the story is one of nerves, loss of destiny, and, ultimately, they hope, redemption.
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Flashback: November 17th, 1962: Lehigh 13, Lafayette 6

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Flashback: November 17th, 1962: Lehigh 13, Lafayette 6

It was the end of an era – in more ways than one.

Sure, Lehigh and Lafayette students had performed midnight raids on the others’ campuses plenty of times before, and done plenty of shenanigans in the towns of Bethlehem and Easton, some above board, some not.

“The Rivalry” has always involved pranks, including the occasional arrest for painting the Lafayette Leopard Brown and White, for example.

But in 1962, at a smaller scale yet predating the big stuff that would be coming in six short years at Kent State (“Four Dead in Ohio”, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), it seemed like there was a rising level of tension between law enforcement and students in the air in the game between Lehigh and Lafayette in 1962.

“Over 400 Lafayette students mached on Eaton Nov. 15th after the annual pep rally and bonfire before the Lehigh game and had to be dispersed with fire hoses,” the Lafayette reported.  “Observers said the demonstration was the most riotous display in more than 30 years.”
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Flashback: November 23rd, 1912, Lehigh 10, Lafayette 0

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Flashback: November 23rd, 1912, Lehigh 10, Lafayette 0

“At last Lafayette approaches the real climax of her football season,” the Leopard paper of the time, The Lafayette, stated on November 22nd, 1912.  “The football world always watches this contest with the closest interest for it is the greatest of the annual struggles between small college teams.

“To the ardent supporters of these two colleges, even the Yale-Harvard game is but a minor incident in comparison to the deciding of this championship.  No matter how many games Lehigh may lose during the season, she always tackles Lafayette with a sturdy confidence and hope of victory.

“No matter how many great games Lafayette wins in the season she always enters this struggle ready to fight, knowing that upon the outcome depends the real success or failure of the season and knowing that her opponents will be worthy of every possible effort.”

After an era of near-complete dominance by Lafayette in “The Rivalry”, in 1912 the roles of the Brown and White and the Maroon and White were suddenly reversed, and the student writer at The Lafayette knew it. 

“Sweeping victories for the past three years have caused Lafayette to assume a rather superior feeling toward Lehigh,” the reporter said.  “Not so this year.  Lehigh has the best team that has represented that institution in the past ten years.”
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Housekeeping before the 148th Meeting

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Housekeeping before the 148th Meeting

I have some things to do before the 148th this weekend in Easton – namely, two weeks of players of the week (since I forgot for Holy Cross in my zeal to cover the Colgate game) and some links wrapping up last week’s game.

Something that has muted the party  this week has been the heartbreaking story of Lafayette QB Zach Zweizig, whose father, 56, tragically died from complications of a stroke earlier this week.

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.  I love “The Rivalry”, I really do.  But some things transcend it.
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4 Box Score & 1 General Observation – Robert Morris

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4 Box Score & 1 General Observation – Robert Morris

1.) Welcome back Gabe. Mr. Knutson, battling a knee injury, really showed some heart in his season debute to the tune of: 27 minutes, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks. That is why we call him Captain Knutson, gutty effort, love the heart on this kid. 2.) Well rounded effort – The big 4 that have to carry LU…

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My FCS Top 25, 11/12/2012

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My FCS Top 25, 11/12/2012

My vote follows below the flip, along with the ECAC Lambert Meadowlands Cup poll for this week.

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Lehigh At 12 in Coaches Poll, 14 in Sports Network Poll

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Lehigh At 12 in Coaches Poll, 14 in Sports Network Poll

Everyone surrounding Lehigh hopes that they’re “in with a win” against Lafayette this Saturday. 

This week, the two major nation FCS polls gives them even more hope that the Mountain Hawks are in the field of 20 with a victory in the 148th meeting with the Leopards.

With Lehigh’s rank at No. 12 in the Coaches’ poll, and No. 14 in the Sports Network poll, and assuming, of course, that a win will only help their chances and not hurt, it seems more likely than it did 24 hours ago that the Mountain Hawks could be in the field of 20.
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3 Nuggets on Robert Morris

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3 Nuggets on Robert Morris

1.)    Good preview on Robert Morris provided via the link below. They have been picked to finish1st or 2nd in the NEC depending on the different previews that are out there, and they return a large part of their 26 win team from a year ago. http://bitly.com/Ovd0Yg 2.)    Robert Morris has a ton of guards,…

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Sunday’s Word: Blessed

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Sunday’s Word: Blessed

This will probably be the shortest “Sunday Word” ever. 

It will not deal with the playoff field, or much about the game Lehigh lost last weekend.

There are a lot of disappointed fans, players, and people around the football program.  The Patriot League championship this year is Colgate’s.  They earned it.

But the season is not over.

And it’s time, instead, for Lehigh to count their “blessings”.

Playoffs will happen, or they won’t.  10-1 will happen, or it won’t.  But this team is so “blessed”.
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5 Quick Observations From Baylor Game

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5 Quick Observations From Baylor Game

5 Quick Observations From Baylor 1.)    That McCollum kid is good, real good. Okay, maybe that shouldn’t really count as an observation, because we already knew that, however CJ was dominant on Friday night. He got to the tin at will, and got what he wanted when he wanted it. He scored in a variety…

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