Archive For The “151” Category
One of the nice things about having done this for long is that at my fingertips I can summon up the definitive account of the last five meetings of The Rivalry through my game recaps of the time. Here’s a quick summary of the last five times Lehigh faced off against Lafayette in the most important game of the season. And heck – it’s Throwback Thursday somewhere, right?
All the Rivalry games are memorable in their own way for everyone in attendance, from the seniors playing in their last game to the kids playing on the grass embankment.
The there will be four plays that will be remembered the most, the four plays that defined this game for Lehigh and really demonstrated how tough this team was in 2015, and how tough they might be in 2016.
Most importantly, though, was the fact that Lehigh finally was able to chuck aside any doubts about winning a big game.
Wins against Lafayette are always important for the many Lehigh fans in the near-16,000 people who attend these games. But winning this particular game was doubly important for this Lehigh squad that seemed to almost desperately need the win in order to demonstrate to the fans in the Valley who they are, who they were, and where they’re headed.
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We break down the #Rivalry151 – and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.
One of the things that makes Lafayette such a dangerous and frightening team is the fact that they’re 1-9, oddly enough.
As a Lehigh fan, despite the Xs and Os, you have to wonder if Lehigh will come out flat tomorrow, after a heartwrenching loss last week to Colgate, 49-42.
Coupled with that is the fact that Lafayette has had two weeks to contemplate the end of their football season, to get healthy, to come to terms with the end of their football careers.
Sometimes, even in a huge Rivalry game, with a Patriot League championship on the line last week, you wonder if the Mountain Hawks can bring it as intensely as they brought it to Colgate.
Despite the breakdown, despite the football side, the question is – can they?
Chuck laid down on the couch, his therapist staring at his pencil. He focused at a spor on the celing, listing to the pelt of rain on the thin roof overhead.
“Do you remember it now?” the balding doctor with the shaggy salt-and-pepper beard asked.
“I… I don’t remember,” Chuck said. “I have a vague recollection, some faint memories, about being… excited. About being excited for a football game, but not The Rivalry I expected. It was being played… in a stadium I didn’t recognize. It was a dream. A nightmare. It had to be a nightmare.”
“Go on,” the doctor said. “This is good. Very good. By confronting what…. happened last year, you can finally face up to it and defeat it. Defeat your nightmare. Defeat a year’s worth of angst. Defeat it.”
“I don’t know,” Chuck said. “It’s all so hazy.”
“Let’s see if we can work this out,” the doctor said. “We’ll work it out, and fix this.”
A hundred and thirty-one years ago, a college in Easton approached a bunch of students in South Bethlehem and challenged their newly-founded “foot-ball” team to a game.
Such are the simple origins of the football Rivalry between Lehigh University and Lafayette College.
The Rivalry is a big deal in the way that only a game contested one hundred and fifty other times can be. It’s inspired teams quitting in the middle of the game over issues of emotion and fairness. It’s involved postgame brawls, institutional needling, scientific raids of each other’s campuses, pajama marches to serenade Moravian girls, pep rallies filled with smoke, and along the way was an integral part of the formation of the sport of college football, from the days of stocking caps to the days of leather helmets to facemasks to artificial turf.
It also inspires fanatical, crazy alumni like me to write books about it.
My book, The Rivalry, takes a look at the early days of the Lehigh/Lafayette football rivalry, and how Lafayette College and Lehigh University were founded, how their athletic departments were created, and (of course) how the football Rivalry got to be as emotionally and fiercely contested as it is.
It’s available on Amazon and in the Lehigh Bookstore, and it’s great reading for folks who want to know more about Asa Packer, Ario Pardee, the founding of both schools, and the origins of athletics at both schools, as well as the beginnings of the football Rivalry, which were as intense and fiercely fought as any Rivalry game in the modern age.
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