Archive For The “Donald Trump” Category
A lot of football teams in the middle of a football season have what is called a 24 hour rule in regards to the outcome of their games. The rule is the win, or loss is to be celebrated/agonized over for 24 hours, and then it’s back to work.
Like the No Cheering in the Press Box rule in the past, I violated that one this weekend.
After the Penn loss, I was mad in a way I hadn’t been mad before. Irrationally mad. Talking back at the dog mad. Losses affect me, some more than others. And this one, for some reason, really hit me hard.
It was 5:00 PM on Sunday, the Eagles had just won on a 61 yard miracle field goal, and the Saints had just humiliated the Panthers on the road for their first victory of the season. A Saints victory on the road, against a conference rival, something that, as a Saints fan, happens at about the same frequency as Super Bowl visits – and I was still mad about the game yesterday.
That was the point when I realized something was wrong.
I used to know how to write.
Sure, I have written a lot about Lehigh football, the Patriot League, the NFL, and whatever else I damn well please over the course of the last fourteen or more years. Maybe I didn’t write particularly great all the time — but sometimes, maybe more by accident than by design, the writing turned out OK.
But the one constant was that I wrote. I’d sit in front of the warm glow of the laptop monitor and write. I’d start in the bedroom, before my tired wife would kick me out and I’d write on the laptop in the office so that the clicking of the keys didn’t irritate her.
What I did know how to do was to put my face in front of the laptop and write about the sports subjects that interested me.
But these last few months, I’ve found it harder to come up with the energy to come up with posts every week. Since it’s the offseason, I’ve got some time to try to analyze it and think it through, and I think I’ve come up with a few reasons why.
If there is one simple answer to the question, it is: today’s world.
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Senior QB Nick Shanfisky called them “motivation games”, and it’s clear during this four game winning streak motivation hasn’t been lacking for this Lehigh football team.
Start with Penn, where it was critical for the Mountain Hawks to avoid an 0-3 hole. Then proceed to Princeton, where the defense gave up 52 points last season in a loss; to the Yale Bowl, where two years ago no less than five players came down with injuries in another loss; and of course Colgate, where last season the Raiders’ stop at the goal line preserved their 49-42 victory and snatched a Patriot League title that was within the Mountain Hawks’ grasp.
At 4-2, and in the drivers’ seat, along comes a game for Lehigh at Georgetown, which by any measure doesn’t have the same types of motivation that fueled this four game winning streak.
Not that there’s no motivation, mind you. Conference games count for more than games against Yale, or Monmouth.
But you can’t blame folks for looking at this Georgetown and fearing a letdown, a quintessential “trap game”. In the last four games, they were all motivation games – games fueled by either a desperation to get the season on track, or a continuation of track with a side order of revenge. This one is different – and thus, oddly enough, more dangerous.
Admiral Ackbar might correctly identify this game as a classic trap.
(Photo Credit: Pat Goodridge/Daily Pennsylvanian)
“[We’re] trying not to over-plan for Lehigh,” Penn head coach Ray Priore said in his first Penn coaches’ teleconference of the year. “And the kids are very focused. We got off to last years’ start 1-3, our first loss was to Lehigh, and they tattooed us pretty good up there, so our kids remember that…“
If there was any doubt that the Penn players had somehow forgotten the way they kicked off the Ray Priore era – that they had forgotten that humbling beginning to their Ivy League championship season from last year – any doubt of that was easily erased by the easy way that “so our kids remember that” uttered from Priore’s lips at the press conference.
College football head coaches generally don’t like their opponents lying in wait for them for months upon months upon months. They prefer to sneak into town competing as lightly-regarded underdogs, preferably playing a “scrappy, fundamental game” (whatever that means), and escaping town with a character-building win and then heading home on the bus.
Head coach Andy Coen and the rest of the Mountain Hawks will definitely not have that luxury heading down to Franklin field this weekend. They’re going to have a riled-up, laying-in-wait Quaker team that are favored to repeat as Ivy League champions.
“Our kids remember that.”
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The enormity of the challenge of Lehigh’s 2015 football schedule was evident to everyone looking at the schedule.
“October 10th, at Bucknell. October 24th, at Fordham”.
In August, every Lehigh fan wants to be an optimist. They want to believe that this is the year that they win a Patriot League champions. They look at the entirety of the schedule, and say, “Yeah. We could win that one.”
But even the biggest optimists looked at this two-game stretch, at Bucknell, and at Fordham, and had to pause, and perhaps exhale. “Number Two and Number One in the league last year,” they think. “On the road. And Fordham, a Top 15 team for the last two years, who has gone to the FCS playoffs for two straight years, with a returning Jerry Rice award-winner in RB Chase Edmonds.”
Lehigh defied their preseason expectations by beating Bucknell 21-10 two weeks ago, setting up an extremely meaningful game in the Bronx this coming weekend for this young Mountain Hawk team.
The optimists from the summer are still here. They already saw one tough road win against the Bison. Though it’s going to be a huge challenge, they also see the potential for another.