The Rivalry – My Book, and My Story

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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