Category Archives: History

100 Years Ago, Lehigh and Lafayette Squared Off For The 50th Time

"A special feature of Saturday's game will be the press service for a special wire from the sidelines to the press box with will provide good service to newspaper men covering the game," The Brown and White said in regards to the 50th meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette that was to take place on Saturday, November 25th, 1916.

"With the co-operation of the Western Union Company, this scheme has been worked out: The details of various plays will be given to an operator who will send them from a table placed on the sidelines over the wire to the press box.  The operator in the stand will receive them and they will be called to the press representative through a megaphone.  One Lafayette and one Lehigh man will give the plays to the field operator - the man who carries the ball, the man who makes the tackle, fumbles, penalties, and every detail of the game will go over the wire.  All of this will be done so quickly that the press will have every play complete before the next play is begun."

"This service is not surpassed on any field in the country," The Lafayette also noted.  "As far as is known, only one other, Franklin Field, uses this system.  By far the majority let the newspaper men do the best they can by themselves."

In the 50th game of The Rivalry, technology was then a big part of the story.  The reporters in the press box, including both student newspapers, would be one of the rare few that would get a play-by-play call of a college football game.
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Game Preview, Lehigh at Princeton, 9/26/2015

Rarely are scouting opportunities so accessible.

Shortly after Lehigh beat Penn last weekend, there was an opportunity for a Patriot/Ivy doubleheader for FCS football mavens, and a chance for Lehigh football fans to get a sneak peek at next week's competition.

What they saw couldn't have made any Mountain Hawk fan breathe easy.

What they saw was a dominating performance by the Tigers, a 40-7 walloping that had local sportswriters like Brad Wilson of the Express-Times dig down deep to describe the depth of the blowout.  "If Frank Tavani had seen Saturday's train wreck of a 40-7 loss to Princeton by his Lafayette football team coming," he wrote, "he'd have done everything in his power to derail the Leopard Express from proceeding down the track to Disaster City."

In Wilson's defense, the depth of the completeness of the win over Lafayette was hard to adequately describe.  Princeton only allowed six first downs in the first half, and only let up a meaningless touchdown with five minutes to play to allow Lafayette to avoid a shutout.  On offense, Princeton would rack up 573 yards of offense, including more than 300 on the ground, against what was thought to be Lafayette's strength this season, the defense.  Special teams?  Princeton 2/2 on field goals.  Lafayette 0/1.

Based on this great statistical performance, and watching the replay, what to make of Lehigh's chances against the same squad this weekend that seemed as dominant as the national championship Princeton football teams of 100 years ago?

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Sunday’s Word: Irish

Is it hokey?  At times.  Do I believe it's exactly the way things happened?  Absolutely not.  But my favorite all-time football movie is, and remains, Rudy, and his quest to become a member, even if for just a day, a member of the Fightin' "Irish".

Aside from being one of the few football movies my wife will willingly sit down and watch with me, the "based on real events" story somehow, almost twenty years later, hits just the right notes and proceeds at just the right pace as Rudy Ruettiger goes from junior college to South Bend to dressing for a game.


Not coincidentally, Rudy was broadcast this past Saturday night on NBC, and the airing no doubt was spurred by the surprising real-life Notre Dame football team, who sits undefeated at 9-0 and also sits at No. 4 in the BCS.

This season, the parallels between the team with golden helmets in South Bend and the team with the golden helmets in Bethlehem come into focus.
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