Friday, November 30, 2012

Football in the Fall

 These are guys you have known since the Fall of '81. You rushed with them, went to the games,studied,pulled pranks and pledged. These are the guys with whom you stumbled around "The Hill" on a Friday night hitting 7 of 8 raging fraternity parties and guzzling Old Mil' and Hamm's from 12 ounce cups.You flirted with girls from Cedar Crest at IFC cocktails every Friday afternoon wearing sport coats and khakis and ties. You did road trips and hit Linderman Library, played squash and pinball and "zooled" in the woods behind Chi Phi. You went to class hung-over and crammed for exams. It was a glorious time.

These guys have names from the college days like: Cave, Spike, Schwabey,Beeter, Wighty,Kipper,Divits and Blue. Some of us from different years barely know each other's real names to this day...we sure do not use them if we do. Decades later  we immediately fall into the same patterns and banter from the first beer to the 4th quarter. This is Lehigh/Lafayette.
You worked hard and played hard. You graduated. We all come back. When the Lehigh v. Lafayette game is on enemy turf, we leave the wives and kids at home. On game day we angle a tailgate spot on the streets near the stadium in Easton. Once again we are laughing and guzziling beers. The grill is lit, the laughing takes over after the news about families and kids and who did not make it today and why...and how much of a pussy they are for failing to do so.

 Sneaking booze and beer into the stadium is an art, a science and a tradition.Note the flask in the Sportsman's mit...a  nip of fine Bourbon while watching Lehigh football on a chilly November afternoon.
 "Greekers" were cheap hot dogs slathered with chili sauce, onions and mustard sold by little lunch-counter joints in South Bethlehem and available at 3 A.M. after you stumbled out of the Fraternity parties and off "The Hill." So named as a nod by the proprieters to the Fraternity trade that was a constant flow of revenue. At the away games I re-create the "Greeker" for the boys at the tailgate. Always a hit, the fare acts as a utilitarian "beer sponge" for the drinks at the tailgate and the ones smuggled into the stadium and the pitchers consumed at the bar back in Bethlehem after the game.
 You and the boys cheer and high five the touchdowns. This is a grudge match football's most played rivalry. You cheer louder than a regular really want a win.This year Lehigh once again triumphed. It was a close game in the 1st half...but the Lehigh boys ran away with it after that.

The Lehigh faithful flood the field at the end of the game. In the old days we rushed the goal posts and tore 'em down. That tradition is best left for another post.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Salutations

Dressed in that get-up, I doubt Marilyn would have to do much calling. The birds would flock to her. Well, at least any hunters in the vicinity would be drawn in. It is doubtful that the old hammer gun blunderbuss would be operable so the fetching Pilgrim would have to rely on wit to fend off the camo'd suitors.

Here is wishing fellow bloggers a fine day and a fine feast. Enjoy your family and friends. Buck season opens here in PA on Monday so be safe. I have to be in court Monday so I will defer deer hunting until later in the week. If the weather is not 60 and sunny on Friday I will be in the duck blind. If it is a "blue-bird" day I will shoot some clays and train the dog rather than just taking the decoys for a ride. In the meantime, dinner for 12 tomorrow and a 17 lb free range to brine and roast. Cheers!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Random Acts of Spirit

 One of the things I always liked about the week leading up to the Lehigh v. Lafayette game was the campus-wide atmosphere of school spirit. Here we see a "flash-mob" type spirit disply. A contingent of Lehigh's band...The Marching 97....barges into a classroom and starts a rousing,brassy,blaring rendition of the Lehigh fight song. From the stuff on the chalkboard it seems this is an engineering class or some other highly technical stuff way above the sportsman's pay the effort may have been lost on the two Asian kids in the front row who plan to spend game day accelerating a particle or some shit.

Nevertheless, the tone on campus was and is always ramped up. There are still bonfires and attempts to deface the opposing school statues and sunrise cocktails on the morning of the game. The fraternities rent buses to hit the away games and I have fond (but  episodic) memories of washing down stale donuts with 101 proof Wild Turkey at 8:30 A.M in the back of the bus with the boys on the way over to Easton.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The Sportsman Channel circulates some great stuff. This list of skills can be honed in a duck blind, on a deer stand or walking a cornfield. These are all things I hope my son aquires during the time I spend hunting with him...whether they come from me or just from the experince. This is just one more reason to pass on the rituals and traditions of hunting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Rivalry

 Once again the Lehigh faithful are gearing up for "The Rivalry." For those who do not know "The Rivalry" or have not read my prior posts, "The Rivalry" is the yearly football game between Lehigh University and Lafayette College. As previously noted, and as is common knowledge to Alumni of both schools, the is the most played rivalry in College football history. More than Army/Navy or Harvard/Yale or Ohio State/Michigan.
This Saturday will be the 148th meeting of the two teams. The kick-off will be at Fisher field in Easton...Lafayette's turf. This Sportsman will be loading the cooler with Yeungling and filling the flask with Whiskey and making the trip. A contingent of Lehigh boys will gather, without the wives and kids that taiolgate with us at home games. We will swill beer, sip whiskey, cheer for our team and enjoy a Fall afternoon of college football. Despite the fact that our crew have all been "alumni" for 20 plus years...on the afternoon of Lehigh v. Lafayette...even one in his mid-40's feels like a College junior when at the game. Sadly for one's liver, we tend to drink like college juniors during this period of faux youthful exuberance...and pay with interest the next day. A few years ago I returned home very late from the Easton...coming off a lovely toot of game day beers and shots and post-game cocktails back at the Fraternity House... messed up...mustard and ketchup stains on the front of the LEHIGH sweatshirt...swaying slightly,cigar butt in mouth and sheepish grin across face. My ever tolerant wife...who has been to many a Lehigh v. Lafayette game herself...but never away...took one look at me and exclaimed:" Guest Room."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Quaker City Prize Fights

In a previous post I noted that one of the boxers I manage, Heavyweight Joey Cusumano, had been sparring with Bryant Jennings. Jennings is a highly talented and tough Philly kid who is rising in the ranks of the heavyweight division. He is slated to fight for the USBA Heavyweight Title on december 8th here in Philadelphia. You can be certain that this Sportsman and his client will be seated ringside to watch this bout and study the form, technique and tactics of Mr. Jennings.

Tickets are available through Peltz Boxing. The venue is at Temple University and should afford great views and an exciting atmosphere.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stick a Fork In 'Em

Turning away from the pollsters and Network talking heads and prognosticators, I have to lament the state of our NFL team. 3-5 after a pathetic showing on Monday night football. We have to suffer through another lame press conference of wheezing and "gotta do a better job" from our bloated arrogant and arguably inept coach. This season is shaping up to be a real disaster, Mike Vick could be greviously injured based on how he is being treated by opposing sackers, and there is a demand for regime change. Is the owner listiening or have a clue?
What really hurts is the NHL situation. Here in the Quaker City we do not even have the Flyers to salve our sports psyche.