View Full Version : Memories of Lehigh/Lafayette

November 1st, 2007, 09:28 PM
Since this month is Lehigh/Lafayette month, I thought it would be great for anyone who’s been to, played in, cheered for, or otherwise participated in college football’s most played rivalry to share some of their memories. I’ll go first.

My first Lehigh/Lafayette experience was my freshman year – 1990, the last year students got to “go for post” before the administrations decided that was a bad idea (in retrospect, they were right, but as you’ll read in a future post, not many students agreed, but I digress).

Walk into any fraternity bar at Lehigh, and you’ll see a trophy of Lehigh/Lafayette games past – a piece of a goalpost. My fraternity was new at the time – our founding fathers were seniors, and this was the first year we had enough brothers and pledges to go after it and get a trophy of our own.

During the week before the game, we had a house meeting to make our game plan. One of the brothers (I was a pledge) gave us the rules.

1. No fraternity letters – so we couldn’t be ID’ed by security, or by other houses going for post
2. No pledge pins – so it was clear we weren’t forced to do this
3. No hoods – so we couldn’t be pulled down from behind
4. Protect each other above all else

With rules in place, we then discussed our plan to actually get the post.

Our plan was simple, go hard for the post, grab on to what we could, and then have those not holding on beat up the guys that were trying to beat up our guys who were holding on (gee, I wonder why they stopped this tradition). Get it back to the bus (the game was at Lafayette), and we were home free.

The day before the game, I thought would be “business as usual” in class, but I was very wrong. Halfway through my economics lecture (class size – a couple hundred), the Marching 97 (the Lehigh band) came in. They took the stage of the auditorium, played some of the fight songs, and led us in a raucous chant of Lafayette S***s (a high class bunch we were). To cap it off, they handed the professor a beer, which he promptly chugged to wild applause.

Finally gameday was upon us. The good guys won 35-14, but I remember very little of the game itself. What I do remember was standing at the gate to the football field as the game clock wound towards 0, with a few hundred (thousand?) people waiting around me to make that charge and “go for post”. The security guard who was holding the gate asked us not to jump over the fence, but to just wait until the game was over and he’d open it up for us.

Sure enough, the clock struck zero, the student-athletes evacuated the field, and the student-idiots took over. As we raced towards the post along with the rest of the mob, a near tragedy occurred - my pledge brother took a header and was lying face down on the ground. Worried that he would be trampled, I started shoving people so they would go around him, and then helped him up. The good news was, he wasn’t hurt. The bad news was, we had lost the rest of our fraternity. I looked up, and the goalposts were not only down, but they were nowhere in sight.

We headed back to the bus, feeling like we had let our fraternity down, but there was a surprise waiting for us – a good long piece of goalpost was taking the ride home with us. After fighting with another house, and giving and getting some black eyes and bloody lips, the guys decided to split it down the middle – and it hung in our bar from that night onward.

My next memory will be about the 1991 game – the year they decided to not let students tear down the goalposts – and the police vs. student riot that occurred as a result.

November 1st, 2007, 09:36 PM
Great stories kardplayer. I've seen many chunks of old goalposts in the frat houses at Lafayette as well. I haven't been around the rivalry as long as most, but 2002 was obviously special. Getting taunted pregame about the streak, among other things that can't be written on a PG website, made it all the sweeter to be next to the goalpost as it came down at Fisher later that afternoon. It seemed that things had definitely turned a corner (and I guess the last few years have shown that they did). I remember being out near the 50, shaking Marko Glavic's hand, and then turning and seeing a Lafayette Alum (I'd guess in his 30s/40s), kneeling down with tears streaming down his face. I guess if I didn't realize that it was about more than a football game, that certainly did it for me. My tickets came in the mail today. Can't wait!

November 1st, 2007, 09:37 PM
The Game of 1970 was my first. As a freshman player, we were not allowed 'in those days' to dress with the varsity. The Game was played at Lafayette and the Leopards jumped out to 28-7 lead at halftime. The, then, Engineers came back in the second half to tie the game at 28. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Lafayette was trying to get into field goal range. They faced a 4th and 2 at the Lehigh 40; well beyond field goal range. The Pards lined up to punt and my future fraternity brother, who shall remain nameless in this post, jumped off-side; giving Lafayette a first down and allowing them to continue to drive another 10 yards or so and attempt the FG. Meanwhile, the students were swarming the western endzone threatening the goal posts and the Easton Police were in full battle gear with dogs trying to protect them. The cops held and Lafayette kicked the field goal to win 31-28; their last win until 1976. As the gun sounded I found myself in the only 'melee' in my life battling for a hunk of the post. Felt fortunate to get out with only a few bruised fingers/knuckles. Was the last "fight' I was actually in (except for intramural boxing)...

Franks Tanks
November 1st, 2007, 09:37 PM
Great Thread- might as well get excited for this game already as it is really all both teams have to look forward to at this point. When was the last time both teams entered the game with no chance of advancing to the playoffs? It has to be at least a decade-- since Lehigh began there playoff run in 1998