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Date Posted: 09/ 1/15 6:26:49pm Tue
Author: Maven
Subject: Re: Great post, 'gate80
In reply to: Andy Kerr 's message, "Great post, 'gate80" on 09/ 1/15 5:13:40pm Tue

>I think this Board should be extremely grateful for
>your insightful and passionate renditions of Colgate
>football history. It really provides perspective on
>the significance of this juncture within a colorful
>125 year history. Please keep this up. I love it!
Excellent indeed. I hope our new president reads it!
>>I did not attend the Colgate-Navy games in 1923 or
>>1970, but I did attend the 3 Navy games in the 1990s,
>>which spanned a turbulent period for Colgate football.
>>The first of these games was in 1993, hardly a high
>>point for the Raiders. WARNING - if you only like
>>happy talk (apparently like our sportswriters who
>>don't mention the score when Colgate loses), please
>>skip this and wait for posts on Navy games in 97 and
>>The 1993 schedule is the last where you can see the
>>remnants of Fred Dunlap's vision for Colgate football
>>- the first 6 games included Rutgers, Army, and Navy
>>and 3 Ivies. That schedule at one time also included
>>Syracuse and W&M, but they had to be dropped to make
>>room for PL teams Fordham and Bucknell. Navy in 1993
>>was coming off a 1-10 season, and when the schedule
>>was made they would have been seen as an excellent
>>chance for a win over a I-A team. However we were now
>>entering the 5th year of the self-induced, spiteful,
>>faculty-led gutting of our FB program, and we all knew
>>we had as much chance of a win playing Navy as we
>>would have had if we played Alabama.
>>There was still a surprisingly large contingent of
>>Colgate faithful attending these lopsided contests in
>>the early 90s. We were thrilled a decade before when
>>our schedules were upgraded and the future of Colgate
>>football was bright, and were determined to follow the
>>team against the remaining major opponents Dunlap had
>>obtained. But the atmosphere at pre and post game
>>tunks was funereal. We started the year in Giants
>>Stadium, where Rutgers beat us 68-6, the most points
>>ever given up by a Colgate team except for the 71
>>given up to Syracuse (most scored by Jim Brown) in
>>1959. Rutgers fans at that game asked me why we were
>>downgrading our program, and fondly recalled the
>>Colgate-Rutgers games in the 70s and 80s when there
>>was a great rivalry. They said they were envious of
>>the great alum and student support of Colgate's teams,
>>and now doubted it would continue. I did not have a
>>good answer for them. The following week we lost to
>>Army 30-0 in a game that wasn't that close. We entered
>>Navy's stadium like we were going to witness a
>>friend's execution - we dreaded seeing what we knew we
>>were going to see, but felt like we had to be there.
>>I remember 2 blocked punts, at least 1 (and maybe
>>both) returned for a TD on the play. The streak of
>>unaswered points scored against us by I-A teams that
>>year reached 115. Navy's QB had 4 or 5 turnovers
>>between fumbles and INTs, which kept the score from
>>being a lot worse. (The Navy QB was quoted in the
>>papers the next day as saying "the game was
>>disappointing as we expected to win 60-0".) There were
>>Colgate players who performed great despite being
>>outmanned on a program where the rug was pulled out
>>from under them by their own school. RB Bill Sparacio
>>had many tough, hard-earned yeards. (Sparacio had
>>scored the first points of the season at Giants
>>Stadium with an electrifying 35-yd TD run, before
>>Rutgers responded with 68 unanswered points.) QB Chris
>>Lane was chased and beaten up all day, before ending
>>up on crutches with his knee torn up. New coach Ed
>>Sweeney certainly couldn't be blamed for this sad
>>state of affairs, though I got the impression from my
>>observations during games and talk from insiders that
>>while he inherited a bad situation, he certainly
>>didn't make it better and probably made it worse.
>>At postgame tailgating I was shocked to hear insiders
>>say that things were going to get a lot worse before
>>they got better, which hardly seemed possible. But
>>they were right. Later that year we would lose for the
>>first time to Fordham, the Rams' only victory in a
>>25-game span extending from 1992 to 1995 (when we
>>would lose to them again). I listened to the 1993
>>Fordham loss on the radio, and Bob Cornell
>>uncharacteristically sounded clinically depressed at
>>halftime over the state of our fb program, and
>>wondered about the future of it. Of course our 16-game
>>losing streak from 1994 through 1996 lay ahead.
>>A midwestern alum gave me our schedules for the rest
>>of the decade. Mark Murphy had obtained great ones,
>>including every Ivy, great I-AA match-ups, yearly
>>games with Navy starting in 1997, games every other
>>year with Army, and even a couple of tentative games
>>with Rutgers and one with Vanderbilt. I was warned
>>that many of these games would probably not take place
>>given the spiraling downward of the program, and
>>possible addition of Towson State (!) to our
>>supposedly quasi-Ivy PL.
>>Alums after the game were asking "Why?" George Langdon
>>was no longer around to ask. He had resigned in
>>something worse than disgrace - disgrace and ridicule
>>- from his post at the American Museum of Natural
>>History. His successor Neil Grabois had apparently
>>recently asked at a public forum why Colgate even
>>needed a football program. Tony of course was still
>>around, though he wasn't in Annapolis that weekend to
>>ask. We had destroyed the fb program to improve our
>>academic profile, though it wasn't clear to us fb
>>troglodytes how joining a league with Fordham and
>>Towson State would help, and our academic standing
>>around that time had predictably started to decline.
>>Only airheads in isolated faculty lounge cocoons could
>>think that destroying what made us unique would bring
>>more attention to their academic endeavors.
>>Current students and recent alums may be rolling their
>>eyes at this, following 2 losing seasons and 6 years
>>during which we have a losing record against LC and
>>LU. But other than the 8 year Foley/Sweeney era at the
>>height of the gutting, the last time Colgate had
>>back-to-back losing season was in the early 60s. In
>>the 10 years leading up to the PL we had played LC and
>>LU 17 yimes and lost once. In the early 90s Colgate
>>was half a decade removed from a dominating win over a
>>good Army team in front of 40,000; a deacde away from
>>being considered the strongest team in I-AA; a decade
>>and a half from cracking the Div-1 AP top-20 and
>>having bowl scouts at Andy Kerr. I can't emphasize how
>>demoralizing it was at the time to Colgate fb fans to
>>see our program drop to the very bottom of I-AA, and
>>made worse by the fact that this was to a large extent
>>It was unbearably sad to watch a 75-year-old tradition
>>crumble, and I for one had seen enough. The Navy game
>>in 1993 was the fourth game I had attended that year,
>>but I would not see another (with the exception of the
>>1996 Richmond game which was - kind of - in my
>>neighborhood) until we returned to Annapolis in 1997.
>>By then things had changed.

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