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Date Posted: 13:55:35 12/10/04 Fri
In football Harvard-Yale is always the weekend before Thanksgiving, same is true (I believe) for the Lehigh-Lafayette matchup. These contests always have a lot of anticipation leading up to them and are always very well attended. They embody to me the best of what legitimate college football should be about.
I'd like to see Fordham set up a scheduling rule so that our biggest rival (whoever that may be) will always be played on a certain weekend (whenever that may be, which I'll discuss first).
Having such a scheduling rule would enable a much more professional and institutional approach to what is presumably the most important game of the season (with the exception of post-season, of course). The University administrators at Fordham and the other school could plan around this date as one of the big mission-critical events, with rooms for receptions held, marketing plans, bookstore and food concessions, band, cheerleaders, FUV, travel arrangements, ancillary attractions, etc. all coordinated way in advance.
I think it should always be the Saturday immediately preceding and/or following Thanksgiving. I think it should always be a night game for several reasons, including the fact that it would allow much more time for tailgating, you can actually get other stuff such as errands done during the morning, there would be less pressure on our limited parking facilities with competing daytime activities, night games are more exciting, and finally there is less competition with other college football games (most of which are held during the day) so we might get more media coverage.
To make it a full-day event, we could have a basketball game on the same day (not sure whether hoops or football comes first, but it's nice to have options due to the lights). We could have a variety of activities (Mass, lectures, family activities, seasonal food, charitable activities such as a food drive for nearby soup kitchen, etc.) to help create a Thanksgiving-themed "holiday homecoming" atmosphere.
Now as for who to play, I think it should be either Holy Cross, Colgate, Georgetown or Columbia and I'll give my reasons for each.
Holy Cross - Fairly close, our sister school, and due to the Catholic identity would be great PR opp to showcase each school's commitment to helping the needy while still excelling as academic institutions.
Georgetown - Our sister school, and due to the Catholic identity would be great PR opp to showcase each school's commitment to helping the needy while still excelling as academic institutions. Not sure they would draw well and they would have quite a drive, necessitating a stayover if we do have a night game.
Colgate - Instate NY rival, strong profile in football and academics, fans travel. They would have quite a drive, necessitating a stayover if we do have a night game.
Columbia - The most obvious choice due to logistics and Liberty Cup tradition already established, strong profile in academics and improving football program. This could become a NYC Thanksgiving season tradition every bit as much as the Parade. Potential downsides are that they may already have an Ivy rival already lined up (Princeton? Brown?) for either of these two dates, and their league may have a lot to say about them having a more formal rivalry commitment with a PL team.
We could decide we have two or even three rivals and play Holy Cross or Colgate on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and play Columbia on the Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving. The hard part would be choosing between Holy Cross or Colgate, and we could simply alternate them. But if I had to choose, I would pick Holy Cross just because they're a little closer and are our Jesuit sister school. We could set up a "Cardinal's Cup" rivalry game against Georgetown, which would always be played on the third Saturday of September and be attended by a cardinal (complete with pre-game blessing).
Now, to play devil's advocate to my own ideas, the one concern I have would be that entering into a formal rivalry committment with all these non-scholarship I-AA's obviously locks us in way down the road if we move up to scholarship I-AA's and want to use our limited slots to up-schedule. But since our Administration shows absolutely no ambition in regards to football scheduling I don't know if this should really be a concern. We could also simply re-evaluate our rivalry commitments if an upgrade ever does come to pass.
What do you think? Who would you play and when?
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