Behind the Mic: Mondays are for Research

This time of the year, Mondays are Lafayette football days. Due to the availability of college information so early in the week and the lack of high school information until late in the week, I try to get as much Lafayette game day work done as I can on Monday. The statistics are already updated; the game notes from the previous game are available; rosters can be created; and story lines are sought. Story lines are normally about the match-ups, the offensive playmakers, and the defensive studs. Once you gather the information, the next task is to organize it.

But… sometimes I come across a story that has very little to do with the game, but a great deal to do with human interest. That was the case this past Monday when I started my research for the Lafayette-Wagner football game coming up this Saturday at 6:00pm in Easton.

The Wagner football coach is Walt Hameline. As usual, I found out the basics on him – 34 years as head coach at Wagner – 217 wins – one of only five FCS active coaches with over 200 wins. This is the usual stuff. Then I saw this article by Ralph Russo:

NEW YORK (AP) — You think fall weddings are inconvenient for college football fans? Imagine being a coach with a daughter who has her heart set on a Saturday in late September.

That was Wagner College coach Walt Hameline’s dilemma, when his youngest daughter, Kelly, told him last fall the place she chose as the site of her big day had few dates available — and the one she picked was Sept. 20, the same day Wagner was scheduled to play Monmouth University.

“How can you do this?” Hameline said was his reaction. “What are you thinking about? It’s football season. Ever since she was a baby she went to every football game.”

Hameline is in his 34th season as head coach at Wagner and is also the school’s athletic director.

Sometimes it pays to be your own boss.

Last fall, Kelly Hameline, 28, let her father know that she had found the perfect place to have her wedding — “The most expensive place you can find,” Walt Hameline said — on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

Turns out, the bill was only Hameline’s second-biggest problem.

“There was only like, one or two dates (available),” he said.

Still, Hameline could hardly believe what his daughter was asking. “There’s always been a golden rule in our family,” he said. “Once football season starts, my wife, my family, they go to the games and we do nothing else.” Not this time.

After last season was over, Hameline reached out to Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan. The two had crossed paths and become friends as young assistant coaches in the late 1970s, and when Hameline became head coach at Wagner, Callahan was the first coach he hired.

“It was kind of funny,” Callahan said, recalling the conversation with a laugh. “In typical Walt fashion he goes, ‘Hey, hey, hey, you gotta help me out.’ My first thought was, what’s he up to here? Let me figure this out.”

Callahan was in the process of filling Sept. 20 on Monmouth’s schedule, but was able to move the Wagner game, lock it in and build the team’s remaining schedule around it.

“We had the flexibility to make it work. I was more than happy to do it,” said Callahan, who has been coach at Monmouth for 22 years.

So while Callahan won’t be attending the wedding — the Hawks play at Duquesne that day — he’s covered for a gift.

As for Hameline, he’s just happy his daughter’s wedding didn’t conflict with Wagner’s game last week at Florida International, an FBS school. He said Wagner was paid $240,000 for that trip to South Florida.

“Let’s get this straight,” Hameline said, “I wasn’t calling FIU up.”

And CBSSports did the following video on the story:

I will get to interview Coach Hameline this week during our media luncheon press conference. I usually center my questions around the previous week’s events. However, this time I don’t think I will ask what color the bridesmaids wore or what the centerpieces were. It just doesn’t seem right to ask those questions of a football coach in the fall. I’m sure Coach agrees.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. Alessandro Florenzi plays international soccer for Roma. When he scored his first goal of the season this past week, he ran into the stands to hug his 82-year-old grandmother. She said she would only come to see him play if he would come to her and say, “Hi”. He did that and more. The referee gave him a yellow card for the infraction. Neither he nor his grandmother cared. Alessandro’s team won.

2. DeSean Jackson returned to Philadelphia on Sunday and caught an 81-yard touchdown pass. His celebration was as expected, but at least with the Eagles winning the game, he pretty much had to keep his mouth shut after the game.

3. Ray Rice is supposedly claiming that the video showing him punching his fiancé while in an elevator was edited. Edited from what to what? And dragging her unconscious from the elevator was the result of Emmy award-winning acting? Hard to accept his defense as credible.

4. Over 20 NFL players suffered injuries this week, many season-ending. It seems to me that more and more players are being hurt while the rules are being changed to protect them. Is there a correlation between changing the ways players are allowed to hit one another and the number of injuries that are occurring? Illogical? Only the players know.

5. I spent the weekend in Williamsburg, VA to do the Lafayette-William & Mary football game. It’s a beautiful place, loaded with history and great weather. Some days, going to work are better than others.

Gary's Picks
(Last Week 10-6; Seasonal Record 25-23: 52%)

WASHINGTON
MIAMI
CHICAGO
HOUSTON
INDIANAPOLIS
BALTIMORE
DETROIT
PITTSBURGH
SAN DIEGO
SAN FRANCISCO
ATLANTA
DALLAS
KANSAS CITY

Behind the Mic: Lafayette-Lehigh: A Gag Order!

45,000 tickets have been sold for the 150th edition of the Lafayette-Lehigh football game to be played on November 22 at Yankee Stadium. Yes – that Yankee Stadium. There may be a few more tickets available, but from an interest standpoint this is a bonanza already. It’s a sell-out for all intents and purposes; buses have been reserved; hotel rooms have been taken for the weekend; parties are planned; alumni gatherings are already in the works, etc. You get the picture – excitement is overflowing.

BUT… can we agree to just stop talking about THE GAME now until both teams are ready for the 11th game on their schedule? Let me explain why:

1. The most important football game is always the next game. That is where the focus should and needs to be for these two programs. Lehigh and Lafayette open their season September 6 (not Nov. 22), against James Madison and Sacred Heart respectively.

2. Lafayette is the defending Patriot League champion and every team in the league will be after them. None of the other teams care at all about Yankee Stadium.

3. Lehigh has had a chance to win the Patriot League championship the past two years by winning their last home game of the season. They lost both. Lehigh may want to concern themselves with winning all their games at Goodman Stadium before being concerned about Yankee Stadium.

4. Trust me. Fordham, the team everyone believes will win the Patriot League, would love for Lafayette to be thinking about the other game in the Bronx and not their match-up in the Bronx on October 3. This is the opening game of the Patriot League for Lafayette. The Leopards beat then-undefeated Fordham (10-0) 27-14 last year. Revenge will be in the air. The Leopards better not be looking ahead when this one rolls around.

5. Lehigh has Fordham at home on October 25. Win this one and their last home game of the year (Colgate) could again be very, very important – See #3.

6. Lafayette is fortunate to have a bye week before the Lehigh game. They will have plenty of time to think about the Mountain Hawks then. No need to do it before then.

7. Lehigh’s bye week comes before their Patriot League opener against Bucknell on October 11. Much like Lafayette, their bye week should allow them to focus only on the next opponent.

8. A bad year by both teams leading up to the 150th would take a lot of the interest away.

9. This game deserves to take on added importance and that means playing for a League championship by one or both. That will only happen if both teams stay focused on the next opponent.

10. CBS Sports Network is televising the game. My streak of doing play-by-play for the game will end. So, I am NOT looking ahead to this one and neither should anyone else!

Tune in this Saturday night at 6:00pm from Fairfield, Connecticut, for the Lafayette-Sacred Heart game LIVE on RCN-TV. I may mention the Lafayette-Lehigh game as a promo, but you might notice that my heart’s not in it – YET!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. The NFL Giants have a new offensive coordinator in Ben McAdoo. During the pre-season the starters and especially Eli Manning looked like they were totally lost in this offense. One of the most interesting things to watch this first week of the NFL is how the Giants’ offense fares against the Lions.

2. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Penn State-Central Florida game on Saturday morning. It was a great finish and ended around noon, leaving the rest of the day to do other things. I like morning sports.

3. Neither #1 Florida State nor #2 Alabama looked unbeatable in their wins over Oklahoma State and West Virginia, respectively. An Oklahoma State fumble and plenty of West Virginia dropped passes proved to be the difference. It could be a great year in college football.

4. There were no upsets in the first week of Lehigh Valley high school football. The closest to being called an upset was Stroudsburg beating Nazareth, but the Mounties look like the best team from the old Mountain Valley Conference.

5. It’s Emmaus at Easton LIVE on Friday night on RCN-TV at 7:00pm. Both won easily the first week. Emmaus beat Easton 14-7 last year. The game is at Cottingham Stadium and should be one of the top match-ups of the year. See you there.

Gary's Picks
NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last Year 174-92-1 65%)

SEATTLE
NEW ENGLAND
CLEVELAND
NEW ORLEANS
KANSAS CITY
CINCINNATI
JETS
ST. LOUIS
PHILADELPHIA
CHICAGO
HOUSTON
TAMPA BAY
SAN FRANCISCO
DENVER
DETROIT
ARIZONA

Behind the Mic: Dream Come True Telethon

 

Dream Come True Telethon

I love my job. Make no mistake about it. In the past few weeks, I have been able to watch our local high school football teams compete for a conference championship, a District title, and make a run for a state championship. In addition, I was able to broadcast the 149th edition of the Lafayette-Lehigh football game and begin the college basketball season with the Lafayette men’s team. Right around the corner is another season of high school and college basketball which will quickly take me through the winter and into March Madness. It’s the best.

There is one night a year, however, that is even better. It is the night that I co-host the Dream Come True Telethon. On Monday, December 9, we will do the Telethon for the 28th year. I have not hosted all of them, but in the early years, I made sure I was a guest on the show. The Dream Come True organization, in case you did not know, was founded in 1984 by Kostas Kalogeropoulous, a local businessman. The goal of the organization is simple – fulfill the dreams of children who are seriously, chronically, and terminally ill and reside in the greater Lehigh Valley area. Children are referred by family, friends, clergy, doctors, social workers, etc. and the dreams usually fall into three categories – trips, contact with celebrities, and special gifts (computers, shopping sprees, for example).

Scott Barr and I have been hosting together for many, many years. He handles the auction area and, boy, is he terrific! If you watch Home Shopping Network or any of the other all-day shopping TV channels, just watch Scott do his thing during the four-hour night. He is as good as, if not better, than the professionals.

There is always a variety of unique items donated by local businesses as well as our friends from the cable TV networks. If you want something really unique and not found in any store, tune us in and bid on the items. You’ll make Scott’s night.

Ann Savkova, our excellent parade announcer, will do many of the interviews with the children who have had their dreams fulfilled. She is a pleasure to have as part of the team.

We will, once again, be at The Outlets at the Sands. They were wonderful hosts last year as we broadcasted for the very first time from this venue. It is an exciting location and we enjoyed the new “digs”. You certainly are invited to stop by, say hello, and, hopefully, make a donation. It is a great place to shop and giving to Dream Come True will certainly get you into the holiday spirit.

The important facts are:
The Date: Monday, December 9
The Time: 6:00 – 10:00 PM
The Location: The Outlets at the Sands
The Television Dial: RCNTV channels 4 and 1004 (HD)
The Purpose: To fulfill as many hopes, dreams and fantasies for seriously, chronically,and terminally ill children as possible.
The Phone Number to Make a Donation: 1-800-749-8099

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. I know that this past Friday is known as Black Friday, but since I would never shop that day, it means very little to me. However, I did suffer through Black Saturday when all of our local football teams went down to defeat – Lafayette lost 45-7 to New Hampshire; Parkland lost 21-10 to St. Joe’s Prep and Catty lost 49-0 to Imhotep Charter. It was a “black” day indeed.

2. There were some amazing college football games on TV this past weekend. Penn State was a 24-point underdog to #15 Wisconsin and beat them 31-24. I watched as #17 LSU needed to go 99 yards in the final minute to beat Arkansas 31-27. Arkansas did not win an SEC game all year. And the best of all was watching Auburn’s Chris Davis return a missed field goal 107 yards with no time left to give #1 Alabama their first loss in 16 games. Can we actually have a BCS championship game without an SEC representative? We can and probably will, but I still think Alabama and Auburn are the two best teams in college football. Again, no true championship decided on the field.

3. Dare I forget that Ohio State beat Michigan 42-41? Michigan coach, Brady Hoke, decided to go for two points in the last few seconds. It failed. Speaking of that rivalry, Sunday Night’s 60 Minutes did a feature on a young boy who is an avid Ohio State fan. He has brain cancer but hates the word “cancer”. He calls his tumor “Michigan”.

4. Speaking, again, of good football, 10 NFL games were decided by seven points or less this past weekend – two went overtime and NOTHING changed in the standings or the Wild Card scenarios.

5. The Lafayette women’s basketball team is off to a very impressive 5-2 start with wins over Rider, Brown, Columbia, Pit, and Loyola of Chicago. RCN-TV will broadcast the first women’s game of the year on Sunday, December 8, LIVE at 2:00pm. Join us.

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 11-5) (120-71-1 overall – 63%)
HOUSTON
BALTIMORE
CINCINNATI
NEW ENGLAND
JETS
PHILADELPHIA
PITTSBURGH
BUFFALO
KANSAS CITY
ATLANTA
DENVER
ARIZONA
SAN DIEGO
SEATTLE
NEW ORLEANS
CHICAGO

Behind the Mic: Drew Reed and “Opportunity”

 

Drew Reed and “Opportunity”

Good writers often refer to clichés as “unoriginal thoughts”.

Allow me to illustrate. The scenario: The starting quarterback suffers a concussion and cannot return to action. The backup quarterback performs adequately, but not up to the standards set by the head coach. The head coach makes a change. His next choice and third choice is a freshman who has played one down of college football (he was sacked, by the way, on that play).

So the “door of opportunity” or “a golden opportunity which comes by once in a lifetime” was accepted by Lafayette freshman quarterback, Drew Reed. He did not let “yet another golden opportunity slip away”. And, by now, I have used up my litany of “unoriginal thoughts”. So, just let me tell you about Drew Reed.

He played high school football for Arlington High School in Lakeland, Tennessee. He threw for over 6,000 yards and 70 touchdowns. In his senior year alone, he threw for 1,470 yards, completed 63% of his passes, and threw 15 touchdowns by the sixth game! Then he broke his collarbone. This ended his season and, in essence, ended some of his attractiveness to big-time college football programs.

It took a phone call from an assistant coach at Georgia Tech to Lafayette’s offensive coordinator to put Drew on the Leopard radar screen. The coach said that Drew would be a perfect fit for the Patriot League and for Lafayette – excellent academics, model teenager, and outstanding potential. All he needed was the “opportunity”.

The “door of opportunity” came at the start of the second half against Harvard. Lafayette had scored just three points in the first half. On Drew’s first play he threw an interception. His career statistics at this point were: one run for -9 yards; 0-1 passing with an interception. Was “a golden opportunity slipping away”? Far from it. Drew went on to complete 17 of his next 21 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. That performance earned him a starting nod for the next game against Holy Cross.

His passing numbers for the Holy Cross game were even more astounding – 21 completions in 22 attempts with 20 completions in a row (tying a Patriot League record) to end the game for 283 yards and five touchdowns! He was named the National FCS Player of the Week and the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week and the Rookie of the Week, an achievement that had never been done before. At this point, he had more touchdown passes (7) than incompletions (6)! This past week against Georgetown, he was 18 for 24 for 275 yards and four more touchdowns! To date, he has completed 82% of his passes (unheard of) for 11 touchdowns in just 10 quarters of college football. More importantly, he has helped to put Lafayette in sole possession of first place in the Patriot League.

“Opportunity knocked”, Drew Reed answered, and he has certainly “made the best of the situation”. Enough! I am clichéd out!!

 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. The Eagles destroyed the Oakland Raiders this past Sunday. Ironically, the Raiders’ quarterback, Terrell Pryor, was recruited heavily out of high school by Eagles’ coach, Chip Kelly. Kelly believed Pryor would be the perfect player to run his Oregon offense. There are rumors that Chip Kelly would love to draft Oregon’s Marcus Mariota for next season. After Nick Foles’ record-setting seven touchdowns pass performance this past week, perhaps Kelly has found his “perfect” quarterback.

2. The New York Jets have alternated wins and losses through the first nine games this season going 5-4. I’m sure they will count this week’s bye week as a loss. The last team to alternate wins and losses through nine games was the New England Patriots. They finished 10-6 and made the playoffs.

3. Lafayette can guarantee themselves a share of the Patriot League Championship on Saturday at 3:30pm with a win over Colgate. You can watch the game LIVE on RCN-TV. Should Lafayette win and Lehigh lose to Holy Cross, Lafayette would be the Patriot League Champions. It would be their first outright championship since 1994. They shared the title is 2004, 2005, and 2006.

4. District football action begins this weekend. RCN-TV has Stroudsburg at Parkland LIVE on Friday night at 7:00pm followed by Pleasant Valley at Whitehall at 9:30pm. Bethlehem Catholic will host Lehighton on Saturday night LIVE at 7:00pm on RCN-TV.

5. Believe it or not, college basketball begins LIVE on RCN-TV on Tuesday, November 9, when Lafayette hosts Robert Morris at 7:00pm. Robert Morris had 24 wins last year, including an NIT first round victory over Kentucky – yes, that Kentucky. The Kirby Sports Center, by the way, is completely renovated.

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK (8-5: Last week; 86-47 overall 65%)
WASHINGTON
TENNESSEE
GREEN BAY
BUFFALO
GIANTS
INDIANAPOLIS
SEATTLE
CINCINNATI
DETROIT
SAN FRANCISCO
ARIZONA
DENVER
NEW ORLEANS
MIAMI

Behind the Mic: Our (Not ESPN) Game Day at Harvard

 

Our (Not ESPN) Game Day at Harvard

Harvard Game images (2)

When I arrived at Harvard Stadium on Saturday, October 19 at 11:00 AM for the 1:00 PM Lafayette Harvard game, I took an immediate look at our broadcasting location high atop this national historic landmark. I was well aware the only way to the top was by climbing (in this case, “historic” means “old” which also means “no elevator”). I knew I could get an answer to my question, “How many steps to the top?” The crew members, within hearing distance, in unison shouted, “150!” Before I let out a big moan, I considered THEIR plight in setting up to do the broadcast.

The crew of 13 left Bath at 7:00 AM on Friday and headed to Boston. It took the RCN caravan a good six hours to get there. Then their day really began. Over 1,000 feet of video cable and more than 500 feet of audio cable needed to be run. The 150 steps (that I previously alluded to) needed to be climbed at least 10 times. The wire needed to be run to every vantage point to bring the game to the viewers the next day. It took approximately 65 man hours before they could confidently head to their hotel for the day.

NBCSN-Camera-Map-Harvard-Lacrosse-Danmeyer-03302013-VER1-jpg

Saturday morning, the crew awoke at 6:30 AM to grab some breakfast and head to the stadium for an 8:00 AM arrival. Remember those 150 steps? Now they had to be traversed with five extremely heavy cameras. The cameras were then hooked to the cables that had been put in place the previous day. Over the next four hours, satellite coordinates needed to be captured. Contact with RCN, WBPH, ESPN and MASN needed to be established. Audio and video needed to be checked. All graphics needed to be inserted, and the production electronics (fades, camera punches, replays, etc.) needed to be tested. All of this so our viewers on RCN, WBPH, and the internet can enjoy 3 ½ hours of football coverage!

Harvard-Game-images(3)

Once the broadcast comes to its conclusion, the past two days of work are all reversed. Everything that was placed in the stadium now must be returned to the truck. Yep – those 150 steps again (for about the 30th time). That breakdown was completed around 5:30 PM. The estimated time of arrival in Bath was six hours later, which held true because everyone was back at the studio at 11:30 PM Saturday night.

I was going to tell you about MY weekend. I studied my game notes on Friday afternoon in a beautiful hotel room. I sighed when I realized I had to climb the 150 steps ONCE. I thought I would complain about being outside under a tent to do the broadcast. I was going to whine about the wind gusts that kept trying to blow all of our notes all over the place. I was going to tell you that by the end of the game, it got a little chilly. I was going to do all those things, but then I thought of the work the crew did. I had a great day by comparison.

 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

1. The preseason prognosticators (me included) felt the Eagles would have one of the worst defenses in the NFL this season. Well, this past week, they played pretty well against the Dallas Cowboys only to see their offense look just awful. Poor throws, dropped passes, no running game, and an inexperienced quarterback all led to a 17-3 defeat. It was the first time Chip Kelly coached a college or professional team that did not score a touchdown. It was hard to watch. One writer referred to it as, “The stink at the Linc.”

2. If all three Eagles’ quarterbacks are healthy for the Giants this week, which one would you start? To me, it has to be Michael Vick.

3. It was fun being in Boston this past weekend for the Harvard-Lafayette game. Boston is one of the greatest sports towns in the U.S. and Boston fans love their Red Sox. They proved worthy of that love by heading to the World Series with a dramatic grand slam home run by Shane Victorino (oh, that hurts the Phillies fans). The Head of the Charles Regatta attracted 9,000 athletes and over 300,000 spectators on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile in the NFL, the New England Patriots played the Jets in New Jersey. Suffice it to say, the city was alive and I spoke with more Regatta crew members than I ever imagined.

4. Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs are now the only undefeated team in the NFL. They play Cleveland, Buffalo, Washington, Oakland, Indianapolis, and will play Denver and San Diego twice. They will not win the rest. However, since the Super Bowl began, 31 teams have started 7-0 and all 31 qualified for the playoffs. 15 of those advanced to the Super Bowl and nine won it all.

5. Whitehall won a hard-fought game against Emmaus on Friday night. The Lehigh Valley Conference logjam is now down to three teams – Whitehall, Easton, and Parkland. That number will be reduced to two after Friday night as Whitehall plays at Easton at 7:00 PM (live on RCN TV). I will be traveling to Worcester, Massachusetts to cover the Lafayette – Holy Cross game and will miss some good high school games this weekend. However, I’ll be back to cover the Emmaus at Parkland game on Friday, November 1 (live on RCN TV at 7:00 PM).

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK (10-5: Last week; 67-40 overall 63%)
CAROLINA
SAN FRANCISCO
GIANTS
DETROIT
KANSAS CITY
NEW ORLEANS
NEW ENGLAND
CINCINNATI
PITTSBURGH
DENVER
ATLANTA
GREEN BAY
SEATTLE

Behind the Mic: I’m old, but so is Franklin Field

 

I’m old, but so is Franklin Field.

He was a patriot, a diplomat, a printer, a student of foreign languages, and a writer. He also dabbled in science. He invented the Franklin stove, bifocal eyeglasses, and the harmonica (which he called “armonica”). However, the phenomenon that interested Benjamin Franklin the most was electricity. So much so that, in 1748, he turned over his printing business to his foreman so that he could devote his life to science.

School children best know Ben Franklin for flying a kite in a thunderstorm to show that lightning is an electrical discharge. From that experiment, he invented the lightning rod. Electricity became a passion for him. His home was Philadelphia and the city has honored his name and image in many ways.

Franklin Field was named for Benjamin Franklin. I was a bit awestruck when I entered the historic venue for the first time back in 2007. I will return there on Saturday night. Franklin Field is located in the heart of Philadelphia and is the home of The University of Pennsylvania football team. It has been their home for a very long time. On October 1, 1895, Penn beat Swarthmore 40-0 and, thus, the first football game was played at Franklin Field. The next oldest college stadium is Harvard Stadium which opened in 1904. Lafayette’s home turf, Fisher Field, opened in 1926.

Over the years, Franklin Field became home to the first scoreboard (1895) and was the site of the first-ever telecast of a college football game when Penn destroyed Maryland 51-0 (1940). The game was covered with two cameras. ESPN Game Day visited there in 2002 for the Penn-Harvard Ivy League title game. Franklin Field remains the only Game Day visit for a I-AA (now FCS) game. Almost all Philadelphians remember how the Eagles gave Vince Lombardi his only NFL playoff loss the day after Christmas in 1960 (Eagles 17 Packers 13).

So, in 2007, I was thrilled to get to do a game there. Some of the historical thrill began to wear off just a bit when we found our broadcasting location. The trip to the midsection of the home side required one to climb a “thousand” steps and perform the limbo dance without music. You must go low or risk a severe head injury on the metal support beams that hold the media in an open-air cave. The view is great – the amenities are non-existent. I began to fear that I was not that grizzled old veteran of 37 years of broadcasting, but, instead, I had become a spoiled media softie, expecting every stadium to be like Fisher Field at Fisher Stadium. “Get over it!” I told myself. “This is Franklin Field.” I settled in for the game.

Ironically, the field is named after the “Father of Electricity”. However, on that night, there was no light in the “broadcast cave”. As the sun began to lower itself behind the skyline of Philadelphia, it became quite apparent that we soon would be unable to see our information. Despite what you think, announcers are SO much smarter when they can see their notes! The “spotter” sheets began to fade, our stat sheets were hard to see, and we could not see our “flip charts” which provide essential roster info. The only light in the booth came from my monitor and the “Leopardstrator”.

There may not have been electricity in the booth, but, there WAS electricity in the air that night. With 5:15 to go in the game, Penn led 7-5.

Lafayette got possession and drove within field goal range as the game neared the end. Davis Rodriguez was Lafayette’s freshmen kicker from St. Petersburg, Florida. He was 1 for 5 on field goal attempts for the season. Lafayette had not beaten Penn since 1991 – losing eight straight. Lafayette had not gone 3-0 since 1988. Davis Rodriguez was not born yet.

All of those negative numbers were erased with one swing of the leg. The 27-yard field goal was GOOD!! Victory belonged to Lafayette! The Leopards beat Penn at Franklin Field!

So, despite not having electricity in our “booth” that night in 2007, I imagine Ben Franklin was looking down on his field and smiling. He was still creating electricity in his own way. I’m sure of it. I know because I felt it!

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK (12-4: Last week; 23-9 overall 72%)
Kansas City
Green Bay
Dallas
San Diego
Minnesota
New England
New Orleans
Washington
Giants
Baltimore
Atlanta
Buffalo
San Francisco
Seattle
Chicago
Denver