Monday, February 02, 2009

Winning and Cheering

Kudos to the men's basketball team for its weekend home sweep over Yale and Brown.

And special kudos to the very vocal fans who made their presence felt throughout both games and proved that school spirit is very much alive in Morningside Heights. I wathced most of both games on, but during those moments when I had to run a few errands I listened to WKCR in the car and you could barely hear the announcers over the raucous student fans.

It was a nice face of the campus sports scene to show to some strong potential football recruits who were reportedly making campus visits over the weekend.

Back to the Program

I continue now with my page-by-page look at the 1961 Columbia-Penn program. This was the game that the Lions won to clinch their one and only Ivy title.

We pick it up now with page 8 and the pictures of the team captains.

On top we have a shot of Bill Campbell standing at attention at the foot of the Lion statue at Baker Field.

I've written so much about Campbell, Columbia's current Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and I encourage everyone to use the search feature at the top left of this page and search for all those posts.

But something that I will add here today is that everyone should realize how valuable a person Campbell has been to this university for the past 50 years. His name truly belongs with names of Seth Low and Nicholas Murray Butler as people who made Columbia the school that it was, is, and will be in the future.

Below Campbell is the picture of Penn captain Michael Natale. He is pictured facing the home stands at Franklin Field.

Michael Natale

Now you have to feel for almost anyone who has to compare his playing and post playing career to Bill Campbell. But poor Natale really seems small in comparison. I say that because I'll be darned if I can find anything written about him out there.

I do know he was a 5"9 190-pound right guard who came to Penn from Uniontown Joint High School in New Salem, PA. He was also quoted later in the program in a running feature that I assume appeared in all Ivy League game programs at the time. Several players would be asked questions like, "who's the best or toughest opponent you ever faced in the Ivies, etc." Natale's answers to the question: "Who was the best Ivy player you ever played," was Ben Balme, a Yale guard who graduated after the 1960 season.

More on the program in the days and weeks to come.


At Tue Feb 03, 07:20:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Although, yes, the crowd was really into it both Friday and Saturday nights (special mention to Sigma Chi, which won dinner for 30 from Rack 'n Soul for its very loud-est efforts!), the crowd had something to be in FOR.

Tremendous effort by the Lions team to produce the ever-rare two league wins in a row. Especially on defense. It's nice to have Asenso Ampim and Patrick Foley both back. Ampim in particular is aggressive on the court, but almost to the point of brutishness; an early foul of his Saturday night was blatant and unnecessary.

But does anyone know why Joe Bova didn't play? Coach Jones has had terrible luck this season with the injury list.

At Tue Feb 03, 11:27:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

The student cheering section was phenomenal this weekend. Forget the Cameron Crazies, we have our own Morningside Madmen! Sigma Chi rocks!

At Tue Feb 03, 07:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it was nice to see the fan support, particularly Sigma Chi. Many of their members, and those cheering at Saturday's game and dressed-up in face paint, are football players. Great exhibition of school spirit!

At Tue Feb 03, 10:48:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to cathar's inquiry, I understand that during Columbia basketball co-captain, Joe Bova's four year career at Columbia, hs has had to constantly fight thru a very serious back injury which he incurred early in his freshman season. My understanding is that he re-injured his back against Cornell. Joe is a very gutsy athlete with good all-around basketball skills and smarts. I hope he can play again this season.

At Tue Feb 03, 11:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Jake, it looks like, Columbia is dominating all aspect of the news and getting some great publicity, which has to help Columbia in all ways, including recruiting: Here are some Columbia grads I have read about recently: Bill Campbell-business leader,good guy extraordinaire and Captain of the 1961 Columbia Championship Football Team; Brian Dennehy- actor and former Columbia Offensive Lineman; Matt Fox-actor and former Columbia Wide Receiver; Judd Gregg--New Hampshire Senator and Secretary of Commerce nominee; Eric Holder- U.S. Attorney General and former Columbia lightweight football player; Bob Kraft--owner of the New England Patriots; Mike Mukassey--former U.S. Attorney General; Barack Obama--President of the United States. The list goes on.


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