The Opponents and Road Guide
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This is the final part of a four-part series previewing the 2011 Columbia Lions and the players you should know. Scroll down for part one and my entire league overview for the season
I thought I'd wrap up my 2011 season preview with an more fan-friendly look at the next ten weeks and what you really need to know to enjoy yourself game after game.
Jack Coffey Field
Week One: Fordham
My scouting report on the Rams actual team is coming later, and I have already posted my guide to getting to the game at Fordham... but here are a few more important points.
-Bring a seat cushion. The aluminum seats at Jack Coffey Field are the worst thing for your butt since Ryan O'Neal. Seriously.
-I have published extensive directions to Fordham already, here's another trick: If you have a GPS, just program in the New York Botanical Gardens as your destination. Most GPS systems won't have Fordham as a point of interest, (or they will, but they'll list 100 different locations), and the Gardens are right across the street from the entrance to the school.
-Buy your tickets now and choose the e-ticket option to print them from home. Fordham has like ONE ticket window on site and it moves reallll slow... like you'll miss the opening kickoff and halftime kind of slow.
Week Two: Albany
My extensive guide to getting to and enjoying games at Robert K. Kraft Field at Wien Stadium in the Baker Athletics Complex is coming next week. But here are a few things you need to know now:
-Root as hard as you can for Columbia, but keep a special place in your heart for Albany senior DE Eddie Delaney who was born without a left hand yet is still one of the best players in FCS football.
-If you want to make fun of somebody who is fair game, go after Albany Head Coach Bob Ford, (who is actually an excellent coach and has been at the helm for 30 years), who wears those oversized, cowboy-shaped golf hats on the sidelines and that's just not acceptable. Let the Chi Chi Rodriguez jokes fly!
-Don't do the thing all the other Ivy fans do and make fun of Albany for being state school. Why make fun of a school that costs so much less and graduates people with a lot less debt? Stay classy, Columbia.
Week 3: Princeton
First of all, get there! Of all our Ivy opponents, Princeton is the shortest trip to make for a road game. It's a really nice stadium, and there's... well there's really nothing else to do around there other than go to the game but that should be enough!
-TAILGATE! Princeton's big and ample parking lots really make tailgating easier than any Ivy school. Yale is a close second, but I have a problem with "parking lots" that are really grass fields. Even I care more about the environment than that and I think the global warming scare is stupid.
-Again, avoid the cliche taunt of Princeton as being a school of super rich kids and elitists. That joke hasn't been funny for a long time. What is fun is reminding the Tiger fans of the combined scores of the last two games they've played against Columbia and LOST badly.
Try this, (to the tune of "Let's go Lions"), "80 to 14, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!!!"
Week 4: Sacred Heart
For the second straight year, the unlucky draw puts Columbia at home for a game on Yom Kippur.
On the bright side, there should be REALLY light traffic that day and maybe you can actually enjoy the drive for once.
I can't think of too much to go after Sacred Heart with in the cheering department. Hopefully, this will be an easy win.
Week 5: Penn
This is going to be Homecoming and a 3:30 kickoff with a nationally televised broadcast on Versus.
But still come early to enjoy all the great things they do for Homecoming with the big tent, the carnival, and all the free food giveaways.
When the game does start, pay attention to Quaker Head Coach Al Bagnoli. He gets upset a lot. Perhaps we can distract him with some cheers where we just yell his name like the "Darryl" taunts in the 1986 World Series.
Love him or hate him, Bagnoli is the reason why Penn wins and loses. It couldn't hurt to mess with his concentration.
The REAL Dartmouth mascot: Keggy!
Week 6: Dartmouth
It's a long trip to Hanover, NH but well worth it.
It's not yet very cold in that area yet when we play them and a lot of the fall foliage is still in view.
Former Head Coach Larry McElreavy doesn't own the nearby Miss Bellows Falls Diner anymore, but you can still eat there and enjoy the buttermilk pancakes!
The Dartmouth stadium, Memorial Field is nice, especially on the visitors side where they recently refurbished the seats.
My favorite anti-Dartmouth cheer has to do with the fact that the team's nickname doesn't mean anything.
"Big Green... What?" is a good one.
Week 7: Yale
Another nationally televised game, this time with a 12 noon kickoff on the YES Network.
The big story here is that for the past two seasons, Yale has gotten away with two squeaker wins over the Lions and that needs to end.
Also, Yale PAYS the YES Network for the three games the New York City-based network broadcasts for Yale. So the best way to answer that is to cheer very loudly and scream things like "Thank God this game is not in New Haven!" as much as possible.
This doesn't make any sense to me either
Week 8: Harvard
Harvard often comes into this game looking ahead to the Penn game the following week. It's been eight years since the Lions beat them and it's way past time to get it done.
Next to Cornell, the Harvard alums in the New York area are the best at actually getting to see their own team when they come to Wien Stadium. So out-cheering them is a necessity.
Week 9: Cornell
This is an even longer trip than Dartmouth, and since it's week 9 you can't be sure the weather will be tolerable in Ithaca.
But every Ivy fan should see Schoelkopf Field at least once and I suggest doing a little exercise by hiking up the steps to the top of the crescent and enjoying the view.
Week 10: Brown
The final home game every year at Wien Stadium is Senior Day and the Lions have a great tradition of introducing all the seniors and having their families greet them on the field just before the game. It's a great ceremony. And three years running, Columbia has sent those seniors out with a victory on their day.
Since you can still take every course at Brown pass/fail, a good taunting cheer is "Run, Pass, Fail!"
Top 100 Moments of 2010
#3: Brackett Doesn't Start
QB Sean Brackett got his first start in week 7 of his freshman year against Yale and started every other game after that until the final week of 2010 at Brown.
Brackett was so banged up after the gutsy win he led Columbia to against Cornell that the coaches sat him down.
But getting him to agree wasn't easy... and as it turned out, it didn't last.