Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snowed Over

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This is New York City... in October!

Yale 16 Columbia 13

Why Yale Won

In a driving freak snow storm that buried Kraft Field, the Elis were able to establish a consisten running game. Mordecai Cargill carried the ball an amazing 42 times for 230 yards and two touchdowns. That helped Yale jump out to a 16-0 lead, which was just enough to win.

Why Columbia Lost

The Lion offense took way too long to get going, finally finding a spark from sophomore RB Griffin Lowry and some decent play action passes. The defense was too inconsistent in its efforts to stop the Yale run, but it still gave the team more than enough chances to win.

Key Turning Points

-A short pass followed by a long run by WR Louis DiNovo set Columbia up with a 1st and 10 at the Yale 25 to start the 2nd quarter. But the Lions proceeded to move backwards on a sack, throw an incomplete pass, and then QB Sean Brackett was intercepted at the Eli 4.

-Later in the second quarter, sophomore DB Jeremy Mingo stepped right in front of a Patrick Witt pass but dropped the sure INT. On the next play, the Elis kicked a FG for the first points of the game.

-Trailing by just 3-0 at the start of the second half, Columbia had no answers for Cargill on the opening Yale drive. He carried the ball on seven of the eight play TD drive that went for 59 yards. Cargill had 52 of those yards to make it 10-0.

Columbia Positives

-It was an amazing team effort to fight until the very end in conditions like that. The late rally the Lions put together should be something to build on, or at least keep morale at a high level as the team prepares for a new coach next season.

-It was a good game for the sophomores. Lowry, DiNovo, K Luke Eddy, and TE Zack McKown. Eddy made a tough PAT after a CU false start penalty and McKown got beautifully free for Columbia's first TD. It will be interesting to see if any of them, especially Lowry, get more playing time going forward.

-Another sophomore who impressed was P Paul Delaney. Not all of his punts were perfect, but his last one was and it set up Columbia's second TD. That kick after he was pretty badly beat up on a punt earlier in the half when a bad snap forced him to run back for the ball and take a big hit as he finally did get the kick away.

Columbia Negatives

-The Lion play calling for much of the game seemed too complicated considering the conditions. Columbia passed the ball 36 times while Yale threw just 10 times.

-The offensive line didn't protect Brackett well enough. He was sacked hard twice and rushed several more times and forced to make amazing escapes.

-Some of the non-tackling of Cargill really hurt the Lion efforts. There was plenty of good gang tackling too, but just not enough.

Columbia MVP

After seeing a game in conditions that defied belief, I have to give the MVP award to the entire team just for gutting it out all day. Remember the game was broadcast on YES, so the TV timeouts alone prolonged the contest by at least a half hour.

Thanks guys, we are all proud of you!


I'm sure this is the first time in at least 25 years that any snow at all has fallen during a Columbia home football game. But can anyone here tell us for sure when the last time we had the white stuff at a CU game?


At Sun Oct 30, 07:04:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

I was glad I was there for the 2.5 quarters I lasted. Proud of the team, too. Listening to WKCR going back on treacherous roads was useless, however, the students had nothing interesting to say and the trip took me more than three hours to Jersey.

Watching the game later on on DVR, it was amazing how little of the image came through from the main camera because of moisture (although it was worse looking at the scoreboard while at Wien, everything there was a white blur). But the commentators were fair-minded and it was interesting to hear them praise both the Lions team and, yes, even Norries.

Cargill did kill us, of course.

And it was kind of half-amusing to note that the Yale team's parkas had "Yale Football" on them in, of all things, a distinctly Columbia-like blue.

At Sun Oct 30, 07:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the parkas, it is funny how perspectives go . . .

In spite of a fleece and a winter shell, I was numb with the cold and wet snow. Thus, I am completely disgusted that our team did not have parkas at all!

It saddened me to see our young men huddling on the sides lines in an attempt to keep warm.

At Sun Oct 30, 08:23:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I was there for the entire game. One of the most physically demanding endeavors I have been through. Every muscle is sore today from shivering. My heart goes out to the players. They kept each other up on the sidelines and played there butts off. Very proud to watch them respond to adversity. I would have liked to see sideline heaters or the foul weather gear like the Yale team used. Stupidity never wins over bravado.

Agree with you about offensive complexity. 95 pct of snaps from shotgun, a couple of options and only a couple of quick slants, one of which DeNovo had great YAC, seemed like poor offensive play calling given the conditions.

I also question the defensive scheme. Yale QB couldn't deal the conditions and they pounded us with the run the entire second half yet I saw few formations with 7 or 8 in the box or use of run blitzes, when you knew who was getting the ball.

Finally, Jake, you have changed your tone. Previously you have posted that NW's relationship with big money alums will protect him and he will be retained and have to hire new coordinators. Now you are posting his dismissal as forgone conclusion. Is this wishful thinking or do you have any credible info?

At Sun Oct 30, 09:10:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Jim said...

Unable to be there, and given the weather, I probably would not have survived. Had to follow it on ESPN game "cast". Even that was exciting, a comeback that just fell short.

To paraphrase a line from the Simpsons:

"I don't know why Yale even bothered to show up! After all, they barely beat us!"

At Sun Oct 30, 09:29:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, no credit to the coaching staff at all for preparing the team to push an upper division opponent to the last minute?

At Sun Oct 30, 09:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure when the last CU home snow game was but I played in far worse and much colder conditions twice in the 80's at Cornell--once where Naso was pelted with snowballs as we took the field-was pretty funny. We didn't have parkas either--who cares-we still don't have a respectable gym some 25 years later. You think parkas are on their checklist?

Next year is the 50th anniversary of Buff Donelli's undefeated squad. Let's do the program right and put a great product behind a great leader on the field to honor that tradition.

At Sun Oct 30, 09:40:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there for the whole game. Probably the oldest person in the stands. I stayed for all 60 minutes in tribute to a bunch of kids who had nothing to play for but their pride. Whatever else you want to say, they played hard and with great courage. Maybe a better scheme would have brought the W, but these kids didn't quit and deserve better. Unless you were there in my humble opinion you haven't earned the right to criticize yesterday's effort.

At Sun Oct 30, 09:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, that poster asking for coaching credit captures the disease of losing that has plagued this program for 4 decades. We lost, we're 0-7--there are no moral victories here. Do you think when USC left the field last night after losing, they were praising the coaching staff for playing an "upper echelon" team ( which Yale isn't fyi) close? I highly doubt it.

At Sun Oct 30, 10:02:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Jim said...

As I mentioned, I couldn't be there. (Too bad the game couldn't have been played here in the Midwest where it was perfect football weather.)

However, I respectfully disagree with the poster who says there are no moral victories. I think there many instances of them in life and in football as well. As far as I can tell the team got back off the mat and pushed Yale to the end. A win would have been sweet, but unless CU adopts the Lombardi motto, winning is the only thing, which I find repugnant, there are moral victories, and the team can be proud of this one.

At Sun Oct 30, 10:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou Holtz gave a shout out to Yale-CU during the Wisconsin-Ohio State game. They showed the field briefly and the stands with 3 shirtless fans.

I could not agree more with the "bravado" comment. Yesterday was reminiscent of the frigid '08 Brown game where Norries refused to have heaters or parkas because he is sooooooo tough (It's worked out well for you twice now big guy...). Good thing is, yesterday our troops seemed to handle it better. That ain't a credit to Norries' stupidity.

At Sun Oct 30, 10:30:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue is not "moral victory". Yale has better players and more depth. Keeping your team in the game despite weather that affects what you do better (passing), with an injured QB, your top two RBs out, a right side of your O-line that hasn't been blocking effectively, etc., and keeping your kids from giving up after last week's debacle looks like a pretty good coaching job. So, no moral victory, just good coaching that put the players in a position to win. Or are we so far gone that we can't credit good work when we see it?

At Sun Oct 30, 11:37:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jake, grow a set of B-LLS and stop bashing people, give the kids credit for once. For somebody who never coached college football a day in his life you and a bunch of all the other people on here have all the answers. Why not spend a day with the coaching staff, my gut tells me most of the people on here couldnt last through one week of a college football staffs schedule never mind 3 months of 7 days a week preparing the kids in the hopes that an 18 yr old makes the right decision when the bullets are flying. By the way have some S-ck and post this instead of just the blogs bashing the coaches.In case your wondering, i did coach one of the few all-americans at Columbia!He happened to be a 5-way all american to be precise.

At Mon Oct 31, 12:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They did play very hard yesterday and, given the conditions, they played well. But I have to agree with the poster who questioned all the deep throws. Simple slants seemed to work best, so naturally we didn't throw too many.

At Mon Oct 31, 12:29:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watched the game yesterday from the midwest, usually we get that nasty weather. I would like to commend all the Columbia players for their dedication and effort yesterday, those who played, and their teammates who cheered them on.

Any news regarding the JV squad today.

At Mon Oct 31, 12:30:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Her is how STUPID we are... Yale's team had parkas AND heaters. We had NOTHING! Coaching staff, training staff, Dr. Levine, Equipment Manager, will someone show some common sense. All of the players looked unnecessarily cold. U fortunately, it looked like a Yale home game with everything that they had for heir players! These small things add up. He'll, I'd pay for them for goodness sakes!

At Mon Oct 31, 12:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:37 Coach: We are all ears. How would you turn CU football around? What are the three main problems you can identify with CU football, and how would you fix them?

At Mon Oct 31, 12:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey current/former coach- please reach into the right drawer of your desk, take out the box of Kleenex, now start blowing. Boo Hoo to you! You have NOTHING to say about the 0-7 start? The best that this team can do is go 1-9. I would recommend less of the 24 hour prep days and get some sleep. You'll need it for your next job interview.

At Mon Oct 31, 01:01:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous John Alex '89 said...

Hard to talk about S-ck and B-lls when you are anonymous. Whatever you think of Jake's agenda, it's a blog for F's sake, not negotiations in the Middle East.

I have enjoyed most everything on here from all sides so thank you, Jake.

My only issue, and it brings me back to my days playing, is the back biting and whispers on here from a bunch of unidentified whoeveryouares.

I am pretty sure, between drinking and chasing women, that I heard something in CC about having the courage of your convictions.

At Mon Oct 31, 01:08:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is a 5 way All-American?? is that what you're calling Des Werthman? funny stuff Coach...

At Mon Oct 31, 02:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to like and respect Coach Wilson as a person and a football coach, but have trouble with the comments of some that he is a very good recruiter. The fact is that while Coach Wilson has recruited several outstanding players during his six-year tenure at Columbia we are still way behind the other Ivies in terms of successfully recruiting the best football players. Anyone who thinks this team is as talented athletically as the other Ivies, ignores the fact that we have much fewer higher-rated players than the other. Before the Internet Age, it was sometimes difficult to compare the athletic talent of college teams. That is no longer the case. Anyone who is interested in and subscribes to Rivals or another recruiting service knows the ratings of the players. Coach Wilson has done some nice things for Columbia Football, but the fact is that while he has tried hard, he has not been a great recruiter.

At Mon Oct 31, 02:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrific punt by Delaney! Did I someone say it went over eighty yards in the snow? Wow!

At Mon Oct 31, 02:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I agree that Lowry looked like a very good running back in his brief appearance. He certainly looked like a top-quality Ivy League running back with speed and toughness.

At Mon Oct 31, 02:30:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it... More John Alex-isms!!! The question is, why isn't he on the Football Committee? He's a former Capitain, lived through Garrett and McElreavy (on one knee), he's 100% Redneck (which means no filtering), and he has my vote!

Bravo John!

Greg Abbruzzese CC '91

At Mon Oct 31, 02:32:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would have been a perfect game for Papas to run more. Conditions like that are made for a back like him. We could have used him!

At Mon Oct 31, 05:01:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Buff Donelli's "undefeated squad?" I honestly don't recall any such thing. I recall a team which shared with two other schools an Ivy title in, I believe, 61. (Our ONLY Ivy title.) As best I recall, since it was before my time, we went 5-4 or perhaps 5-3-1 that season

When would that undefeated squad have been?

At Mon Oct 31, 06:41:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose our only real shot at a win this year is Cornell, away. Cannot see how this team and the current staff can out smart and out play a Murphy/Estes team even if they are home games.

After the jet lag of going to Hanover, I admit I could not stay up for the game against Yale, but I will tune in for the Harvard game this weekend and support these guys as usual.

Go Lions

Chen 82

At Mon Oct 31, 06:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news about the JV game?

At Mon Oct 31, 07:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 1961 team was 6 and 1 in the league and tied with Harvard for the title. It lost a tough game tp Princeton but beat a ranked Yale team and soundly defeated Harvard. The reason why we have had a drought for so many years other than two Ray Tellier teams has to do with twolatoon football. The 1961 team came toward the end of the era when players went both ways. We were more successful because we did not need to recruit as many top line players.

At Mon Oct 31, 07:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My biggest disappointment this year has been the poor run blocking of a very big and experienced offensive line. I just do not understand why five guys who average 6'5" and 290 cannot block effectively.

At Mon Oct 31, 07:18:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS, the Campbell Center is going to give our recruiting a nice boost. It was great to see all the progress yesterday. MIT should be one of the very best field houses in the Ivies.

At Mon Oct 31, 07:56:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chen- you didn't miss much. Unfortunately, out team was under-equipped. Yale had Parkas, we did not. Yale had heaters, we did not. Even the SIMPLE things they can't grasp... Idiots!!!

At Mon Oct 31, 08:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous John Alex '89 said...

Thanks Abba. You got my love. No way any powers that be at CU would let kiddynamite on the FAC. I don't blame them actually. Chen '82 seems out there and Mitch of the Jurassic 60s too. Sad state that a bunch of players and coaches don't have the cajones to put their names on their own opinions.

Sad for CU football. Perhaps a giant f-ing mirror attached to this blog would be in order, Jake.

At Mon Oct 31, 08:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey coaching staff, we looked far too cold during the game. This could have been avoided. Wake up!

At Mon Oct 31, 08:23:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The '61 team (I was there) went 6-3 for the season, 6-1 in the league, tied with Harvard in the standings but beat them handily head-on. That Buff Donelli-coached squad was the best, toughest team we've had since the glory days of Lou Little, and maybe none as good or gritty since (although a couple of Tellier's teams came close, especially on defense).

We did show a lot of fight vs. Yale, but couldn't come close to matching their ground game, and in that weather, that's all she wrote.

At Mon Oct 31, 08:32:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the immortal words of Lou Little: "I can't understand a human being who can't block."

At Mon Oct 31, 08:52:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Robert A. Levine said...

Columbia lost to one team that is 1 and 6, and another that is 1 and 7this season. The only wins that Princeton and Fordham managed have been against Columbia. Whether it has been the recruiting, game coaching or whatever, Columbia's record is abysmal. How can anyone defend the staff that is responsible for the football program. Change is certainly warranted not just for the sake of change, but to show that the university is truly committed to excellence and won't stand for mediocrity.

At Mon Oct 31, 06:04:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chen '82 writes:

Hey, no matter what happens, I still do and always will support these players. I did not play the game nor do I profess to understand its intricacies as John and Greg no doubt do. All I can do is seek reference points in other competitive organizations...

If a department loses money repeatedly, you replace the Division head and underperforming staff...if the company loses money, you must ultimately replace the CEO ... and if the Board does not act on the CEO, then the shareholders can and should oust the Board. I have lived through all such corporate actions. This is language the Krafts and Campbell's understand and have no doubt practiced in their companies.

Why do we throw away this logic in Football?


At Mon Oct 31, 07:04:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there the complete game.

If these guys put their minds to it I still think they can beat anyone.

The defense did a good job most of the day except for outside containment. The really need to work on that. The running back took the ball delayed and went right or left depending on which side had no one. The LBs need to stop committing to the line and flow with the RB. Does anyone know why Groth was out near the end? Hurt or just trying fresh legs? They made some really big runs up the middle when he wasn’t in. Him and Frasher controlled the middle for the most part when they were in together. The weather was suited to them. 79 was in near the end, but, didn’t show much and the freshman tackle was getting run over all day when he was in.

Offense was ok and as others said not the best selection of plays. 42 late looked great when they gave him the ball to run. As far as the run was concerned they should have taken a few lessions from Yale and stopped trying to run up the middle. One thing to note is that Shawn's passes for the most part were dead on which I hope is a sign of things to come.

One last question is why weren’t there coats for the players and heaters on the field? I have been going to D3, D1 games for years and have never seen a game in bad cold weather (snow or not) where the players didn’t at least have coats. My high school team has coats and bring out heaters when it is cold. That is one problem the AD needs to fix immediately.

At Mon Oct 31, 09:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please stop posting about the COATS. If anyone thinks that CU does not have coats because we can't afford them or because of an oversight, they are stupid. The coach wants it that way!

At Mon Oct 31, 09:27:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was absolutely miserable being outside at that game. The band and the cheerleaders all had coats but didnt even stick around after halftime - it was that bad! About a dozen players came back after halftime with their own personal winter coats to keep them warm when they weren't on the field.

The highligh of the day was realizing that there were heaters in the bathrooms (if you could get pas the CSC staff that were "guarding" them)!

At Mon Oct 31, 10:23:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess not wearing parkas in a freezing snow storm is a coaching decision as well as trying to pass in a snow storm. We passed the ball 53% or 36 times out of 68 plays we ran. Yale passed 14% and ran 76% which their coach thought was a good plan considering the snow storm and playing conditions. Yale also provided their players with parkas! What is wrong with this picture?

At Mon Oct 31, 10:29:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Mitch '68 said...

I appreciate John Alex citing me in his post! The Jurassic 60s indeed! Yet even at this late date I am ready to take the field again if called upon (sniff, sniff, sob)...

I also get a kick out of the guy who claims to have coached the five way all-American at CU, whatever that means. And I like the rejoinder from the contributor who asks that "coach" for the three specific issues he would address and change.

Well, if I were the coach (and yes, I was a player and yes, I did have a winning record as head coach of a hs team) here are a couple of things I might focus on based on what has happened this year.

First, there needs to be a conscious effort to eliminate penalties! This is important for every team, but penalties have really killed us several times this year. During practice, the importance of not getting penalties has to be brought up again and again.

Second, there should be NO hitting in practice during the season. Many more injuries occur during practice than in games. Plus, we want players to be hungry for contact on game days. Lots of hitting during pre-season and spring but none once the season starts.

On the other hand, practice should include consistent work on form tackling and blocking. Our tackling and blocking this year have been weak at the most basic levels. Fundamentals! This work should emphasized on Mondays every week during the season, which should be a relatively light practice.

Perhaps many of my fellow Lions are already familiar with John Gagliardi of St. John's College in Minnesota. If not, here's a link to a NY Times article about this very brilliant coach:

You can also google Gagliardi to learn more, as there is plenty of information on his school's website. Obviously not every coach would feel comfortable with these methods, but they are certainly food for thought.

At Mon Oct 31, 10:49:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous John Alex '89 said...

Mitch, take it to the bank that you could beat me in a 40 yd race.

I would suit up in a minute. Would not help the cause, I am afraid...


At Mon Oct 31, 10:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Charge of the Light Blue Brigade
by Alexander Hamilton

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Frost Bite
Rode the hundred six.
"Forward the Light Blue Brigade!
Charge for the QB!" he said.
Into the valley of Frost Bite
Rode the hundred six.

Forward, the Light Blue Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the player knew
Some one in charge of equipment had blunder'd.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Frost
Rode the hundred six.

Snow to the right of them,
Snow to the left of them,
Snow in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with flake and cold,
Boldly they played and well,
Into the jaws of frost,
Into the mouth of a Freezing hell
Rode the hundred six.

Flashed all their skin bare,
Flash'd as they dove in cold air
Tackling the freeze there,
Charging the Bulldog, while
All "YES" audience wonder'd.
Plunged in the freezing cold
Right thro' the line they broke;
Bulldog and Blue
Reeled from the cold-stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the hundred six.

Snow to the right of them
Snow to the left of them
Snow behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with flake and cold,
While handwarmers and hero fell,
They had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of frozen hell!

At Mon Oct 31, 11:00:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE Mitch '68: I assume by no hitting during the week youmean no live scrimmages once the season begins. Am I correct. And I fully agree about lack of form tackling and poor blocking technique. Would you have live tackling drills on Mondays during the season? When I played for a successful high school program a hundred years ago we always ran live tackling drills during the week, and didn't have many live scrimmages, if any, once the season began. I understand that our program differs from other Ivy schools insofar as we run live scrimmages during the season. If we do, then that explains why we have so many injuries. Was it Santayana who said that those who do not study histroy are doomed to repeat it?

At Mon Oct 31, 11:07:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely with 8:23 about "what is wrong with this picture". Yale QB who has a completion ave of 60+% passed the ball only 10 times in the snow storm. Yale's two TD drives involved only running plays and ate yp the clock .Again, we were outscored badly after halftime (a recurring theme)and the game was about over in the third quarter. Late in the 4th quarter,we finally get one decent drive to score a TD. Then we get lucky on a break and get a gift TD so the final score does not really reflect how badly we were outcoached. The players deserve better!

At Mon Oct 31, 11:16:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done to the fan who wrote "The Light BLUE Brigade"!
And to the one who snarked that no parkas or heaters is the coach's decision, well...another wrong decision. It's not a good idea to walk a high wire while shivering with cold as snow falls, nor to play football--or stand on the sideline.
All NFL teams use parkas and heaters in such conditions
but it's going to help the Lions
if they don't?

At Mon Oct 31, 11:35:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stayed the entire game. I'd like to report what I felt, what I saw, and what I think.
I am very experienced with cold weather exposure. I had on a winter under top, a T shirt, a turtle neck, a hooded sweatshirt, a ski parka, jeans, winter shell pants, wool socks, insulated boots, a baseball cap, and another hooded 11 mil plasic full length poncho. That was the worst wet cold weather conditions I have ever experienced. I was still wet and cold five hours later until I showered. But I finished the game all the way!

What I saw. I saw our players huddling together to stay warm. I saw them placing their hands down the front of their pants to stay warm. I saw about 50% of the snaps at the QB's ankles because they were always in shotgun formation. Any exposed hands were ridiculously cold instantly. I saw receivers with their arms about 18 inches apart because they were so cold. I saw players literally shivering from the cold on the sideline. They were jumping up and down to try and stay warm. Those kide were totally soaked to the skin. My heart broke for the players standing there for the whole game. The starters seemed to be doing pretty well because they were much more active. Getting wet is way worse than cold let alone both. I saw the coach with a hat and long sleeve gear. There was not even a bike on the sideline to keep warm. I can't imagine how the Columbia kicker, after standing on the cold wet sideline with no previous kicks for 3.5 hours, made that 27 yard (5 yard illegal procedure penalty) extra point at the end of the game. There was no spot cleared out because they had the penalty before the kick and had no time. It was the most difficult kick I'd ever seen.

The professional players have heated benches, heated mittens, two heated blowers at each end of the sideline, warm covered shells and jackets. Warm drinks.

I waited 48 hours to calm down after the game before I wrote this post. I am not calling for the coach to be fired. I am not criticizing any play calls. I do not know the injury status of players or the strength and weaknesses of the opponent. Actually, pass plays, not runs, in the snow are a major advantage to the offense. But to send those players out with no shells was ( I use this word almost never) stupid and inhumane! I think the coach should be suspended for the next game to treat the players like that. I am sure the players families send their sons to play at Columbia with the idea that they will be treated with dignity and respect. Yes, the coach is going to yell at them and sometimes practice them hard. No one should be left out in their bare skin in that weather for four hours. What are they thinking? What are they trying to prove? Yale had warm up suits and covered shells for their players. What a huge disadvantage. I was stunned with what I saw. Before the game a poster said this would all happen. I thought it was hyperbole. My God, the coach really did it. What he did to the players was flat out mean and wrong and stubborn. I think he should be suspended from what I witnessed.

At Tue Nov 01, 12:34:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the last poster. If in fact CU has shells and heaters and if NW declined to use them because he wanted to show toughness, he should be suspended. The point of football is TO WIN THE GAME, not to show that you can brave the elements better than Yale. It feels, once again, like the coaches aren't helping the players be in the best position to win. Very disappointing. And if we don't have proper cold weather gear, then WTF!

At Tue Nov 01, 12:55:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

I thought the passing game was the lesser of two evils on a really rough day. Our runners were banged up and our running game was not successful. The pass was our only chance to move the ball- as difficult as that was-under those weather conditions. This became more of an acute issue once Yale scored on its first possession of the 2nd half, and was eating up huge chunks of time in the process.

At Tue Nov 01, 01:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you think it's a coaching decision not to provide parkas? Has someone spoken to Wilson about it?

At Tue Nov 01, 01:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can one of the former coaches on the board give us some insight into how personnel limitations affect play calling on both sides of the ball?

At Tue Nov 01, 01:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was dressed properly (multiple layers, etc.) and was still cold all day.

Doc/jock said "Please stop posting about the COATS. If anyone thinks that CU does not have coats because we can't afford them or because of an oversight, they are stupid. The coach wants it that way!”

Guess what if true it just shows how stupid someone can get. I wonder if any of those kids had any serious frost bight issues. Especially their feet and hands. I don't think he played without at least a coat at Minnesota when they were at away games in the winter. I am guessing some of those dropped passes in the last quarter had to do with no feeling in the fingers of receivers. High school coaches treat their players better. Long term forecast for the Cornell game is cold and wet. I hope he learned something from this game when it comes to cold weather dress.

At Tue Nov 01, 03:01:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Bill Flick '87 said...

Is it factual that Parkas and heaters were available and withheld by the coach? I ask because back in the 80's the other team was always so much better outfitted than we were it was tragic. I do recall some cheap navy blue ponchos with Columbia in white printed on them that they handed out as rain gear when we were on Varsity, but they did not keep us even slightly warm.

I also remember how amazed we were as Freshmen that Penn had full warm up suits, including hats, for home game walk throughs, and we had zilch. And we were the team that was on the road!

We played Cornell on their turf when Garrett was here and the weather conditions were identical to that of last Saturday. Coach Garrett had us all sit on the field for the pre-game stretch and we were immediately soaking wet and freezing 30 minutes before kickoff. It got worse from there.

I like Norries quite a bit as a person but have no idea what he is like as a coach. Although, I thought the players generally liked Norries but were not fans of at least one coach in particular.

I hate to say it because I like him, but if he has lost his confidence and his edge it is time for him to go.

The players know when the coach has lost his edge, and it definitely effects the players on the field.

I was only on his team as a soph but Naso seemed to have lost it by mid season that year. Garrett did, too, even as most of held out hope he would return. This year's homecoming had that same feeling.

I just don't get what happened with Norries. Two years ago many of us thought he was on the verge of turning this program into a championship contender, and it seemed like he was getting much more support from the administration than we ever had back in the 80's. What went wrong?

At Tue Nov 01, 04:29:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, I can't say if Wilson has lost his edge, but I doubt it. He's a pretty tough and focused guy. He's had to deal with many more injuries than usual this year, and in key positions: QB, RB, and OL and some untimely mistakes. And the right side of the OL has been a problem. I don't know if anyone else could have done better under the circumstances. As for the criticisms here, most of it is opinion without fact. Wilson's been demonized here, unfairly. Unfortunately, the record is what it is, and that does count for a lot.
I doubt Gilmore or Kelly or anyone of their caliber would want the job. The cost of living in NYC is high, and the salary does not (and cannot) compensate for that and the career risk in taking the Columbia job. Remember what Priore said when asked why he withdrew from consideration last time around: "I want to be able to coach when I'm 50."

At Tue Nov 01, 05:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Bill Flick '87 said...

My guess is Priore pulled out because he sensed he was facing an uphill battle with the administration during the interview process.

I remember speaking with one of the Asst ADs shortly after McElreavy left and asked her why CU would hire someone with such character issues (I had a huge personal problem with him) and in confidence that AD told me that CU does not get to choose their coach like other programs do. The top candidates pull out because they know they will not get the salary or the support needed to ensure a successful program. So CU winds up hiring the guy who wants the job badly enough they will put up with all the obstacles that the administration puts in front of them.

A lot of you want to blame it all on Norries (and Dr Murphy) but I have always believed that in the end the people at the top who matter don't lose any sleep with our continued losing football program. I don't have any inside knowledge but my guess is the University failed us more than the coach did.

Based on my experience with the program 25 years ago I am more inclined to believe that the team didn't have enough cold weather gear to hand out because the University is still unwilling to make the commitment necessary to ensure a winning program.

I don't mean Campbell, either. He would do anything for a successful program but he can only do so much, too.


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