Friday, November 04, 2011

The Key 5

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Columbia's game notes and two-deeps are posted now at

With senior Jeff Adams hurting, an amazing four freshmen have cracked the two-deep on the offensive line, albeit all of them as backups.

Although he limped off the field late last weekend, senior co-captain Mike Stephens is listed as the starter.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Harvard Rivalry

It's never really seemed like Columbia and Harvard have had much "bad blood" between them in football.

But over the last 20 years, there have been a few games that really kicked up the drama when the Lions and Crimson squared off.

Here are the 5 most important Columbia-Harvard games from a Columbia fan's point of view since 1991:

1994: Harvard 39 Columbia 32

The Lions almost ruined Tin Murphy's debut as Harvard's head coach with a furious comeback from a 28-10 deficit.

But the Crimson rallied to score a TD with just 21 seconds left.

Columbia actually righted their ship after that loss and put together its first winning season in 23 years.

Harvard mostly struggled as it took a few years for Murphy to get his bearings in Cambridge.

1995: Columbia 28 Harvard 24

After 16 straight losses to the Crimson, Columbia finally broke through with a clutch win at Harvard Stadium.

QB Mike Cavanaugh starred with some key passes and even more clutch runs. On the final winning drive alone, Cavanaugh had four rushes for 41 yards. Four of those yards came on a key 4th and 2 on the Harvard 28 when everyone ih the stadium knew Cavanaugh was going to run with it anyway.

1996: Columbia 20 Harvard 13 (OT)

A true thriller at Wien Stadium with the Lions coming back from a 13-0 halftime deficit and then forced OT when Marcellus Wiley blocked what would have been a chip shot FG late in the final moments of regulation.

It was Columbia's first win of its remarkable 8-2 '96 season.

1998: Columbia 24 Harvard 0

The Lions decided to make their season opener Homecoming and they made it count with
an incredibly dominant performance.

Another note: this was all-time Columbia leading rusher Johnathan Reese's debut and he had 72 yards on 11 carries.

2003: Columbia 16 Harvard 13

With Harvard and future NFL QB Ryan Fitzpatrick out, Columbia eked out a win thanks to back-to-back interceptions by sophomore DB Prosper Nwokocha.


At Fri Nov 04, 01:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still think if everything comes together team has the talent to beat anyone and hopefully this will be the week.

Go Lions

At Fri Nov 04, 01:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point & time in the season, I hope CU plays loose, aggressive, has fun and pulls off the biggest upset of the year.

At Fri Nov 04, 03:34:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... I have an idea .... rather than carping about each other, the coaches, the AD, the Footbal Advisory Committee, and Bill Campbell .... how 'bout we focus on the kids ... show them our support .... let's all send email to Diane Murphy with the simple message ..... "GO LIONS ... BEAT HARVARD" .... ask her to PRINT out your email so they can be delivered to the Baker Athletics Complex for the kids to see .... her email address is ....

There's been a lot of talk about supporting the kids .... is an email to much to ask ....

Frank F '70C

At Fri Nov 04, 05:26:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Frank, but per her previous response from Diane about "Parka-gate", her job is not to motivate the players (or keep them warm). That is the coaches job...

At Fri Nov 04, 05:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To our good Columbia Football friend, cathar: A football practice field with locker room facilities could be built on or near the new Manhattanville Campus for a fraction of what it would cost to transport the players to and from practice at Baker Field five days a week in the future. Keep in mind that we are not just talking about a football field, but a beautiful outdoor recreational area that would be utilized by other teams and, of course, the general student body. Indeed, the football team would only use the recreational area for under the NCAA mandated 20 hours a week on weekdays during the football season. Furthermore, there are other possibilities such as making the outdoor recreational area available for use by the local community. Finally, in this day and age, you can build recreational area of all types out of artificial grass beneath buildings of all sizes. This would be a win-win situation in every respect. Yes, cathar, this may very well be too visionary an idea for Columbia University and the City of New York. But let's all urge President Bollinger to make our Field of Dreams a reality!

At Fri Nov 04, 06:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a little love for a Columbia "football team" that still has a chance for an Ivy League title?

Men's soccer is playing at 4 p.m. on senior day, which will honor a very large and talented senior class.

All football fans should head over to the Soccer Stadium and cheer on the Lions!

At Fri Nov 04, 08:27:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the "explanation" on Parka Gate.

Earlier on the blog, an unofficial "explanation" from an anonymous source stated that the soccer and cross country teams didn't return the parkas in time for the football team ( I suppose the dog ate your homework, too). This is the exact post I placed on this blog the day BEFORE the game.

Anonymous said...
I am very eager to note the equipment of both teams on the sidelines for tomorrow's game. With forecasts for very wet, cold and windy weather I hope we do not see the Columbia players uncovered, cold and wet while the Yale players all covered in rain proof hoods and shells with a big "Y" on them! If our players are comparitively under equipped then that would be the "coup de grace" for the entire athletic department. I know that I will be watching and I hope many other bloggers will be "on watch". Go Lions, let this be our kind of game!

Fri Oct 28, 05:28:00 PM PDT

Now the reason I placed that post wasn't because I was "Carnac The Magnificent". It was because this has been a pattern of behavior from either the coaching staff or the athletic department for SEVERAL YEARS. These kinds of actions were specifically mentioned on this blog at the end of last season as another signal of the lack of support for the team from the coaching or athletic department.
The real clincher to all this discussion about Parka Gate is despite how infuriatingly angry the parents of the football players are about the seeming lack of regard for the welfare of the players, despite how confused the players are about the level of support for the team, despite the frustration of the alumni about the continuous string of "fumbles" regarding support for the football program, there is not one peep of explanation out of the coaching staff or athletic department.

How symptomatic of everything this blog has been about since inception? Are they wishing it goes away? Do they feel an explanation is beneath them? Are they too embarassed to come out and accept responsibility for whatever the true reason might be? Trust me, there are a lot of people who are waiting to hear an explanation what went wrong! It's a credibility issue on the athletic department that will very shortly get booted up to the University level if it is not answered.
What happened!!!!

At Fri Nov 04, 09:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But you're just an anonymous guy on some other guy's blog. Why does anyone at the university owe you an explanation?

At Fri Nov 04, 11:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to the 6:27 post, I would like to add my comments. Earlier posts today tried to make anyone that recently blamed the coaching staff and athletic dept for the absence of parkas or heaters, feel guilty. Shame on us for being angry that our boys could get frostbite, hypothermia etc.Mr. Cathar thinks the subject is getting a bit boring. What were we thinking? To be so worried,how could we question why the coaching staff did not prepare for weather that they knew about in advance! Then we find out that the soccer and cross country teams used the parkas, and that was suppose to make us feel better? Oh sorry they forgot to return them,maybe that was suppose to make us feel better.Anyone who spoke to Dr. Murphy was told that she did not get involved in the purchasing of equipment, that is the decision that the football staff makes and not the AD.So I ask you, who were parents suppose to think made this bad call??? I don' think anyone is going to step up and accept responsibility for this unfortunate error that has many "up in arms.Maybe an apology TO THE FOOTBALL TEAM and a guarantee that parkas are on order ,and this will NEVER happen again would help.It makes me really sad when I read that the team is confused by the lack of support they get. I'm not quite sure who gives them that feeling maybe someone can tell me.
Put all you've got into this game sat. guys.Play with heart guts and determination. Could be a shocker of an upset. GO LIONS

At Fri Nov 04, 06:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Flicker '87 said...

If I were a parent I would probably be furious, too.

But why does it seem this type of stuff only happens at Columbia? And it has been happening for 60-70 years.

You are all blind if you want to pin this all on the coach and the AD.

Columbia has never cared about their football program.

PS: I'm with John Alex that you people need to quit hiding behind anonymity.

At Fri Nov 04, 06:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The school is spending a lot of money putting on homecoming so someone is spending money on the team. Its the little things like parka-gate that hurts the team. Instead of bashing the football coach, we need to reform the university. It is far easier to change the football coach then it is to change the school.

At Fri Nov 04, 09:34:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous John Alex '89 said...

Thanks Frank '70. I love that post.

At Fri Nov 04, 09:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about getting the hundred club to respond to a special solicitation for the purchase of 100 football only parkas? In fact, they will say Columbia Football on them and will be off liimits to other teams?

At Fri Nov 04, 10:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To John Alex and Flicker.

Re anonymity:

Retribution is a bitch! Especially when it lands on a family member who has foregone athletic scholarships to other programs to come to Columbia, wakes up before other students to watch film, misses classes to travel to games, plays injured, attends practice on Sunday mornings, leaves their summer job two weeks earlier to attend pre season camp, rushes to dinner every night just before the dining hall closes to make the meal, and plays their heart out each week! They didn't make the statement.
Nonetheless, that does not make the points invalid or inaccurate. The points bring much more information to the alumni's attention and can effect change and facts to drive to the root source of the decades long failure to succeed. Anonymity is not ideal but that's how college sports work,as you know, where the coach is king.

At Fri Nov 04, 10:38:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Flicker '87 said...


I don't know if I can fault you if you want to protect a relative, tough call.

Maybe we a should all at least have nicknames, so we know who we are speaking with.

At Fri Nov 04, 10:42:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Paul K said...

The atmosphere has gotten so poisonous here that you've lost me. Jake, your blog has turned bad. Your leadership is a large part of the reason. I only hope you all haven't poisoned the team and its morale as well. They're having a hard enough time as it is. The performance against Yale suggests you haven't. You have been beyond unfair to the coaches, though. You have tried to build a gulf between the players and the coaches. You have been quick to accept negatives that simply are not true. Many of you are fighting old battles against long gone coaches, ADs and presidents, assuming their policies are still in place. We're all angry about this year's record, but you've been making the situation worse not better (except or Frank F and too few others' positive suggestions). Not all of us who strapped 'em on for the blue agree with the carping and hostility. Some of remember how hard the coaches work, how much they do for their student-athletes, and the risks they take working at Columbia. And some of us appreciate it.
If you want to respond, I'll be on Voy. I won't contribute to the numbers for Jake's advertising here any more. See you at Baker Field. Beat Harvard!
Paul K.

At Fri Nov 04, 11:36:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flickr 87 and John, anonymity for some of us is essential. As a parent of a player I avidly read the blog, agree and disagree with positons expressed on it and will write only in support of the players. I will not comment on the coaches, AD, facilities or other contentious issues as I do not feel that is my place. My feelings as a parent are much differnt from those of fan. They are personal and private. Its mostly to keep from embarassing my son! One day, when no longer active, I will lift the veil and account for my remarks.

At Sat Nov 05, 12:12:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

To our good (but anonymous) friend who posted at 3:59PM yesterday, one man's modest cost for a new practice field is another's huge, galloping expenditure. Take your case to the university, not to us fellow uninfluential groundlings on this site.

That said, I still think it's unlikely. I also think such a facility would cost a hell of a lot more than "a fraction" of what CU currently spends on shuttle buses over a year. This is NYC, remember, where construction unions and construction companies (whose ads fill the football program, as I hope you've noticed) are positively vulturous in their propenhsity for high wages, prices and the fine art of regularly going over budget.


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