Bring The Roar…It’s Lafayette Lehigh Week

Here we are,the week of the most played football series in college history. It will be the 153rd game to be played, and one can imagine the events that have been witnessed over this long and bitter rivalry. The schools are only 15 miles apart, which makes the rivalry that more intense at every level. It really doesn’t matter what sport or contest is involved, the intensity rises when its  Lafayette vs Lehigh on the field or court. This year, and for the last several years there is a constructive rivalry as to who can get the most donors  during the week. This year the athletic department has a goal of 1,530 gifts of any size during the week preceding the game. ( Gifts can be made electronically via the college website or through the usual social media venues). Any gift counts ( of course I favor  field hockey gifts). Gifts can be designated for any activity at the college

The rivalry has brought all kinds noted happenings. Here’s a list of some from games past:

A cow greeted a President in his office in 1909

Caskets were paraded at halftime

A wrong way run still turned into a touchdown after 115 yards of broken tackles ,straight arms and elusive cutbacks.

Play signals were stolen, so a Lafayette coach invented the huddle

In 1886 Lehigh walked off the field to protest bad officiating ( The Lafayette manager was the official) They might have had a point as the “referee” lost count of the downs and awarded Lafayette 5 and 6 downs on occasion. He also allowed a touchdown as he went to the sidelines to consult with the coaches, while Lafayette picked up the ball and ran for an “allowed,” touchdown!!

In 1889 the Lehigh players got poison Ivy, in 1890 the Lafayette field was struck by lightning.

In 1962 Lafayette’s freshman rented a six month old Leopard. ( they originally, unwisely wanted to rent a full grown 300 pound leopard which was nixed by an alert  administration).

In 1968 a bunch of Lehigh marauders, disappointed by the cancellation of the pre game bonfire and pajama parade, raided the Lafayette campus and up rooted the goalposts ( they were wooden at the time). The goalposts were reassembled in the form of an “LU” at midfield.

Before the 100th game Lafayette freshmen raided South Mountain the night before. They painted one letter on each of the steps leading to the library and University Center spelling L-A-F-A-Y-E-T-T-E.

As you can imagine there are many more tales surrounding this rivalry, but I’ll save some of the juicer ones for next year. IN ANY CASE BRING THE ROAR WITH YOUR GIFT OF ANY SIZE …beat the Lehighs.









Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am currently Chairman of that Board. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 30 year fan of Division one field hockey

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