The Big Three-Oh: #9

Welcome to “The Big Three-Oh!” I’m turning 30 at the end of July and to celebrate, I am counting down my best/favorite sports moments in my lifetime. If you missed the kickoff post, check it out for the background for the seriesI missed writing the blogs for both #12 and #11 over the week. I did post the moments on Instagram as well as the athletes but I do want to catch up. I decided to do #12 and #11 yesterday and double up #10 with #9 today (Tuesday).

#9 — Lehigh/Lafayette 2009

I wrote about this experience way back in 2013 at the beginning of Lehigh/Laf week that fall, but this game was my freshman year at Lehigh. Seeing the comradery surrounding this rivalry made Lehigh home for me. In re-reading that blog, I didn’t write too much about the actual day itself nor the game.

Like many a Lehigh football morning, my friends and I started the day off by pre-gaming with older students. I eventually met up with my cousin Matt, who went to Lehigh his freshman year but had since transferred to play golf at Northwestern. Matt was a senior that fall and didn’t want to miss the Lehigh/Lafayette game despite now going to a Big Ten school. After going over the mountain, Matt and I parted ways and I found my friends at a tailgate. A number of beers later, we went into the game.

Out of nowhere, I get a text from my dad. He’s at the game with friends who were Lehigh alumni. I found my dad with his friends at halftime and watched the 3rd quarter with them. My dad kept chirping me for the result of the World Series as I hadn’t seen him since going to Game 2 together. We quickly buried whatever “hatchet” there was from the chirping and watched the battle on the gridiron. My sister would later attend Lafayette and my dad would root for the host school so this was one of few times he truly was rooting for the Mountain Hawks. While not the best part of this moment, it certainly interesting to think back on that aspect of that day now that my dad is gone.

Lehigh was an interesting team in 2009. Their defense was solid but the offense was inconsistent and came into the final game of the season 3-7 while Lafayette had an opportunity to win the Patriot League with a win. The Mountain Hawks battled throughout the game ultimately forcing overtime. Lehigh took the ball first, scored a touchdown, but missed the PAT. Lafayette tried but an interception ended things very quickly as the Mountain Hawks sealed the 27-21 win. Lehigh finished the season 4-7 overall but 4-2 in the Patriot League, tied for second with Lafayette.

The Lehigh/Lafayette rivalry means a ton me as it does to most Lehigh students and graduates. The first game I attended ended well on the field but it hooked me to the school. The sentimental value alone pushes it to a high spot on my list of favorite moments and I’ll happily put it in the top ten.

Today’s Instagram Athlete

It had to be Nick Foles. I love Ivan Provorov. I loved Dario Saric. Ted Williams had this spot nine years ago. The athlete representing #9 had to be Nick Foles. We’ll cover why in greater depth later on the list.

(cover photo via)

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