Friday, October 30, 2020

Check It Out

This was on the Dartmouth football Twitter account (LINK). I have no idea who did it, but it's well done and worth a look:
 
The Dartmouth has a piece under the headline Moose, wolves, pine trees and kegs: A look into mascot adoption efforts that reprises the various efforts by some around the college to adopt a new nickname. (LINK)

Green Alert Take: A real mascot and/or nickname would absolutely benefit athletic recruiting, marketing and school spirit. But for a change to happen the college has to be willing to do what Lehigh did in 1995 when it introduced the Mountain Hawks nickname and bite the bullet despite what the "old guard" might think. I'm on record as supporting the nickname BackPackers (shortened on second reference to Packers) with North Stars, a close second. Both work for a the northernmost college in the Ivy League and the home of the "oldest and largest" college outing club in the country.

Green Alert Take II: Don't hold your breath waiting for a change.
Dartmouth's weekly Woods Watch Party will stream the 2015 Homecoming game against Yale with Ryan McManus '15 and Will McNamara '16 doing the commentary. As always, the BGA Premium preview story from the Friday before the game will be posted on this site tomorrow and the BGA game story will be posted on Sunday.
In pandemic news (never would have dreamed I'd be writing those words), Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has tested positive and will miss this week's game against Boston College (LINK) and all Division III athletes have been cleared by the NCAA to have an extra year of eligibility regardless of whether they see action this year or not. (LINK)
Interviewed by a writer for The Dartmouth for a story headlined Citing privacy, College maintains decision to withhold number of students sent home, Dean of the College Kathryn Lively offered a few more thoughts that may raise eyebrows. From the story:
Lively also said that more students have left on their own terms than have been asked to leave by the College, deciding they would rather not live on campus after finding the College’s COVID-19 guidelines “too isolating or too stringent.”
“That makes things confusing, too, if we then released that number, and then people start pointing fingers trying to figure things out,” Lively said.

And . . .

“I'm really at a loss as to why students and parents are so curious about how many people there have been whose privileges have been revoked,” Lively said. 

Here's why, from the same story:

(Paul Hager ’22) also noted that he thinks access to this data, particularly if it shows a high rate of student removal, could inform both conversations around the College’s enforcement strategy, as well as students’ personal decisions on D-Plans or whether to be on campus in the first place.

In an earlier story in The Dartmouth headlined, Unknown number of students removed from campus for violating COVID-19 rules, Lively told the paper (LINK):

“The bottom line is, this really shouldn’t be that newsworthy.”

Green Alert Take: If my daughter was still at Dartmouth I'd darn sure consider it newsworthy!

EXTRA POINT

Each night after the evening news Mrs. BGA and I watch a recording of that day's Jeopardy and we chuckled earlier this week when this clue came up: "The Hood Art Museum is an attraction in Hanover, a college town in this state."

At the end of the recording of Jeopardy there's usually the first five minutes or so of Wheel of Fortune, at which Mrs. BGA is ridiculously good. (I'll stick with Jeop, thank you very much.)

Anyway, last night after watching Jeopardy and the first Wheel clue we went to "live" TV and Wheel was still on with a puzzle in the category "On The Map." When all that was revealed was this:

S — — — — —    — — — —  — —   — — —    — — — —  

Mrs. BGA shouted, "Sleepy Hollow New York."

Yup, she was right. She does it all the time. It's actually scary.

I've teased her that she should try out for the show and, as someone who is almost never embarrassed (a wonderful quality she inherited from her dad), she said she'd do it – although my guess is she never will.

Watching the first clue and introductions on Wheel, we laugh all the time at how contestants refer to their wonderful, handsome, marvelous, beautiful, incredible etc. spouse.

Mrs. BGA has promised that if she were ever to go on the show she'd refer to me as her "very mediocre" husband.

Win, lose or draw, that would make it worthwhile!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Thursday's Headlines

From Dartmouth sports publicity, one of a series of Senior Spotlights features corner Darren Stanley. Find the full piece HERE.


Darren Stanley's superlatives:

Fastest runner on the team: Robert Crockett III

Best hands: Drew Estrada

Hardest hitter: Niko Mermigas

Spends most time reviewing film: Nate Boone

Strongest teammate: Seth Walter

Strongest teammate pound for pound: Mac Battle

Most intense: D.J. Avery

Best instincts on the field: Dale Chesson

Most likely to become a Division I head coach: Derek Kyler

Best dancer: Isaiah Johnson

Best singer: DeWayne Terry Jr.

Funniest teammate: Jamal Cooney

Most outgoing: Naeem Morgan

Best dresser: Dakari Falconer

Best impression of Coach Teevens: no idea

There's a story on CanadaFootballChat.com about Zachary Lytle, Dartmouth's defensive end/linebacker recruit from Winnipeg. The story notes that he's the fifth of the 70 players selected for the CanadaFootballChat.com Prospect Game who are "on track to qualify as a ’National’ in the Canadian Football League," to commit to NCAA Division I programs. The others are headed to Arizona, UConn. Rutgers and Eastern Washington.

Per Columbia’s 150th year of football celebration no fewer than three of the most important gamewinning field goals in school history came against Dartmouth. The three field goals (LINK):

• 19-yards by Nick Rudd in the fourth quarter to give the Lions a 9-6 win over Dartmouth in 2004

• A 33-yarder in the third quarter by Oren Milstein to help Columbia defeat the Big Green, 9-7, in 2016 and end a 15-game losing streak on Homecoming.

• Linebacker Paul Kaliades 34-yard kick that squeaked over the crossbar in the final minute to give Columbia a 31-29 win over Dartmouth in 1971.

A story in The Dartmouth headlined Twenty sports teams sign letter in support of reinstatement for cut teams, includes this (LINK):

Though the defending-champion football team is secure and well-funded, quarterback Derek Kyler ’21 emphasized the “One Dartmouth Team” messaging, calling the decision unfair regardless of one’s team. Back in June, before the athletic cuts, Dartmouth released a #OneDartmouthTeam video featuring varsity athletes across sports teams — including since-eliminated teams —  passing sports equipment virtually to each other.

Kyler told the school paper:

“It’s just crazy that you can prioritize one sport over another, because we’re all just trying to do what we love here."

The Daily Pennsylvanian has a look around the Ivy League athletic department responses to COVID-19 HERE

While the college and the Ivy League try to decide what they are going to do with sports this winter, the Wisconsin-Nebraska football game has been canceled after the Badgers suffered an outbreak that has seen their coach test positive (LINK), and the 2021 Boston Marathon has been postponed from spring until at least a year from now. (LINK)

The Dartmouth has a story headlined, Only 8 courses to be taught fully in person this winter. (LINK)

The story notes that there will be more than 700 courses offered at the college this winter and that 10 classes were offered fully in person this fall.

Green Alert Take: I remember reading in the last year or two about several high-profile college football players on national championship contenders who were taking all of their classes online and the only time they stepped on campus was for football-related activities. It just seemed so, well, so wrong. It would appear if there are winter sports in the Ivy League this fall there will be a lot of athletes who won't set foot inside a classroom all season. Granted, the pandemic has changed everything but still . . .

EXTRA POINT

It was pitch black when I brought Griff the Wonder Dog outside today for his morning constitutional and I was surprised that the motion-activated light over the porch did not come on as we stepped into the driveway. The unit has a smaller, secondary light aiming back at the door that stays on when it is dark, and that wasn't working either.

While I was surprised neither light was on, I shouldn't have been. The light is solar-charged and we haven't had even a hint of sun for three days. Because it's getting dark earlier in the evening and staying dark later in the morning, the back light is draining the battery more each day. We might get a brief glimpse of sun today but then rain and snow are forecast, so I better have the headlamp ready for tomorrow morning. Yup, a long, dark winter is ahead – but you already knew that!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Canadian Import

I've often wondered if Dartmouth teams should recruit more players from north of the border. Seriously, if Hanover's location is a concern for some high school athletes, wouldn't it be nice for coaches on the recruiting trail to be able to tell a kid, "Come south for college?"

That thought came to mind with news shared by a loyal BGA reader with eagle eyes that the Big Green has received a commitment from Zachary Lytle, a 6-foot-5, 230-ish defensive end from Winnipeg:

Find Zachary Lytle's Hudl highlights HERE.

Dartmouth's newest commitment gets a mention in a story about his father, Dean, a former Notre Dame player who played professionally in the World Football League, the Canadian Football League and in Arena Football. (LINK)

The recruiting class as we (think) we know it. Please share corrections and additions:

• Ejike Adele, 6-2, 245, DE, Westminster School/Atlanta Ga. 

• John Ballowe, 6-2, 215, LB, Collegiate School/Richmond, Va.

• James Coslet, 6-3, 255, OL/DL, Watchung Hills/Watchung, N.J.

• Cayman Duncan, 6-6, 295, OL, Kinkaid School/Houston

• Remington Gall, 6-4, 185, WR, Avon/Avon, Ind.

• Alex Geraci, 6-4, 215, TE/DE, Don Bosco/Cornwall, N.Y.

• Davis Golick, 6-2, 200, P, Woodward Academy/College Park, Ga.

• Sean Harmon, 6-5, 225, TE, Bishop Blanchet/Seattle

• Zachary Lytle, 6-5, 230, DE, St. Paul’s/Winnipeg, MB

• Jackson Proctor, 6-2, 195, QB, Kent HS/Kentwood, Wash.

• Painter Richards-Baker, 6-2, 170, ATH, Christ SchoolArden, N.C. 

The local Valley News has a column written by members of the college's defunct swimming and diving teams that asks the question: What did Dartmouth gain by cutting 5 teams? From the story (LINK):

. . . (Athletic Director Harry) Sheehy was given a directive by Dartmouth leadership to reduce the number of recruited athletes by 10%, to allow for greater “admissions flexibility.” Instead of trimming spots across all sports, which for many teams would have meant a reduction of just one or two recruits, Sheehy made the decision to create a disparate impact by concentrating the cuts in the five eliminated programs.

But the numbers don’t add up. A 10% reduction from the recruiting class of 2023 would have meant 22 athletes. Does recouping 22 non-athletic admissions spots really justify the elimination of five entire varsity teams?

A story in today's Harvard Crimson notes they've taken a different approach in Cambridge (LINK):

While universities across the country — including peer schools such as Dartmouth and Stanford — have recently axed a handful of athletics programs to improve their balance sheets, (Athletic Director Erin) McDermott said Harvard has not considered eliminating any of its 42 varsity teams — the most of any university in the country.

And this:

McDermott said two major sources of revenue the Athletics Department lost include the Harvard-Yale football game — which Harvard was scheduled to host next month — as well as the Boston Calling Music Festival, which takes place at the athletics complex every spring. As a result, McDermott said, a large part of her day-to-day job over the past four months has consisted of schmoozing potential donors virtually and soliciting their contributions.

Green Alert Take: Schmoozing, huh?  ;-) 

An Orlando Sentinel column offers a few more thoughts on Bethune-Cookman eliminating intercollegiate competition for the rest of the school year. From the story (LINK):

This might be one of the few times in the history of college athletics where it’s beneficial not to be in the Power 5. If you could remove the financial ramifications, the network TV obligations, the political pressure and the keep-up-with-the-Joneses competition among the major conferences, I’d be willing to bet that most Power 5 athletics directors would have canceled the season long ago rather than endure the chaos and turmoil of trying to play college football during a raging pandemic.

And . . .

“There are institutions out there that might be leveraged to the point where they have no choice but to play (football),” Bethune-Cookman athletics director Lynn Thompson told me Tuesday.

“I thank God we are at an institution where this decision for us was predicated on health and safety first and foremost and not on finances. … We feel very good about our decision based upon comments from some of our colleagues across the nation who are saying to us, ‘Man, I wish we could make the same decision right now.’ " 

Pandemic or no, the powerhouse Colonial Athletic Association has announced six-game spring schedules for its football teams. (LINK)

Of (somewhat) local interest:

University of New Hampshire football schedule

March 6 – Albany

March 20 – Delaware

March 27 – at Villanova

April 3 – at Rhode Island

April 10 – Stony Brook

April 17 – at Maine

Green Alert Take: Good luck with those March games in Durham and make sure the plows are all gassed up.

Following up on a recent story questioning the number of students booted from campus for violating COVID protocols, The Dartmouth has a story headlined, Here Today and Gone Tomorrow: Students React to Classmates Being Sent Home. Some of the story sounds a little, uh, Orwellian. (LINK)

From the story:

As rumors abound and friends disappear, ’24s are responding in a variety of ways to the growing numbers of students removed from campus.

In a matter of hours, Sophie Lachenauer ’24 said she witnessed her dorm go from around 30 residents to only 20 and has since felt a significant impact on her dorm’s dynamic.

And Anjali Dhar ’24 told the paper:

“I have friends whose whole floors have been essentially wiped out over a weekend. Any friend groups that they might have are torn apart by getting sent home, so (my friends) are kind of stranded in a way. It's easier to make friends here, but when your whole floor goes home and you're still here, you end up alone.” 

And . . .

In normal times, college students everywhere view the weekend as a break following a stressful week. Dartmouth students now approach Friday and Saturday nights with uncertainty and unease. Dhar mentioned that her floor practically celebrates if they’ve all managed to still be on campus by the end of the weekend.

The Dartmouth has another piece headlined Marriage Story: Dartmouth Edition. From the story (LINK):

Katie Gayman ’01 met her future husband during her freshman fall. “We both reported early for preseason. I was a soccer player and he was playing football. There was nobody else in our dorm. He was the first person I met at Dartmouth,” she said. 

Read the story up and down and you won't find out who that player is. But if you are curious, you've come to the right place.

The former football player in question is Caleb Moore '01, captain of the 2000 team, a third-team All-American offensive guard, a two-time, first-team All-Ivy League selection, Bob Blackman winner as Dartmouth MVP and an Academic All-Ivy and Academic All-District selection.

Big Green wide receivers coach David Shula '81, who met wife Leslie '81 at Dartmouth, is quoted in the story regarding how the D-Plan can make a relationship at the college challenging:

"Now it’s much easier to stay connected with social media and cell phones. Back then we were writing letters and calling."

EXTRA POINT

Last night Mrs. BGA and I had a FaceTime call with That Certain Dartmouth '14 in Gunnison, Colo. As wonderful as it was talking with her and seeing her smiling face it's way too easy to take the technology that made the call possible for granted. I'll always remember grabbing Popular Science off the magazine rack at the school library when I was a kid and reading about how video phone calls were just around the corner, as this screen grab from the 1965 "The Telephone Story" poster suggested:


FaceTime etc., took longer to come about than Popular Science predicted, of course. Now I wonder, can the flying cars I used to read about in Popular Mechanics be far behind?

Log in | Retro futurism, Popular mechanics, Popular mechanics magazine

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Tick, Tick, Tick

First it was the New England Small College Athletic Conferece, aka the Little Ivies, announcing that they were canceling conference athletic competition this winter. (LINK) Now it is Bethune-Cookman announcing it is canceling all sports for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. From HBCU Game Day (LINK):

The school announced on Monday that it is forgoing all spring athletic competition, including football as well as men’s and women’s basketball.

A letter from the office of President, Dr. E. LeBrent Chrite, cited COVID-19 concerns as his reason for shutting down athletics through the spring.

“The recent spike in COVID-19 positivity rates in the state, across Volusia County and on our campus provides clear and unambiguous evidence, in our view, that now is simply not the time to resume athletic competition,” he wrote in a statement.

The Ivy League has said no winter sports will begin before Jan. 1, but it hasn't yet made public a decision on if  there will be winter sports. (LINK

Green Alert Take: The Ivy League and its athletes are in no-win positions. Although the pandemic trend is troubling at best, the conference clearly does not want to make a rash decision about the winter season (or spring football for that matter). At the same time, there are a lot of Ivy athletes (particularly seniors) who are weighing their options regarding graduation and/or the transfer portal without any idea which way the Ivy League is leaning. The only thing we know for sure is there are no easy answers.

The Colgate football team will be playing at Stanford in 2022 per the Future Schedules website. (LINK)

While the Raiders are looking forward to playing in Palo Alto in two years, the FCS Schedules site (which is not complete) has Ivy League teams eagerly awaiting out-of-conference contests against noted college football powerhouses Bryant, Central Connecticut, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Marist, Mercer, Rhode Island, Stetson and VMI. Dartmouth is slated to face New Hampshire, Sacred Heart and Valparaiso.

Colgate, meanwhile, will be playing Stanford, Army, Furman and Maine in 2022. In other Patriot League FBS games in 2022, Fordham will play Ohio, Holy Cross will play Buffalo and Lafayette will visit Temple.

Yup, another slow day so more Dartmouth records. Today, the school's top-15 single-season rushing performances:

Rank

Name

Year

Yards

Att

Avg

TD

Record

1

Al Rosier ‘91

1991

1432

258

5.6

12

7-2-1

2

Nick Schwieger ‘12

2011

1310

241

5.4

10

5-5

3

Nick Schwieger ‘12

2010

1133

242

4.7

14

6-4

4

Shon Page ‘90

1990

1087

217

5.0

11

7-2-1

5

Dominick Pierre ‘14

2013

1064

214

5.0

13

6-4

6

David Clark ‘90

1989

1063

219

4.9

4

5-5

7

Michael Gratch ‘02

2001

916

194

4.7

6

1-8

8

Greg Smith ‘97

1996

885

224

4.0

10

10-0

9

Dominick Pierre ‘14

2012

830

166

5.0

9

6-4

10

Greg Smith ‘97

1995

826

178

4.6

3

7-2-1

11

John Short ‘71

1970

787

165

4.8

11

9-0

12

Sam Coffey ‘78

1976

764

154

5.0

2

6-3

13

Rick Klupchak ‘74

1972

750

113

6.6

5

7-2-1

14

Jeff Dufresne ‘81

1978

730

190

3.8

8

6-3

15

Alan Rozycki ‘61

1960

725

169

4.3

4

5-4

EXTRA POINT
As is the case most days, after walking Griff the Wonder Dog at 6 a.m., I turned on the TV to catch the headlines. It was as depressing as ever on both the health and political fronts.

After enduring a few minutes of that I escaped to SportsCenter.

During an ESPN commercial I checked the "guide" and on a whim clicked through to Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. It is a sad, sad state of affairs that while eating my breakfast for the next 15 minutes or so I chose to watch Carol Burnett flirting with Ol' Gomer over switching back to the talking heads.

If it were a little warmer around here I'd be tempted to grab a backpack and head out onto the trail for the next week (or two), as far from TV, radio, internet and newspapers as I could be.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday, Monday

 From the Dartmouth football office:

On Saturday afternoon Dartmouth's Woods Watch Party replayed the 2017 shootout against Princeton that Dartmouth won by a 54-44 score behind Jared Gerbino's 202 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Gerbino's performance landed him tied for ninth on the all-time Dartmouth list for rushing yards in a game.

Following up on last week's look at the top passing games in Big Green history, here are the top single game running performances by an individual on the Dartmouth ledger:

Rank

Name

Year/Vs

Yards

Att

Avg

TD

Score

1

Nick Schwieger ‘12

2011 Cornell

257

26

9.9

1

W 33-24

2

Greg Patton ‘13

2009 Cornell

243

29

8.4

2

W 20-17 (2 OT)

3

Nick Schwieger ‘12

2009 Columbia

242

29

8.3

1

W 28-6

4

Al Rosier ‘91

1991 Brown

229

25

9.2

4

W 45-13

5

Shon Page ‘90

1990 Harvard

222

23

9.7

2

W 17-0

6

David Clark ‘90

1989 Penn

219

51

4.3

1

W 24-0

7

Nick Schwieger ‘12

2010 Bucknell 

216

25

8.6

2

W 43-20

8

Tom Spangenberg ‘64

1962 Princeton

208

29

7.2

2

W 38-27

T-9

David Clark ‘90

1989 Brown 

202

30

6.7

0

W 12-6

T-9

Jared Gerbino ‘20

2017 Princeton

202

32

6.3

4

W 54-44

11

Bill Roberts ‘51

1949 Holy Cross

195

18

10.8

1

W 31-7

12

John Short 71

1970 Cornell

192

28

6.9

1

W 24-0

13

Al Rosier ‘91

1991 Princeton

190

34

5.6

1

W 31-13

13

Dylan Karczewski

1997 Cornell

190

34

5.6

1

W 24-20

15

Al Rosier ‘91

1990 Princeton

186

25

74

1

W 23-6

 
It shouldn't surprise anyone that big numbers on the ground translate to victories with greater frequency than big numbers through the air, which so often are the result of a team struggling to come from behind. While the Big Green was just 7-8 in the top-15 individual passing games as posted here last week (LINK), Dartmouth was 15-0 in games featuring top running performances.

You have to drop all the way down to the 19th-best rushing performance by a Dartmouth player (Milan Williams with 179 yards on 30 carries with one TD) before finding a Big Green loss. That game was a 31-28 overtime defeat against Colgate in 2007, a contest Dartmouth led, 28-0, midway through the third quarter. In some regards proving a point, even in that game the team with the leading rusher came out on top as the Raiders' Jordan Scott ran for 211 yards and three touchdowns.
The Daily Pennsylvanian takes a look back at one of the toughest losses the Big Green ever suffered in a story headlined Reliving Penn football's 2013 marathon four-overtime victory over Dartmouth; The nearly four-hour contest remains the longest in Ivy League history. (LINK)
Scroll well down a site called Sportscasting.com and you'll find a story headlined, Russell Wilson Will Always Cherish the Lessons His Father Taught Him Before His Tragic Death (LINK). From the story:
Russell Wilson’s father Harrison was a gifted athlete in his own right. He was good enough to play both baseball and football while attending Dartmouth College. He was especially talented on the football field, racking up 65 catches for 860 total yards in his four-year career, before going on to get a law degree and enjoying a successful career as a lawyer.
Yet Harrison Wilson also harbored dreams of breaking into the NFL — and very nearly did so. In fact, he spent one training camp as a member of the San Diego Chargers, according to a video on the Seahawks’ webiste. In the final preseason game, he even caught a touchdown pass. Although he didn’t end up making the team, that catch remained one of the proudest moments of his life.

EXTRA POINT

There was a time when this made you sit up and take notice. No longer. I read somewhere that these are the two most-overused words on TV and I can't argue. They've lost all meaning.