Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Rivalry Worth Continuing

STATS has a story about conference vs. conference games that includes this (italics are mine):
With many of their matchups involving just a short drive, the Ivy and Patriot leagues continue to set the standard with heated matchups. Their teams met 14 times last season, with Patriot League teams claiming eight wins, and they'll meet another 12 times in 2017. Over the last six seasons, the two academically elite conferences have squared off 90 times with results deadlocked.
All of the teams are involved this year except Ivy League member Brown, while all three Yale non-league games are against Patriot opponents. In a spotlight game, Penn, which has won a share of the last two Ivy titles, will visit defending Patriot champ Lehigh on Sept. 23.
Ivy League teams will play three games against Georgetown and Lehigh, two against Holy Cross and one each against Bucknell, Colgate, Fordham and Lafayette.

2017 Ivy League-Patriot League Schedule
Columbia
Sept. 23 Georgetown

Cornell
Sept. 30 Colgate
Oct. 14 Bucknell

Dartmouth
Sept. 23 Holy Cross

Harvard
Sept. 30 at Georgetown
Oct. 14 Lafayette

Penn
Sept. 23 at Lehigh

Princeton
Sept. 23 at Lafayette
Oct. 7 Georgetown

Yale
Sept. 16 at Lehigh
Sept. 30 at Fordham
Oct. 14 Holy Cross

(Brown -None)

Green Alert Take: Ivy and Patriot League teams met 20 times in 1990. They met 20 times again in 2000. This fall there will be just a dozen games between the two premier academic conferences in the nation. It has been said in this electronic precinct before and it will be said again, but the Ivy League's move away from scheduling Patriot League opponents is tremendously disappointing.
Through the wonders of the internet the Deseret News out in Utah picked up on yesterday's story in The Dartmouth about Tanner Aiono, Anders Peterson and Justin Call playing football at Dartmouth after serving as Mormon missionaries.

Green Alert Take: While the story doesn't add much to what was already reported in The D it certainly shouldn't hurt Dartmouth's chances when recruiting high school football players planning to go on a mission.
The Dartmouth has a "Moment of the Year" story and after seeing the headline I couldn't help but think how odd it is that a moment from a "down" year for Big Green football absolutely needed to be one of the five finalists.

It was good to see The D recognize the significance of the football team's first win over New Hampshire since the Bicentennial (that would be 1976 for those of you who are too young to know ;-) and include it among the final five.
ESPN has a nice story about Penn grad-turned-Detroit Lion Brandon Copeland under the headline, Lions DE takes Wall Street gig while living on 15 percent of NFL salary. (LINK)
That Certain Dartmouth '14-turned-Yellowstone ranger is in the air on her way to San Diego as we speak in preparation for her 2,650-mile hike from the Mexican border to the Canadian border on the Pacific Crest Trail. (Maybe the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree given that I bicycled twice across the country ;-)

TCD'14 shared this picture of everything she and her hiking partner (who already successfully hiked the Appalachian Trail) are carrying on their backs (sans food and water). It amounts to about 12 pounds each. The hike generally takes about five months.

By the way, to give you an idea about how hard they worked at making sure they are traveling light, they bought one of these.



In case you are curious, check out the Pacific Crest Trail Association page on "Thru-hiking and long-distance hiking."

Monday, May 22, 2017

Uh, I Don't Think So

About a week ago NJ.com ran a story with suggestions on how to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first college football game, a rugby-like matchup between Rutgers and Princeton. Among the 10 suggestions for the 2019 celebration was a "single-admission football doubleheader." From the story (italics are mine):
This is one of the most realistic suggestions but also one of the trickiest. Princeton already has announced that it will face Dartmouth at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 9, 2019, to honor the first college football game. Rutgers has an open date on Nov. 9. The easiest solution would be for the Princeton-Dartmouth game to take place at High Point Solutions Stadium before Rutgers faces a non-conference opponent. How about Army or Navy?
But the Yankees don't dissolve partnerships very easily, as Rutgers fans know all too well.
So what about the weekend before Nov. 6? Rutgers is scheduled at Maryland. Maybe the Big Ten could move some parts to get the Scarlet Knights at home as the nightcap to a single-admission doubleheader. Princeton could face one of its Ivy League opponents at High Point Solutions Stadium to start the day.
Green Alert Take: I'm pretty sure the Yankees wouldn't be the only unhappy party with a shift of the Dartmouth-Princeton game from The Bronx to Piscataway, so relax ;-)
The Dartmouth has an interesting story about the trio of Big Green football players who have served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The three are Justin Call '16, Tanner Aiono '20 and Anders Peterson '20. Find the story HERE.

Interesting, come to think of it, that all three are offensive linemen.
Also in The D are bios of the finalists for The Dartmouth's Male Athlete of the Year. Among them: graduating senior linebacker Flo Orimolade. Find that story HERE.
Away from the gridiron, The Dartmouth has a piece on Alexi Pappas and her new movie Tracktown. We saw the movie last week with That Certain Dartmouth '14, a Pappas teammate, who told us with a chuckle that the character Pappas plays – Plum Marigold – has a wealth of Pappas in her. Find the story HERE and a quick LA Times review HERE.
A headline from a CBS Sports story is click bait of the highest order. Here's the headline and it will be followed by a note to save you from having to click through ;-)

Ryan Fitzpatrick had the oddest offseason job before signing with the Buccaneers
It looks like Fitzpatrick's Harvard degree is finally paying off

The offseason job is teaching how to solve a Rubik's Cube.

You're welcome.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

S-S-S-S

When I was in grad school some of us got a kick out of Bill Anderson's song, "Double S." (Listen to it here and chuckle . . . or grimace ;-)

Today we bring you "Quadruple S."

Silly Season on Supermarket Shelves.

That's right. Like the legendary but all-too-real black flies of Northern New England, the preseason college football magazines have made an appearance and they're about as hard to ignore as the flies, which generally last from Mother's Day to Father's Day. (Read about them HERE.)

Thanks to a dedicated BGA reader, here's how the venerable Sporting News sees the Ivy League finishing:
1. Penn
2. Princeton
3. Harvard
4. Dartmouth
5. Yale
6. Cornell
7. Brown 
8. Columbia

BGA Take: Really went out on a limb there, huh?

Here's how Sporting News sees the Patriot League, once the Ivy League's sister conference, but now more like its red-headed step-child. (Can you say that today? Probably not.) Dartmouth's only Patriot League foe this year is Holy Cross.
1. Lehigh 
2. Fordham 
3. Colgate 
4. Holy Cross
5. Bucknell 
6. Georgetown 
7. Lafayette 

For what it's worth, Sporting News picks Dartmouth opponent Stetson 10th of 11 teams in the lightly regarded Pioneer Football League and Sacred Heart sixth of seven in the Northeast, which is held in only slightly higher regard than the PFL by the FBC cognoscenti.
While we're at it, Athlon has released its Top 25 and no Dartmouth opponent makes the cut although Penn receiver Justin Watson is on the preseason All-America team. Street & Smith also has its Top 25 out and again, no Dartmouth opponent makes an appearance. Teams of somewhat regional interest in the two magazines:

Athlon
11. New Hampshire
12. Lehigh
20. Albany
21. Fordham

Street & Smith
19. Albany
24. Lehigh

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Logo Mania

A good friend of BGA shared a Tweet that originated with Reddit (I'm outta my depth here a little, so bear with me ;-) with logos for every Division I team signifying their draftees since 2013.
Click to enlarge graphic.
The graphic lists Dartmouth with four players, which seemed kind of curious until re-reading the caption and realizing that the graphic is draftees PLUS undrafted signees. OK, that makes more sense.

You know what I did next because you are tempted to do it as well. I enlarged the graphic and went on an Easter egg hunt of sorts to find all the Ivy League teams. A few turned up pretty easily and a few were a challenge.

OK, go ahead and click the graphic to begin searching. I'll wait. (The solution to the puzzle is down below but don't cheat and look ahead. That takes all the fun out of it.)

While we're waiting, it wasn't a good week for Dartmouth and the NFL. Flo Orimolade was let go by the Rams and while we weren't looking the Chiefs cut Vernon Harris. Find the latter announcement from Chiefswire last Sunday HERE.

Jacob Flores is still hanging in with the Packers and the lack of centers on the Green Bay roster is working in his favor as the Milwaukee Sentinel's Morning Buzz noted briefly earlier this week HERE.

These things are fluid but as of this writing Flores and Charlie Miller (Jaguars) are the Dartmouth players currently under contract with NFL teams.

So, how did you do hunting down those Ivy League logos? It took a while to find Cornell and Brown was pretty tricky, I know.

Check this graphic with red circles showing where the Ivies were hiding:

Click to enlarge.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Who Needs Two?

Interested in a really good seat for the Dartmouth-Harvard game at Harvard Stadium this fall? Do I have a deal for you!

Click to enlarge.
That's a little hard to read without clicking through so here's a blow-up from that screenshot of the best (?) seats available:



In case price is no object, buy those tickets HERE.

Hurry because at a price like that they could be gone by the time you see this. Or not ;-)
Prices are better in Hanover, of course. You can get a ticket online for the Homecoming game against Yale for just $98, a virtual steal.



OR . . .

You could just buy a season ticket in the chairback section directly from the college for $79. (LINK)
The Dartmouth has a story under the headline, Dartmouth coaches: on drawing the best out of players.

The story is notable for at least two reasons. First, the writer is graduating kicking specialist Jonathan Katzman.

And second, one of the two coaches whose methods are detailed in the story is assistant head football coach Sammy McCorkle.

From the story:
“When we come in, (McCorkle) tells us that he is not going to be our favorite guy over the next four years,” former Big Green safety and recent Jacksonville Jaguars drafted free agent signee Charlie Miller’17 said. “He also tells us that he will make us great football players.”

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Miller Time



Minnesota's Shoreview Press has a story about graduating Dartmouth senior safety Charlie Miller getting his NFL shot with the Jacksonville Jaguars. From the story:
“The Jaguars, like most of the scouts I talked to, really liked my speed and knowledge for the game,” said the 6-foot, 190-pound Miller, who was clocked in 4.39 seconds in the 40 at his pro day workout. “They definitely see me as being a contributor on special teams where I can utilize that speed.”
And this . . .
Another Jacksonville rookie a bit more heralded than Miller is Leonard Fournette, the Louisiana State tailback taken No. 4 in the draft. Fournette runs like a locomotive, and Miller’s pals keeping asking if he thinks he can tackle the All-American breaking through the line in practice. 
“That’s probably the most popular question I’ve gotten — ha, ha,” Miller acknowledged. “But honestly, just happy he’s on my team and not someone else’s. If he ‘trucks’ me, it won’t be during a prime time game, it would just be in practice. But I’m confident in my tackling abilities, if put on the spot.”
A website with the unfortunate name Fan Rag Sports Network tries to analyze the Los Angeles Rams cutting Dartmouth senior Flo Orimolade this way:
Orimolade was very good in college, but he did play at Dartmouth. While a very prestigious school in many ways, it’s not known for its football program. He’s too short and light for the NFL. 
There's been message board talk about the possibility that former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire could end up at Harvard as a graduate transfer. That's not going to happen. Curious about Ivy League eligibility rules regarding a fifth year? This is from the Introduction and Summary of Ivy Rules for Coaches and Administrators:
All students are expected to use their years of varsity eligibility in a particular sport during the first four seasons of that sport, and the first eight terms of enrollment, following their initial enrollment (even though they may be formally enrolled in a five-year program). Any requests for participation in a 9th term or 5th season since enrollment, e.g. when the student has not been enrolled as a full-time student at some point during those seasons or terms, must come to the Ivy Office from the institutional eligibility officer. 
In considering requests for exception, "red shirt" years are not allowed for Ivy eligibility. That is, coaches may not manipulate or motivate a student’s enrollment pattern to put off or to secure eligibility in some specific season; students are expected not to alter their academic or enrollment patterns in order to change the seasons in which they compete; and students who are enrolled and practice with a team will normally have been considered to have used a season of eligibility. 
Exceptions for a 9th term or 5th season since initial enrollment normally will be granted in cases of illness, or of other factors beyond the student's control, or where particular academic circumstances are involved. For example, students enrolled for a second bachelor's degree at the same institution and who missed a season for reasons unrelated to furthering their athletics career will normally be granted eligibility to participate during their fifth year/fourth season while pursuing the second degree. 
A student who completes the requirements for a Baccalaureate or equivalent degree is no longer eligible, even if the actual award of the degree is postponed beyond the next regular time when the institution confers degrees. The only exceptions are students enrolled for a second degree as mentioned above, and students who complete a bachelor’s degree in less than 4 years and enroll in graduate school at the same institution, who may compete only during four years of enrollment. 
Got that? There will be a test.
Speaking of graduate students playing in the Ivy League, consider the curious case of former Cornell standout Kevin Rooney, a defensive lineman who graduated in three years with a 3.89 GPA. Although he missed a year because of injury and wanted to use his final season of eligibility as a grad student, he was denied by the Ivy League.

From a Cornell Daily Sun story regarding Rooney, who eventually graduated from Stanford Law:
The Cornell University Institute for Public Affairs accepted Rooney into their master’s program for Public Administration on academic merit, without athletic consideration or influences. On track to graduate early, Rooney put in his application for his robes when he received the shocking news: the Ivy League would not let him play for his alma mater, despite him being enrolled in a graduate program on campus.
“If I hadn’t filed my application for graduation, then asked my parents to pay and asked my family to take on another semester’s worth of debt and incur those fees, then I could play,” Rooney said. “Because I didn’t, and because I tried to save my family the money knowing that I wanted to go to law school, then I couldn’t play.”
It was not the fact that Rooney was a graduate student that prevented him from playing — it was that he had graduated and his final season would not have been within eight semesters of his original enrollment.
Courtesy Dartmouth College
The Valley News had an obituary earlier this week about the passing of Fred Kelley, the head athletic trainer at Dartmouth for a quarter of a century and a 1989 inductee into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame.

Believe it or not, a Florida roofing company wrote one of the last stories about Fred back in December under the headline, The Dancing Marine.

From a story I freelanced for the DP2 PEAK quarterly about changes in the athletic training profession:
The stereotype of the old-time trainer grew out of a time when the training staff was populated largely by local high school graduates who learned their craft at the knee of older trainers. That began to change after forward-thinking Fred Kelley came to Dartmouth as head trainer in 1967.
Kelley had earned a degree in exercise physiology in the legendary Springfield College physical education program, served as a trainer for the 10th Marine Regiment, and had gone on to earn a masters degree in education. While respecting the acquired knowledge of veteran trainers like Irv Fountain and Bob Dagenais, Kelley set about reshaping the staff by bringing in a new breed of trainer like Linda Zoller, Terry Cioffredi and (Jeff) Frechette, each of whom had or would have advanced degrees.
I also wrote about Fred's role in the history of Hanover Country Club's Tommy Keane Invitational golf tournament HERE.

I worked in the Dartmouth athletic department with Fred for five years and spoke with him frequently both as the Dartmouth beat writer for the local daily and later doing PR for the Keane. He was always unfailingly helpful and patient. It was always a pleasure to see him and catch up a bit when he returned to Hanover each July for the Keane. It won't be the same without him.
And finally, the Valley News writes about the reasons for the end of an era with the closing of popular Hanover eatery Everything But Anchovies, better known as EBA's. (LINK)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Flo Cut By Rams

Just a passing mention in the Los Angeles Times:
The Rams also signed defensive back Dominique Hatfield, an undrafted free agent from Utah who participated as a tryout player at last week’s rookie camp. The Rams waived linebacker Adefolarin Orimolade, an undrafted linebacker from Dartmouth.
Former Dartmouth wide receivers coach Jarrail Jackson, who wrapped up his career as a record-setting wide receiver at Oklahoma in 1999, has finished his degree 18 years later with guidance from Teresa Turner, the Sooners' Director for the Student-Athlete Experience.

From a Sooner Sports story:
Jackson gradually earned credit hours toward his degree at his various stops. "I thought I had all my hours," Jackson sheepishly admitted with a laugh. "When Teresa told me I was one class short, I jumped on it and got it done. She got everything going and stayed on me. It's a big deal to get a degree, but I didn't want to draw any attention to it (by attending Friday's ceremony). I tried to keep it low-key. The only people who really knew about it were me and Teresa. I am happy I finished and it is a big accomplishment, but I didn't do it for any accolades. I'm looking at taking some master's classes and maybe do that."
Congratulations, JJ!
Message boards and stories are alive with the possibility of former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire transferring to Harvard.

Just one problem.

It's not going to happen if this from the Detroit Free Press back in November is correct (italics are mine):
Zaire will leave South Bend as a graduate transfer after he receives his degree in December and will be eligible to play next season. The Kettering, Ohio, native lost the Irish starting job to Deshone Kizer.
Uhhh, the Ivy League does not allow graduate students to play varsity sports. Not even at their own school.

From Burnt Orange Nation:
Zaire would likely win the starting job (at Wisconsin) with relative ease.
The same can be said for Harvard, which loses senior Joe Viviano III, but the Crimson can’t offer the weekly exposure of playing on national television that Zaire may seek during his final collegiate season.
Uhhh again. Viviano will be back.
The latest story in STATS series about FCS programs playing FBS opponents this fall details Patriot League teams stepping up this fall. Dartmouth opponent Holy Cross will play Connecticut, Colgate will take on Buffalo and Fordham will play Army. (LINK)

Green Alert Take: Don't hold your breath for the STATS series to reach the Ivy League. If you do you'll be holding your breath until 2022 when Dartmouth is slated to play at Army.
From today's installment of Believe It Or Not, check out this headline from Cosmopolitan, a magazine I never thought would be quoted in BGA:
Maybe Consider Applying to This College Which Is Adding a Lazy River for Student Athletes
The school is the University of Central Florida. Find the story and artist renderings of the Lazy River HERE.
And finally, That Certain Dartmouth '14 is in the air this morning as she begins the first leg of the journey that will see the former Yellowstone ranger hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican border to the Canadian border this summer. The hike, which begins in the desert and then follows the spine of the Sierra and Cascade mountains, generally takes five months. She had been home for a week and I'm here to tell you it was really hard to say goodbye. And not just because it was 4:15 a.m. when she left for the airport.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Looking Ahead And Looking Back (Sadly)

Boy do I appreciate it when you guys take the pressure off me and send along something to post this time of year ;-) Thanks to a friend and loyal reader for this one . . .

Massey Ratings already has its 2017 predictions out.  (LINK)

Never mind that Massey doesn't know if the next Saquon Barkley got lost and is on his way to the Ivy League or if a gifted starting quarterback is leaving school early (as I did not know writing a preview on a school not named Dartmouth back before the Internet). It doesn't matter for Massey, which certainly didn't go out on much of a limb with these predictions!

Here's how Massey sees the Dartmouth season going:
at Stetson W 29-10 (90 percent confidence)
Holy Cross W 24-21 (59 percent)
at Penn L 21-14 (32 percent)
Yale W 23-20 (59 percent)
at Sacred Heart W 24-20 (62 percent)
Columbia W 19-14 (63 percent)
at Harvard L 20-17 (43 percent)
Cornell W 26-20 (64 percent)
vs. Brown W 23-16 (67 percent)
Princeton L 24-14 (24 percent)

That's 7-3 overall, 4-3 Ivy League with the best chance for a win at Stetson in the opener and the worst chance of a win against Princeton in the finale.

Here's how Massey projects the Ivy League:
Princeton 7-0 Ivy, 10-0 Overall
Penn 6-1 Ivy, 8-2 Overall
Harvard 5-2 Ivy, 8-2 Overall
Dartmouth 4-3 Ivy, 7-3 Overall
Yale 3-4 Ivy, 4-7 Overall
Columbia 2-5 Ivy, 4-6 Overall
Cornell 1-6 Ivy, 1-9 Overall
Brown 0-7 Ivy, 1-9 Overall
I started to worry when the emails with questions I often couldn't understand and the envelopes from Bozeman, Mont., with newspaper clippings about Yellowstone Park stopped coming.

The morning brings sad news that Roy Abbott '52 has died. (LINK)

You may not have known Roy but if you have been to Dartmouth football practices over the past dozen or more years you would know his voice. "Booming" would not do it justice. And he wasn't exactly afraid to use it.

I used to laugh that Roy was one of my best sources at practice. As a general rule, I don't put the Dartmouth trainers in a tough spot by asking them about injuries.

Roy? He'd simply shout down from the stands, across the track and halfway across the field to get an update from the player himself.

It's fair to say Roy could sound gruff and that some of the opinions he shared were born of a different time. It's a cliche but I'm here to tell you the large man barked but he didn't bite.

He was a master story teller and not afraid to laugh at himself. His tale of trying out for the Dartmouth lacrosse team with an inherited stick only to learn when people started firing balls at him that it was a goalie stick cracked me up.

I remember him telling me about the time he was sitting at a game complaining to the fellow next to him about a promising wide receiver who kept dropping passes. Roy kept it up until the fellow finally started agreeing with him. Only then did he learn that his neighbor in the stands was the player's father.

I have vivid memories of big, brusque Roy Abbott – unaccountably wearing shorts and sneakers with his anorak on a cold day – gently and sweetly guiding his tiny and frail wife Leigh through the stands for practice. Alongside would be his beloved Golden Retriever, who he proudly told me would head down the hall of his motel to the exact room he always stayed in on the first day he returned from Florida for his fall watching Dartmouth football.

Roy wasn't a BGA subscriber for the first dozen years or so because computers weren't his thing, but toward the end he shared a check anyway just to help keep the site going. After losing his wife and moving to Montana to be near his kids his son hooked him up with a computer expert who got Roy online, allowing him both to watch games and read BGA. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about the patience that computer person had to have.

The last time I saw Roy he proudly told me his granddaughter from Montana was interested in Dartmouth. After she was accepted he asked if That Certain Dartmouth '14, then a ranger in Yellowstone, would talk with her, which she did.

I asked Roy if he would be at her graduation and he told me he didn't think so because he wasn't sure he'd be around. I was taken aback. Other older alums were disappearing each year but as big and strong as the man was he was going to live forever. But he was right.

Roy Abbott was 86.

This is from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:
Roy’s “second” home in retirement was in his beloved Hanover, New Hampshire, where he would spend the fall seasons watching the Dartmouth Football team. He rarely missed practices or a home game and was happy to discover the internet later in life which allowed him to watch games he could not attend in person. Roy eventually settled in Bozeman, Montana, in 2016 to be near his three children - his Golden Retriever, Barney, was his cherished, constant, and loyal companion.