Monday, April 19, 2021

Sounds Like Progress, Right?

 Good news in this morning's edition of The Dartmouth under the headline, Off-campus students granted access to campus facilities. (LINK)

From the story:

Since April 9, roughly 400 off-campus students enrolled in classes have been accepted through a waitlist process offered by the College for on-campus access to facilities including Baker-Berry Library, the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Collis Center and Alumni Gym, according to College Health Service director Mark Reed.

College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email statement that all eligible students who completed the one-time waitlist application by April 7 were approved for on-campus access to select facilities. 

And this:

Dean of the College Kathryn Lively outlined a series of protective measures, including those already established for students living on campus.

“You must comply with all testing, physical distancing, face covering, facilities use and other College health and behavioral guidelines,” Lively wrote. “Failure to do so will lead to immediate revocation of any waitlist access privileges for the remainder of spring term, and revocation of approval for summer for those of you who may have that in place.” 

Green Alert Take: I'm not sure exactly what this means for Dartmouth football players living off campus this spring but it beats the alternative, right?

The NCAA released the bracket for the FCS playoffs yesterday and in games of some local interest, Sept. 25 opponent Sacred Heart (3-1) will travel to Delaware (5-0) for a game to be carried on ESPN3 Saturday night at 7. 

Holy Cross (3-0) visits South Dakota State (5-1) in a Saturday matchup slated for 3 p.m. on ESPN3.

With the pandemic still sidelining players and teams, the NCAA had this addendum to the tournament schedule:
Should a team need to withdraw due to COVID-19 prior to the release of the bracket, the committee will make adjustments as necessary before finalizing the bracket.

Any SELECTED team that needs to remove themselves AFTER the bracket is released, has until 3:30 ET Monday, April 19 to notify committee and a replacement team will be determined.

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Speaking of Sacred Heart and the fall schedule, here's another look at the next four Big Green seasons:



2021

Sept. 18

A

Valparaiso

Sept. 25

H

Sacred Heart

Oct. 2

A

Penn*

Oct. 9

H

Yale* (Homecoming)

Oct. 16

A

New Hampshire

Oct. 23

H

Columbia*

Oct. 30

A

Harvard*

Nov. 6

H

Princeton*

Nov. 13

H

Cornell*

Nov. 20

A

Brown*






2022

Sept. 17

H

Valparaiso

Sept. 24

A

Sacred Heart

Oct. 1

H

Penn*

Oct. 8

A

Yale*

Oct. 15

H

New Hampshire

Oct. 22

A

Columbia*

Oct. 29

H

Harvard* (Homecoming)

Nov. 5

A

Princeton*

Nov. 12

A

Cornell*

Nov. 19

H

Brown*






2023

Sept. 16

A

New Hampshire

Sept. 23

H

Lehigh

Sept. 30

A

Penn*

Oct. 7

H

Yale*

Oct. 14

A

Colgate

Oct. 21

H

Columbia*

Oct. 28

A

Harvard*

Nov. 4

H

Princeton*

Nov. 11

H

Cornell*

Nov. 18

A

Brown*






2024

Sept. 21

H

Fordham

Sept. 28

A

Army West Point

Oct. 5

H

Penn*

Oct. 12

A

Yale*

Oct. 19

H

Central Connecticut State

Oct. 26

A

Columbia*

Nov. 2

H

Harvard*

Nov. 9

A

Princeton*

Nov. 16

A

Cornell*

Nov. 23

H

Brown*

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EXTRA POINT
I got a bill last week for a year's worth of BGA Premium website hosting as well as the monthly charge for the service that handles registration and access to the site. It was kind of annoying because without a season or subscribers that money was essentially thrown away. 

In hindsight I suppose I could have taken the site down, saved the money and rebuilt the site as needed, but if I'm going to be completely honest getting it going the first time was hassle enough. I didn't need to go through that again. ;-)

Spring practice is (tentatively?) slated to begin May 1 and I'm (more tentatively???) going to offer some sort of coverage. Stay tuned for details as I learn more.

About the only thing I can say for sure is that I'm going to have to spend a little time re-learning how to post and update the BGA Premium website. It's been so long since I've spent any time on it that I've forgotten how to access and use much of the functionality I built into it.

It's a problem, but a good problem to have, right?

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Looking Back

It's another slow day on the news front and you've got the time so today we revisit "Best Chance U," Elizabeth Jenny's '19 "inside look at the Ivy League football experience of black players at Dartmouth College.

 

"Best Chance U", Elizabeth Jenny ‘19 from Dartmouth Film & Media Studies on Vimeo.

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Also, for your viewing pleasure, here's the entertaining trailer for Erik Greenberg Anjou's 2008 documentary, "8, Ivy League Football and America." (Unfortunately the full film is not online.)

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EXTRA POINT
Those of you who have been regular visitors to this electronic precinct might remember that after we sold our Etna (Hanover) house we spent one very special summer in an off-the-grid "tiny house" deep in the woods not far from where we now live. It was a summer of reading, Scrabble, no TV, cooking almost exclusively on a grill, an outdoor shower and watching the occasional episode of Monk on DVD (when the laptop had a charge) before an early bedtime.

Mrs. BGA and I were talking last week about our plans for this summer and after batting around a few ideas decided a week of unplugged relaxation at the tiny house would be a perfect elixir for the craziness of the past year. The third member of the family, resting on the deck in the picture below, would certainly agree.

The tiny house has an outdoor shower (left of the window), composting toilet, propane stove and fridge, and a sleeping loft.

Interestingly, since our summer there the tiny house has gone up on Airbnb and the owners tell us that in these "socially distant" times it rented regularly all winter. That despite having to carry in water, often having to park at the bottom of the hill and walk in because of snow and ice, and the shorter, cloudy days making it hard for the solar panel – which powers a few lights – to keep up with demand. I'm not sure how eager we would have been to spend a winter week there, but a week in the summer? Priceless.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Welcome Back

Because there are no guarantees, one of Dartmouth's graduating seniors had to be prepared to use his final year of eligibility elsewhere next fall, right? To that end:


As it turns out the Ivy League's one-time approval of graduate student eligibility at the player's own school worked out for wide receiver Masaki Aerts, best known for catching the Harvard Hail Mary. That's not the only Dartmouth football history he'll have made when his Big Green career is over – which it isn't yet.

Here's what he Tweeted yesterday (LINK):

As for the fellow who threw the Hail Mary, there was a brief story in the end of January reporting that he was spending the winter quarter in Arizona. From the story (LINK):
“Four of my former and current teammates and I are staying in a house together in Phoenix so we don’t waste our senior year together,” Kyler said. “I have two of my former receivers with me, so I plan on throwing frequently with them as well as staying on the strength and conditioning program provided to us by our strength coach. Aside from that, we still have QB meetings once a week breaking down film and getting better together.”

If you enjoyed the movie Friday Night Lights keep an eye out for Under the Stadium Lights, another Texas high school football movie. This one stars Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn and grandson of Dartmouth alum Bing Russell '47. The trailer for the film, which debuts June 4, is just out:


Speaking of Bing Russell, this excerpt from a 2016 Dartmouth Alumni Magazine is worth sharing, even if it's not entirely true (LINK):
It’s unclear if Russell played baseball in Hanover. There are photos of him in a Dartmouth uniform, swinging a bat and making like a fielder, but his son says Bing played only one game. “He and the coach didn’t get along, I guess,” Kurt says with a laugh. “He hit a home run on a 3-0 pitch. The coach gave him the sign to take [the walk], and my dad hits it out of the park. And as he rounds third, the coach sticks his hand out to shake it, Yeah, atta boy, and my dad didn’t shake his hand—You told me to take it. And that was the end of that.” 

EXTRA POINT 
By the time the snow finished yesterday we had 3-4-5 inches or so of heavy, wet stuff. I'm not sure exactly how much because I took our "snow stick" down several weeks ago.

The forecast had predicted snow above 1,000 feet and sure enough, when we got into town on our way to bring Griff the Wonder Dog to the vet for shots, there wasn't any snow to be seen.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Heading This Way Redux

Following up on a listing of the top quarterbacks in the state of Washington that featured Dartmouth-bound Jackson Proctor (LINK), Scorebook Live now has a listing of the top tight ends in the state, and once again the Big Green is represented:


Click HERE for the original page.

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The headline we've all been waiting for in The Dartmouth (LINK):

Student-athletes begin spring practice

With local non-conference competition set to begin next weekend, softball, men’s and women’s track and field and men’s and women’s tennis are expected to begin competing April 24.

Given that competition has to be "local," and that graduation isn't far off for most other colleges and universities in the region it remains to be seen what games and how many games can be scheduled. When teams/athletes do start to compete, spectators will not be allowed per the story.

There's also this from the story:

“The Provost has announced that he's planning for a fully open fall, and I think we're following his lead on that,” (Head athletic trainer Ben) Schuler said. “I do suspect that there will still be some things that are not within the ‘norm’ while we still maybe are dealing with the lingering effects of COVID-19, but we're planning for a normal slate of games and competitions the way we do for every fall.” 

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Dartmouth's PEAK Magazine has a Q&A with interim athletic director Peter Roby '79 HERE.

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The Dartmouth has a one-on-one with New York Mets president Sandy Alderson ’69 HERE.

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Are you getting a kick out of Aaron Rodgers serving as a guest host on Jeopardy? He's doing a good job but he's not the first NFL veteran to host a game show. That honor belonged to someone who used to kick a ball in Hanover – and no, we're not talking about Nick Lowery '78.

That honor belonged to former San Diego Chargers kicker Rolf Benirschke, who lived in Hanover when his father was a professor at what was then Dartmouth Medical School. How Benirschke was hired to host the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune is a funny story. Check it out HERE.

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Recruiting is heading back toward normalcy for the first time in more than a year. From an ESPN story (LINK):

The DI Council approved all Division I sports to return to their regular recruiting calendars beginning on June 1, the NCAA announced on Thursday.

The Council acknowledged schools in different areas of the country could be limited based on regulations set by campus, city and state requirements, but the schools are no longer restricted by the created dead period that had been enacted since March 13, 2020.

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EXTRA POINT
We were all set to drive our 1984 poptop Volkswagen Vanagon up to our "bus whisperer" on the shores of Lake Champlain this morning for its annual workup only to call an audible with the arrival of a spring snowstorm.

There could be 8-12 inches fall on the spine of the Green Mountains today and I'm here to tell you an ancient, top-heavy VW bus with rear-wheel drive and very little power is not the vehicle you want to drive over the mountains in those conditions.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Naming Names, Happy Times And Vaccination News

Linebacker Ross Andreasik, defensive lineman Jackson Yost and wide receiver Kellen Love represent Dartmouth in the 2012 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society “comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career.”

Find a Dartmouth release HERE and the full list of players honored across the country at the FBS, FCS, DII, DIII, NAIA and Sprint levels HERE.

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You need a subscription to get behind the paywall and read the full entry about Dartmouth offensive coordinator Kevin Daft, but suffice it to say he is the lone FCS coach in a column that also mentions assistants from Arkansas, Western Kentucky, Wisconsin and Pitt. (LINK)

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The Associated Press has a story under the headline, Pandemic-driven spring football requires virtual creativity. (LINK)

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USA Today sports columnist Dan Wolken has a piece about the one-time transfer rule being passed this week headlined, Opinion: NCAA's new transfer policy may be messy, frustrating for coaches, but above all, it will be fair. A few excerpts from the column (LINK):

(T)he NCAA’s decision — as clunky and drawn-out as it might have been — is a real victory for the rights of college athletes. It’s not complete freedom of movement, which is a right coaches, professors and regular students have, but it’s a much fairer and more sensible system than what has been in place for decades. 

And . . .

According to a 2015 study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 37 percent of all students it tracked between 2008 and 2014 transferred at some point in their college career — way more than the 25 percent or so of Division I basketball players who will transfer this year.

Did you ever hear any outcry about a so-called transfer epidemic among biology or English students? Have you ever heard anyone say that we need to make the music major stay for at least two years to teach them to fight through adversity? 

And . . . 

It was only in five sports — football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and men’s hockey — that transfers were required to sit out a year. Why those sports? Because they’re the ones that generate revenue for schools. Nobody bothered to care what happened with the rest. 

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Dartmouth sits atop a list compiled by Forbes (LINK) that is introduced this way:

The season for college rankings is upon us, and each year media outlets (including this one) vie to create the most insightful listings, often with increasing complexity. However, the best way to evaluate a four-year college education may actually revolve around just one variable – alumni giving. At its core, the goal of most colleges is to produce happy and successful graduates who give back. So instead of crunching the usual ROI metrics –like employment statistics, salaries and job placement stats–Forbes developed a proprietary ranking we call the Grateful Graduates Index.

Here's the full list so you don't have to get annoyed by the "click bait" continue button the way I was:

1 DARTMOUTH
2 Williams
3 PRINCETON
4 Amherst
5 Davidson
6 Claremont McKenna
7 Haverford
8 Wellesley
9 Wabash
10 Notre Dame
11 Washington and Lee
12 Bowdoin
13 Carleton
14 Stanford
15 Duke
16 YALE
17 MIT
18 Harvey Mudd
19 BROWN
20 PENN
21 Chicago
22 Middlebury
23 Hamilton
24 Cal Tech
25 Pomona

Find Forbes' Dartmouth capsule HERE.

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Not to bury the lede, but this is from The Dartmouth with italics added (LINK):

At the College’s “Community Conversations” livestream on Wednesday, Provost Joseph Helble announced that all students must be vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus for fall of 2021, or must be vaccinated shortly after arrival. 

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EXTRA POINT
After paying way too much money two years ago to have an octogenarian with a tractor brush hog the field in front of our house, last fall I put in a lot of hours cutting the growth down with my electric lawn tractor. While it seems as if it was just last week that the last of the snow melted already there are a couple of patches of green that need to be cut down before they become problematic.

I better finish this up and get out there with the tractor before . . . wait for it . . . before the snow starts.

That's right, while I'm not sure our elevation is quite high enough for it to happen here, the forecast calls for six to eight inches of the white stuff to accumulate overnight and into tomorrow in the Green Mountains.

Ah, life in Northern New England.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

This And That

Today's dip into the record book features a listing of the 23 football teams to post a perfect Ivy League season since the start of formal conference play in 1956 and the closest calls for each of those teams:

Year

School

Closest Game

2017

Princeton

Dartmouth 14-9

2014

Harvard

Yale 31-24

2011

Harvard

Cornell 41-31

2010

Penn

Dartmouth 35-28 (ot)

2009

Penn

Brown 14-7 (ot)

2007

Harvard

Brown  24-17, Dartmouth 28-21

2004

Harvard

Brown 35-34, Dartmouth 13-12

2003

Penn

Yale 34-31 (ot)

2002

Penn

Yale 41-20

2001

Harvard

Princeton 28-26

1997

Harvard

Princeton 14-12

1996

Dartmouth

Penn 24-22

1994

Penn

Dartmouth 13-11

1993

Penn

Cornell 17-14

1986

Penn

Harvard 17-10

1984

Penn

Princeton 27-17

1970

Dartmouth

Yale 10-0

1967

Yale 

Harvard 24-20

1965

Dartmouth

Yale 20-17

1964

Princeton

Cornell 17-12

1962

Dartmouth

Princeton 33-27

1960

Yale

Brown 9-0

1956

Yale 

Columbia 33-18

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Two freshman football players are quoted in a story in The Dartmouth under the headline, More Than Just Money; The struggles that first-generation, low-income students face do not stop after the college application process. (LINK)

Detailing some of the difficulties they have faced are Tyson McCloud, a nickel from Coconut Creek, Fla., and Leonard St. Gourdin, a safety from Malden, Mass.

It has been a while since we took at look at the FCS Top-25. Here is this week's ranking by Stats Perform. (Some records may include games played last fall.)


Stats Perform Top 25

Pts

1sts

1

James Madison 4-0

968

(25)

2

North Dakota State 6-1

950

(12)

3

Weber State 5-0

911


4

South Dakota State 4-1

880

(1)

5

Sam Houston 5-0

862

(2)

6

North Dakota 4-1

803


7

Delaware 4-0

755


8

Eastern Washington 5-1

717


9

Jacksonville State 9-2

693


10

Villanova 2-1

563


11

Richmond 3-0

553


12

Monmouth 3-0

539


13

UC Davis 3-2

459


14

Missouri State 5-4

457


15

VMI 5-1

452


16

Kennesaw State 4-1

382


17

Southeastern Louisiana 4-2

357


18

Southern Illinois 4-3

351


19

Rhode Island 2-1

252


20

Murray State 5-2

231


21

Nicholls 4-3

138


22

Austin Peay 4-5

137


23

Mercer 5-5

130


24

ETSU 4-2

118


25

Incarnate Word 3-2

104


Also Receiving Votes: Others: Northern Iowa (75), Sacred Heart (44), Duquesne (26), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (20), Gardner-Webb (19), Southern (15), Maine (14), Alabama A&M (11), San Diego (3)
How crazy has the college sports world gotten? Just imagine back in Roger Staubach's day at the Naval Academy an ad like the one out of Annapolis right now (LINK) hiring for . . .
. . . a full-time position as the Director of Football Creative Design.

Speaking of craziness in college athletics, this is from an AP story today (LINK):

Whether it is the start of free agency in college sports or simply the fair thing to finally do for the athletes, the NCAA is about to make a monumental change to its transfer rules.

The Division I Council meets Wednesday and Thursday, and the agenda includes voting on a proposal that would grant all college athletes the ability to transfer one time as undergraduates without having to then sit out a season of competition.

All indications are the proposal will pass. When it does, athletes in football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and men’s ice hockey will for the first time be immediately eligible to play after switching schools without asking for special permission.

This is pretty neat. With Devin Cannady recently enjoying a 10-day contract with the Miami Heat, Princeton had a unique distinction in its proud athletic history: 

Dartmouth last had active players in all four pro sports in the 1994-95 season and like Princeton, it can thank 10-day NBA contracts:

  • NBA: Guard James Blackwell '91 (Hornets, Celtics 10-day contracts)
  • NFL: Quarterback Jay Fiedler '94 (Eagles)
  • MLB: Pitcher Mike Remlinger '88 (Mets)
  • NHL: Defenseman David Williams '90 (Mighty Ducks)

(If anyone wants to do the research, feel free to share other years when it happened ;-)

On the subject of Dartmouth players in the pros there is this out of Chicago (LINK):

With the team facing a COVID-19 scare, Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday night after the right-hander indicated he wasn’t feeling well.

EXTRA POINT 
Finally, and I'll admit this is a little odd, but if you either hike or have a dog that likes walking through tall grass or fields you know by now it is tick season. I both hike and have a golden retriever and I'm not sure which of those things is responsible but I found two ticks on my clothes yesterday.

If you've ever discovered one of those annoying potential vectors of Lyme disease on your clothes you know they are almost impossible to squish and have an annoying talent for slipping away and disappearing. That being the case, here's your tip of the day: Keep a roll of Scotch Tape handy when you come inside after gardening or a walk in the field. If  you find a tick on you, slap a piece of tape on it, fold it over and it isn't going anywhere.