Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ron Girault is a Kansas City Chief, Sosa a Viking, Renkart a Jet, and Ito a Saint (though we all knew that)

Click here for a short article on the latest free agent signings of this year's Scarlet Knight seniors.

Eric Foster is an Indianapolis Colt

All-American Eric Foster will be joining a defense led by former Scarlet Knight Gary Brackett. It's still a crime that he wasn't chosen in the draft, but the Indianapolis Colts showed their good sense and taste by signing Eric as a free agent.
Congratulations to Eric and to the Colts!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eric Foster & Pedro Sosa

Which undrafted star surprised you more? I'm expecting the news that numbers 56 and number 77 have both been picked up as free agents, but I'm still a little shocked that neither one of these Knights heard his name called over the weekend.
It's too bad they can't come back to play on the Banks of the Raritan. Because no matter where they're playing on Sundays, they'll never be appreciated more than they were on Saturdays (and a few memorable Thursdays) at Rutgers.

Chris Paul-Etienne to Shamar Graves: Another Short Video from the 2008 Scarlet-White Game

On a dreary Tuesday after a rainy Monday, here's another opportunity to recall that sunny warm Saturday at Rutgers Stadium on the 19th:

It's also a chance to feature a quarterback other than Teel or Lovelace, and a receiver other than Britt, Underwood, Brown, Brock, or Campbell.
As the players use Spring to hone their skills and style, I'm still trying to find a style that I can use for my reports on the coming season, so this is done with a slightly retro veneer that I may (or may not) adopt for BeatVisitor videos.
See my first, longer, Scarlet-White Game video by clicking here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Paper of Record attacks the "Fighting" Irish


I thought I was tough on the Dames a few days ago when I asked the road to rise up and hit them in their drunken faces. I had nothing on Harvey Araton in tomorrow's New York Times, "Notre Dame Plays Holier Than Thou With Rutgers":
For self-importance on the grandest of delusional scales, there is no entity in sports quite like Notre Dame football, winner of three games last season, routinely whacked like a piñata in recent bowl games and not a national championship to its name in 20 years, or since the Gipper was about to hand off the presidency of the United States to George H.W. Bush.
And that's just the opening paragraph.
Not only does the attack on Notre Dame's arrogance continue in that grain throughout, but the praise of Rutgers not only includes respect for RU's standing up to ND on the recent scheduling question, but it ends by mentioning our favorite football program's stellar Academic Progress Report last week...
... as one of six Bowl Subdivision colleges to be rated in the top 10 percent of the study’s four-year cycle. The other ones, all private, were Duke, Stanford, Rice, Air Force and Navy.
“Good company,” Mulcahy said.
Notre Dame excluded.
Read the whole thing, you'll love it.


Rutgers Football and Bob Mulcahy are getting respect from around the web for standing up to Notre Dame's bullying tactics. Here's another example from, but there are many more.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Watch Where You Step if You Park in the Yellow Lot

This was our greeting as we looked for a place to toss the ball around before the Scarlet-White Game along the side of Sutphen Road:

Jeremy Zuttah is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer

The third round of the NFL Draft just ended, and the one Scarlet Knight chosen was offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah.
Congratulations to the Buccaneers and to Jeremy. We look forward to applauding when they show your picture with all the other pro Knights on the scoreboard before each home game! Thanks for all your great play with the Knights during the last four years.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rutgers Football standing out academically once again

Just like last year, it looks like Rutgers football will be number one in the Big East yet again . . . in Academic Performance Rankings (APRs).
According to this article in USA Today today, only seven major-conference college football programs were cited by the NCAA on Thursday for their high academic scores:
Duke, Rice, Rutgers, Stanford, Air Force, Army, & Navy.
Not only is our alma mater one of only four non-service academies on this list, and the only Big East university, but it's also the only state university on this list from a sport that is dominated by state universities.
Congratulations to all the students, coaches, faculty, and staff who make this happen!

No Battles Between Scarlet Knights & Prancing Leprechauns in 2010

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, being afraid to play in R (expanded) House in Piscataway, or maybe just afraid to play against a Scarlet Knights team then led by Tom Savage or D.C. Jefferson, have scuttled negotiations for the two teams to play starting in 2010. The breakdown supposedly came because of the Dame's insistence on playing the Rutgers "home" games at that 80,000-seat NFL stadium in East Rutherford which they could half-fill with a sea of green.
Here's the full statement from Bob Mulcahy:

"Rutgers entered discussions about a possible long-term series with Notre Dame, but at the end of the day both schools could not agree about the site of the games. We feel Rutgers' home games should be played on-campus in Rutgers Stadium."

Good for you Bob!

Is there any other football team that would, or could, demand that their away games be played at a neutral site? I guess we should be glad that the Irish were willing to let Rutgers play home games in our own state; they want the University of Connecticut Huskies to play their "home" games in the pro stadiums of Massachusetts and New Jersey.

May, as they say in the old country, the road rise up to meet your faces as you fall down drunk on the way to mass with Touchdown Jesus. (I'm a little vague on my homespun Irish sayings, but I think I got that one right.) Oh, and keep losing. It makes the entire country happy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rutgers Celebrates Earth Day by Winning Environmental Awards

Rutgers beat out 400 other colleges and universities to win this year's Gorilla Award for recycling as part of RecycleMania 2008. RU won the same prize in 2007.
Remember to use the right container for your tailgating refuse starting on September 1st, and we can help to win again in 2009 (man, are the noughties that close to being over?).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Scarlet beat the White 28 -14 in yesterday's game

Here's a short compilation of video clips and stills from yesterday's Scarlet-White game at the Stadium. The place looks empty because half of Rutgers Stadium was closed due to construction, but the seats that were open were pretty full; a record Spring game attendance of 14,501 was recorded, they ran out of free t-shirts and a great time was had by all.
Click on the video to see some shots of construction, the first play from scrimmage (Teel to Britt), Tom Savage taking his seat in the stands, Teddy Dellaganna's punting prowess, and people seeking autographs from Anthony Davis, Mike Teel, and the McCourty Brothers:

It's always great to spend the afternoon in Rutgers Stadium.
I can't wait until September 1st against Fresno State.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

TBA has been replaced by the Morgan State Bears on September 27

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights finally have 12 teams on the 2008 schedule with the addition of the Morgan State Bears (and the Morgan State Magnificent Marching Machine!) coming up from Baltimore on September 27.
Replacing Howard University with Fresno State meant that we would be missing a repeat of the best halftime show ever performed at Rutgers Stadium, but I'm sure the Morgan State band will try to reach that same high level, blowing (with all due respect to "The Pride of New Jersey") the Marching Scarlet Knights off the field as easily as the folks from Norfolk State did last year.

Mason Robinson on the front of ESPN's College Football page

The real question at this Saturday's Scarlet-White Game at Rutgers Stadium will not be whether or not the Scarlet team beats the White team, but whether or not the rushing game will be quicker and more explosive than the quick and explosive Scarlet Knights passing game of Teel to Underwood, Britt, and Brown.

Tailback Mason Robinson is featured on the front of today's College Football page at, but the accompanying article is not about him alone, but the the four-headed 2008 tailback of Mason Robinson, Jourdan Brooks, Joe Martinek, and "old" favorite Kordell Young.

On the first play of Rutgers' intrasquad scrimmage last weekend, sophomore tailback Mason Robinson took a handoff and raced 70 yards for a touchdown. A few plays later, freshman Jourdan Brooks burst through the line and raced 65 yards for a score, covering the last 40 yards or so without one of his shoes.
Kordell and Jabu Lovelace were the offensive stars of last year's Scarlet-White game (Ray Rice sat the game out with an injury), so it will be interesting to see who the star of this year's game will be and who will inevitably emerge as the "first among equals" among this potentially-explosive post-Ray-Rice tailback position.

See you Saturday at R House! It's supposed to be 74° and sunny. There will be free t-shirts, the first tailgating since November 17, autographs after the game, and a guaranteed Rutgers win!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Knights Who Say "Nay" Have Returned

I stumbled upon what seems to be a month-old blog from the folks at Rutgers 1000, subtitled "Friends of Rutgers Academics". More than a pro-Academics site, the posts on this blog should be familiar to anyone who heard the anti-bigtime-college-sports arguments of William C. Dowling and Rutgers 1000 around the turn of the century.
We are told in their mission statement that moving of the Rutgers football and basketball teams to the 1AA level with Rhode Island and UMass will help to improve the academic standing of our Alma Mater. In addition to this demand, their "About" page also praises my old President, Ed Bloustein, for wanting to make Rutgers "The Berkeley of the East," ignoring the fact that Berkeley has the California Golden Bears clawing for supremacy in the Pac-10 year after year.
I sense a generally elitist attitude in this group -- an attitude that Rutgers should return to a mythical golden age when the entire campus was singularly devoted to the grinding of noses on academic sharpening stones. That golden age never existed. Rutgers always has been, and always should be, the place that Junot Díaz described in my post from yesterday morning, where "It felt like the world was given a university, not like the rich and the special and the privileged were given a university." A place where there's room for excellence in academics and athletics (and for the kids who are just trying to find themselves, or find a party, or get into medical/law school to please a parent, or impress a member of the opposite sex with their wonderfulness). Rutgers will never be Williams or Middlebury. It's a city, with a city's diversity. It's the State University of New Jersey, and those of us who won Phi Beta Kappa keys can appreciate those who work to win trophies instead. And on Saturday afternoons (and some Thursday nights) we can all wear red and feel like we're part of the same family. I'd wish the same good feeling for those writing for this new blue blog.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

WOW! Rutgers Wins a Big One: The Pulitzer for Fiction!

Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, my favorite novel of 2007 (and not just -- or not only -- because the most important New Jersey locations are in and around the Rutgers College campus) just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction!

If you haven't read it yet, you have a Summer Reading assignment, even if you, like me, are a few decades removed from such things. This book is a wonderful depiction of intersecting cultures and subcultures. Even if you didn't move in the same circles that Oscar moves in, you'll recognize a lot of what he's going through. And even though Díaz and Oscar went to school On the Banks fifteen years after I did, the descriptions of places and buildings in the book were very recognizable. Because I trusted those descriptions, I followed the author willingly to the Dominican Republic and felt at home in a world I didn't know at all, and touched personally by the depredations of the Trujillo dictatorship from more than forty years ago. Don't let the footnotes scare you (yes, a novel with footnotes); this book is a funny and fast read. A perfect book for the beach this summer if you haven't read it yet.

Here are some remarks about Rutgers by Díaz from a Spotlight on the Rutgers website:

“It was only when I went to Cornell grad school that I realized how extraordinary Rutgers was,” says Díaz, “in the sense that I was there with kids who were working, kids who weren’t working, feminists, kids who were anti-intellectual, kids with dreams of going on to an Ivy League school, kids who wanted to start businesses, international students. The world felt very close while you were at Rutgers. We were getting this amazing education, we were in this amazing space, but the world was never far [...] It felt like the world was given a university, not like the rich and the special and the privileged were given a university,” he says. “It felt like the world that I knew and that I recognized, a world where people worked hard and they dreamed and nobody gave them anything—that world was given a university, and it was really beautiful.”

Neither Díaz nor Oscar mention going to Rutgers Football games, but, then again, a lot of us went to Rutgers when no one went to football games (Díaz graduated in 1992).

The New York Times exposes the TRUE RU

This shocking article about Rutgers University is the most emailed article from the New York Times website over the last two days.

Philosophy majors are making a comeback On the Banks! Just like the days when I was there in the mid-seventies, when there were some very bright (and very cute) followers of Descartes and Sartre walking around College Avenue.

I love the last line quoting sophomore Jenna Schaal-O'Connor about the unsung appeal of philosophy courses for young men.

“That whole deep existential torment,” she said. “It’s good for getting girlfriends.”

You don't have to be a football hero (but I guess that traditional route still works too).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Congratulations to the Rutgers Women on making it to the Elite Eight

It's just awful to have to lose to the UConn Huskies on the way to the Final Four (the game in Greensboro just ended -- 66-56 -- and On The Banks of the Old Raritan is being played by the band in the background as I listen to the game on WRSU through my computer speakers).
But thanks again for another great season from C. Vivian Stringer and her team!

SCHEDULE UPROAR. Howard out! Fresno State in! September 27 still TBA!

Now the Rutgers football season is opening on Labor Day, with a game at R House against Fresno State (after they were dropped by Kansas State) at 4:30 on a Monday afternoon. This will begin a home-and-home series between the two schools, so the Scarlet Knights will travel to California in 2012. Here's the Fresno State Bulldogs article and a Fresno Bee article about this schedule change.

The game against Howard on August 30th has been removed from the schedule (I'll miss Howard's band!). September 27th is still a question mark, but with Howard off the schedule, it seems likely that 9/27 may see another team from the Football Championship Subdivision visiting the Banks of the Raritan in their place.

Here's the current schedule, with home games highlighted in, of course, Scarlet:

  • Monday, September 1 - FRESNO STATE
    Thursday, September 11 -NORTH CAROLINA
    Saturday, September 20 at Navy
    Saturday, September 27 - TBA
    Saturday, October 4 at West Virginia
    Saturday, October 11 at Cincinnati
    Saturday, October 18 - CONNECTICUT
    Saturday, October 25 at Pittsburgh
    Saturday, November 8 - SYRACUSE
    Saturday, November 15 at South Florida
    Saturday, November 22 - ARMY
    Thursday, December 4 - LOUISVILLE

(Oh, and the Gridiron Bash with FallOut Boy for April 18th has been canceled too -- and moved to an undisclosed date in the fall. This does not affect the Scarlet-White Game on April 19th.)