Monday, March 31, 2008

It's not the same game. Have you dug into the SI Vault yet?

I did a little browsing around in the newly-free Sports Illustrated Vault this afternoon looking for Rutgers football history, and one of the first things I found was this little paragraph from November 27, 1961 issue, when the undefeated Scarlet Knights were ranked by SI at number 3 in the East.

"Rutgers remained unbeaten, mostly because of defensive play by Quarterback Sam Mudie. While Colgate pushed the supposedly inviolable Scarlet Knights around scandalously, Mudie ran back intercepted passes 52 and 38 yards for touchdowns. He plunged a yard for another and passed 35 yards to End Bill Craft for a fourth as Rutgers won 26-6."

So why isn't Mike Teel out there intercepting passes and running them back for touchdowns?? Football in the Noughties is nothing like football in the early Sixties.
Have fun browsing around in sports history yourself.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Here's your Scarlet-White game invitation for April 19, 2008

This postcard was waiting for me when I got home tonight:

Get there early to make sure that you pick up you free annual t-shirt (my shirt from last year is looking like it's going to need to be washed soon) and stay late to get your autographs after the game (see for details and advance tickets).
See you on April 19th!

Did Don Imus help create a Rutgers Basketball Dynasty?

This Sunday all Scarlet eyes will be on the Sweet Sixteen game between Rutgers and George Washington in Greensboro, North Carolina (while trying hard not to look forward to meeting UConn again in the Elite Eight and Tennessee again in the Final).

But earlier this week at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, it was the Rutgers stars of the future dominating the McDonald's All-American Game. Future Knights Nikki Speed of California and Brooklyn Pope of Texas were the co-MVPs for the winning West team. The West team had a third Scarlet Knight, Jasmine Dixon of California, and the East team also featured future Rutgers players April Sykes of Mississippi and Chelsey Lee of Florida.

Five MickeyD All Stars coming to the banks in one year! Rutgers has recruited stars from outside the New York metropolitan area in recent years (WNBA Rookie and Finals MVP Cappie Pondexter from Chicago comes immediately to mind), but they haven't previously had this ability to pick the biggest high school stars from every corner of the nation. Making it to the NCAA finals last year probably had something to do with their increased stock among the high-school elite, but I have to believe that Don Imus's racist and sexist rant, and the Knights' memorably classy response to that juvenile attack, put the Scarlet Knights firmly on the national map, and near the top of every recruits' wish list of top schools. So thanks Don (you jerk).

And aren't Nikki Speed and Brooklyn Pope two of the best names that you've ever heard?? I can't wait until they take the floor with Epiphanny Prince next year! Speed to Pope to Prince! They sound quick.


Update 3/28: Here's a Harvey Araton article that appeared in the New York Times on March 8 that talks directly about the appeal of the team to the players and their families in the aftermath of the Imus attack.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the North Dakota State University Bisons get away!

According to this article, "TBA" was close to being replaced by "NDSU" on the Rutgers football schedule for September 27:

North Dakota State athletic director Gene Taylor said he was looking at scheduling a football game at Rutgers (N.J.) when he got a call “from out of the blue.”
The University of Wyoming offered a lot of green – $275,000 guarantee – for the Bison to come to Laramie next fall. It didn’t take long for the two parties to agree on a Sept. 13 date.

I've asked a couple of times already, but is there ANYONE left for the Scarlet Knights to play on September 27th, or will we be treated to a second Scarlet-White game on that date?
It's getting desperate, because I keep getting emails from the Rutgers Division of Intercollegiate Athletics asking me to renew my season tickets by March 28th. Are we going to have seven home games as advertised? Or only six?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here's today's football fix.

Is is really too late for Ray Rice to change his mind and come back for one more year??

That was a fun trip to Toronto.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

TBA on September 27 won't be a MAC team either

The MAC schedules have been published and everyone's busy on Saturday, September 27th:
  • Kent State at Ball State
  • Buffalo at Central Michigan
  • Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan
  • FIU at Toledo
  • Western Michigan at Temple
  • Cincinnati at Akron
  • Bowling Green at Wyoming
  • VMI at Ohio
I had a gut feeling that the cherry and white of Temple might make a reappearance at Rutgers Stadium in late September, but I guess that's out of the question.
Does anyone know how to find out which teams might still have an open date on September 27 to fill the hole in Rutgers' schedule?
there anyone left with an open date to match with Rutgers at this late date?

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Poetry Break for this fallow period in the football calendar

The Quarry
by W.H. Auden

O what is that sound which so thrills the ear
Down in the valley drumming, drumming?
Only the scarlet soldiers, dear,
The soldiers coming.

O what is that light I see flashing so clear
Over the distance brightly, brightly?
Only the sun on their weapons, dear,
As they step lightly.

O what are they doing with all that gear,
What are they doing this morning, this morning?
Only their usual manoeuvres, dear,
Or perhaps a warning.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tickets for the 2008 Scarlet-White Game are on sale now

The ticket price for the 2008 Scarlet-White Game has increased a full 20%, from $5 to $6. Last year the $5 included a free t-shirt; I'm not sure if your $6 will do the same, but I'm sure it will include the traditional meeting of the players on the field after the game. And if the weather is anything like it was last year, there's no better place to be on a Saturday in April than Rutgers Stadium.
Click Here for tickets for the Scarlet-White Game on April 18, the Gridiron Bash with Fall Out Boy on April 19, or to renew your season tickets (or to get on the waiting list).
Click Here to get to the pdf file for the 64-page Spring Prospectus.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Wii are the Scarlet Knights!

Every day between now and March 14th, you can go over to and point your virtual Wii controller at the picure of the Scarlet Knight. Fan votes will help determine which mascot ends up on the cover of EA Sports' NCAA Football '09 Nintendo Wii -- the first Wii college football game. So tell all your Rutgers friends (but hide this link from all friends of Cincinnati's Bearcat and Syracuse's round orange thing).

UPDATE 3/26/08: And the winner was not the Scarlet Knight, but the Green Knight -- not Sir Gawain's famous nemesis, but "Sparty" the Michigan State Spartan (last seen slinking out of Rutgers Stadium on September 4, 2004 after a 19-14 loss).