Friday, July 31, 2009

Only 38 Days Until These New Seats at R House Are Filled

The most recent official Rutgers Stadium expansion pictures went up online yesterday. I've included one sample from their slide show so you can compare the same corner of the Stadium to my earlier screenshots posted on April 8th , May 22nd , June 15th, June 25th, and July 8th to see the steady progress being made.

Click here to go to the Rutgers Stadium Expansion page, scroll down to the "Construction Photo Gallery" and you can see yesterday's entire July 30th slide show (or flip through any one of the earlier photo galleries). Yesterday's slide show also starts with the first aerial shots of Rutgers Stadium that I've seen; those pictures look like they're a week or two older, but it's great to see R House from up above in its green setting On the Banks of the Old Raritan.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Preseason Prognostications at the New York Times and today

First the Times, where this afternoon Paul Myerberg in The Quad blog, places Rutgers at #34 of 120 (last year he placed the Knights at #58 at the beginning of the season and re-ranked them at #34 at the end):

...Everything is in place for a conference title run. And I would not be surprised at all to see Rutgers claim its first Big East championship, though I am predicting this team will finish third in the conference, trailing Cincinnati and West Virginia. I’m concerned about a lack of explosiveness from this Scarlet Knights offense, which will break in a new quarterback while struggling to locate depth at wide receiver. {...} Only a major slip-up would prevent the Scarlet Knights from winning at least eight games for the fourth consecutive season.

Over at this morning, Brian Bennett made three predictions about Rutgers' upcoming season. 1) Tom Savage (#7 on the new roster, taking Tiquan Underwood's lucky jersey) will start at some point this season, 2) the Knights will have at least 9 wins, and "If things break right, the Scarlet Knights could be looking at a 10- or even 11-win season -- and their first Big East title," and 3) that Anthony Davis will be leaving the Banks of the Old Raritan for the pros on the first day of the next NFL draft.

Cannon Fodder

Here's the random literary reference of the day to Rutgers football (in the 1920's) from the new book of short stories from the late John Updike; the book is My Father's Tears, the story is "The Laughter of the Gods", and the quote's from pages 80-81:

His father had come to college on a football scholarship [...] Photographs survived, of him crouching purposefully in the unpadded leather helmet of the time. Under the folded sweater there was a game program that included Agricola's schedule; the team had played, amazingly, Cornell and Columbia and Rutgers. The little college had been overmatched -- cannon fodder.

Agricola is a fictional Pennsylvania Lutheran college, but maybe in 80 or 90 years the descendants of some plucky players from Texas Southern or Florida International will be making the same discovery that grandpa had once, amazingly, faced the mighty Scarlet Knights.

Monday, July 20, 2009

An Epic Joust in "The House that Ruth Built" (or a reasonable facsimile thereof)

According to this short piece on the New York Post website today, the Black Knights of Army and the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers will be meeting at Yankee Stadium in 2011. At least the new car smell of the Stadium's vinyl seats will have been replaced by the smell of stale spilled Budweiser by then.

This is a series of jousts that dates back to 1891, the second year that they were playing football at West Point. The Black Knights still lead the series 18-17, but the Scarlet Knights are on a five-game winning streak and should be even with the men from Michie Stadium soon.
I hope to see you there, and Go Knights! (you know which ones we mean) and Wear Red to the Game.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Whines of the Dying Fourth Estate

What exactly is and why does it keep printing these illogical anti-Rutgers diatribes filled with old news and nonsequiturs? Today's unsigned installment: "At Rutgers, football fever may have run its course."
"...with the project not even completed, the bloom may have come off the football team's rose. Of the 12,000 fans on the team's season-ticket waiting list for the coming season, only 35 percent have bought their seats. That's prompting school officials to "restructure"' the ticket plans to try to boost sales. The sour economy has played a role, no doubt. But maybe the passion is already gone. And yet the expansion moves forward..."
The almost completed expansion should end because not every single seat is sold yet? Yeah, why not throw hundreds of gainfully-employed New Jersey construction workers onto the unemployment rolls rather than letting them finish their job? I had to double-check the date to see that this was printed today, because it sounds like the same thing we've heard whining about for years. There's no mention that Rutgers Stadium is on a unprecedented run of sold-out games going back to 2006; there's no mention of the fact that Rutgers Stadium sales are much more impressive than any of the new professional stadiums that were just completed or under construction with public funds in the Bronx, Queens, and the Meadowlands; and where is there any evidence that Rutgers football fans have lost any of their passion? They certainly seemed passionate at the last game played in Rutgers Stadium against Louisville in 2008, and I expect that we'll be just as passionate at the home opener of 2009 when our team emerges from the tunnel on Labor Day, to a very loud and very full stadium dressed in scarlet.

I never considered canceling my seats in section 123 of Rutgers Stadium, but I stopped receiving that Gannett rag called The Asbury Park Press years ago. They are losing readers much more quickly than Rutgers is losing fans or students. Maybe Gannett should reexamine its own plans to move forward.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Bearcat Theory.

One of our readers wrote in to say that in addition to being a car made by Stutz (as we pointed out yesterday), a bearcat is also a real animal, as pictured here.
We'd love to see the University of Cincinnati spring to bring one in a cage to Rutgers Stadium on September 7th.
And in other mascot-related off-season news, we'd love to see the next redesign of the cartoony Scarlet Knight bearing a face more like the one that you can see here at @TweetsFromHell (the knight riding the horse should remain unchanged). The whole scarlet armor with the scarlet face thing might not work at all, but it might be worth testing, and it just continues the whole trope about the Jersey being Hell and our hockey team being called the Devils. Sir Gawain thought that Green Knight was tough? Well, get a look at this diabolical Scarlet hombre!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rutgers Alum A.K. Miller answers the age-old question, "What's a Bearcat?" or, "Those Were Different Times"

As the annual game between Rutgers and Cincinnati approaches, someone always wonders aloud w.t.f. a Bearcat is, and then usually heads to Google and Wikipedia for the answer.

And though he died before the advent of either of our common electronic cheat sheets, A.K. Miller of Rutgers and East Orange (Vermont) not only knew what a Bearcat was, but he tried to corner the market.

Please Don't Send Me Any Money!

Is it only in New Jersey that you find such idiocy as that spelled out in this unsigned article that appears today on, Lounge Project Speaks Poorly to Rutgers' Priorities?

"'s how officials could have — should have — responded to the donors. They should have graciously explained that given the current economic conditions and pressures it simply wouldn't be appropriate to accept that much money for such a frivolous project. To pursue the lounge, some of the donated money would have to redirected to another worthy cause, either in academics or even to some of the more neglected sports. Some funds could even have gone to restoring the lost sports programs that a coalition of supporters is still fighting to bring back.
And if the donors refused, school officials could have politely declined the offer and moved on..."

Is this writer really telling Rutgers' Board of Governors that they should have refused a gift of five million dollars because they might have wanted to put the $5 million into something other than the Recruits' Lounge at the Expanding Rutgers Stadium? When he was a kid, did the writer ask Santa Claus to drop cash down the chimney with no strings attached? (And is it possible that the bloggers of Rutgers 1000 have moved to

Well, I'll never give $5 million dollars to anyone, but I am a season-ticket holder who has given money to the Rutgers University Foundation (click this link to start giving to RU yourself) for over ten straight years and I've designated most of my contributions to go to the Library and the History Department. If someone told me that my thousands of dollars had been redirected to the Business school or some Mathematics (ecccch) research, they'd never get another check from me.

A gift is a gift and if someone gives you $5 million, you say a simple Thank You.
Addendum: I wrote this about an hour ago, but I can't stop thinking about the whining of the (soon-to-be-defunct) New Jersey press on every topic related to Rutgers, but especially to Rutgers Football. These writers must be so angry that they can't write the story they want to write about how no private donors are giving any money to the Stadium expansion. (There are brand-new pictures posted today of the current state of the new south endzone in the Construction Photo Gallery here.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Moving Rutgers Football to the top of the page

I'll be away for a couple of days and I've been distracted by non-football activities in the last few entries, so I'm moving my video of the most recent public activity at Rutgers Stadium, the Scarlet-White Game, back to the top of the page, just so people will know that this is a football blog.

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you like this video, go over to YouTube and rate it (I think a non-Rutgers fan just gave it its first rating earlier today).
It's interesting to compare the state of the Stadium expansion in this video taken on April 18th with the pictures released this week.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This sucks! The President is not coming to visit Willie next Thursday.

The Corzine campaign just sent out an email pointing toward this video announcing that the campaign rally that was supposed to take place on the hallowed ground between Willie the Silent and Old Queens otherwise known as Vorhees Mall, is now going to take place at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway that's now named after a bank (until that bank goes out of business and they sell the naming rights to another bank).
This sucks! Or did I already say that? I live much closer to that soul-less venue on the roadside than I do to New Brunswick, but this sucks! Or did I already say that?
I saw Barack Obama speak once early in his campaign on September 27, 2007 at Washington Square Park (a.k.a. NYU's Vorhees Mall) and it was magical. Even though he was well behind the other Democratic candidates at that point, and he was campaigning in front-runner Hillary Clinton's state, it was clear to many of us that we had just listened to the next President of the United States. I'm glad that the Corzine campaign got 52,000 responses before closing down their reservations for this event, but couldn't we have kept it somewhere on the Rutgers campus?
And one more note, the Corzine campaign should realize that YouTube videos can't be watched in many workplaces, on many mobile email devices, or easily in homes with low-speed internet. This disappointing message could have been sent in 100 words in the text of the email itself.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Has it been 16 years already?

Though it seems from watching the news that he's everywhere all the time, the President of the United States can only be one place at a time. I know of at least one small town where a statue of a President was erected to commemorate a single visit (McKinley to Adams, Massachusetts).

With the visit to Vorhees Mall by Barack Obama coming up next Thursday, it made me wonder when the last visit of a sitting President had occured on the Rutgers campus. I did a little digging and found this link to a Bill Clinton speech on the American Presidency Project website : Remarks on National Service at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, March 1, 1993. I can't find a later Clinton appearance and I would remember if there had been an appearance by our most recent occupant of the Oval Office (some Rutgers students would not have let it pass without some fuss). So unless anyone can come up with a later Presidential appearance at Rutgers, I'm going to assume that it's been a little over 16 years since Rutgers has hosted a sitting President. No matter what you might think about the current officeholder, I think the University -- and those of us with proud ties to it -- should be honored by this rare Presidential visit. I'm just hoping that I can take a few pictures of Barack with Willie the Silent or Old Queens in the background, or wearing a bit o' Scarlet. If so, I'll share them with you here.

With Two Months Until the Season Kickoff, New Construction Photos Are Up

With the countdown for the season opener down to two months, the construction of the the new closed endzone at Rutgers Stadium is entering the home stretch, and official new photos were posted last night.
Click here to go to the Rutgers Stadium Expansion page, scroll down to the "Construction Photo Gallery" and you can see yesterday's entire July 7th slide show (or flip through any one of the earlier extensive construction photo galleries).
Compare today's thumbnail to the screenshots I posted on April 8th , May 22nd , June 15th, and June 25th, or my videos from April 20, 2009, or April 19, 2008, when we saw the first digging in the open end of R House with our own eyes at the 2008 Scarlet-White game. Considering that it rained the entire month of June, they seem to be doing OK.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Today is already Tomorrow in New Zealand

So, today, July 7th (which was yesterday in New Zealand), Mike Rosario's Puerto Rico team lost to the USA by a score of 61-82 in the FIBA U19 World Championships. The full box score is here. Mike scored 11 points (1 [20%] from 3pt, 3 [30%] from 2pt range, and 2 [100%] of his free throws), which was not up to his amazing 54-point performance against France the day before, but he's still having a great summer of international competition nonetheless.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rivalries and Things

I got on Twitter just in time to catch probably the funniest string of tweets ever as NunesMagician went on and on about the fact that the Rutgers-Seton Hall basketball rivalry had beaten out Syracuse-Georgetown (or Syracuse-Anybody) as one of the hot college basketball rivalries in Pat Forde's estimation on You can get a good taste of his (NunesMagician's not Forde's) comic tone here.
Maybe even more ridiculous, in Forde's "Red-hot" football rivalries for '09 published on July 2nd, he picked West Virginia-USF over the real rivalry of WVU-Pittsburgh. The Backyard Brawl between the Mountaineers and the Panthers is THE football rivalry in the Big East. Period. It will take decades before any other two BE teams develop the historical animosity that exists between those feuding neighbors (I'm jealous; I wish we had that kind of hate between us and Syracuse, or UConn [though they'll never deserve it], or Penn State).
And as long as I've had my attention diverted to basketball for a second, I'd like to point out that I (like every good Scarlet Knight fan) will be rooting for Mike Rosario's Puerto Rico team to beat the USA tomorrow in New Zealand (it's the Brian Leonard effect; Scarlet affiliations trump all other team and national loyalties).
Finally, thanks to Every Day Should Be Saturday and Bleed Scarlet for driving so much traffic to my last entry today. Who knew history was such a popular subject??

Friday, July 3, 2009

Note to Tom Savage : 21st-century Freshmen have it way too easy at Rutgers

Like Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five, I feel like I've become unstuck in time. While every other college football blog in the universe is writing about the potential high-school recruits who may or may not be contributing to their teams in two to five years, I find myself looking back to the mid-19th century, or the early 20th. Maybe I just feel that all Rutgers fans should be aware of their very long and very rich history; maybe I feel that there will be enough material about the present and future to write about once the games actually begin on Labor Day; maybe it's just that summer can be a time for nostalgia (especially on a day like today, when I'm off from work for the Fourth and it's pouring rain outside for what seems like the 40th consecutive day).

Yesterday while searching for old pictures of the Stadium, I ran into this great storehouse of scanned Rutgersiana, including the picture of the freshmen and the pages reproduced and retyped here. Click on any of these images to enlarge, but be sure to visit the original source at, if only to find a postcard of your old dorm or frat house, or the 1885 lyrics to On the Banks of the Old Raritan.
Freshman Regulations [with annotations for the uninitiated added by], from the Rutgers College Handbook Volume XXVI, 1919-1920 for incoming members of the class of 1923
1. No Freshman shall wear the Scarlet until the right is earned on a varsity team. [this seems at variance with the current universal admonition to Wear Red to the Game]
2. Keep out of gin mills and pool parlors. [proving once again that rules are, and always have been, meant to be broken]
3. Don't smoke on the campus. Smoke only corncob pipes. [but only smoke them off campus? I'm confused already.]
4. Don't be outside the campus unaccompanied by an upper classman after 8 p. m. [during which the upper classman can smoke anything he wants, but you can only smoke your tobacco, or whatever, out of the corncob conveyance prescribed in rule #3]
5. Freshmen shall wear the regulation cap or toque. [no change here; though I'm not sure how you can wear the regulation Block R cap and not wear Scarlet (cf. rule #1 above)]
6. Wear no white ducks or flannels until after Exhibition Drill. [this rule should be no problem at all for Tom Savage's incoming class of 2013]
7. Enter and leave the Chapel only by the right hand door, and the dining room only by the left hand door. [feel free to write this on the back of your hand before entering either.]
8. Wear no numerals or letters from other institutions. [this applies even if your high-school girlfriend told you that the the baby blue of your UNC Tarheel gear brought out the color of your eyes!]
9. Don't chip. [wtf? Can any members of the class of 1923 clarify what this means? We don't want any members of the class of '13 breaking rules that they don't understand.]
10. Keep off the north side of Neilson Campus. [of course! Anyone who knows what's good for them has always known this!]
11. Wear only a green necktie. [preferably as a headband, but we're still not sure how Rule #11 coordinates or clashes with the 21st-century Wear Red to the Game rule.]
12. Failure to know the songs and yells before the first football game will be detrimental to your health. [emphasis added! This is truer now than ever, or should be.]
13. Freshman must carry matches. [see rule #3. While you can't smoke on campus as a Freshman, all Sophomores and upper classmen are smoking like chimneys and constantly running out of matches, which you are required to supply on demand. Reminds me that when I was 15, I had a friend whose mother made him carry cigarettes and matches when we went into Philadelphia, " case a bum asked for one," but that's off the topic of these rules, which are finishing with the most important one: a rule to last us past our college years and for the rest of our lives ...]
14. Be courteous to the faculty and have a cheery "Hello" for every fellow you meet. [Amen.]
Have fun on the banks Class of 2013! Go Knights!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thanks Greg!

How cool that my very first follower during my first hour on Twitter is Fake Greg Schiano.

The 2016 - 2017 Rutgers and UCLA Series Is On

This Star-Ledger article announcing the home-and-home against the UCLA Bruins starting at R House in 2016 mentions that that year will mark the 147th year of football for Rutgers and the 97th for UCLA.
What it doesn't mention is that 2016 is also the 250th anniversary of Rutgers itself. I imagine there'll be some hoopla as we get close to that date.
I mentioned earlier why this meeting means a lot to me personally. I can't wait.

The Future of Anthony Davis

The Sporting News has #75 Anthony Davis going as the #15 overall pick to the Houston Texans in the first round of the next NFL Draft.
There's more comment on that pick from Brian Bennett over at
I say, "Hey, what's the rush? Who'd want to leave the Banks a year early for a few million dollars? Each of those years we spend [spent] at R.U. is [was] priceless."
(& speaking of priceless, check THIS out!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

BCS Bowl or Bust

Click Here to see Stewart Mandel's answer to a reader asking about Rutgers' chances of getting to a "decent" bowl game this year.
You only have to think back five years to remember what an accomplishment it was for the Scarlet Knights to be going bowling anywhere, so you have to love the heightened expectations.

Fashionable Flappers Love the Scarlet Knights

Everybody knows (or should know) that the last great economic crisis to hit the world is traditionally dated to the stock market crash that took place on Black Thursday, October 24, Black Monday, October 28, and Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929.
So, which magazine was lying around on the credenzas, sideboards, and davenports of America's fashionable parlors as the tickertape machines spewed out the news of losses? In many of those rooms of the newly poor, it was probably this October 25, 1929 issue of Life with the caption "I'd die for dear old Rutgers!"

Maybe she's just cold (note that she's wearing her boyfriend's letter sweater around her neck, not a scarlet scarf), and maybe she's thinking about what to do with her risky portfolio of investments, or the fact that her Stutz Bearcat is burning oil, but I know that look, and I get the idea that she's worried about more important things. I get the idea from the look on her face that her beloved men in scarlet are not in the process of winning.

(1929 record (5-4-0): 9/28 Providence W 17-0; 10/5 Delaware W 19-0; 10/12 at Holy Cross L 3-20; 10/19 St. John's (MD) W 14-7; 10/26 Catholic Univ. L 10-14; 11/2 Ursinus W 19-13; 11/9 at Lafayette L 6-20; 11/16 Lehigh W 14-0; 11/23 NYU L 7-20)

I found this picture of the Life cover here, but does anyone know where you can get this as a poster?

I also think that we need to start dressing better for our modern games. Maybe at Homecoming we can all start wearing blazers and scarlet ties and dresses and heels. (Or not.)