Thursday, October 30, 2014

Homecoming 1992

On Halloween of 1992, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights had one of their more memorable wins in the early Big East era over the Virginia Tech Hokies, 50-49 as time ran out.
Don't feel like you have to watch all three and a quarter hours as homework for this year's Homecoming against Wisconsin (though there are great shots of the pre-expansion Stadium, giant shoulder pads, television coverage unmarred by on-field computer-graphic distractions, etc.), but please watch Brian Fortay lead the last Rutgers drive at least; it begins at about the 2 hour and 50 minute mark of this video.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Another First Meeting in this First B1G Year

I did the same for Michigan, Ohio State, and Nebraska, so here are early team pictures of Wisconsin and Rutgers to commemorate the Homecoming game this Saturday that has been entirely too long in coming. The Wisconsin football program is a year older than Ohio State's and only twenty years younger than Rutgers', having been established in 1889.
The 1903 Wisconsin Football Squad, with pads starting to make their appearance.
The 1891 Rutgers Football Team (I'm not sure of the subtleties of the 1891 rules, but I think the player with the Clockwork Orange bowler was the designated knife carrier).
The 1891 RU image is a New York World-Telegram & Sun photograph from the Library of Congress.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Political Question for #ChopWisconsin Week

Which GOP Governor wears his state university's colors better, Scott Walker or Chris Christie?
Marquette University
(no degree)
University of Delaware
(BA); Seton Hall (JD)

[I won't give the correct answer away, but let's just pray that New Jersey represents itself much better on the football field this Saturday than on the gubernatorial fashion runway.]

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Prepare to Welcome Wisconsin to The Birthplace

It will good to be back home against Wisconsin next Saturday after visiting Columbus, Ohio and Lincoln, Nebraska (while we were losing 42-24 to Nebraska just now, Wisconsin was beating Maryland 52-7, and Maryland didn't score their touchdown until the last minute of the game).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nebraska versus Rutgers in The New York Times, November 3, 1920

You can read a facsimile of the entire article about the first and only meeting between the Cornhuskers and Scarlet Knights in New York City on 11/2/1920 by clicking here, but I'm sure these first paragraphs will hook you.

Cornhuskers' Lightning Grid-
iron Tactics Sweep Them to
Victory by 28 to 0.
Sanford's Pupil's Err at Critical Times--Crowd of 15,000 Watches Battle at Polo Grounds.
They grow something besides corn out on the prairies of Nebraska. An avalanche of football warriors descended yesterday upon the unsuspecting Rutgers eleven at the Polo Grounds, a great, husky, fearless mass of gridiron terrors, coached by a square-jawed individual named Henry Schulte, and, when they had finished with George Foster Sanford’s cripples, the score stood 28 to 0.
A crowd of more than 15,000 brought umbrellas and raincoats to the baseball lot after they had attended to their civic duty of voting [in the 1920 election between Harding/Coolidge and Cox/FDR], and for the rest of the afternoon, wondered if all western elevens were of the same breed. If so, their advice to Eastern graduate managers is to dispense with intersectional football games [until joining the Big Ten in 2014]. New York won't see any faster or harder football all the rest of this season. Yesterday's first period left the spectators breathless, and what Nebraska's gatling-gun hammering must have done to Rutgers was evident in the second quarter when the cornhuskers pushed across the first two of their touchdowns.

Read the rest here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Big Ten Musical Challenge to Rutgers from The Best Damn Band in the Land

Here's the halftime show that wasn't shown on ABC television when Rutgers visited Columbus, Ohio for the first time yesterday:

I think we'll be competing with Ohio State on the football field before the Marching Scarlet Knights (a.k.a. "The Pride of New Jersey") are able to compete with the choreography of the TBDBITL when the men in pads relinquish the field.

Musically TPONJ is not bad at all, but we want marching Frankensteins and people smashing guitars.

This Week's Poster and Message : #ChopNebraska

There was a fair amount of the normal whining from disappointed fans (and the normal Rutgers haters) on Twitter and Facebook yesterday, but who among us can say that we didn't know that there would be losses like yesterday's 56-17 defeat in Columbus, Ohio when we joined the Big Ten? On the positive side, I didn't see any quit on the offensive or defensive sides of the ball even after a superior team (which would be a playoff favorite without an atypical loss against VT early in the season) led by a quarterback who should be a Heisman candidate got off to a large early lead.

We're all disappointed about going 0-1 last week, but here comes another chance to go 1-0 against another ranked team and another Heisman candidate in a large hostile environment this week.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Throwback Photo of Our Next B1G Opponents

For the third game in a row, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will be taking the field against a Big Ten team with its roots in the 19th century. However, unlike the games against Michigan and Ohio State, this game against the Cornhuskers on October 25 will not be the first meeting between the squads. They met once before -- a 28-0 Nebraska victory at the Polo Grounds on November 2, 1920.

The 1891 Nebraska Football Team (The United Nations didn't field their first team until the mid-twentieth century).
The 1882 Rutgers Football Team.

The official Ohio State - Rutgers trailer from OSU for today's game seems to be missing something.

They couldn't even find a single clip with player wearing a Rutgers uniform?

The fans aren't showing much knowledge or respect for Rutgers football in advance of this first meeting either. Look at this article by Harvey Araton in The New York Times in which Buckeye fans guess that our Scarlet Knights might be called the 'Nuggets' or the 'Bulldogs'. Our players were wearing scarlet twenty years before there was an Ohio State football and a year before there was even a college in Columbus.

Let's all hope the players and coaches are looking past Rutgers as much as the fans and press office are.

Go Knights!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Getting to Know the Buckeyes

We may have played against Virginia Tech in the Big East for years without ever learning what a Hokie was, but there's no reason for us to be as uninformed about our fellow Big Ten member schools' mascots.

Another Big Ten school, Minnesota, has published a helpful page to assist anyone interested in identifying  the difference between the similar chestnuts, horse chestnuts, and Ohio buckeyes, which is a valuable service when you consider that only one of the three is edible by humans.

Even though the buckeye nut may be as inedible as a horse chestnut, the leaves almost look as if they might be smokable.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

An October Weekend With No Football

The Scarlet Knights are resting up this Saturday, getting healthy for what could be one of the biggest games in Rutgers football's very long history. But we don't need to tell the players and coaches how important next weekend is. We just need to tell them to Keep Calm and Chop OSU (or is that more properly "Keep Calm and Chop THE OSU"?)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Another First Game That's Been A Long Time Coming

Just like last Saturday's game against the Wolverines, our next game -- in Columbus, Ohio on the 18th -- will be the first meeting on the gridiron of two teams that have been around since the 19th century. The Ohio State Buckeyes are proudly celebrating the 125th anniversary of OSU football this year (something that Rutgers football did in 1994).
The 1890 Ohio State football team (augmented by three prisoners from a local jail?).
The 1882 Rutgers football team.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Keep Calm and Chop The Bye

In advance of the October 18th quarterback duel in Columbus, Ohio against that other Big Ten team claiming scarlet as their color (it's been ours since the turbans worn in 1869), it's important to let the players use this off week to become fully healthy and watch a lot of film.

Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit Don't Know Football

On the other hand, Katy Perry and Lee Corso weren't surprised by the Rutgers victory over Michigan yesterday in the historic initial meeting between these two schools.

And in case you were already tailgating seven hours ahead of last night's big win, here's the full video of one of the more interesting celebrity appearances on ESPN's College Gameday ever:

Beating Desmond Howard's old team at The Birthplace yesterday was a great accomplishment, but nothing would be more earth-shaking in the Big Ten than doing the same to Kirk Herbstreit's team in our next game in Columbus, Ohio on October 18th.

Michigan Chopped

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Classic Big Ten Chant

Would Julie Hermann approve if the Rutgers student section picked up this classic Big Ten chant from our friends in Wisconsin, or would it necessitate another apology?

So What's Up With South Jersey Football Fans?

The New York Times has a great interactive college football fan map on The Upshot today. It doesn't surprise me that Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Army are the most popular teams in my Hudson Valley county and Zip Code, and it doesn't surprise me that the area around New Brunswick is solid Rutgers country, but why is southern New Jersey so heavily Penn State country? And why doesn't Rutgers even make the top three in many of those counties? This map is based on  Facebook likes, so please like some Scarlet Knights links if you live in the lower counties of New Jersey.

The map and the accompanying article are fascinating and just a little bit addictive. I was surprised by the size of Fresno State's popularity in central California for one thing. Another surprise is the most popular team in the midtown and downtown Manhattan Zips, our visitors tomorrow, the Michigan Wolverines.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Two Oldest FBS Programs Finally Play for the First Time this Saturday

That should be the headline for the game that will be taking place at The Birthplace of College Football at 7pm this Saturday.  It really is amazing when you think about the fact that Rutgers (first game 1869) and Michigan (first game 1879) have never met across a line of scrimmage before this week.
The 1898 Michigan Football Team already sporting their block M.
The 1882 Rutgers Football Team proudly wearing the block R.
Sports Illustrated predicted that it might happen in Pasadena at the end of the 2007 season, but it seems fitting now that it will happen with both teams in the Big Ten, scheduled to meet every year from now until the end of time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Good Thing I Have a Black Raincoat

This Saturday's game against the Michigan Wolverines at Rutgers Stadium is a blackout game. All my Scarlet-Knight gear is, surprisingly, scarlet, so I was wondering what I was going to wear to match my fellow fans. No fear. I checked for Piscataway just now and I see the game may be a wet one.
Thankfully, my raincoat is black.