Lehigh Lafayette Gametime

This weekend was the Lehigh-Lafayette game, the oldest rivalry in college football.  We faced them for our 141st match-up and lost. It was a heartbreaking loss for Lehigh that had the Patriot League championship and a playoff bid on the line. If we had won, we would have tied Colgate for the league title and gotten an automatic bid into the playoffs (1AA does a playoff system unlike 1A’s bowl game). We had been in control of the game until there were 46 seconds left. Lafayette was looking like they had little hope. It was 4th and 10 on the 36 yard line. They decided to go for it instead of trying a risky 53 yard field goal.  As their quarterback, Pat Davis, was getting tossed to the ground, he threw the ball up in the end zone towards Jonathan Hurt. It should have been a sack; it was an impossible throw, an impossible catch. It was the one play that changed Lehigh’s entire season.

More Than One Play

When you play football, coaches and players always try to look away from the one play that put your opponent ahead. This makes sense, because offense usually has 14 drives to put points on the board and you can’t put it all on one play just because it happened to be at the end, even as much as this particular play will be glorified as quite possibly the greatest catch/comeback by Lafayette. There still were 100+ snaps/chances that are going to be overlooked. On top of that, there is a year of preparation that goes into that one game that never gets seen by the fans.

Comparisons to Business

It’s also important in business to never become fixed on one “lucky pass” and to look more at the entire game. Everyday, these lucky plays make for small wins and losses in the business world. For example, many people look at large Internet companies (Google, Yahoo, Macromedia, Adobe) buying companies for a specific technology/play. The reality is, though, that they are usually buying talent. When Google bought Zipdash, an online mapping company, to build Google Maps, it wasn’t just because of their technology; it was because they had a functioning team that had vision and working results. When looking at any outcome it is important to look at the bigger picture.

Tailgates are Great, But I’d Rather be Playing

Even if Lehigh had won, going to the game would still have been tough for me. Watching old teammates like Adam Salmaska, the starting guard that I had the fortune to play next to for two years, always brings back the feeling that I want to physically damage a maroon-jerseyed cat. Let me explain my dismay. On top of Lafayette being our rival, in the 2003 match-up, two of Lafayette’s defenders tore my ACL, MCL, and PCL; It took a total of 9 months of rehab, 3 months on crutches, and 5 weeks lying in bed with a machine attached to my knee to recover and finish out a physically painful senior season. It was one of the most hardening experiences of my life. The rush, responsibility, and adrenaline that flowed through my veins on game day is going to be hard to forget.

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19 Responses to Mixing Competition, Life, & Lehigh vs. Lafayette

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    Watching you through your career at Lehigh was a remarkable experience. It was a story of overcoming adversity and success. Taking this into your profession will serve you well. We are all very proud.

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