Sure, I wasn’t alive when the Honorable Ken Dryden ’70, one of the most decorated goaltenders in NHL history, led Cornell to the 1967 NCAA Frozen Four championship nor was I there to witness former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley will his Princeton Tigers to a Final Four berth in the 1965 NCAA Tournament. However, I was in the audience last night at Bailey Hall as both Ivy immortals reminisced about their respective athletic and political careers.
In its final tune-up before welcoming Bucknell for its home opener on Sept. 19, Cornell outscored Hobart with three touchdowns and two field goals in a scrimmage at Schoellkopf Field Saturday afternoon. The starters played only one quarter against the Statesmen, ranked No. 17 in the nation amongst D-III programs, but scored 10 unanswered points and played lockdown defense before turning things over to the backups.
Senior quarterback Ben Ganter was efficient in limited action, completing 6-of-9 pass attempts for 85 yards. Wearing an alternate black jersey as a precautionary measure, Ganter displayed a strong arm and solid command of the offense.
Unless you are a Vikings fan or Brett Favre’s wife, who cares that Favre signed with Minnesota?
It’s been over a decade since we have seen the younger, more agile Favre lifting the Lombardi Trophy above his head.
I get it. The man has grit. He has charisma. Guess what? He also has gray hair, a beat-up arm and pretty soon, an AARP card.
I understand he won three Most Valuable Player awards and holds numerous records, including the most consecutive starts by a quarterback in the NFL, but he was not even the greatest quarterback of his generation. Favre’s best years were during the previous Democratic administration, and that was 12 years ago.
Replacing a starting quarterback is not always an easy task, especially if he was an established three-year veteran. Throw in the fact that he led the Ivy League in passing yards last year and ranks as the second all-time passing leader in school history, and then it nearly becomes impossible. (Oh yeah, he was also mentioned in an episode of “The Office”).
The candidates to replace Nathan Ford ’09 include rising senior Ben Ganter, sophomore Adam Currie and junior Ty Siam. Ganter, the early favorite, may also split time with rising senior receiver/quarterback Stephen Liuzza when the Red employs an NFL-style “Wildcat” offense.
Cornell’s late-season magic carpet ride came to an abrupt end yesterday as the Red suffered a 10-0 defeat to Dartmouth in the deciding Game 3 of the Ivy League Championship series. The Red and the Green split Saturday’s doubleheader in Hanover, N.H.. Cornell dropped the opener 8-6 before squaring the series with a 14-12 victory in the nightcap.
“We expected to win the Ivy League, but there were many successes along the way that made the season an extremely positive experience,” said head coach Bill Walkenbach ’98.
Those inside the Cornell sports world recognize him as the second all-time passing leader at quarterback in school history and a first-team all-Ivy third baseman. Those outside of the Cornell sports world know him as that guy from Cornell who was mentioned in an episode of “The Office.”
Whether he was heaving last-second touchdown passes into the end zone at Lehigh or helping the baseball team post its first winning season and capture its first division title since 2005, senior Nathan Ford has done it all.
The football team took the first step to turn the page on a somewhat disappointing 2008 season that opened with a promising 3-0 start and saw the Red drop six of its final seven contests. The task of rebuilding is made that much more daunting by the challenge of filling the void left by the 33 seniors who graduate this year. Some expectations were confirmed and some surprises emerged during the last three weeks of spring football practices. These practices culminated in the annual Red-White spring football game on Saturday as the Red team shut out the White team 17-0.
A spot to battle against the Rolfe Division champion for the Ivy League title is up for grabs this weekend as Cornell takes on Princeton. The Red will tangle with the Tigers in a twinbill today at Clarke Field before returning home to Hoy Field on Sunday to wrap up the final two games of this series and the Ancient Eight season.
Since the Ivy League switched to a two-division format in 1993, no team has ever finished in last place for three years in a row, then bounced back to capture a division title the very next season. Cornell would be the first team to pull off such a remarkable turnaround.
“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd.”
Most people do not have a problem following Jack Norworth’s famous first two lines, but it’s when they’re finally with the crowd, that the trouble ensues. They lack proper ballgame etiquette. It is precisely this lack of etiquette that has prompted this column.
It is do or die time for the Red. The baseball squad approaches a crossroads this season and must now demonstrate it is prepared to take its place among the league’s elite. Cornell, Princeton and Columbia all share the top perch in the Gehrig Division with identical 5-7 records. This weekend the Red will travel to the Lions’ den at Robertson Field in New York City and play back-to-back doubleheaders tomorrow and Sunday.