It's a cold clear day at Cornell's Schoellkopf Stadium. It's late in the fourth quarter. There's been no score all day. The Big Red defense lines up on the goal line, in what may be the most important stand of the season.
The snap--the give is to Marty Foye--he goes off tackle, charging through the Cornell defenders. He's in, and its Kirkland House 6, Cornell 0 as the gun goes off.
Kirkland House? It may sound unbelievable. But to the guys that made up this year's undefeated, unscored upon intramural champs, the thought of a House team drubbing lowly Cornell isn't totally beyond the realm.
"We won't settle for anything less than the Superbowl," says Kirkland Coach Jim Byrne. "None of this Ivy League, Pac 8 or Big Ten stuff. Just right up to the top."
Star middle guard Al Marek says that if this year's intramural champs were spiced up with a couple of Restic's boys living in K-House, "we'd probably give Cornell a run for it."
The chances of Kirkland House appearing in the Superbowl or even topping Ivy doormats may be imaginary (Byrne says his squad could be a match for a good small college team), but the high caliber of talent on the K-House Squad sure isn't.
This year's House delegation to the upcoming Yale match is studded with high school all-americans, ex-varsity players and even coaches that would start on half-a-dozen Ivy teams.
An offensive backfield of sophomore Fran Hickey and ex-varsity running backs Marty Foye and Burelle Duvachelle would make some Ivy coaches' mouths drool.
And that offensive line, anchored by Tom "da Beef" Benneditto--"the skinny man on the squad," Byrne says--and Bob "the Bear" Murray, have sent chills down the spines of other House defensive front fours.
In a team that uses mostly a slow, grinding ground game, with quarter-long scoring drives led by Poye, there hasn't been much doing in the air. But Kevin McCloskey and Paul Mahoney have been there to haul them down.
On defense, baseball star Barry Cronin and Todd Paulivin are the standouts.
On this club even the coaches are formidable. Offensive and defensive coordinators Mike Winn, Mike Bruich and Joe Tripodi have all seen varsity action before injuries forced them to the sidelines.
What makes this team so great? Byrne speculates that some of the players are as good as varsity players because they should be on the varsity. "I know a lot of these kids were overlooked, and they easily could be starting," he says.
But Eddie Chamberlain, perhaps K-House football's greatest and longest aficionado (for 30 years, he says), has his own theories for the strength of K-House football.
"There's an old adage," Chamberlain says, "that there are always better players in the stands than on the field."
This isn't the first great team that K-House has put together, Chamberlain says. He tells the story of the day Giles E. Thredgold, life-long Ivy League referee, broke in his pinstrips reffing intramurals at Harvard.
His first game was a Kirkland House match, Chamberlain recalls, "and after a couple of minutes of watching he looks at me and says 'Jesus Christ, I can't believe this is just intramural football.'"
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