To Win a Game: Defanged Bears Heavy Underdogs
Kwiatkowski and Co. Pose no Threat To Harvard's Six-Year Winning Streak
It is hard not to feel sorry for Brown football coach Mickey Kwiatkowski.
He and the rest of the Brown football team will face powerful Harvard today at 1 p.m. in Providence. Harvard is a seven-point favorite, but that's not the reason to pity him.
The reason is history, and Kwiatkowski's story tugs at the heartstrings: a successful Division III coach at Hofstra with a record of 68-27-0 over nine years, Kwiatkowski decided to step up to the Division I-AA level.
The results have been disastrous--for Kwiatkowski, anyway. Bad football is a tradition at Brown (2-5 overall, 1-3 Ivy), but the colorful and charismatic coach must have been shining with optimism as he stepped into the concrete shoes of Brown's head coaching position four years ago.
His career promptly went south faster than arms dealers on their way to Nicaragua. Since Kwiatkowski has taken over, Brown has gone 5-32-0.
That's a winning percentage of .135.
"If I don't start winning, I won't be around at the end of the season," Kwiatkowski said before the 1992 campaign, a 0-10 overall, 0-7 Ivy affair.
He's still around. He's hanging on. But the skin on his teeth is wearing thin.
The Silver Lining
Every touch of grey has a silver lining, however, and Harvard's is this: With such an abysmal football coach in charge down there, the annual Brown-Harvard matchup really isn't much of one.
The Crimson has not lost to the Bears since 1986. It's never really been close. It's the one game that Harvard Coach Joe Restic can count on, year in and year out. Not even Columbia poses this little of a challenge.
Perhaps it is the fear of losing to such a weak opponent, but there is something about Brown that brings out the best in the Harvard players: Two years ago, fullback Matt Johnson '91 rushed for a whopping 323 yards against the Bears in a 35-29 victory. Last year, then-junior quarterback Mike Giardi exploded for a 100-yard rushing game in his best performance of the season.
It's always exciting, always fun and almost always a guaranteed 'W.' With league power Pennsylvania coming up and Yale not far behind, what more could Harvard hope for?
Stacking the Teams
About all one needs to know about Brown is that its most electrifying player is junior punt returner Eugene Smith, who ranks second in the nation at 16.5 yards per return.
Impressive. But other than that, the pickings are slim.
With quarterback Bill Pienias '93 gone, Kwiatkowski has now turned to junior Trevor Yankoff, who will be starting just his second Ivy League game. (Sophomore Gordie Myers started the first five games but his ineffectual play led Kwiatkowski to move him to split end.)
This season, Yankoff is 28-for-72 for 372 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Yankoff has the added burden of operating Kwiatkowski's trademark "Wing-T Flex" offense, an innovative Multiflex style attack which has not gotten its due because of Brown's horrible personnel.
Senior linebacker Todd Hunter leads the Brown defense with 60 tackles.
It's a bleak scene. But Brown is a bleak team in a bleak stadium. Hell, Brown is a bleak school and Providence is a bleak city.
A final point to consider: ESPN star and Brown grad Chris Berman got his start covering football games for the campus radio station. But only at Brown would the biggest football star of them all get his start on the sidelines.
THE NOTEBOOK: Cincinnati football Coach Tim Murphy has surfaced as a leading candidate on the four or five-person short list to replace the outgoing Restic, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported yesterday. Murphy refused to comment. Murphy is 15-36-1 in four years as coach of the Bearcats. Harvard Sports Information Director John Veneziano told the Enquirer the athletic department hopes to make a decision seven to 10 days after the season. SPORTS CUBE PREDICTS
John B Trainer, Sports Editor Harvard 37 Brown 25 Ivan Oransky, Science Editor Harvard 27 Brown i Gady A. Epstein, Managing Editor Harvard 30 Brown 21 Lori E. Smith, Assoc. Editorial Chair Harvard 28 Brown 7
Ivan Oransky, Science Editor Harvard 27 Brown i Gady A. Epstein, Managing Editor Harvard 30 Brown 21 Lori E. Smith, Assoc. Editorial Chair Harvard 28 Brown 7
Gady A. Epstein, Managing Editor Harvard 30 Brown 21 Lori E. Smith, Assoc. Editorial Chair Harvard 28 Brown 7
Lori E. Smith, Assoc. Editorial Chair Harvard 28 Brown 7