Winning football games is undoubtedly a product of practice, discipline, scouting, and skill, but after traveling to Brown for the game last weekend, I have a new appreciation for another powerful contributor to strong play: fandom. Under the temporary lights of Brown Stadium, 17,360 fans filled the seats, creating an atmosphere that felt very collegiatea—a rare feat in Ivy League athletics.
“I can’t tell you what it meant to have so many people in the stands,” Bears coach Phil Estes said. “To turn around and see what we saw...[It] really got the adrenaline going, and I think the team fed off of that.”
Published by Kate Leist
on September 27, 2010 at 9:35PM
In the modern era of sports, being a college coach carries with it the burden of constant media attention. Facing dozens of reporters at press conferences, head coaches have gotten more savvy—they say what they need to and leave the rest up for speculation. Here at The Back Page, we’re happy to decode some of these media sessions, showing the average fan what we think coaches’ answers “really” mean.
To say that Week 2 of Harvard’s football season didn’t go quite as smoothly as Week 1 is, well, a gross understatement. After his team was embarrassed in a 29-14 loss that was much more lopsided than the scoreboard indicated, Crimson coach Tim Murphy had to do his best to explain what happened. Murphy tips his hat to Brown and shoulders most of the blame himself in this week’s edition of Sound Off.
Published by Ricky Liu
on September 27, 2010 at 5:34PM
Coming into Foxboro Stadium to take on the New England Patriots yesterday afternoon, the Buffalo Bills had struggled to put points on the board. Through the first two games of the season under quarterback Trent Edwards, the team averaged a league-low 8.5 points per game, granting them the title of the NFL’s least productive offense.
Enter former Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05.
Published by Kate Leist
on September 23, 2010 at 11:06PM
Football season has begun in the Ivy League, but don’t worry—some things never change. Harvard and Penn are still looking like the top dogs and Cornell is still atrocious. Meanwhile, Princeton’s season took a turn for the worse before the first game was even finished. But for those of you who could care less about men hitting each other on a field, never fear. Hockey season’s just around the corner, so you can look forward to some more hard-hitting action—just this time, on the ice.
Penn opened its football season with a spot on College Gameday and a live broadcast on ESPN3.com. But the attention wasn’t necessarily the kind the Quakers might have hoped for. Instead, all eyes were on the squad as it took the field for the first time after Penn co-captain Owen Thomas took his own life in April. The Quakers opened the game with a 40-second moment of silence for Thomas, who wore #40 for Penn, and then proceeded to beat Lafayette, 19-14. And that vaunted defense that graduated six starters? Didn’t give up a single touchdown, as the Leopards scored off a blocked punt and an interception.
Former Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick '05 will start for the Buffalo Bills against the New England Patriots this Sunday.
Harvard University’s own Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 will get the nod this weekend at quarterback for the Buffalo Bills as they take on the New England Patriots. The alum played in 10 games last year for the Bills while fighting with embattled quarterback Trent Edwards for time. He completed 127 of 227 pass attempts for a completion rate of 55.9 percent while throwing for 1,422 yards, nine touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
Fitzpatrick has wrestled the job away from long-time starter Edwards with coach Chan Galley intimating that Fitzpatrick could keep the spot if he performs well. While at Harvard, Fitzpatrick enjoyed considerably success, and ranks second on Harvard’s all-time list for touchdowns, yards passing, pass completions, and pass completion percentage. The two-time Ivy League champion earned the Ivy League MVP award during his senior season and is the only Harvard quarterback ever to rush for over 1,000 yards in a career.
Fitzpatrick takes the helm for the ailing Bills, who have failed to win either of their first two games of the 2010 campaign after another frustrating 7-9 season. One of the quarterback’s main goals will be to improve the worst-ranked passing offense in the league so far, a constraint that has certainly hurt the Bills to date.