In his human form, people know Asa Packer as the famous politician and railroad mogul who founded Lehigh University, or at least as the man there’s a statue of outside of Alumni Memorial. However, in his Twitter form, @AsaPackersGhost is a symbol of school spirit and Lehigh tradition for the campus community and beyond.
The Brown and White talked all things Rivalry 152, from Lehigh traditions to pregame rituals and words of wisdom for Lehigh football, with the anonymous Twitter personality.
Q: What’s your favorite Lehigh-Lafayette tradition and why?
Asa Packer’s Ghost: The Marching 97. They own the week, dominate the campus on Friday, and then add so much to the game day experience. They’re 100 percent there for the team and do an excellent job of bringing us all along for the ride.
Q: Why is Lehigh better than Lafayette?
APG: How much time do you have? Founded from a railroad fortune, forged like the steel from the mills down the street, and featured as an institution looking beyond tomorrow — versus a farmer’s school vanity-named for a Frenchman. I mean . . . seriously? Go ahead and take pride in being small, but the simple truth is you’re too scared to get big to meet ever-bigger challenges in a globalized economy.
Q: Why does school spirit matter?
APG: School spirit is common ground. As Lehigh has evolved and grown, the kinds of common experiences we once took for granted are not so common anymore. Simple things like getting hyped for the most-played rivalry in college football against a nothing school from Easton represent a simple, straightforward “yay us!” moment that we can all rally around. These are unassailable, non-partisan moments that spark unity (even if it is only fleeting).
Q: What do you have to say to students who are considering skipping the game?
APG: Jackass! If you skip the game, you’re skipping highlight reel material — the moments you’ll remember when you look back on college. Lehigh-Laf is something entirely special to our schools. Nobody else has a rivalry with as much history, passion, tradition, and delightful excess wrapped up in it. You can drink with your buddies any day. You’ll only see this particular game once.
Q: What is your favorite verse of GRL^2 (The Lehigh Fight Song) and why?
APG: The obscure second verse to Rearing, Tearing that is rarely, if ever, performed.
Q: Do you have any regular pregame rituals?
APG: Yes, but it all starts with proper attire. Step one is wearing nothing but brown and white. Upon arrival at tailgates, I spin around three times in a circle and then spit. Because I don’t like to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing. From then on it’s all smiles and scotch.
Q: How is preparation for Le-Laf different from a normal game?
APG: I’d say the intensity is about doubled. I’ve been thinking about the game for a couple weeks/130 years. The rest of the season is unimportant: This is a playoff game. I want this ‘W’ for the team, I want it for all of us, and I just love seeing the faces on their fans when we take one from them in their house. Doing my same exact pregame ritual is a necessary part of it.
Q: Do you have a message you want to share with the Lehigh football team ahead of the game?
APG: Bring it all, leave it all. Forget the trophy you already got. You’ve won the regular season by working one game at a time. This one is just a little bit tougher — they have nothing to lose. Literally. Look at their record! Don’t tarnish yours now.
Q: Lastly, do you have anything to say to Lafayette before the game?
APG: Nothing printable.