Lehigh University and Lafayette College set up shop at the Marriott Marquis on Friday to sell merchandise and provide information to fans. The Welcome Center served as a hub for alumni to meet up during the day. (Abby Smith/B&W Photo)

Lehigh alums reflect on Le-Laf memories at Rivalry 150 game

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Thousands of Lehigh alumni traveled to New York City to celebrate the 150th meeting of Lehigh and Lafayette on the football field. The weekend was a time to catch up with old friends, make new memories and reminisce on old ones.

Hank Weed, ’71, remembers his first Lehigh-Lafayette game when he was a first-year student. He and his friend Lewis Iadarola, ’71, stayed up in the Taylor Stadium stands with their dates watching the other first-year students fight for pieces of the wooden goalposts.

One of Iadarola’s favorite Lehigh-Lafayette traditions were the “smokers,” student gatherings that eventually became known as pep rallies, hosted the night before the big game.

“They used to have a bonfire back then; it was a lot of fun,” he said. “It was really very interesting to see the camaraderie and so forth before the games.”

Weed and Iadarola have been to 80 percent of the rivalry games since they graduated in 1971. That adds up to about 35 to 40 games.

Iadarola made a special new memory during the Rivalry 150 weekend, as well. He was involved in the musical program when he was a student and had the opportunity to sing with Lehigh’s choral group on the Carnegie Hall stage Friday night.

For David Pfeil, ’81, the whole week leading up to the Lehigh-Lafayette game was full of excitement.

“It really took you away from regular school,” he said. “It was a really good adventure away from all of the studying.”

The Spirit Week events, particularly the Turkey Trot, were favorites of Pfeil and his son Darren, ’12, also a Lehigh alum. Darren loved the bed races tradition and the Marching 97 eco-flame when the band would interrupt classes to boost spirit ahead of the game.

“But overall, I think my best Le-Laf memory is Lehigh winning all four years I was at Lehigh,” Darren said proudly.

Don Davis, ’66, ’73G, recalls the 100th game the best, where Lehigh and Lafayette tied 6-6. He remembers the tearing down of the wooden goalposts, though he said he didn’t participate himself.

But Davis’ favorite part of the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry? House parties, he says.

Why is that?

“That’s a dumb question,” he says, laughing.

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