White sheets are hung on the sides of houses everywhere from the top of the Hill to the bottom of campus. Black letters are spray painted onto the sheets to spell out insults about Lafayette students — everything from “Lafayette can’t read this” to “Lafayette uses RoseArt crayons.”
During the nights leading up to the game, we file into the houses decorated with the sheets. We crowd into basements to curse Lafayette and its inferiority. We fully embrace the rivalry for social purposes.
Even with this school spirit, attendance at The Rivalry game isn’t always at the top of the priority list for all Lehigh students. Our school pride should translate from the basements where we curse Lafayette for 10 nights in a row to the stands where we cheer for our team.
Because the rivalry activities don’t happen without the rivalry football game.
The banners are a visual representation of both our school spirit and our shared hatred of the college a few miles away. We rush to cram as many Lehigh-related activities into spirit week in the hopes that it will all culminate when we rush the field on Saturday after the game. The school comes together once a year to celebrate, and those celebrations should include attending the game.
The restrictions on tailgating at Lafayette are much more strict than those at Lehigh, but that should not stop students from attending the game. The six-beer limit at the tailgate for those over 21 is not something we’ve encountered before, and neither is the restriction on private buses near the stadium. We’re also not accustomed to cars being searched for alcohol upon entering a tailgate.
These rules, along with the rumors about breaking up tailgates early and not enough parking, have been an excuse for students to skip the game in favor of staying on South Mountain.
There is more to the rivalry than the tailgate before the game. Coming together with past and present students to cheer for the Mountain Hawks is the largest part of the experience. This can’t happen if students don’t show up.
It is almost impossible to get 7,000 individuals to agree on one thing. Yet it is probably safe to say all 7,000 Lehigh students, both undergraduate and graduate, have a strong distaste for Lafayette. Students, combined with the thousands of alumni at the game, all unite on one day to cheer for the Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh’s football team won the Patriot League Championship two weeks ago and is likely to win this game. Watching Lehigh’s team emerge victorious will be even more glorious because it will happen on enemy soil. Going to Lafayette for the rivalry is a first for first-years, sophomores, juniors and seniors. It’s possibly a once-in-a-college-career opportunity to cheer on the Mountain Hawks at Lafayette.
It is unclear when the tradition of spray painting sheets started, but it is clear when the rivalry between Lehigh and Lafayette started — it started in 1884 and is now the most played college football rivalry in the country. Not only are we a part of the Lehigh legacy as students, but we are also part of the most played football rivalry in the country.
Laugh at the banners, put on your brown and white and head to Lafayette for Rivalry 152.