Sibling rivalry: Lehigh, Lafayette siblings discuss 153rd game, traditions


While Rivalry Week provides opportunities for Lehigh students to mock Lafayette College, for some, The Rivalry does not end after the football game. Matthew Fainor, ’20, Emma Resnick, ’18, and Rosie Morrissey, ’20, have siblings who attend Lafayette and, for them, the competition follows them home.

Matthew Fainor, ’20, second from right, is a triplet whose brother, Ryan, second from left, goes to Lafayette. Fainor’s parents have shirts that are half-Lehigh, half-Lafayette. (Courtesy of Matthew Fainor)

Lehigh student Matthew Fainor, ’20, is a triplet, who has one brother, Joseph, at Penn State and another, Ryan, at Lafayette College. The Fainor family resides in Allentown, and the boys were familiar with both colleges growing up.

Why did you choose to go to rival schools?

Matthew Fainor: Knowing that they were rival schools wasn’t really a point of contention, more a point of fun. It’s nice because, as siblings, we went to different schools and our lives are kind of put on opposite trajectories. So this is a time where our lives cross in a more meaningful way.

Ryan Fainor: I think what it came down to was a personality thing. (Lafayette is) a smaller school, completely undergraduate, and it felt like a better fit between the liberal arts and engineering and allowed me to study abroad as an engineer.

Are you and your family invested in the Rivalry game?

MF: When they come to the games, (my family) usually just sits on the home side. But The Rivalry really doesn’t come up until this week and then it’s just like, ‘Oh, it’s done,’ and we don’t really talk about it again.

RF: We would go to games when we were younger and just root for the home side, which was kind of fun. I had both Lehigh and Lafayette stuff… my mom actually made T-shirts with both Lehigh and Lafayette that split them down the middle, they’re pretty cool.

Which school celebrates The Rivalry better?

MF: I know they do banners, like we do. So I think it’s funny, because sometimes we just see our banners and the things we say against Lafayette, but it’s interesting to see what Lafayette has to say about Lehigh. They don’t do bed races or a lot of the things we do, so I think we do more during the week.

RF: I would say that it’s fairly low-key here. There’s a ton of activities going on, but it’s nothing super serious. I wouldn’t say that everyone on campus gets involved, but it is a good source for school spirit.

What is your favorite thing about the Rivalry game?

MF: I love the Marching 97. I think last year, people were excited when the (Lehigh) band took over the field during halftime, so I’m excited to see the students’ reactions to their show this year.

RF: The Rivalry hasn’t had a huge influence on my experience at school here, but it is a good thing especially because games aren’t very well attended at Lafayette, but if it’s against Lehigh, a lot of people will show up.

Lehigh student Emma Resnick, ’18, has a sister, Olivia, ’20, who attends Lafayette College.

Emma Resnick, ’18, is a Lehigh student whose sister, Olivia, is a sophomore at Lafayette. The Resnick sisters think the rivalry is fun, but they are not that invested in the game itself. (Courtesy of Emma Resnick)

Why did you choose to go to rivalry schools?

Emma Resnick: I couldn’t quite understand why Olivia chose Lafayette, or why she didn’t even look at Lehigh. It honestly didn’t make sense in my mind, other than her just not wanting to go where I go, because Lehigh has everything.

Olivia Resnick: I just chose Lafayette on my own, I wasn’t even looking at Lehigh. I like the liberal arts qualities much more, and I am a political science major, which Lafayette has a very developed program for. Lafayette just has the qualities I’m looking for, and I didn’t need to go to school with Emma.

Are you and your family invested in the Rivalry game?

ER: (Olivia) was actually thinking about not even buying a ticket for Le-Laf.

OR: Yeah, but I’m going because it’s your last one.

ER: Overall, we joke around about it, and I go to the game, but other than that, we’re not really that invested.

Which school celebrates The Rivalry better?

OR: We have a whole week of events. I think the Rivalry Week is more fun than the actual game. There is trivia, condom bingo and there’s usually midnight breakfast. There was supposed to be a zip line (on the quad), but that’s not happening anymore. There was a hot air balloon last year, so maybe we’ll have something crazy along that nature again this year.

ER: I think that we party more, with our tailgates and MoCos, and that we can also be more sore winners or losers.

OR: I’m not a very competitive person, so I just don’t really care… Last year, I knew we were probably going to lose, so I was just experiencing it for fun. Maybe this year it’ll be different. But the game does give us the real sports feel that we don’t get throughout the rest of the season.

ER: Yeah, we get that one day a year that Penn State and other big schools get every day of the season, so it’s fun.

What is your favorite thing about the Rivalry game?

ER: I like when it’s warm, like last year, because it was really cold at the Yankee Stadium game (in 2014). It’s just fun seeing people, tailgating and having a nice day and not worrying about school.

OR: I’m only a sophomore, so I’ve only experienced one Rivalry game. But the rugby team, which I’m on, tailgated together at the game, so that was fun.

Rosie Morrissey, ’20, is a triplet who has one brother, Colin, at Lafayette. Rosie and Colin both agreed that Lehigh was more spirited leading up to the rivalry game. (Courtesy of Rosie Morriessey)

Lehigh student Rosie Morrissey, ’20, is a triplet, with one brother, Joe, at Skidmore College and another, Colin, ’20, at Lafayette College. Colin plays soccer for Lafayette. 

Why did you choose to go to rivalry schools?

RM: Initially, I wanted to go to Wake Forest but my brother convinced me to apply at Lehigh. I really wanted to go to school close to him, so I applied and when I visited, I fell in love with the campus. It definitely came up that it would be funny for us to go to rivalry schools, but it’s not a big deal for us.

CM: I ended up going to Lafayette just because I ended up looking at a bunch of schools for soccer and I really liked the academics here, so I chose here.

Are you and your family invested in the Rivalry game?

RM: When I go to the Le-Laf soccer games, I don’t know which team to cheer for. During the football games, my family kind of gets into it, but the Patriot League isn’t the best football, so we’re not that invested. 

CM: Whenever my parents go to the Rivalry games, they’ll root one half for Lafayette and the other half for Lehigh, so they split it up.

Which school celebrates the Rivalry better?

RM: Lafayette has like no school spirit. We don’t have a lot either, but we do more here leading up to it. They have the banners that Lehigh also puts up in front of their houses, but they don’t have the 10-day challenge, they don’t have bed races and everything like that, so we have a lot more. (Colin) definitely wishes Lafayette did more.

CM: Today, we had a car on the quad that said “Beat Lehigh” and you could pay a dollar to hit the car — people make signs and everything. Lehigh probably celebrates better, because it seems like you’ve got a little more spirit.

What is your favorite thing about the Rivalry game?

RM: I think it’s cool that there’s such a big turnout for this game. No one goes to the other games that often, but everyone goes to Le-Laf. Every seat on the home side of the stadium is filled.

CM: It’s a big game, I like how so many people came out to support it, even parents with their little kids, so I didn’t realize how big it was.

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