Seniors reflect on Le-Laf atmosphere based on game location

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The 154th rivalry game will be played at Fisher Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Lehigh students have the option of taking a bus for safe travel to the stadium. (Courtesy of Gplefka/Wikimedia Commons)

With the 154th meeting of The Rivalry on Saturday, some students will head to Easton to watch the game in person.

Others will watch on TV from their dorms, homes or a bar. 

Some might not watch at all.

While a home Le-Laf game certainly has its perks, some students said they also enjoyed the game when it is held at Lafayette.

This Saturday will mark the fourth Le-Laf game for Ellie Naka, ’19, who has been to almost every home football game since she came to Lehigh as a first-year. Although she prefers home games to away games against Lafayette, Naka said she still enjoys traveling to the Easton campus every other year because it is pretty and she likes interacting with Lafayette students.

“I think when we go there I feel like engaging with Lafayette students is something that we do, but they maybe don’t do when they come to visit here,” Naka said.

Senior running back Dom Bragalone said in his four years at Lehigh, he likes the environment on campus during the week leading up to the big game because there are so many events that showcase Lehigh’s school spirit.

Bragalone, whose birthday is on game day this Saturday, said he prefers Lehigh to host the game, but still enjoys playing at the Leopards’ campus and beating them on their own turf.

“Last time we went away, a lot of people still came to (Lafayette) and there’s still a lot of spirit throughout the week,” Bragalone said.

Last year, The Mountain Hawks won the 153rd rivalry game against the Lafayette Leopards at Goodman Stadium. The location of the game alternates every year. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

Out of the three rivalry games that Bragalone has been on the team for, he’s won them all.

“It’s a different atmosphere going away,” Bragalone said. “Everyone’s against you and people are yelling at you. It just kind of fuels you.”

Though the football game’s location alternates each year, similar events are held on campus for members of the Lehigh community, such as Bed Races and the T-shirt Giveaway at the UC, both on Nov. 14.

Rachael Grobman, ’19, also attends the majority of home games and will go to her fourth Le-Laf game this Saturday.

“Supporting our teams has always been important to me,” Grobman said.

While she has always found friends to accompany her at the game, this year Grobman said she is having a difficult time gathering a group of people to make the journey to Lafayette.

“I love going to Lehigh, but I will say it’s very sad the lack of interest in the actual game (by) the student body,” Grobman said. “This year, I’m struggling to find one person to go to the game with me because everyone is more interested in going to a bar.”

Grobman said she prefers the game when it’s at home because the atmosphere on campus seems more hyper.

“When (the game is) at home, there’s a lot more excitement because I feel like it’s like waking up on Christmas morning for some people,” Naka said.

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