Home vs. away: Experiences differ for Lehigh, Lafayette students

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The annual Lehigh-Lafayette Rivalry football game, commonly known to students will kick off at Goodman Stadium on Nov. 23. For Lehigh students who had to travel to Lafayette for last year’s showdown, the home game is a positive aspect of this year’s duel. 

Overall, Lehigh students prefer home games over away games, due to the easy accessibility and greater Lehigh attendance. 

Avid Lehigh football fan Lexi Branca, ‘22, traveled to Lafayette last year to attend Le-Laf. She said she felt it was a strenuous journey to get to and from the stadium. Generally, buses leave Lehigh to Lafayette much earlier than the game actually starts. She said it was uncomfortable in the stands with the number of people and cold temperatures. 

“The bus left an hour before the game even ended, and the Ubers back to Lehigh were $60 each,” Branca said. “This was especially frustrating since we paid for bus tickets and were not planning on spending the extra money.”

Branca said attendance is spotty already, because students do not normally attend the football games throughout the season. She said this correlates with student body disinterest in attending Le-Laf games at Lafayette. 

Lehigh and Lafayette fans present themselves differently during games, however. Branca said Lehigh students who flooded the stands had school spirit and positive morale. 

She said Lehigh football had support from students, which she said contributed to its wins over Lafayette.  

“Our side of the stands were decked out in Lehigh gear, cheering and having a really good time, which was so amazing to be a part of,” Branca said. “The atmosphere would make me want to go again.”

She said Lafayette students were not as high spirited as the Lehigh fans, and Lafayette fans made the game into more of a competition than it needed to be. 

She heard some Lafayette fans scream negative and offensive sayings at Lehigh players when they messed up a play. 

Emily Regan, ’20, and Marissa Falcone, ’20, are both members of the dance team at Lafayette. They said they felt as though Lehigh students do not normally head to Lafayette as much as Lafayette students go to Lehigh for the rivalry game. 

Regan’s and Falcone’s sorority, Alpha Phi, charters a bus for the girls to travel to Lehigh to attend the football game.

“Lehigh students tend to have more energy surrounding the game,” Regan and Falcone said. “For instance, (Lehigh’s) band is much bigger and more developed than us. Ours doesn’t even have uniforms.”

Regan said she and Lafayette students prefer home games so they do not have to travel to Lehigh.

“But we both noticed that when we are at home, all the students gather in off-campus houses, whereas at Lehigh everyone tends to be together tailgating, which is nice,” Regan said.

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