WEST HAVEN, Conn. - Greetings from one of my favorite places to watch a football game. I'm at the historic Yale Bowl to cover the Penn-Yale game for the Inquirer, a matchup with huge Ivy League title implications for both teams.
I’ve had this trip planned since the beginning of the football season, in part because the magnitude of the game has been known for a while and in part because of my affinity for the setting.
I’ll get into that later, but first an explanation of the title of this post. Since I’m on the road today, I won’t be hosting the World Series game chat tonight. So I have a small request for those of you who will be at Citizens Bank Park tonight.
In addition to wearing your Why Can’t Us t-shirts, it would be really great if someone - maybe the fans in left field who bring rollout-style banners every so often? - could get a “The Hawk Will Never Die” reference on TV at some point tonight.
I can’t think of a better way to support St. Joe’s grad Jamie Moyer, and it would get the Big 5 some great national exposure. I realize that the Temple and Villanova fans out there might not want to go along with it, but basketball season doesn’t start until after the World Series ends.
Give it some thought.
Now back to football, and a little bit of a history lesson about the meaning of this place.
Yale football’s 94-year-old home, known to folks around here simply as “the Bowl,” is a rather simple edifice. But just as the Rose Bowl is considered to be the granddady of bowl games, the Yale Bowl can fairly be considered the granddady of football stadiums.
In fact, the home of New Year's Day's most famous game is an architectural descendant of the Yale Bowl. So are Michigan Stadium, the L.A. Coliseum and Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, among others.
Memorial Stadium in particular looks almost exactly the same as the Yale Bowl. I had the chance to visit the place a few years ago, and as I stood at the top of the stands I swore for a moment that I was back East, surrounded by the splendid fall foliage that defines Connecticut at this time of year.
Then I remembered that I was wearing shorts instead of the four layers of clothing required to sit in the Yale Bowl's open-air press box this time of year.
That brings us back to the present, and the fact that the rain that’s headed for Citizens Bank Park is headed for this part of the Northeast as well. If the weather holds long enough for me to get a good internet connection, I’ll open the chat room during the game. Just like last week, we can talk about the Phillies, Penn State or whatever else is on your mind.
I've scheduled the chat to begin at 12:15 p.m. It might not happen on time and I might have to cut out in a hurry if it's raining really hard, but we'll give it a shot.