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Know your foe: Colgate Football

Again, sorry for the lateness this week.  When you have to spend an entire week in Poughkeepsie waking up at 4:30 AM and then driving around for hours upon hours without a break you'll wind up sleeping till noon and then needing a nap in the evening.

 

Anyway, this week we play football against one of the only two schools we compete in all three sports with and just happens to be my lil' sister's alma mater.  Colgate University.

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History: In 1819, New York State granted a charter to the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York (let's call this group BESSNY because it's a long name) to build a schoolhouse in Hamilton.  They merged with the Baptist Theological Seminary in 1923 and named the schoolhouse the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution.  Toothpaste tycoon William Colgate (yes, he's THAT Colgate) was one of the trustees at the time.  In 1826, the school bought "The Hill" and expanded their campus and built the West Hall, which is the oldest standing building on their campus.  The school changed its name in 1846 to Madison University.  In 1850, the trustees tried to move the school to Rochester but our trigger happy lawsuit society stopped them.  Still, a bunch of trustees decided to build a new school in Rochester which would become the University of Rochester.  The Colgate family invested in the school for decades that in 1890 the school's name was changed again to Colgate University.  The religious (Baptist) part of the school merged with Rochester's religious part to become the Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and the rest of the school became a private non-sectarian school (they never changed their motto though, which means "For God and Truth" which makes me wonder what the atheist Colgaters are thinking).  In 1970 Colgate became coed.

Location: Hamilton, New York.  The village (yes, in New York what people think of as towns are called villages) currently violates the sacred ground of the Oneida Nation (there will be references to Iroquois groups on all CNY schools we play in everything).  But as for non-Iroquois related history, Samuel Payne founded a farm in the town in the late 1790s and was just called Payne's Settlement; the village did not incorporate until 1812.  In 1895 the village burned down and was subsequently rebuilt.  It never really had an industry; Colgate is, was, and always will be the economy.  That and the infamous bar Jugs.  By the way, Colgate's campus was named the most beautiful in the country by Princeton Review.

Academics: Colgate is tiny, with only about 2,825 undergrads.  The school is not US News' National list, but it does fall in at 21st place on their list of top liberal arts colleges.  You can only get a BA from Colgate, not a BS (which is to an engineer like me, complete BS).  Their only grad program is in education and they are not a research university.  Despite my sister telling me Colgate has a reputation for arrogant frat boys and sorority girls who flout their wealth and connections, it was listed in the top 100 schools for LGBT students, the second most fit school by Men's Fitness, and third for their efforts to reach out to African-Americans and integrate the school.

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Famous Alumni: Colgate has been producing teh lulz for many years.  In the past, Colgate alum and cartoonist Chas Addams gave us "The Addams Family," a group of scary-looking folks wandering around New York getting crazy stares.  In recent years, the Broken Lizard comedy troupe founded at Colgate and gave us Super Troopers.  Ted Griffin of Ocean's Eleven fame is from Colgate, as is Jeff Fager, the producer of the famous 60 Minutes.  Monica Crowley is the busom babe of Colgate, and is literally one, considering Bill O'Reilly treats her like one.  Personally I don't like her, but she is attractive, damn!

In academia, Oswald Avery, who pioneered DNA research studied at Colgate, as did Mark Robbins, dean of Syracuse's school of Architecture.  Charles Evans Hughes, the Supreme Court Justice, went to Colgate but transferred to Brown.  In sports, the majority of  the Colgate big names are NHL players and commentators, including Mike Milbury.  But Ken Schanzer, the president of NBC Sports, also went to Colgate.  Adonal Foyle was a notable basketball player though, going 8th overall in the 1997 NBA Draft.

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Mascot, logos, and fight song: Colgate's nickname is the Raiders.  The colors are maroon and white, and were established in 1932 along with the nickname "Red Raiders" for the chosen colors (and for the football team in particular).  Rumors also floated around that they always would beat archrival Cornell (which also uses a shade of red as their color) and that the unis would turn read in the rain.  Initially they used a Native American mascot, but they changed it in the '70s to that guy in the pic I have up there.  In the 2000s, they changed their nickname to the Raiders because "Red" was thought to be insulting to Native Americans, and of course with Hamilton being sacred land, they had to respect the original inhabitants.  And is it just me or is that guy in the costume wearing sweaty sweat-sweats?  By the way, the only other Division I college to use the nickname "Raiders" is Wright State in Ohio.  As far as "Red Raiders" the only school to be called that in D-I is Texas Tech, so as far as D-I goes Colgate is semi-unique in its nickname.  Currelty, Colgate is 1 of 8 schools total to use the term Raiders, and the other schools (non-D-I) that use it are Franklin University (Ohio), Milwaulkee School of Engineering, Northwest Florida State College, Rivier College (New Hampshire), Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester), and Southern Oregon University.

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I'm going to assume here that Colgate students refer to their school as "The Gate" because of the script "Gate" on their football helms.  They always used this, except in the early 70s when they used a block C.

Colgate's fight song has an unoriginal title of "Fight!  Fight!  Fight!"  And it goes like this:


Fight, fight, fight for dear old Colgate!
With heart and hand now we'll win for thee!
Oh, we will fight, fight, fight for Alma Mater,
On to victory we're marching!
Foes shall bend their knee before us,
And pay their homage to pow'r so great,
So let us send out a cheer and banish all fear,
While we are fighting hard for old Colgate.

Athletics: Colgate plays in the Patriot League in all sports except hockey, which competes in the ECAC Hockey League (not to be confused with the lacrosse league; the two are completely different).  They were a member of the Patriot League since 1986 (which was then the Colonial Leauge, and was a football-only conference) along with Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lafayette, and Lehigh.  In 1990 the Colonial League changed its name to the Patriot League and became an all-sport conference. 

Colgate has a rich football tradition beginning in 1890.  They could even potentially claim the 1932 NC because that year they went "undefeated, untied, unscored upon, and uninvited."  They shut their opponents out 234-0.  The "uninvited" part was because they were not invited to play in the Rose Bowl that year (the Rose Bowl was the only postseason game for a time).  They were also shunned from the inaugural Sugar Bowl in 1935.  By 1980, however, Colgate was forced to relegate itself to I-AA.  They never won an FCS title, but they did come close.  In 2003, they lost in the final to Delaware.  Two Raiders won the Walter Payton Award for I-AA MVP: Kenny Gamble and Jamaal Branch, both running backs.  Their current coach is Dick Biddle who led them to six Patriot League titles.

Colgate doesn't have much basketball success to match its football success, although they began playing in 1910.  They did win back-to-back Patriot League titles in 1995 and 1996, which were the only two years they went to the NCAA Tournament, and they didn't win a game there.  This was under coach Jack Bruen and center Adonal Foyle.

Colgate lacrosse began playing in 1921, and went to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 2008 during their Cinderella run.

Colgate has a popular hockey team that went to four NCAA tournaments and the 1990 Frozen Four.  That was the same year they won their first - and only - ECAC title.

Rival: Colgate never really had a rival that answered back to Colgate.  In hockey, though, Colgate despises Cornell and the games always sell out.  Beyond that, Colgate doesn't really have a rival that answers back to them.  They have plenty of annual series, but they're always lopsided.  Hilariously, the ESPN college basketball encyclopedia lists Syracuse as Colgate's rival, even though Syracuse won 116 out of 161 basketball contests, including the last 45 or so.  The only real bad blood between Syracuse and Colgate, though, was in football, and that lasted until 1970 (and in the early 20th century there was a lot of bad blood, especially considering Colgate really had it in for us back then.  And one of the first sports' "curses" originates from the Colgate-Syracuse game.

Outlook: The "Hoodoo" was an Archbold thing.  There will be no HooDome.  Ryan Nassib will continue to improve and the O-Line will improve as well to where it needs to be.  Syracuse 31, Colgate 17.  Go Orange!

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