In the past two years at Lehigh I’ve only attended a total of about five football games and majority of the time I didn’t even stay until the end. Although I’ve been to more MoCos, a Lehigh tradition where students dres
s up in ridiculous clothing and roam the streets of Bethlehem, then I’d like to admit. MoCos are fun, but I don’t want to look back on my Lehigh experience and only have memories of dressing up in a neon tutu and a bucket hat. Therefore, I told myself I would attend more football games. So you can understand my frustration when I missed the first home game of the season. To ensure I would not miss the future home football games, I looked up the Lehigh 2016 Football Schedule recording each game and location in my calendar. After noting the games, I realized the next game against Princeton was on Saturday. Even though it was only Tuesday, I had already started planning the weekend making sure I had enough time to study and to do adult things such as grocery shop and clean my apartment.
My school week ended Friday at 4 p.m. and I couldn’t be more excited. Normally, I would eat dinner, watch some Netflix to relax, and then get ready with my friends for a fun Friday night. Instead, I decided to opt out of spending the night on East 5th Street and traded it for a relaxing night of Mad Men and microwave popcorn with my friend. The night was comforting and left me fully rested for tomorrow’s football game.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, I had a slight panic attack realizing I couldn’t find any Lehigh spirit wear. Luckily after pulling all the clothes out of my drawers I found an over-sized Lehigh t-shirt, which still had the tag on it (I guess that shows how often I wear my Lehigh gear). I pulled the shirt over my head and put on some shorts to match, then slipped my feet into a pair of white converse. I grabbed my phone and checked the weather. My phone read a high of 76oF, but I saw the leaves shuffling outside my window so I grabbed a sweatshirt, my keys, and my wallet then headed out the door.
I was pretty early leaving and I didn’t need to wait for the bus so I decided to meet my friend for brunch at Deja Brew to avoid paying for overpriced greasy food. Since, my friend was also going to the game we decided to order our food to go and eat it on the way up, which in hindsight was probably a bad idea since he ordered a steak sandwich w
ith marinara sauce. I ended up ordering my go-to meal of a turkey rueben and a small Oregon chai tea. Both make my mouth water thinking about it. After we got our food, we headed to my car and drove up while trying to balance our sandwiches in our laps. I was surprised to see there wasn’t much traffic. I figured it was because we had skipped the beginning of tailgates and most students take the bus up to Goodman Campus, where the football stadium is located. Once we entered Goodman Campus, I could already spot the parking lot and it looked packed. I thought we would never find a spot, but a guy in an orange vest pointed us left and a few spots down were empty. We pulled in and parked the car to finish our meal.
As I look up from sipping my Oregon chai, I realize there was a Marching 97 tailgate mostly middle-aged men and women playing beirut (an altered version of beer pong ) another one of Lehigh’s traditions. My friend and I hopped out of the car and I made a bee line for the old fat pug that seemed to be the mascot of this tailgate. We got to pet Puggley the pug and to talk with some of the alumni and their families which was fun. We were about fifteen minutes early to the game so we decided to stop by the tailgate fields. The fields were filled with pick-up trucks, flags sporting Greek letters, and students dressed in brown and white which surprised me. It made me realize I hadn’t been to a game in a while. I remember reading about the push to get students more spirited by leaving the tutus behind and putting on a Lehigh t-shirt, but I didn’t think it would catch on since Lehigh students would brag about the MoCos tradition.
Regardless, we were only there for about five minutes until a security guard told us the tailgates were ending and the game was about to start. We linked arms and headed over to Goodman Stadium. As we entered the stadium the national anthem had already started playing and we stood with everyone else. The start of the game was sounded by the cannon shooting. My friend and I made bets on what the score would be, but without knowing anything about football I bet Lehigh would win. Most of the students dressed in brown and white chose to sit on the grass area as did I rather than choosing to stand with a pathetic student section. I looked around, there was a decent amount of people out for a normal home game, but as the game continued more and more people left. Half-time rolled around and it seemed to go a lot quicker than I thought it would. I grabbed a drink and sat back down on the grass next to my friend. We watched two students attempt to make a field goal and then saw the Marching 97 perform, which I have to say were very good. At the end we were to stand for our alma mater, but I saw that only the alumni were standing. Current students looked around at each other confused and looking for direction on what to do. I grabbed my friend’s hand and stood up. Then students around me stood up, but we were all still confused since none of us knew the words. I looked at the little girl to my right and she was singing it along with her dad, yet none of the current students knew it. I made a mental note to look up the lyrics of the alma mater later tonight.
As the game wore on, more and more students left the grass area in attempt to catch the bus down and sleep off the impending hangover. Lehigh steals the win with a score of 42-28. I was excited that we won the game, but
disappointed to see many of the students had left to take a nap instead of celebrating the win. I realized that even though I had attended home football games before, I had a completely different experience. I was excited afterward and felt I had spent great time with friends and colleagues while taking a study break for some fresh air and friendly rivalry. I’m so glad I made it a point to spend more time at the game than the tailgates/ MoCos because I realized how much more fulfilling the experience was and I regret not doing this earlier in my Lehigh career. Take advantage of what you have now. Make sure when you graduate in one, two, or three years you’ll be able to look back on your time here remembering the Lehigh sweatshirt you always wore to the football games or how your friend got picked to attempt a field goal on the field, not how you shot gunned three beers while wearing a onesie. Relish your time at Lehigh, I hope I see you at the next home game versus Colgate!