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Did ESPN Miss The 1995 Memo About Lehigh's Nickname?

Sunday, October 5, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 10:04 PM, under , , ,

Athens, GA (Oct 5, 2008) - When I was a young boy, I was a Lehigh University football fan. Not necessarily because I wanted to be, but because my father was a Lehigh man, an Engineer. A Lehigh Engineer. Every week, he would watch the Prudential Scoreboard on ABC Sports, hoping against hope that his beloved Engineers would have their score mentioned. When Kim McQuilken was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, and later signed with the Washington Redskins, we would have to watch those games when they were on television, in hopes McQuilken might get in the game.

Of course this was all before the days of 24-hour cable and ESPN. Last night he would have been in his glory because Lehigh actually made the highlights on ESPNews. Of course they made it because, for the second week in a row, they lost a game by one point on the last play of the game. But he would still have been smiling because ESPNews referred to the team as "The Engineers".

You see, back in 1995, the administration of the university decided that the school nickname had to be changed. Not because the "Engineers" moniker was offensive to people of any race or ethinicity, but because it was offensive to the non-engineering students enrolled in school. The administration threw out the rich engineering basis and tradition of the school, and re-christened the nickname to be the "Mountain Hawks". Of course this did not sit well with with the old-time alumi like my dad.

So I am sure he was looking down from above with a smile as ESPNews referred to them as "The Engineers." But I wonder how many calls and complaints ESPN got from the younger generation of Mountain Hawks?

For The Trivia Buffs

What is the most played rivalry in college football history?

No, not the oldest, but the most played.

The answer is the rivalry between Lehigh and Lafayette. Since 1884, the two football teams have met 143 times, making "The Rivalry" the most played in the history of college football. It is also the longest uninterrupted rivalry in college football, with the teams playing at least once every year since 1897.

Related Link(s)

Lehigh University Football Web Site

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