November 5, 2013

Connecting Fall Foliage, Cornell Football and the Ohio State University Marching Band

Yesterday, I wrote about our beautiful fall foliage. Watch now as I connect that post with a seemingly unrelated video I think you'll like.

I grew up in Ithaca, NewYork. Fall foliage there was spectacular, and I particularly enjoyed looking out at the colorful hills on fall Saturdays . . . sitting way up in Cornell's Schoellkopf Stadium, with the football action on the field below. Believe it or not, Cornell once had a national championship team. From Wikipedia:
Cornell defeated Penn State, 21–6, in 1938 to begin a school record unbeaten streak of 16 games. The Big Red compiled an 8–0 record in 1939 for its fifth national championship. The possibility of a Rose Bowl invitation that season was rebuffed by the university administration. The unbeaten streak came to an end in 1940 with the infamous Fifth Down Game. After the game, Cornell voluntarily forfeited to Dartmouth when review of film showed the Big Red had inadvertently used five downs. The ESPN College Football Encyclopedia named the game, and Cornell's honorable concession, the second greatest moment in college football history.
I was 10 years old back then. Unfortunately, Cornell football's glory days were long past by the time I watched them play. But I WAS in the stands in 1951 -- part of Schoellkopf Stadium's largest crowd ever -- to see the home team defeat defending Big Ten Conference and Rose Bowl champion Michigan, 20-7.

While researching the details for that game, I came across an amusing tidbit about a 1874 game between Cornell and Michigan scheduled to be played in Cleveland, Ohio. It was not to be; Cornell president Andrew D. White nixed the meeting, saying "I refuse to let 40 of our boys travel 400 miles merely to agitate a bag of wind."

Love it!

Getting back to that 1951 Cornell-Michigan game, I offer a confession. The one thing I really remember was the spectacular Michigan University marching band that performed at halftime. (I think I hear my macho friends commenting on my sexual orientation.)

Ready? Here it comes. The real reason I started this trip down memory lane was to show a YouTube video from this year's game between Michigan and Ohio State University. It begins at halftime as the UofM marching band leaves the field.

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