Friday, November 9, 2007

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Weston Field hits the big time

ESPN's College Gameday is going to your humble blogger's alma mater, Williams College, for tomorrow's broadcast. This reason is the 122nd playing of the Williams-Amherst football game.

To celebrate, has two stories on the rivalry. One tidbit from Chris Fowler:

Some of the early games reportedly were just glorified brawls between students. In the infamous 1928 edition, Amherst coaches dressed one of their own in a Williams uniform and sent him onto the field to confuse their rivals. Officials detected the ruse and forced the player to strip off his uni in full view of the amused fans.
Lauren Reynolds' story, however, has the better anecdotes about off-the-field stunts:
The rivalry is not confined to the players and coaches, however. In the long history of the rivalry, some of the most memorable moments have taken place off the field. Amherst students have accused their Williams counterparts of stealing back the books Moore took with him nearly two centuries ago; a few years ago, Williams' band presented Lord Jeffs supporters with a bill for $1.6 million in late fees for those same books.

Hixon, an Amherst alumnus, said the rivalry has inspired its fair share of pranks between the schools. "Back in the mid-'80s, we had a comic group on campus, an underground group, called Rubber Chicken. And Rubber Chicken was this comic group that pulled all sorts of bits," he explained. "And how they did it, I don't know, but they got into the Williams equipment room and stole all of the Williams home jerseys on the Monday before the [game on] Saturday. And as the Williams equipment manager went to lay them out, he found out that they didn't have them.

"So all hell broke loose, as you might imagine. They didn't really know who it was, and now it looked like Williams was going to have to play at Williams on their homecoming in their away jerseys. It just couldn't happen.

"Rubber Chicken took a picture of themselves -- about 12 guys -- with the jerseys on, but the shirts over their heads, covering their faces. And they sent it to Williams, and the fun began. And on that Thursday afternoon, [Williams'] security office and our security office met halfway up the Mohawk Trail to deliver the jerseys."

The Rubber Chicken incident is hardly the only prank to be pulled; in fact, Williams students are the reason Amherst's mascot, Lord Jeff, no longer carries a sword to games. (It seems the mascot might have been a little too eager to joust when an Ephs supporter stole his hat at a basketball game.)

"There's a lot of fun and folklore; the stories get a little bit better each year," said Hixon, whose basketball team is all too familiar with the rivalry. This season, Amherst captured its first Division III NCAA men's basketball championship, finishing the season with a sparkling 30-2 record. The two losses? One came at the hands of Williams, of course.

Although the students are entrenched in the rivalry from the moment they step on campus, it does not end at commencement.

"One of the things that really fuels the fire is the professional world. That's where it really becomes heated -- when you're sitting across from a guy, or your boss is a Williams guy or the guy underneath you is an Amherst guy, and there's little wagers or whatever," Mills said. "It's an amazing thing. It's a small school, but it seems to have veins everywhere in the country, and the post-grad stuff is really what keeps the flame burning."

Go Ephs!!

posted by Dan on 11.09.07 at 02:38 PM


a few years ago, Williams' band presented Lord Jeffs supporters with a bill for $1.6 million in late fees for those same books.

It's nice to see the Marching Moo-Cow Band is still at it. Back in my junior year, Amherst prevented us from marching at halftime at the Williams-Amherst game held in Amherst that year by hiring a high school band to march instead.

So we sabotaged them by marching in along the 50-yard line to intercept them, playing the theme to "Mission Impossible", which, being in 5/4 time, hopelessly threw them off their nice safe Sousa march.

The kids in the high school band thought it was hilarious, but the adults were all livid. It wasn't Amherst College Security, but actual Amherst Town Police, hands on holsters, that (in some cases physically) threw us off the field.

I think that was the same year that four of us drove down the night before and spray-painted "LORD JEFFS EUNT DOMUS" on the street leading to the stadium...

Go Ephs!

posted by: Bryan Lovely '86 on 11.09.07 at 02:38 PM [permalink]

Just a bunch of snot-nosed, runny-arsed rich punks with nothing better to do with their free time. (Full disclaimer: I was turned down by both schools during my admissions process and had to go to a PUBLIC university. Oh, the shame...)

posted by: Useless Sam Grant on 11.09.07 at 02:38 PM [permalink]

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