Let's Play Again

August 22, 2006

Remember when, as a kid, you would play a game and lose right off the bat, your automatic response was filled with hope and confidence, "Let's play again." In 1901, four years into its resuscitated existence on the gridiron, the preeminent university in the nation's capital traveled to New York City to play the preeminent university in the nation's leading city. On that second day of November, one hundred-and-five years ago, the Morningside Lions of Columbia thumped the Georgetown Hilltoppers, 18-0.

Incredibly, in all the years since, the two schools never met again on the football field. Fierce rivalries with the Hoyas subsequently sprung up at nearby New York schools, Fordham and NYU. But for more than a century, Georgetown - Columbia has been a one-game series.


It might have resumed in 1930, but it didn't. That was the year that Columbia dug deep into its pockets and for the reported sum of $18,000 per year - at the time, the highest coaching salary in the nation, hired one of the best football minds in America and the greatest gridiron mentor that has ever graced the Hilltop. All Luigi Piccolo, aka head coach Lou Little, had done at Georgetown was to turn around a 3-6 squad from the previous season and, frequently in dominating fashion, pile up 41 victories and three ties against 12 losses over the next six years. Georgetown's loss turned out to be Columbia's gain. Within four years of Coach Little's arrival in New York, Columbia defeated Stanford in the Rose Bowl, while the Hoyas sank to a four-year record of 12-22-3.

Consider this an invitation to attend

When Lou retired following his last game at Columbia in 1956, four players from his first team, the 1924 Georgetown squad, were in the Lions locker room to congratulate him afterward.

Not surprisingly, when the charter members of Georgetown's athletic Hall of Fame were announced in 1954, the name of Lou Little topped the list. In 1960, he was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, Columbia also added his name to their inaugural Hall along with Yankee legend Lou Gehrig and NFL great Sid Luckman -- nice company.

With no football games between them in the past 105 years, but with the shared heritage of a hall of fame coach, Coach Kevin Kelly's Hoyas will travel to New York City on September 23, 2006, to meet their one-time one-game nemesis -- a contest that today is still between the preeminent universities of their respective cities. Details are available here. I'll be there to cheer for the Hoyas, of course. But in my whimsical dreams, I imagine a celestial-bound Lou Little looking down at the coin flip to start the game, as the Hoya captains stare down their counterparts and growl, "Let's play again!"

Just like in his picture, Lou is smiling.


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4:00 PM
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Shaw Field
August 11
7:00 PM
Maryland
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August 12
7:00 PM
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August 15
7:00 PM
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August 18
4:00 PM
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August 19
1:00 PM
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August 19
12:00 PM
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August 20
1:00 PM
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August 24
7:00 PM
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Newark, Del.
August 25
5:00 PM
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Washington, D.C.
August 25
2:00 PM
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Cooper Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Shaw Field
August 27
1:00 PM
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August 28
1:00 PM
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Shaw Field
September 1
4:00 PM
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Shaw Field
September 1
8:00 PM
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Palo Alto, Calif.
September 1
2:00 PM
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September 3
4:00 PM
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San Jose, Calif.
September 3
1:00 PM
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September 4
12:00 PM
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Shaw Field
September 8
4:00 PM
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September 8
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 9
TBA
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 13
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 15
2:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cooper Field
September 15
TBA
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Philadelphia, Pa.
September 15
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 16
TBA
Marist
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September 16
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
September 16
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 16
TBA
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Philadelphia, Pa.
September 17
1:00 PM
Towson
Baltimore, Md.
September 17
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
September 17
TBA
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September 17
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September 18
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4:00 PM
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September 20
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September 22
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September 22
TBA
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September 23
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September 23
2:00 PM
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Chicago, Ill.
September 23
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Joe Hunt Memorial
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September 24
1:00 PM
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September 24
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September 24
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