September 13, 2005
Twenty football seasons ago, the Hoyas gridders were playing in NCAA Division III, lining up each week against such schools as St. Francis, Dickinson and Catholic. The year was 1986 and Georgetown was in the middle of a $100 million capital campaign with an entirely unambitious goal of $1 million for athletics.
One alumnus was the first to step forward and, together with then AD Frank Rienzo, they began to knock on doors in Manhattan. Their simple message: help support Georgetown athletics. However, that one alum, a persuasive NYC attorney named George P. O'Sullivan C'63, offered a more jesuitical subtext to anyone who would listen: whom you rub shoulder pads with on Saturdays does matter!
Associating on the football field with academic peer schools like this weekend's opponent was just a dream back then. But why shouldn't the Hoyas play an urban Ivy like Brown, with whom Georgetown overlaps significantly in admission apps? After all, that's a pretty fair definition of what constitutes a peer school. Institutions, like people, are frequently judged by the company they keep.
Enough people did listen and many opened their wallets to help the University boost the football program first to Division I-AA in 1993, and then to the Patriot League in 2001. Next Saturday at 1:00 pm, the gridiron program takes another major step forward with the first Ivy League opponent ever to arrive on campus to play the Hoyas.
Making the game even more special is the occasion of this being the first game played in the newly renovated yard. A special blessing ceremony will inaugurate the field just prior to kick-off. Further, large numbers of Glacken-era (1968-1992) players will be returning for the weekend to reunite and honor their coaches.
All that's left to do for all self-respecting Hoya fans world-wide is to figure out how they are going to see this historic match-up against Brown University. You have two options: 1) get to campus early and join in on the tailgate fun before the field action gets started; or 2) tune into the game, no matter where you live, via video or audio webcast.
Here's all the clickable skinny: