Coming Home?

October 20, 2005

Some history . . . some homecoming links . . . and perhaps the most delightful (but little-known) what's-a-hoya story ever.

As reported on several familiar Hoya grid websites, the granddaddy of all Georgetown football rivalries is without debate the Fordham match-up with 49 games played - including a contest in every decade but one since the 1890's (Fordham actually claims 51 prior encounters). No other rivalry comes close. Our next most frequent adversary? St. Peter's with 29 games played. Of our current opponents, Duquesne (19), Holy Cross (18), and Buckell (18) have been our most frequent gridiron foes.

While digging up the foregoing info, I happened upon the Fordham athletic hall of fame, where I came across 17 members of their hall who were once known as the : "Seven Blocks of Granite." The list obviously includes the well-known Vince Lombardi of GU cancer center fame. Arithmetic was never my long suit but how did seven become 17? Turns out the Fordham teams of 1929-30 had the original seven blocks and by the time Vince and his fellow stones came along in 1937-38, they just decided to recycle the name . . . hmmm . . . 7+7=17 Blocks?



For a comprehensive look at Homecoming on the web, use these links:


HoyaSaxa.com Football

HoyaSaxa.com pre-game report

GUHoyas.com on GU-Fordham rivalry

GUHoyas.com: Generations of Football Hoyas

GUHoyas.com: Alum remembers the '69 game

GUHoyas.com: Homecoming athletic highlights

Official alumni homecoming site

Homecoming dance



Back to Georgetown and Fordham.

After 35 years, the truth can now finally be told. You probably know the background: the two Jesuit universities were once eastern football powers and major rivals on the gridiron. In a similar fashion, both schools had dropped the sport, only to see it resurface in the following decade in the form of intercollegiate club football. As it turned out, 1968 would be the penultimate year of the club football experiment as it gave birth two years later to the modern NCAA era of Georgetown football. The Hoyas were scheduled to play the Rams in New York. Not surprisingly, the game was Fordham's homecoming. And like any good rivalry, this one was primed for hi-jinks and one-up-man-ship.


Ramses with John Pinto and Scott Reardon

Mascots in those days were of the live variety, not some undergrad sweating away in an over-sized costume. Jack the Bulldog was our mascot, kept in the off-campus house of junior cheerleader Dave Burgess. In the week leading up to Homecoming weekend, fellow juniors John Pinto, Allen Silver and Scott Reardon hatched a plot to invade the north Bronx in the dead of night. So it was that the Fordham Ram, after spending some quality time on the Hilltop - a little travel weary, with its horns painted blue and decorated in gray insignia - was ceremoniously returned to the Fordham team just prior to the kick-off on Coffey Field. Unhappily, the Hoyas lost the game 31-6.

Fast forward one year. Fordham was now Georgetown's homecoming guest on the Hilltopn. Jack was under tight security all week prior to the game. By Thursday evening, no dog-nappings of any sort had been attempted. Studying late that night in the newspaper office of The Hoya, was editor-in-chief Don Casper. The Friday edition of the student paper had already been put to bed and so when the telephone rang, Don was the lone person around to answer it. The voice at the other end of the line identified himself as a Fordham undergrad and asked to speak to the editor of the paper.

Don replied that they had reached the editor. There was a pause at the other end, and then the announcement, "We have your Hoya." Don, a classics major and a stickler for precise wording, answered, "What do you mean,`you have our Hoya' ?" The voice smugly replied, "We snuck into his cage last night and brought him back here to Fordham. We plan to return him to you at the field just before our homecoming game." His curiosity piqued, Don decided to probe a bit further. "And where did you find our Hoya's cage?" he asked. The Fordham voice responded, "You don't know? We found his cage located up on the hill near by the observatory - behind the football field." Said Don, "Ah, that cage . . . the one where the Medical Center keeps a few sheep and goats for their animal research testing program . . . yes, I know about that cage." After learning that the now subdued Fordham student and his pals had in fact kidnapped a live laboratory sheep, Don suggested that they return the animal to the Med Center before the rest of the Bronx was infected with some virulent disease.


What's a Hoya?


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