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The Road to Chattanooga: Are you on board?

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Jump on Raiders fans, your 15-0 team is heading to Chattanooga. Are you going for the ride? What about that battle against Florida Atlantic in the sunshine of Fort Lauderdale? Send us your comments about this season to remember. Here's a sampling of  what some of your fellow fans are saying:

More coverage

Photos from the victory over FAU

• The big win over FAU

• New York Times game story

• Palm Beach Post talks about the 'Colgate way'

• John Frieser's online journal

After driving three hours to watch Colgate play at home every Saturday - even for the playoffs during blizzard conditions - I knew I would wind up back in Hamilton for that "home field" feeling at the Palace Theater, where the environment proved to be simply electrifying. Win or lose, Colgate is the epitome of pure, small-town America football that consistently performs big. From the words of Andy Kerr engraved proudly throughout Colgate's sporting venues - but please don't hold me to their absolute correctness - "Colgate athletics teach us to think clearly, live cleanly, and play fairly." THAT IS COLGATE! We are so proud to cheer your name...Let's go 'gate!

Bill Simmonds

I have been following this team from early in the season. As win after win piled up, you just had a feeling that something special was happening. When they rallied to take the Holy Cross game, finishing the regular season undefeated, it was all you could hope for, or so I thought. When they won two games in the snow in the playoffs against favored squads from scholarship conferences, I started getting calls from friends who had attended Big Ten schools, and Notre Dame, all telling me that they had "adopted" Colgate as "their team." The FAU game (on Dec. 13, by the way) finally showed everyone that we belonged, and that we were not only smart, but athletic (did you see that pick-off by Anderson?), and gutsy (Luke Graham playing through the pain). Now, 13 years after I attended the 1990 NCAA championship hockey game in Detroit where Colgate lost to Wisconsin, I will travel with seven good friends, alumnae all, from NYC to Tennessee to hopefully see the Maroon take down Delaware, and finally remove the curse of being "undefeated, untied, unscored upon - and uninvited."

JJ Dabney '92

The Washington DC Alumni Club again took over the Exchange Saloon. We had more than 200 people cheering, screaming and watching our beloved Raiders pluck the Owls from Florida Atlantic! We had alumni from five different decades as well as several parents of alumi and current students. We are shooting for 300 people to come out for the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME back at the Exchange Saloon on Friday. Seats are expected to be filled quickly so come early! The restaurant will be closed to the public so it can accommodate us.

 Andy Rome '99

Pride for the alma mater was strong here, deep in the heart of Texas. Watching our Colgate competing with, and totally dismantling a team that is soon to be Division 1-A, was an event that none of us will forget. About forty alums, parents, friends, and family transformed Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant into Jim & Betty's, Shepsters, The Jug, The Hour Glass, Risky Business, or any of the other infamous Hamilton watering holes!

We want to let the players, coaches, administrators, faculty and staff know how truly excited we are; and, how you've made this season so outstanding for us who are used to the "Texas versus Oklahoma" banter that permeates South Texas during autumn's months. We will be watching and cheering with thousands of alums, family and friends all over the country, and the world. Good luck and go 'gate.

Rob Grossman '96

I am a class of '80 grad living outside of Louisville, Ky.  Unfortunately, that puts me in the part of the country that had to share ESPN2's coverage with the Delaware/Wofford game.  Fortunately, we recently moved our computer to the family room, so whenever the TV coverage went to Delaware, we hit the mute button and listened to Colgate via the Internet.  It was just my husband (a Gettysburg grad who cheerfully roots for the 'gate) and me--our daughter fled the room when told she couldn't talk during the game. There are some advantages to living in Kentucky for a Colgate fan.  We are only a five-hour drive from Chattanooga.  I've already booked a hotel room for Friday night and am waiting anxiously to find out how to get tickets in the Colgate section!

 Catherine Detweiler

To share a moment I never thought I'd see with 300 Colgate fans in the Palace Theater was once in a lifetime. As everyone poured out into the street afterwards, you would have thought it was Ann Arbor, Michigan, rather than Hamilton, New York. I immediately got my phone out and began to make arrangements to be in Chattanooga on Friday with the Colgate Nation. I talked to my parents on the phone who had watched the game in San Francisco with almost 100 Colgate alumni, there really is something special about Colgate that unites people all over. The spirit of Colgate shines brighter thanks to the football team and all they have accomplished this year. I wish them best of luck and I'll be there to cheer them on.

Preston Burnes '06

Chattanooga is a very good place for a road trip. The downtown area has been almost totally redeveloped. It is very clean, safe, and lots of fun. There are a number of very new hotels in the area, some within easy walking distance of the stadium. There is also a very good free bus service in the downtown area, making it very easy to get to and from the stadium from the other downtown hotels. There are lots of good restaurants, bars, and beer joints in the area as well. (I can see the stadium where the game will be played from my office.)

Frank P. Pinchak '70