It was The Big Game last Saturday.
No, not JoePa leading The Nittany Lions at Ohio State and going for career coaching win number 401.
I’m talking Penn/Harvard, baby, at venerable Franklin Field in West Philadelphia.
At stake for The Red and Blue was the chance to gain at least a share of the 2010 Ivy League Championship. It was also Senior Day, an emotional time for players and their families.
Someone told me before the game that I’d have no trouble getting in because it wouldn’t be sold out by a long shot. However, I got a bit nervous approaching the stadium when two scalpers mumbled something about looking for extra tickets.
A Quakers fan immediately laughed and asked, “Where do these guys think they are?”
Once inside Franklin Field, I took one look at the red track surrounding the gridiron, and it hit me that this is where the Penn Relays are held. For 116 years, the world’s premiere track-and-field stars have come there, including record-holding Olympian Usain Bolt of Jamaica just last spring.
Much like Philadelphia, Franklin Field has a ridiculous amount of history. It opened in 1895 and is the oldest college football stadium in the country. Other notable firsts include:
1) Scoreboard (1895)
2) Two-tiered football stadium (1925)
3) Neutral Army-Navy game (1899)
4) College football radio broadcast (1922)
5) College football telecast (1940)
6) Episode of ABC’s The Wide World of Sports (1961)
More than 800 games have been played at Franklin Field. Arguably, one of the most important was on November 13, 2010, and Penn’s 34-14 victory over Harvard.
BTW: This Saturday, The Red and Blue can take the Ivy League crown outright by winning at Cornell or if Yale loses to Harvard.
So, Go Quakers! Or Harvard.