Thanks for showing up now go home Why? The Richmond Spiders, this week's opponent, couldn't keep its dance card in order. Penn was coming off a 1993 season which saw it go a perfect 10-0. With sophomore DeRosa ready to start at quarterback and wide receiver Miles Macik coming back for his junior season, the Quakers seemed primed for another 10-0 year. Then, in late May 1994, Richmond called to say it was sorry, but apparently its schedule and that of its Yankee conference mates (now the Atlantic 10 Football Conference) had gotten a bit mixed up, so it wouldn't be available to play on the long since agreed to October 1 date. College football schedules aren't like high school dances, where as soon as you get dumped it's not too hard to find a new date two minutes later. Games are finalized years in advance, and to break a deal four months before the season leaves the left-out team in an impossible position. To Penn's credit, the Athletic Department met with a number of schools to strike a deal to play on October 1. Liberty and Hofstra wanted to play, but had too much honor to ditch their previously scheduled opponents. And an attempt to play St. Mary's in California on Thanksgiving ran aground due to logistical problems from both schools. So on Saturday, October 1, 1994, the Quakers were left in their street clothes with the best seats in the house for the Penn State-Temple game being played on Franklin Field. If there was any doubt that Penn had some frustration following its week off, it humiliated its next foe, poor Holy Cross, 59-8. The Quakers went 9-0 in '94, won another Ivy title and extended their record win streak to 21 straight games dating back to 1992. That's certainly not a season to complain about, but as Al Bagnoli said at the time, his kids work all year and only play 10 games. To suddenly only have nine is a big deal. Part of the big deal is what the nine-game season left on the record book. DeRosa left Penn following the '95 season with 3,885 yards, just 69 fewer than Jimmy McGeehan's school record. Macik left fewer than 100 yards shy of the career receiving yardage mark. Saturday, only a handful of fifth year seniors will have memories of their cancelled game, and none of them would have seen any significant playing time. Still, there are a few links remaining from Penn's non-game. Senior tailback Jim Finn is best friends with DeRosa. On the other side of the ball, Chuck Boone, Richmond's athletic director and the man ultimately responsible for the game cancellation, will be wandering the Spiders' sidelines. Regardless, the team should have enough pride in its history to stick up for its brethren of years past. It doesn't matter what the reasons for cancellation were, Penn football was cheated. The players, coaches and even the record books were wronged in 1994. Most of the 1998 Quakers know all too well how it feels to be the victimized by the record book and by forces out of their control. As this year's football team expunges the demons of '97, it can also stick it to the villains of another bleak moment in recent football history. Set the record straight on Saturday. And don't invite them back.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.