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I got the rare opportunity to attend a game at my alma mater, St. John's (MN), last Saturday. Homecoming game, which was nice. Usually the game becomes secondary but not this time. 16 unanswered points in the final 10 minutes to win 16-14. Clinched on the longest field goal in school history with 2 seconds left. Just a minute and change after that same kicker pushed a would-be game-tying extra point wide right. Sweet, sweet redemption. Mark Lewendowski has the call:

 

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Yeah, since I moved to St. Paul a year ago, I have been following the MIAC. St. Thomas is the closest team to me (I go to grad school at Hamline, but their team isn't very good) so I've gone to a couple of their games, and I've been meaning to shoot up to Collegeville one of these weekends to see the Johnnies in person. Gagliardi embodies just about everything that's great about sports and even humanity, he's impossible to root against. But yeah I've found the really good Division III schools in MN have such a great atmosphere around games, it's fun to be around.

 

--Mike

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Yeah, since I moved to St. Paul a year ago, I have been following the MIAC. St. Thomas is the closest team to me (I go to grad school at Hamline, but their team isn't very good) so I've gone to a couple of their games, and I've been meaning to shoot up to Collegeville one of these weekends to see the Johnnies in person. Gagliardi embodies just about everything that's great about sports and even humanity, he's impossible to root against. But yeah I've found the really good Division III schools in MN have such a great atmosphere around games, it's fun to be around.

 

--Mike

 

I couldn't agree more. The atmosphere is do damn wholesome. Very communal. I think that's what draws me to the MIAC, and d3 in general. You Hamline guys are too smart to be good at football, though your team is good this year. Great Johnnie game to catch will be v. St. Thomas in 2 weeks in Collegeville. That should give you the whole.. "experience".

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I couldn't agree more. The atmosphere is do damn wholesome. Very communal. I think that's what draws me to the MIAC, and d3 in general. You Hamline guys are too smart to be good at football, though your team is good this year. Great Johnnie game to catch will be v. St. Thomas in 2 weeks in Collegeville. That should give you the whole.. "experience".

 

Yeah, Thomas looks great this year. They're undefeated and ranked 15th, they have this kid Fritz Waldvogel, who's like a shorter Tim Dwight. Almost everytime he gets the ball he either breaks it for a touchdown or he just gets hit before he does. Their one weakness seems to be their quarterback, they have two guys who they rotate in and out but neither are guys I'd really feel comfortable about sticking in down four with two minutes left, but the way their playing they might only be in that situation once or twice this year.

 

Edit: Have you read Austin Murphy of SI's book, The Sweet Season, about his time with the St. John's football program. I actually just picked it up today.

 

--Mike

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Yeah, Thomas looks great this year. They're undefeated and ranked 15th, they have this kid Fritz Waldvogel, who's like a shorter Tim Dwight. Almost everytime he gets the ball he either breaks it for a touchdown or he just gets hit before he does. Their one weakness seems to be their quarterback, they have two guys who they rotate in and out but neither are guys I'd really feel comfortable about sticking in down four with two minutes left, but the way their playing they might only be in that situation once or twice this year.

 

Edit: Have you read Austin Murphy of SI's book, The Sweet Season, about his time with the St. John's football program. I actually just picked it up today.

 

--Mike

 

I have read it. I loved it (not surprisingly). Too bad they didn't write a book when we won the national championship in 03.

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Hell yeah! DIII sports are great. Relaxed atmosphere, real student athletes, tradition, no corporate aftertaste. I live in a Big Ten town and I'd much rather see a DIII football game.

 

I'm a grad of DePauw (class of '97). Nothing beats a cool fall Saturday at Blackstock stadium. Tucked in the rolling hills of Greencastle Indiana, with the soccer fields on one side and a historic cemetery on the other! The 119 year history of the Monon Bell game (DePauw vs. Wabash0 is as good a rivalry as any DI rivalry. I’m taking the family to see a game on 11/7. We'll park for free, walk through campus to the stadium, get in for less than $5 and see some great football. They don't even use nets behind the goal posts and during field goals or point after attempts, all the young kids stand behind the goal posts and try to catch the ball. Great fun.

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Guest Speed Racer

I still follow the Oles (watch the Johnnies wipe the floor with them anually :lol ), but I mostly keep up on the sports I participated in. The MIAC is a great conference to follow, though. :yes

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Great Johnnie game to catch will be v. St. Thomas in 2 weeks in Collegeville. That should give you the whole.. "experience".

 

Yeah, it time for me to get up there. You never know when Gags is going to decide to retire, they'll probably both come into that game undefeated. I'll be sure to stick around and catch the campus there, I have heard amazing things. I went to a smaller Catholic college too, Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia (where I am originally from), but we didn't have football.

 

--Mike

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Hell yeah! DIII sports are great. Relaxed atmosphere, real student athletes, tradition, no corporate aftertaste. I live in a Big Ten town and I'd much rather see a DIII football game.

 

I'm a grad of DePauw (class of '97). Nothing beats a cool fall Saturday at Blackstock stadium. Tucked in the rolling hills of Greencastle Indiana, with the soccer fields on one side and a historic cemetery on the other! The 119 year history of the Monon Bell game (DePauw vs. Wabash0 is as good a rivalry as any DI rivalry. I’m taking the family to see a game on 11/7. We'll park for free, walk through campus to the stadium, get in for less than $5 and see some great football. They don't even use nets behind the goal posts and during field goals or point after attempts, all the young kids stand behind the goal posts and try to catch the ball. Great fun.

 

I live in Cincy now. There aren't any games in my area I'd like to see in the OAC, are there any schools in other conferences near Cincy that would be worth a trip? Sounds like DePauw's conference might be close...

 

Yeah, it time for me to get up there. You never know when Gags is going to decide to retire, they'll probably both come into that game undefeated. I'll be sure to stick around and catch the campus there, I have heard amazing things. I went to a smaller Catholic college too, Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia (where I am originally from), but we didn't have football.

 

--Mike

 

Gags is a beauty. I called him up randomly for a paper I was writing my first year there and he was more than friendly and forthcoming. We talked for about 10 minutes. I wish I would have joined the football team, only problem would have been that I sucked at football. I would join if I could do it over though.

 

I think Gags will be around for a while. He pretty much always says that he'll continue as long as he can endure the season physically. He does the second half from the press box when the weathers bad sometimes these days. If he keeps doing that and stays healthy, there's no limit! He's such a treasure. Someone should write a book about him while he's still going.

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I live in Cincy now. There aren't any games in my area I'd like to see in the OAC, are there any schools in other conferences near Cincy that would be worth a trip? Sounds like DePauw's conference might be close...

 

DePauw's conference, SCAC, is all spread out across the country. Alabama, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Colorado, Arkansas, and Georgia. Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, isn't too far from you. You can't beat the DePauw/Wabash game on 11/14! It's about 2 1/2 hours from you.

 

Other colleges near you include Hanover College in Hanover Indiana, Earlham in Richmond Indiana, and The College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati.

 

You've got some great schools in Ohio, like Antioch, Denison, Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan, Otterbein, Ashland and Wooster. None super close.

 

Check out the North Coast Athletic Conference, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and d3football.com.

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#15 St. Thomas and #6 St. John's both won last week, setting up a battle of unbeatens next Saturday in Collegeville for first place in the MIAC and the inside track to a conference championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Should be 10k+ in the natural bowl for a Titanic struggle!

 

I'd give anything to be there. I'll be more than happy listening to the Johnnie radio broadcast; those guys are better than the announcers of more than a few professional teams.

 

I think St. Thomas has more talent but it's not easy to win at SJU. I think the Johnnies pull out another close one, say 22-20.

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#15 St. Thomas and #6 St. John's both won last week, setting up a battle of unbeatens next Saturday in Collegeville for first place in the MIAC and the inside track to a conference championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Should be 10k+ in the natural bowl for a Titanic struggle!

 

I'd give anything to be there. I'll be more than happy listening to the Johnnie radio broadcast; those guys are better than the announcers of more than a few professional teams.

 

I think St. Thomas has more talent but it's not easy to win at SJU. I think the Johnnies pull out another close one, say 22-20.

 

I'll be there. Is it pretty easy to walk up and get tickets and get in on a game day?

 

--Mike

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DePauw's conference, SCAC, is all spread out across the country. Alabama, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Colorado, Arkansas, and Georgia. Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, isn't too far from you. You can't beat the DePauw/Wabash game on 11/14! It's about 2 1/2 hours from you.

 

Other colleges near you include Hanover College in Hanover Indiana, Earlham in Richmond Indiana, and The College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati.

 

You've got some great schools in Ohio, like Antioch, Denison, Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan, Otterbein, Ashland and Wooster. None super close.

 

Check out the North Coast Athletic Conference, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and d3football.com.

 

I went to a college that played in the SCAC -- Rhodes College (it's in Memphis). I can't say, however, that we in the student body gave a great deal of support to our football team (or any athletic team for that matter). We tended to show up for the annual game against Sewanee, but that's about it. In my experience, it seemed like a lot of the guys on the football team were really just trying to play a few more years of high school football and were dismayed to discover that people didn't treat them like the football heroes they were treated as in high school. While the beauty of D3 is that kids play for the love of the game (no scholarships given for sports), I also found that a quite a few of the folks playing football (but by no means all) probably wouldn't have been admitted to the school otherwise based solely upon their test scores, grades ,etc. This tended to cause a little bit of resentment from the rest of the campus -- especially those who struggled to meet Rhodes's fairly tough admissions standards. On game day, most of my friends (myself included) tended to watch whatever Division IA (now the Bowl Championship Division) team they followed on TV instead of walking across campus to watch the Lynx play. I tended to spend my Saturdays watching Tennessee (who was actually good back then) and other SEC football. That said, the games I did attend were fun to watch, though in much the same way high school games are fun to watch. I would also venture that there were high school teams in Memphis that probably could have beaten Rhodes.

 

On a side note, fellow SCAC member, Sewanee (The University of the South -- also located in Tennessee) was once one of the elite programs in the south. In 1899, the team played and won twelve games, was unscored upon except for one game, outscored their opponents 322 to 10, and were champions of the South. The teams they beat included Tennessee, Auburn (coached by John Heisman), Georgia, Georgia Tech, Texas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and LSU in the span of about a month. They played five of those games in a six-day period during which they did not allow a single point. Of course, football was a very different sport back then, and although Sewanee ended up being a founding member of the SEC, they withdrew in 1940 without having won a single conference game.

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mpolak21, did you make it to the game last weekend? Nobody was turned away at the entrance but I understand traffic was horrendous getting in and many abandoned the effort.

 

Second largest crowd in SJU football history, at 12,903, saw St. John's escape with an overtime victory, 20-17. It really was an escape, too, as SJU led 14-0 in the 4th before two botched punts allowed St. Thomas to tie the game in the final seconds, forcing the first home overtime game in Clemens Stadium history (note: SJU started playing at this "site" in 1908 but the stadium was only officially named "Clemens" in 1997. I have to assume this was the first home overtime game since 97'). Johnnies hold Thommies to a field goal and, 3 or 4 plays later, run it in for the win!

 

This week SJU hosts the St. Olaf Ollies. The Ollies are an ok team and we're talking major let-down potential for the Johnnies after beating our biggest rival in OT and officially entering the "easy" part of the schedule (though it won't be easy!) with 3 games remaining.

 

Prediction:

 

St. John's 33

St. Olaf 12

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mpolak21, did you make it to the game last weekend? Nobody was turned away at the entrance but I understand traffic was horrendous getting in and many abandoned the effort.

 

Second largest crowd in SJU football history, at 12,903, saw St. John's escape with an overtime victory, 20-17. It really was an escape, too, as SJU led 14-0 in the 4th before two botched punts allowed St. Thomas to tie the game in the final seconds, forcing the first home overtime game in Clemens Stadium history (note: SJU started playing at this "site" in 1908 but the stadium was only officially named "Clemens" in 1997. I have to assume this was the first home overtime game since 97'). Johnnies hold Thommies to a field goal and, 3 or 4 plays later, run it in for the win!

 

This week SJU hosts the St. Olaf Ollies. The Ollies are an ok team and we're talking major let-down potential for the Johnnies after beating our biggest rival in OT and officially entering the "easy" part of the schedule (though it won't be easy!) with 3 games remaining.

 

Prediction:

 

St. John's 33

St. Olaf 12

 

Yeah, we were late getting in because of the traffic clusterf--k and missed most of the first half, but got to watch the game from the hill on the far sideline, so the overtime plays happened right in front of us. Excellent game and St. John's has a gorgeous campus, it would have certainly been on my radar if I had grown up in the midwest. Missing the Thomas game today because WVU is playing at noon at winning 7-0 at this very moment.

 

--Mike

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Prediction:

 

St. John's 33

St. Olaf 12

 

That was very generous of you, though the ratio was still about right.

 

St. John's 10

St. Olaf 3

 

Not a lot of people I knew really got into football at Olaf. Even the girls I knew hooked up with the football players. Hell, I didn't know we had a dance squad for games until my senior year. Hard to win when the homefield advantage consists of your parents, a handful of first-years and some 80-something alums.

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That was very generous of you, though the ratio was still about right.

 

St. John's 10

St. Olaf 3

 

Not a lot of people I knew really got into football at Olaf. Even the girls I knew hooked up with the football players. Hell, I didn't know we had a dance squad for games until my senior year. Hard to win when the homefield advantage consists of your parents, a handful of first-years and some 80-something alums.

 

Sounds a lot like the school spirit of Wheeling Jesuit University. I may have told this story before, but one time during a basketball game with our "rivals" West Liberty, I was out walking across campus. A truck full of West Lib students passed me and one of them shouted out "Jesuit sucks!" I turned around and yelled back "Yeah, I know, I go here."

 

But back to Olaf, the fight song is awesome. I made two Olaf fans (who were 60 something alums actually) teach it to me, when I went to the Thomas/Olaf game in September.

 

--Mike

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But back to Olaf, the fight song is awesome. I made two Olaf fans (who were 60 something alums actually) teach it to me, when I went to the Thomas/Olaf game in September.

 

--Mike

 

Try this one, to the same tune:

 

We come from St. Olaf/ We wear cashmere sweaters/ We live on a hill to be closer to God!/ We don't smoke, we don't drink/ (at least that's what they think)/ and under the covers we UM YA YA YA!

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