Is it odd that I remember the events of November 3, 2007 like it was yesterday? It was a cold, sunny day in western Pennsylvania. I had just played my final high school football game ever. We had just lost the night before to Bethel Park 31-20. We were on the front cover of the sports section of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. My Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who had beaten Navy 46 straight times, lost in overtime to the Midshipmen 46-44, ending the streak and falling to 1-8. It didn't help, especially since I was banged up from the night before, and had been at the E.R. getting my arm looked at in the morning (just as bruised elbow, I was fine).
It was also the last time Lock Haven's football team won a game before Saturday. I don't remember hearing about it, but when I see the date when they last came out victorious, I remembered it in great detail tonight after hearing about their most recent victory.
52 straight losses. Think about it. The fifth year seniors on that Bald Eagle squad have lost every game they have ever played before playing lowly Cheyney, the "Haven of the East" at home to finish what could've been another 0-11 season. You could call this the "Toilet Bowl" of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, while Shippensburg and Indiana (PA) faced off for the PSAC title. Maybe the Bald Eagles will pass the unflattering torch off to the Wolves, who have been just as mediocre, only able to drum up at least one win per year.
The last team to suffer a loss to Lock Haven was Clarion all those years ago. It is the longest known losing streak in Division II, a milestone that gets you national attention from ESPN, and Deadspin. You made it Lock Haven! It may not be the best way to get national media attention, but you did it. Go crazy, take down a goal post or two, go streaking across campus, burn a couch (maybe not). How the program did not implode after the fourth year of losing baffles me. A demotion to Division III might've been in order after a while.
For the Haven, the last home game of the season since 2008 has probably been the biggest game for that football team. Those Bald Eagle players who are graduating will remember this game for the rest of their lives. The returning undergrads will be riding a one game winning streak into 2013. Head coach John Allen can tell high school football players that he is making progress in building a winning program.
So I will keep Saturday, November 10, 2012 in my thoughts and where I was and what I was doing when Lock Haven won the battle of the PSAC's two worst teams. A wins a win. I'll leave it at that.
Dedicated to my fraternity brother Joey, who requested a post about Lock Haven's first win in over five years. Joey, here ya go! A.E.K.D.B.