Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, forever condemning the founding father’s football team to perpetual failure. Like football, the duel was supposed to resolve a conflict between gentlemen. Most duelists, to preserve their honor, missed their foes intentionally when they turned and shot. Hamilton College’s football team took after its namesake. The rest of Division III’s NESCAC, the New England Small College Athletic Conference for those who don’t know, fight like Burr when they take on the Continentals. Or maybe we’re just really that bad.
In 120 seasons of football, Hamilton College has accrued a record of 356-496-47. A head coach hasn’t left the school with a career record over .500 since 1941, and that man, the legendary Forest Evashevski, who went on to win two Rose Bowls as head coach of Iowa, posted a 5-2 mark in his lone season on the Hill.
Hamilton hasn’t had a winning season since 1996. In the last four years, three of which made up my sophomore, junior and senior years at the upstate New York school, the Continentals won a gentleman’s total of seven games.
One affluent former player loved his team so much that he promised to gift the college with a new turf field should Hamilton upstage Middlebury in the famous “Old Rocking Chair Classic.” After the losses piled up year after year against the Panthers, the man lost patience (or perhaps realized that death was closer than a Hamilton win) and gave us the field anyway. It’s quite nice and accurately represents the general ineptitude of the program. This is the field we received for not beating Middlebury.
It’s not like our athletics department is all bad. Both soccer teams boast successful traditions as well as a bevy of attractive players and alumni (Disclaimer: I played for the men’s team and dated women from the women’s team). Women’s lacrosse won a National Championship in 2008 and finished runner up in 2010. Most impressively, our streaking team has been undefeated since 2004. They’ve been featured on FoxNews, NBC and CBS. A full-length documentary was released in 2009. No word yet on whether or not ESPN will give them the 30 for 30 treatment.
But we’re not here to talk about the streaking team. We’re here to preview the football one. The results of the latter will likely leave the former naked and sad, or as we call it on the Hill, Buff and Blue.
Philadelphia born. Raised in God’s country aka Duluth, Minnesota. Give me a frozen pond and an open pitch and I’ll be happy. Follow me on twitter @noclassfriday