Hah-vahd And The ‘Saders

Sounds like a band, doesn’t it? Anyway, my original November stadium schedule was to visit Penn State hockey and Altoona for a District 6 Football Championship game. But anyone living on the East Coast will too you how insanely beautiful the weather has been for this time of year. With last Saturday seeing temperatures in the 70s and my home schedule working out where I can make a trip…I made a change of plans. Something outdoors needed to be in the cards, so I searched schedules and found Holy Cross playing at Noon. This would be my fifth Patriot League Stadium and my second visit to Worcester as I was there for basketball in 2010.

I arrived early and it was already 65 degrees, making for a pleasant walk through the strikingly beautiful campus, made even prettier by the Fall colors still abound. Holy Cross may be small, but boy is it hilly and my calves were aching by the time I reached the other end. It’s then all downhill to reach Fitton Field, a stadium that on the outside that did not nearly match the beauty of the campus surroundings. The no-frills steel structure is better inside as a tall set of aluminum bleachers horseshoe around three sides. Sightlines are decent and the stands are close to the field. With the baseball stadium immediately to the west and I-290 running right behind the Visitors’ sideline, it’s tight quarters for stadium placement. At least sightlines inside are decent and the stands are close to the field. Plus, the background is great as you either have peeks of downtown Worcester or from the other side, a look at the beautiful campus buildings up on the hill behind the home stands. Holy Cross came into this game against Lehigh undefeated and ranked #5 in the country. They literally ran to victory as Holy Cross gained 338 yards on the ground, en-route to a 42-14 win and another Patriot League title. The atmosphere was perplexing as I watched extended highlights from Holy Cross’ previous game against Fordham on Family Weekend and that crowd was really into it from the start with loud roars, arms raised for scores and lots of people on their feet (and that was before the thrilling overtime). I’ve never been so disappointed in a crowd than this one as they were collectively a dud. The team was 8-0 and about to clinch a League Title and you would think this was a bunch of neutrals watching. Compare videos and see how things looked in this one for the first score of the game. What am I missing here? Is Fordham this secret rival that gets Worcester all jacked up? Did the crowd play down to their 1-7 opponent? Comment below if you are in the know on why such a varying atmosphere. Attendance at least was good and the Crusaders are the best draw in the Patriot right now. For a more detailed overview on the stadium and game experience, click here.

I didn’t come up to Massachusetts for just one stadium as the night before, I was in Cambridge for a Harvard Hockey game. Four years ago, I was here for football and did a lot of Harvard-centric stuff while in town. In addition to taking another walk through The Yard on this gorgeous day, I went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. At first, I was unimpressed. That all changed when I got to the section of taxidermy animals, which is vast, historic and impressive. Then I got to the Mineral room and that was just as good. For dinner, I ate at Saloniki, a Greek restaurant and I think it led to an unfortunate wake-up call at 3 AM. Bright-Landry Hockey Center is on the other side of the Charles River and the building is next to the historic Harvard Stadium. It’s funny that the building is named after a person named Bright, because the building is indeed well lit. Red seats circle the rink and a walkway behind those seats provides good accessibility and some standing options. The loaded Crimson beat Brown handily on the night.

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