Fordham Prepares for Ram-Crusader Cup

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Fordham Prepares for Ram-Crusader Cup

Yankee Stadium will host the 2016 Ram-Crusader Cup, a storied rivalry between Fordham and Holy Cross.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF DEX(07)/FLICKR)

Yankee Stadium will host the 2016 Ram-Crusader Cup, a storied rivalry between Fordham and Holy Cross. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DEX(07)/FLICKR)

Yankee Stadium will host the 2016 Ram-Crusader Cup, a storied rivalry between Fordham and Holy Cross. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DEX(07)/FLICKR)

Yankee Stadium will host the 2016 Ram-Crusader Cup, a storied rivalry between Fordham and Holy Cross. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DEX(07)/FLICKR)

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By MOHDSHOBAIR HUSSAINI
Sports Editor

For some, when they think of November, the images that come to mind are Thanksgiving and Black Friday. For students, the month of November is a reminder of the last weeks of the semester before finals begin. This year, for Fordham University’s football team, the month of November is one of intrigue, anticipation and excitement, as the Ram-Crusader Cup is scheduled for Nov. 12 at Yankee Stadium.

The Ram-Crusader Cup is the name of the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual game between the Fordham University Rams and the College of Holy Cross Crusaders. The cup was dedicated in memory of Major Frank W. Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh, nicknamed the “Iron Major,” spent three seasons as the head coach at Holy Cross (1903–1905). A little over two decades later, he began the first of six seasons as a head coach at Fordham (1927–1932). Ever since, the cup has been dedicated to relive the rivalry between these two storied teams.

This year’s face-off will mark the 54th overall meeting between Fordham and Holy Cross, with the Crusaders leading the all-time series 27–24–2. However, the Rams have been victorious for the previous four years. Fordham will look to extend that streak to five years on Nov. 12 and keep the coveted cup at Rose Hill.

THE RAMS HAVE BEEN VICTORIOUS FOR THE PREVious four years. Fordham will look to extend that streak to five years on Nov. 12 and keep the coveted cup at Rose Hill.

There is much excitement roaring around campus about this matchup, mainly because it is taking place at such an iconic venue as Yankee Stadium. This excitement is not only limited to the students-athletes, but also the rest of the Fordham family.

Greg Marmaros, Fordham University’s Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations, expressed his enthusiasm for this game. “Only a handful of teams in the country have had such an opportunity. We consider ourselves New York City’s college football team. The fact that we can compete in such an iconic venue such as Yankee Stadium is very special to us.”

This thrill extends to the student-athletes as well. Starting running back Chase Edmonds, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’18, said, “I’m excited to have the opportunity to play at Yankee Stadium. That’s something that I won’t ever forget of my football experiences.”

For the student-athletes, the preparation for this game is no different than any other game. Starting quarterback Kevin Anderson, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH ’17), explained, “As a team, we pride ourselves on preparing at a championship standard. Therefore, we will prep for our game against Holy Cross the same way we prep for every game.” This is the mentality that Head Coach Andrew Breiner and his team strictly uphold. In other words, each game is equally important in reaching the ultimate goal of winning a Patriot League Championship. Marmaros echoed similar words in his message to the Fordham community, saying, “We need you there. We are a Ramily. Help us win a Patriot League Championship.”

The Nov. 12 matchup is the second-to-last game of the season for Fordham University’s football team. The result of this meeting is crucial in Fordham reaching its goal of a Patriot League Championship title. Basically, the Patriot League team with the highest conference record at the end of the regular season will automatically receive a berth into the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision(FCS). Consequently, each league game is equally weighted for Fordham football.

Another component to a successful Ram-Crusader Cup is a large turnout. Anderson emphasized this, saying, “I would like my fellow Rams to come out and become hyped for such a memorable game in Fordham football history. It would be amazing if the entire school came out and the tickets were sold out.” Edmonds relayed a similar sentiment. “My message to all Fordham fans is to try their best to come out and support us at the game. It’s something that can be really exciting, especially with a large crowd,” he said.

It was Fordham’s turn to go up to Massachusetts to face off against Holy Cross this year, but once the opportunity at Yankee Stadium presented itself, the Crusaders accepted the circumstances under the condition that they were the home team. However, the game shouldn’t feel different than any other home game. Marmaros articulated, “Even though we are the away team, we are in the Bronx playing at Yankee Stadium. We are New York City’s college football team. It will sure as hell feel like a home game with our alumni, fans and students supporting us that Saturday.”

Marmaros agreed that it was imperative to have as much student support as possible. “I wish we could have as many students as we can attend this game. They’re a pretty big reason why we are 25–2 at home, because they’re there every week to support us. I hope this student support extends to the Westchester and Lincoln Center campuses as well.”

Earlier in September, 1,000 tickets were given away for free solely to students. Marmaros added, “The first 1,000 tickets free for students went by pretty quick.” However, the good news is that students who weren’t able to pick up a free ticket have the opportunity to purchase a discounted ticket for $20. That is still a reasonable deal for students, considering Main Level tickets are being sold for $54.50.

As for how Fordham’s front office is preparing for the game, Marmaros stated that a successful competition is accomplished with the organization’s weekly meetings. “We have weekly meetings with a committee to discuss the game and we are approaching, reaching our audience. Considering the game is in our backyard, we have a lot of alumni nearby. We’re hoping they come out to the game,” Marmaros said.

Marmaros finished off with a message to all Fordham fans: “When you think of Fordham, we are truly a family. This game is at Yankee Stadium and we need everybody to support us. I know that by Nov. 12, we will have a ton of support, like we always do.” The game will kick off at 3 p.m, and tickets can be purchased online via the Fordham Athletics website.