The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Another Shoes game for me

Saturday will be my 28th Dutchman Shoes Trophy game.

It's always a meaningful game for me beyond the historical significance as New York's oldest collegiate football rivalry.

I have a unique perspective, because I have so many ties to both Union and RPI.

I began covering Union College football the very first year I joined the Daily Gazette sports department. Although I initially covered high schools when I started working in February of 1986, by the time the football season came around that same year, I switched beats and covered my first Shoes game. I haven't missed one since.

In the 28 years I've covered Union football, I've seen many successful Garnet teams and established strong relationships with former head coach Al Bagnoli and current head coach John Audino, as well as former sports information director George Cuttita III and current SID Eric McDowell.

But I've also got plenty of ties to RPI. My mother worked in the school of architecture there for more than 20 years. My brother, Dan, now a professor at Boston University, earned his undergraduate degree there. Throw in the fact that I was born in Troy and still live just a few blocks away from the East Campus Village, and you can see why this game is so special to me. I watched RPI games as a kid and got to know former head coach Joe King and current SID Kevin Beattie very well over the years.

I try hard to stay neutral for this game, and even though RPI is 4-5 and Union is only 3-6, it should be another exciting game. Who knows, it might end up in another overtime thriller, just like last year, when Union won, 34-28, in Troy.

See you there, on Frank Bailey Field at noon, along with a couple of thousand lively fans on both side.

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