Wesleyan Football in Boston Globe

Andrus Field (along with the Wesleyan Cardinals) is featured in an article about New England college football in the Boston Globe. Apparently Andrus is the oldest college football field still in use, and Wesleyan is the only team in college football to have been undefeated against the powerhouse of Michigan:

Andrus Field (1881), Wesleyan University

This field is what it is, the oldest gridiron in college football. Oops, there we go, channeling Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Class of 1975 and king of the cryptic answer. Belichick’s ties to Wesleyan are strong; his daughter graduated from here last year. Eric Mangini, the New York Jets coach and a Belichick disciple turned adversary, was an All-New England defensive lineman for the Cardinals.

The shout “Go Birds!” rings out as the Wesleyan squad charges onto Andrus Field, which is in the heart of the original 1831 campus surrounded by stately College Row and the Olin Memorial Library, in the central Connecticut city of Middletown. Wesleyan is hosting Hamilton College, which despite its location in Clinton, N.Y., is also a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Hamilton fans have strung a “Go Continentals” banner across their side of the field, and their cheers match those of the home side, until you reach the end of the field.

Here some Wesleyan student-athletes lounge on the terrace below the library. Their catcalls and critiques of the officiating are enhanced by a bullhorn they trade back and forth. Hamilton drives deep into Cardinals’ territory as the third quarter ends, and as the teams walk to the other end, the guy with the horn goads Hamilton, “You better go to the other end!”

Once there, Wesleyan holds firm. A defender jars the ball loose on what appears a sure touchdown catch, another catch is ruled out of bounds, and a Hamilton field-goal try clangs off the right upright and bounces away.

The Cardinals’ momentum is short-lived, as Hamilton quickly regains the ball and connects for a 55-yard touchdown and an eventual 17-7 victory.

Wesleyan can take solace in its standing as the lone school to have an undefeated record against Michigan. The Big Ten power has the most all-time victories in college football, but it has an 0-1 record against the Cardinals, a 14-6 loss in 1883. Obviously, Michigan has been ducking them ever since.

Boston Globe: Big Game on Campus

14 thoughts on “Wesleyan Football in Boston Globe

  1. Ben

    @prof. t: The only opponents I excluded are Cleveland and Chicago A.A. and the Chicago Athletic Club, which, as far as I can tell, aren’t schools (they noted all of the schools whose names have changed). Thus, while there are three additional teams that are undefeated all-time against Michigan and beat it in the 1800s, we were still the only school to do so until 1975. (See this for more on Chicago A.A. and the resulting ambiguity: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A01E6D6113DE433A25753C3A9669D94649ED7CF)

  2. Ben

    @prof. t: The only opponents I excluded are Cleveland and Chicago A.A. and the Chicago Athletic Club, which, as far as I can tell, aren’t schools (they noted all of the schools whose names have changed). Thus, while there are three additional teams that are undefeated all-time against Michigan and beat it in the 1800s, we were still the only school to do so until 1975. (See this for more on Chicago A.A. and the resulting ambiguity: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A01E6D6113DE433A25753C3A9669D94649ED7CF)

  3. Anonymous

    Yeah… but they only ever played one game. And won. But one game in over a century is hardly a “streak”, just a continuous victory by default.

  4. Anonymous

    Yeah… but they only ever played one game. And won. But one game in over a century is hardly a “streak”, just a continuous victory by default.

  5. Ben

    I don’t think any of us wants to admit it, but Appy State is far from the only other team undefeated against Michigan. Arizona State (1986), BYU (1984), Oklahoma (1975), Tennessee (2001), Texas (2004), and now Toledo (2008) are also 1-0 all-time against UM. So we haven’t had that distinction since the waning days of the Ford administration. Still, it was fun for the 92 years it lasted. And based on the shabby treatment I’ve received from that athletic department when I mentioned the name “Wesleyan” (I had to try to hunt down a copy of their men’s basketball media guide for my Econ 300 paper), it’s still a sore spot for them. I guess 125-plus years of futility against Division III (to say nothing of Ohio State) will do that to you.

  6. Ben

    I don’t think any of us wants to admit it, but Appy State is far from the only other team undefeated against Michigan. Arizona State (1986), BYU (1984), Oklahoma (1975), Tennessee (2001), Texas (2004), and now Toledo (2008) are also 1-0 all-time against UM. So we haven’t had that distinction since the waning days of the Ford administration. Still, it was fun for the 92 years it lasted. And based on the shabby treatment I’ve received from that athletic department when I mentioned the name “Wesleyan” (I had to try to hunt down a copy of their men’s basketball media guide for my Econ 300 paper), it’s still a sore spot for them. I guess 125-plus years of futility against Division III (to say nothing of Ohio State) will do that to you.

  7. Anonymous

    “Wesleyan can take solace in its standing as the lone school to have an undefeated record against Michigan.”I repeated this trivia until last year when App State beat Michigan. I assume the Mountaineers are also 1-0 against Michigan. No?

  8. Anonymous

    “Wesleyan can take solace in its standing as the lone school to have an undefeated record against Michigan.”

    I repeated this trivia until last year when App State beat Michigan. I assume the Mountaineers are also 1-0 against Michigan. No?

  9. Ben

    That’s right; Andrus Field has been in use since 1881. It celebrated its 125th birthday in October 2006 at halftime as Wes shut out Bowdoin 18-0 (in the middle of a torrential downpour). Quite the weather for a 125th birthday party…

  10. Ben

    That’s right; Andrus Field has been in use since 1881. It celebrated its 125th birthday in October 2006 at halftime as Wes shut out Bowdoin 18-0 (in the middle of a torrential downpour). Quite the weather for a 125th birthday party…

Comments are closed.