After 2 delays, Lehigh-Lafayette game finally set for Saturday | Lehigh Valley Regional News
Blooming flowers and trees turning green are not exactly signs of the football season.
“Quite bizarre and unsettling circumstances. You’re just not used to going to this game in April,” said Doug Easterly of New Jersey.
The 1980 Lafayette graduate has attended 40 direct Lehigh Lafayette soccer matches, always with his favorite teammate, a stuffed leopard named “Lep”.
“My mother bought a stuffed leopard at a flea market in 1980, the summer before my first year,” he said.
This year, the couple nearly missed tickets due to COVID-19 as only 2,600 of the 13,000-plus seats at Lafayette’s Fisher Stadium will be occupied.
Those like Easterly will not be able to open the tailgate, stadium concessions will be dismissed, and only those with tickets will be allowed on campus on game day.
“This year is a little different. COVID has changed a lot. Building is not what it usually is,” said Craig Barbaro, sports editor at college newspaper The Lafayette.
Barbaro adds that the game’s recent postponement by a week has also hurt the atmosphere.
“That took some wind out of the sails, but people are just rolling with the blows, with what a year it is,” he continued.
Lehigh’s sports department said while the tradition is still there, things just don’t feel that way this year.
But Barbaro says some things that even a pandemic can’t beat.
“That’s what makes the Lehigh Lafayette game so great. It’s such a famous rivalry that people know what’s at stake. They love to watch it, no matter what in their personal life or in the world is going on. “
The starting shot will be given on Saturday at 12:35 p.m.