Playing the two-time defending Northeast Conference champions on their home field on Homecoming is quite a challenge. Losing your biggest offensive threat on the second play from scrimmage is another. Having a touchdown that might have turned the tide overturned and possession given to our opponents is yet another. Getting an apparent third down stop on defense, only to have a ball ricochet into the hands of a Sacred Heart receiver for a first down, and eventually a backbreaking touchdown, was too much for us to overcome.
On Friday night, senior Ardian Sahinovic, returning to his home state of Connecticut for the final time as member of the Big Red, talked to the team about adversity and told the parable of the farmer’s donkey that fell in a hole. After trying to get him out, the farmer resigned himself to burying the donkey in the pit. As he shoveled dirt to bury the donkey, it would shake it off and slowly climb. The more dirt that was thrown on it, the more it shook off and the faster it climbed until it was able to climb out of the hole. In our first five games, we’ve had plenty of dirt thrown on us, but our players and our program continues to climb. We’re getting closer and closer to getting to solid ground.
After the game in the locker room, fresh off having had an immense amount of dirt thrown on us, I brought it back to this senior class and the character and effort they’ve put into making this a successful season. I reminded them that we have five games left together, and we can make our mark in the resurgence of Cornell football in those five weeks. The adversity of the first five weeks will continue to make us stronger, and we’re excited about what the next five weeks will bring.
Brown brings in the best passing attack in the Ivy League and is riding high after defeating unbeaten Princeton last weekend at home to extend their win streak to three games. The Bears have perennially finished in the top half of the league and they are always well-coached and physically and mentally tough. We’ll have more adversity thrown our way on Saturday, but we’ll be ready to take it and shake it off. We’re going to continue climbing this weekend.
As always, I’m so appreciative of your support of our student-athletes and staff. If you can’t make it to Schoellkopf Field this weekend, I hope you’ll try and catch the game live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Go Big Red!
David J. Archer 05′
The Roger J. Weiss ’61
Head Coach of Football