College revives ancient football game field-rushing tradition
In an effort to discourage students from attempting one of the most controversial Dartmouth traditions, rushing the field during halftime, this year freshmen have an alternative. Called "the Gauntlet," referring to the shape the students take, the ritual invites students from the freshman class to gather around Leverone Field House towards the end of halftime and greet the team as they return to the field.
Coach Buddy Teevens said he is a fan of the new tradition.
"That was the norm. years ago -- it takes me back," Teevens, who graduated from Dartmouth in 1979, said. "It's a nice reception for the team and it's nice for the class of 2009 as well."
The new tradition is the brainchild of the College's marketing department, Associate Athletic Director Brian Austin said.
"We'd like to try and make it a regular tradition at all of our home games," Assistant Director for Marketing and Events Jonathan Murphy said. Close to 1200 students and 500 freshman attended the first game of the year versus Colgate, Murphy said.
Both the team and the administration prefer the new tradition to the old one of rushing the field, which can result in a penalty for the team if there is a delay in the game.
"It's awesome, we appreciated the support," fullback Bobby Calderwood '05 said, adding that he felt rushing the field was "obnoxious."
Rushing the field can also be dangerous, according to Austin.
"Emotions run high during a game. Having students out there in close proximity to athletes who are trying to focus on the game, we worried something ugly could happen," he said.
Rushing the field is strictly prohibited by College and local police rules. Students who rush the field are subject to arrest for disorderly conduct by the Hanover Police, in addition to College disciplinary action.
"We do have more [Safety and Security] people there and we would certainly encourage people not to rush the field," Director of Safety and Security Harry Kinne said.
However, the high stakes make the old tradition all the more enticing for some.
"I definitely think freshmen should rush the field. I regret not doing it," Josh Drake '08 said.
Drake, who said he's participated in "practically every other Dartmouth tradition," didn't think the College-approved event was nearly as exciting.
"It's nice they're letting people do it, but it's kind of lame," Drake said.
Brian Koch '09 agreed.
"It takes some of the excitement away," he said.