Michael Rezin/The Ram Fordham is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2003, and will face FBS opponent Temple on Saturday in Philadelphia.
Covering sports for this paper is an exercise in compartmentalization. It requires me to keep the Fordham fan in me separate from the reporter in me.
By far the most difficult aspect of this is keeping my emotions in check in the press box. After a big play I can’t do much more than nod my head in approval. So, on Saturday night, as Fordham lined up in the victory formation to run out the clock on eighth-ranked Villanova — as the players jumped up and down on the sidelines, the crowd rose to its feet and the coaches in the neighboring box clapped and hollered — I abided by press box decorum and simply tapped my feet excitedly, albeit with a big grin on my face.
I couldn’t believe what Joe Moorhead had done in just 13 games as Fordham’s head coach.
Moorhead inherited a team which went 1-10 in the season before his arrival. In fact, Moorhead’s predecessor, Tom Masella, had only one winning season in six years at Rose Hill, despite having two future NFLers — John Skelton and Isa Abdul-Quddus — on his roster (in a conference that rarely produces pro talent).
After installing a new offense, and instilling a new attitude in his team, Moorhead led the Rams to a 6-5 record in his first year — their first winning season since 2007. Now they’re off to their first 2-0 start since 2003. Fordham football is respectable and relevant once again.
The fact of the matter is, college is a better experience when there is a fun, safe, free activity on campus for everyone to enjoy.
For years now, I, and many other students have thought men’s basketball would be the activity for the campus to rally around, but that team has been a perennial disappointment.
Football is cool again, though. People are going to the games, and not just to get T-shirts. As a senior, this is incredibly satisfying. I remember the dark days under Masella when a Fordham offensive series consisted of two draw plays, a screen pass and a punt. I can only imagine how the players feel to finally be winning.
I asked senior running back Carlton Koonce where the Villanova win ranked among all his Fordham memories and he told me it was “number one, without a doubt, bar none. Just two seasons ago we were 1-10 — probably the laughing stock of FCS football. Look where we’re at now.”
“Where they’re at now” is on the cusp of the FCS top 25, with an outside chance at a playoff bid come season’s end.
There are four home games left this season, and I hope the student body shows up with the same force it did for the first two. If you haven’t been to a game, you should rectify that. Fordham’s breakneck offensive tempo and roster of talented, explosive athletes make the Rams incredibly watchable and appealing to even a casual fan. You won’t see Fordham slog its way to a 6-3 victory the way teams in the Big Ten will.
It might be a long way from the Seven Blocks of Granite, but Fordham football is finally something to be proud of again.