Rutgers To Reenact First College Football Game 150 Years Later
Rutgers theater students and alumni will reenact the school's 1869 matchup against Princeton to honor the 150th anniversary of the "inaugural college football game," according to Jerry Carino of the ASBURY PARK PRESS. The free event will take place Friday at 6:15pm ET at the school's Marco Battaglia Practice Complex, before Rutgers football will "kick off its season next door" at SHI Stadium against UMass at 7:15pm. The students will wear "period clothing" for the reenactment. Players in the 1869 game likely "wore a hodgepodge of outfits," but for the "sake of pageantry, Adidas is furnishing 'uniforms' in the form of long-sleeve, sweater-type shirts with a retro ‘R’ for Rutgers and a splash of orange for Princeton." Red bandanas, which "contemporary accounts compared to turbans, will be worn by the home team." The 1869 version was "played with 25 men on a side," though the reenactment will feature 11 on a side in a "nod to the sport’s evolution." The ball will be "old-school, rounder." Several ideas were "bandied about in the run-up to the anniversary, including staging an actual rugby game between Rutgers and Princeton, or having the teams from each school square off in flag football" (ASBURY PARK PRESS, 8/26).
GOING ALL OUT: SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith notes ESPN has "put as much production muscle behind college football's 150th anniversary as any previous programming initiative." ESPN Films and Original Content VP & Exec Producer John Dahl said that his group has "produced 35 hours of college football storytelling that will air across all of ESPN's platforms this season." That programming will "touch on the subjects of rivalries, recruiting, TV, Notre Dame and games of the century." Meanwhile, on the field, "specially designed jersey patches and helmet stickers have been created" by College Football 150, a nonprofit funded by the National Football Foundation and NCAA to "celebrate the anniversary this season." It is now "up to the schools whether they will activate all season long or if they will pick a particular game to use CFB150 assets, such as creative produced for in-venue LED boards" (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/26 issue).