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Class of ’49 took trash talk to new heights before annual football game

The Lafayette-Lehigh football rivalry would not be complete without grand tales of victory, defeat, and hi-jinks. Back in the day, no annual matchup could pass without the obligatory pranks or campus raids. Lafayette’s Class of ’49 went to extreme lengths to keep this long-standing tradition alive, and Bethlehem resident Ed Krick remembers it well.

Krick taught industrial engineering and engineering science at Lafayette from 1960-1988, but as a Lehigh Class of ’50 student, he was once on the flip side of the rivalry. “This was a time when there was a large percentage of veterans in the student body who lived off campus, including myself,” says Krick. The “townies,” as they were called, formed a touch football league that shared the field with the varsity team.

On the Friday before the annual Lafayette-Lehigh game, Krick and his teammates were in the middle of league play when a small airplane flew overhead dispersing hundreds of leaflets onto the field. Krick says they forgot all about their game as they ran around the field chasing leaflets, which turned out to be from Lafayette.

One leaflet, written phonetically in a German accent, is a “safe-conduct pass” to be brought to the Saturday game as a sign of Lehigh’s surrender. The other is a satirical ode to Lehigh that also pokes fun at the Lafayette football team, stating, “This year although we’re lousy, we’ll beat you just the same.”

“It was all in good fun,” says Krick, “and it was much more tasteful and creative than some of the campus raids that went on back then and continue to this day.”

Krick has saved the pamphlets all these years out of loyalty to both colleges. He notes, “As a Lehigh alum and former Lafayette faculty member, I hold allegiances to both schools and am happy to have mementoes such as these.”

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