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On Saturday morning at 10:15 you will be somewhere in between your sixth and 23rd beer.
But senior Dan Cassavaugh will not be. He will be setting up and testing equipment in preparation for this yearâ€™s Cortaca Jug radio broadcast.
Itâ€™s tradition, just like the Jug itself or pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Every year since 1949 WICB broadcasts the Bomber-Red Dragon version of the fall classic. And donâ€™t think for a second Cassavaugh isnâ€™t psyched for his turn behind the mic.
â€śIâ€™ve been counting down the days for two weeks,â€ť he said.
South Hillâ€™s biggest party isnâ€™t just for the players and fans. Everyone feels that special something in the air.
Jon Meterparel â€™94 was the play-by-play man for three Cortaca games. He is now the radio voice of Boston College football and announced the B.C.-Virginia Tech game a couple of weeks ago. That was No. 2 in the country against No. 11 on ESPN. Still, he said the Cortaca Jug isnâ€™t far behind.
â€śThe hype is the same for any big game,â€ť he said. â€śThereâ€™s that same hype and pomp and circumstance.â€ť
This is Division IIIâ€™s best impression of Division I, even without Lee Corso and the Gameday Crew. Ten-thousand people donâ€™t turn out to watch Hartwick play Springfield, but they do for Ithaca and Cortland.
It was in 1994 that Sports Illustrated dubbed the Cortaca Jug â€śthe biggest little game in the nation.â€ť Meterparel was here for that and so was Kevin Connors â€™97, who did radio play-by-play in 1995 and 1996 and now works at CBS radio in New York City.
â€śFrom that point this thing has just taken on a life of its own,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s the bowl game Ithaca doesnâ€™t have.â€ť
Cassavaugh knows it, too. He will spend at least five or six hours preparing for the broadcast, including a two-hour press conference he attended yesterday afternoon.
â€śI donâ€™t have that little kid in the backyard Game Seven mentality about broadcasting,â€ť he said. â€śBut with the atmosphere you understand itâ€™s a big moment, even up there in the press box.â€ť
And when the game starts and the crowd gets going, the real fun starts. The IC campus wakes up like Rip Van Winkle and remembers what school spirit is.
â€śThe intensity matches Army-Navy or Yankees-Red Sox or anything else Iâ€™ve ever covered,â€ť Connors said.
Cassavaugh is as excited as junior quarterback Dan Juvan for good reason because, as Meterparel said, â€śitâ€™s an honor to call the game.â€ť
Thatâ€™s awfully high praise for a â€ślittleâ€ť game.