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Williams Ties Amherst 31-24

As the official NESCAC page makes clear, Williams and Amherst tied in football today.

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As I noted at the end of the game:

Have two teams ever been so simultaneously disappointed by an outcome? Williams had the game well in hand, but then an Amherst comeback, including a pick-six and Patriot-esque two point conversion, robbed them of the victory. No wins for seven years now.

But Amherst is also hugely disappointed! They should have won and, if they had, they would be NESCAC champions now. The tie means that Trinity won the league.

Does the football team do “The Walk” after a tie?

In a sign of the growing nationwide trend toward participation trophies, the Williams football team did, indeed, walk The Walk.

The Walk, up Spring Street. Go Ephs! #ephnation

A post shared by Eph Alum (@ephalum) on

There seems to be lots of fake news around the internet about this game. Consider:

Williams College first year quarterback Bobby Maimaron’s fourth rushing TD of the game capped the Ephs’ first possession in OT lifted Williams (6-3) over Amherst (7-2) 31-24 in over time in the Ephs’ Homecoing game on Farley-Lamb Field when Amherst failed to match the TD on thier first OT possession.

They don’t call it “The Biggest Little Game in America” for nothing. Saturday’s matchup, played on a chilly Veteran’s Day with seemingly every Williams student in the crowd, proved to be one for the ages. Coming into the game, Amherst was at the top of the NESCAC standings, needing only one more win to become league champions. Williams, meanwhile, was having had a resurgent season, but also reeling from a 35-0 loss to Wesleyan.

Eph experts know that this must be a spoof, both because we have the evidence of the official NESCAC page and because NESCAC football does not use overtime . . .

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Williams College Football History

bob-odell-1

When I first arrived at Williams in September 1986, Williams had an experienced and well-respected head football coach, named Bob Odell.  I did not see any of the games that season (or really any others during my time in Williamstown) because I was always playing rubgy on Saturdays, but I always tried to make it to the Williams-Amherst game.  In November 1986, I saw Williams lose 10-7 to Amherst.  Little did I know that that game would be the last Williams loss to Amherst for 14 years, and would also be Coach Odell’s last game.  Bob Farley took over in 1987, and had an amazing run as the head coach.

I really hadn’t given Coach Odell much thought in decades until a few weeks ago, when I ran into someone who, spotting me in a Williams sweatshirt, told me he had been recruited by Coach Odell, though he ended up going elsewhere.  We chatted for a while, and he said that Bob Odell was the runner-up for the Heisman trophy when he played in college.  That really surprised me, so I poked around for a while and found that indeed Bob Odell, then a running back at Penn, had finished second in the Heisman Trophy in 1943.  Turns out he also won the Maxwell Award in 1943 as college football player of the year.

I assume that Coach Odell’s extremely accomplished playing career was known to many when I was at Williams, but it was news to me.  Are there other long-standing Williams employees with prestigious professional awards which are little known on campus?

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