The Battle of Eagle Road

By Paul Nasella
November 19, 2004

Scott Fobes

When it comes to college sports, every school has a rival; Alabama and Auburn, Duke and North Carolina, Army and Navy, Cabrini and Eastern.

These next-door neighbors have been fighting it out for what seems like the end of time. The director of athletics, Leslie Danehy, said that the rivalry with Eastern has been going on, “since the first day we competed with them.” Men’s basketball head coach John Dzik said that the rivalry has been in existence “as long as I’ve been here [and] I’ve been here for 25 years.”

There are many who also attribute the two school’s location as a contributing factor to the rivalry. “I think it’s a rivalry based on location,” sports information director Bob Macartney said. “I think there’s a rivalry because the two schools are so close together, right across the street.”

“Certainly, two schools that are across the street from each other are bound to be rivals,” Dzik said.

In the time that these two schools have competed against each another, Cabrini has consistently come out on top. Bob Macartney said it best, “If you want to compare it to the Yankees and the Red Sox, Cabrini is the Yankees and Eastern is the Red Sox.”

As ironic as it may sound, Eastern, just like the Boston Red Sox, have come out victorious when it mattered most. Eastern is responsible for putting Cabrini out of the men’s basketball PAC playoffs last year. This is much like the Boston Red Sox knocking the New York Yankees out of the ALCS playoffs this year.

This has caused the rivalry to take a bitter turn. “I say [the rivalry is] bitter for us now since [Eastern] put us out of the playoffs last year,” small/power forward, Brandon Millwood said. “Last year was the first time they beat us in 10 years. So, that’s why it leaves a bitter taste in our mouth…they beat us when it counted.”

However, others involved in this rivalry say that it is anything but bitter. “I would like to believe that it is a friendly, competitive rivalry. Anything other than that would be immature and unsportsmanlike,” Danehy said.

This is an opinion that is shared by men’s basketball head coach John Dzik. He said, “I think [the rivalry is] friendly and competitive. It should not be bitter. If it’s bitter on anybody’s part, either on this side of the street or theirs, then those people need to really re-examine what athletics is about. Athletics is about having some fun, competing, but in a sportsmanlike manner.”

Nonetheless, this closeness is not without its consequences. Some have suspected that it is because of this rivalry that vandalism on both campuses has taken place. “Since we’re so close to each other, bad blood boils over from campus to campus and even though students don’t often play as athletes, there is still a rivalry among the students,” Anthony Bennett, a computer information and science major, said.

However, director of Public Safety Charlie Schaffner has otherwise to say about the incidents. “I wouldn’t speculate [that the rivalry is to blame for vandalism taking place]” Schaffner said. Nonetheless, public safety has made some changes to the security of the school because of the vandalism. Of the changes, public safety has included “a periodic check of both the front and the Upper Gulph road signs on [their] routes, particularly at night.”

These rival nations are set to do battle once again on Jan. 8th when the Eastern Eagles come to the Dixon Center to face the Cabrini Cavaliers men’s basketball team. Until then, the battle of Eagle road rages on.

Posted to the Web by: Scott Fobes

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Paul Nasella

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