Saturday, April 12, 2014


Union College is a small school located in Schenectady, New York.  Since I had a brief stint as a toll collector on the New York State Thruway I can tell you that Schenectady sits at exit 25, one exit west of the junction of Interstates 87 and 90.

I am not much of a hockey fan so was startled to read a few days ago that Union College was in the Frozen Four competing for a national championship.  Union is not a big time sports school. They play Division 3 football and for a while the hockey team was also Division 3.  Twenty plus years ago the school went Division I in hockey.

Nevertheless this tiny school--that sits in a town that has seen its heyday come and go (and go far)--won the national championship tonight. On Thursday Union beat perennial power Boston College in the semi-finals and then, just an hour ago, Union defeated the mighty University of Minnesota Gophers in the finals.

The Union players were as jubilant as one can imagine when the game ended. The managers without skates threw caution to the wind and ran onto the ice--slip sliding their way--so they could join the shaking mass of athletes cavorting in a pile. Players were tearing as they were being interviewed.  Not likely anyone on this team will make a living playing hockey, yet each player said words to the effect that this was the biggest game in their lives.

It probably will be.  Financial rewards are overrated.  I have never seen a bunch of faculty colleagues jumping up and down because they had negotiated an extra percentage point worth of raises.

A tiny school of 2200 has just won the national championship. Well done Union.  Of course the real reason they were victorious is that my cousin Gary is a Physics professor at the school. .

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