World Series matchup incites rivalry on campus

Kathryn Cassavell

With World Series games taking place only 20 miles away, there was an intense rivalry this past week between Yankees and Phillies fans on Villanova’s campus.

The series began Wednesday, Oct. 28 after both Philadelphia and New York advanced to the final round by defeating the Dodgers and the Angels, respectively.

Baseball fans of all ages, including students, professors and employees of the University, showed their team pride by wearing jerseys around campus. Even the St. Augustine statue next to Alumni Hall was seen wearing a Phillies shirt after Philadelphia’s first win of the series last Wednesday.

According to David Tedjeske, director of Public Safety, there hasn’t been much negative tension between Yankees and Phillies fans at Villanova.

“Clearly we have a lot of fans from both teams here on campus,” Tedjeske said. “I am encouraged at this point, though, that there have been no problems.”

If an incident were to occur, Tedjeske said that Public Safety would most likely call two or three additional officers to keep students under control.

However, he put much emphasis on the fact that there haven’t been any problems.

In fact, the Yankees-Phillies rivalry around campus has proved to have a positive effect on both students and the community.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity sold Yankees and Phillies 2009 World Series wristbands on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

Many students stopped by the Oreo to purchase a wristband for $3.

Profits from the fundraiser will be donated to charity.

Frank McMahon, a sophomore member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, knew that this year students would feel extremely passionate about the series.

“New York versus Philadelphia is a very heated rivalry, and we were trying to play off people’s emotions,” said McMahon. “[Last year] wasn’t really a divisive series as it is with the Yankees and Phillies.”

The Inter-Hall Council also used the rivalry to create a positive atmosphere at Villanova. Sunday night it hosted a World Series game four watch party in Driscoll Hall. Students attended to watch the game with friends and enjoy refreshments.

“I thought it would be a really good way to just relax and watch the game,” said sophomore Steven Palmer, vice president of the Inter-Hall Council.

In addition to students getting involved in the World Series, Villanova faculty members showed their team spirit before each game.

Many professors, most of whom seem to be Phillies fans, made references to the games during lectures and class discussions all week.

Economics professor Richard Barnett is one teacher who incorporated the World Series in his lessons. Barnett recognized the strong involvement of Villanova students and used baseball examples in class to help students understand important concepts of supply and demand.

“What’s exciting is that the series is between two cities with a long tradition of baseball, [and] the fact that these teams are geographically close is icing on the cake,” Barnett said. “[Making references to the series] catches the students’ attention and draws them into the materials.”

The games always kept fans on the edge their seats, escalating the tension between the two groups of fans. No matter the outcome of the games, fans continued to show their spirit throughout the entire series.

Phillies banners could be seen hanging on the windows of residence halls with sayings such as “Let’s do it again.”

Yankees fans proudly sported their pinstripes after each big win. Also, baseball players were a popular choice for Halloween costumes this year.

“At the end of the day, good baseball is good baseball; you can’t ask for more than that” Barnett said. “I think everyone can appreciate the merits of great play regardless of the team you root for.”