Nothing will replace USD-SDSU rivalry

Nothing will replace USD-SDSU rivalry South Dakota State University's Heather Sieler attempts a free throw while facing a solid red wall of waving, screaming Coyote Crazies. Saturday night's women's and men's games between SDSU and USD marked the end of a traditional sporting rivalry involving the two schools in the early 1900s. by Bob Karolevitz Like lots of other people, I, too, will miss the age-old rivalry between SDSU and USD.

I�ve been known to say, facetiously, that there were still dinosaurs in the streets of Brookings when I first attended State College before World War II.

Even then, though, our nemesis lurked in Vermillion. Long before Interstate 29, we participated in �daring� raids on that southern city, and the U students retaliated with their paint brushes. Maybe they came first; I don�t know.

We were like thieves in the night. I don�t now recall what we were after, unless it was to retrieve our giant cowbell which USD students �stole� from us in their own night-time raid.

And speaking of cowbells, that was the era when all Staters had to have one. We played basketball in the Barn then to the clanging cacaphony of those doggoned bells in the days before the Dome or the Hper Center.

In Vermillion we tangled in the Armory (now the Neuharth building). I remember that we beat the Coyotes twice in those dim, dark days. As a sophomore I lettered on the North Central Conference championship squad that year, although I wasn�t very good compared to the guys today. (We must have had a substantial lead because I got into both games.)

Football at both schools was played on outdoor fields long forgotten. I was in the radio booth at state, dying a thousand deaths, when the Coyotes boasted running back Don Forney and their famed �student body right.� I think they won 11 straight games before we reclaimed the Little Brown Jug in the mid ?40s.

(Incidentally, Don Forney was a two-star general when he died not long ago.)

I can remember when we used to brag about our dairy judging team when we weren�t doing so well on the gridiron. (I looked it up in the yearbook, and we didn�t have a 200-pounder on the entire roster.)

The University students called us �Moo U,� �Silo Tech� and the �Cow College.� We probably didn�t have a name for them. After all, we were too busy with our Little International and other ag-related activities. We did take time, though, to hoist a �Beat the U� sign atop our Campanile.

Then there was the Dakota Day parade when a street-cleaner with broom followed our military band (before the Pride of the Dakotas was established). We wanted to fight back, but there wasn�t much we could do, since it was their parade.

Ah, yes, the rivalry goes way, way back, and now it is no more. Sad to say, we can�t turn back the calendar to bobby-sox days when contention was just fun, and no security guards were involved.

Of course, we all look back through rose-colored glasses, so maybe we weren�t so innocent either.

I won�t say anything about Division I � it�s like arguing religion or abortion rights � but I doubt if there will be a similar rivalry with Cal-Davis. Or USD versus the Augustana Vikings. What will they throw on the floor? A dead Norwegian?

I suppose it�s like buggy whips or high-button shoes. Like them it has faded into history, never more to be retrieved. And the USD students can put their T-shirts away.

Sure, it got rowdy sometimes in later years, but we�ve learned to live with it � like half-time antics at the Super Bowl.

All I know is that the State-U feud is a thing of the past, and I�ll miss it when the football and basketball seasons roll around.

� 2004 Robert F. Karolevitz

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