It was a scene that, quite frankly, football players dream about. Friday night, under the lights, and the stadium packed. That was the setting at Stagg field this past Friday night as a new rivalry was born, the first ever Pynchon Saw Game and second meeting between Springfield College and Western New England University.
Pynchon Saw, what exactly does it mean? What’s the background story? Who came up with this? There are a lot of questions, but that is natural anytime a rivalry is born. You can consider this new gem the Iron Bowl of Western Mass.
Last year, the Pride travelled the short few miles to Western New England to battle the Golden Bears in what was a thrilling victory for the Pride and one of the most attended games all year for WNEU. The intense interest in the game prompted a thought, and from that thought a rivalry was swiftly born.
“Both schools really wanted to get the community involved, get the alumni excited for the game,” said Springfield College Sports and Information Director Brian Magoffin.
“We kind of figured it would be a big rivalry after the turnout and the game last year, so as I said we wanted to get the community involved.”
“Both schools wanted to make this a rivalry and we decided to open up the naming process to the community, in fact we had 75 entries.”
The winning one? Well it was a combined effort.
The credit for Pynchon goes to Western New England according to Magoffin. Both sides wanted to incorporate the city someone how, and WNEU suggested the man who founded the place himself, William Pynchon.
What about Saw? Well, that’s one you can chalk up as a Pride victory. This is where the naming contest comes in handy, as Bill Manchester, an SC alum, former football player and former GA under Coach DeLong, submitted the name. Combine the two, and you have yourself the new name of Western Massachusetts’ most famous football season opener.
Don’t think this thing is settled at just a name, though.
“There will be a travelling trophy starting next year,. What it will be? I’m not sure exactly, but some type of saw,” said Magoffin, who admitted the time-table didn’t allow for this to happen this year.
Next year, however, they are playing for more than just bragging rights, but a tangible trophy as well.
The first two meetings between these schools have been nothing short of classic games, and with a new name for the game and a trophy on its way, the Pynchon Saw game truly is becoming one of Western Massachusetts’ biggest rivalry games.
The legacy is just beginning, and with the meaning behind a name that not many people understood a week ago, it’s time to start looking forward to round three in 2015.
Alex Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org