I Went to the 116th Dutchman Shoes Game and RPI Fans Were Not Very Nice

My Saturday ended up being fucking awesome, but it didn’t start great.

I went to RPI to document the 116th Dutchman Shoes game. A long standing series among cross town rivals, Union and RPI. I spent the last 2 years as a coach for Union, and I didn’t hide my allegiance as I went over to enemy territory. This was my first time trekking up the hill in Troy and I basically just wandered around campus for an hour trying to find their stadium for the noon kickoff.

I asked three separate people I ran into where the stadium was and no one had any idea. Clearly RPI is not a football school. Anyways, I made it to the game within the first quarter.

Prior to Saturday, Union had lost their last 5 games in this series against RPI in the oldest football rivalry in New York. When the game began the Dutchmen came out firing and left no doubt leaving Troy with a 34-10 win. Union brought home the shoes for the first time since 2012.

Huge shout-out to the Union seniors. Their freshmen year they didn’t win a game, then they had to adjust to an entirely new coaching staff and watched the last 2 graduating classes become the only classes in history to never beat RPI. Saturday was special for them as they get to end their playing careers on a high note. Senior captain Jack Reilly put an exclamation point on the dominating win:

That is exactly what I love about rivalries, you can bet fans on both sides won’t stop talking about that throw anytime soon. Why not stir up some more hate between the teams?

I like to think I did my part for my former team as well. RPI fans were not taking the loss well at all, harassing myself and other Union fans simply enjoying watching the previously-undefeated RPI team fall hard at home. A washed-up former RPI player tried to charge our camera (and later did off camera before running for the hills after RPI was definitely going to lose) and also a female engineer lacrosse player confirmed that there’s no class like low class when she slapped the phone out of our camera man’s hand in spite.

Let it be known that she approached US and started talking shit, we didn’t not bombard her by any means.

I was just trying to tell her to engineer some better security if we weren’t allowed there but apparently there were no time for jokes. Watch our full video at the bottom of the page.

Was I completely innocent? No. I’ll admit that I can understand the home fans’ frustration at me when I exclaimed that “IT’S LIKE HE’S TRYING TO THROW INTERCEPTIONS” after Union nearly picked the RPI quarterback off for the third time. For the record, Jack Reilly’s pick-6 to seal it was Union’s third interception of the day.

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I wanted to spend the waning minutes of the win celebrating with the Union crowd rather than continuing to bask in RPI’s sorrows, because at the end of the day, being a great sports fan isn’t about wanting your opponent to fail, it’s about pulling for your team to win. And this one felt as good as any win that I can remember.

Congratulations to Union on the huge win. And thank you to all the RPI fans for making it so enjoyable to watch your composure wither away before halftime. We captured the full experience via our Instagram story, see it for yourself.



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