posted February 16, 2008

Small College Hoops Rivalry Reaches National Audience

On Saturday, January 26th, hangouts like Zeek's Pizza in Kirkland, Washington and Ozzie's Restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri will have something in common with 70 other sites across the country.  They will all be tuning in to watch the action unfold as the men's basketball teams from Hope College and Calvin College meet on the hard-court for the 167th time.

The events, organized by the Alumni Associations of Hope College in Holland, MI and Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of a tradition that brings alumni, parents, and friends from the two schools together each winter.

Over the years fans of this nationally recognized rivalry have had much to cheer about.  Since 1920, the two teams have faced each other 166 times, with each team winning 83 of the contests.  Amazingly, over the history of the matchup, only 55 points separate the two teams.  Hope has scored 11,176 points, while Calvin has scored 11,121.

The "satellite parties", today hosted in New York, Los Angeles, and 68 other locations in between, were started in 1999 after representatives from both schools discovered a satellite broadcast of the Monon Bell Rivalry, an annual college football matchup between DePauw University and Wabash College.  The first year of the Hope vs. Calvin telecast featured rented time on a satellite that relayed the signal from WGVU in Grand Rapids, MI to just over 20 sites.

Today, with the help of digital satellite broadcasting and CSTV (College Sports Television Network), the WGVU telecast of The Rivalry has grown to include 70 official sites.  A complete listing of the parties, as well as statistics and history of the Rivalry, can be found online at www.hopecalvin.com.

The next meeting between the two teams, a 88 year-old tiebreaker of sorts, is scheduled to tip-off on Saturday, January 26th at 2:00 PM Eastern Time.  If you listen carefully, you'll be able to hear the cheers from a location near you.