Lincoln vs Cheyney: Everything Ain’t For Everybody

Everything ain’t for everybody…

Lincoln Head Coach, Corey Lowery & Cheyney Head Coach, Terrell Stokes

I’ve never attended the Mummers parade in my life… Nor, have I attended a Flyers game… Union soccer? Drive by the stadium in Chester 5 times a week, have never ventured inside.

WWE wrasslin’? That’s not my thing… But, I must admit, about thirty years ago one of my youngins wanted to see Razor Ramone sooooo bad, I broke down and bought us some tickets. While my youngbuck absolutely lost his mind, that evening confirmed what I strongly suspected. I just cannot do scripted sports (other than some NBA playoff games).

NASCAR? Naaah… I’ll pass.

In my forties, I discovered I love golf. Truth be told, I like the game… I LOVE that golf offers the perfect opportunity to talk shit to opponents for 4 hours without risking a torn achilles tendon or ACL tear.

Tennis? I absolutely loved watching tennis when Serena Williams was 20-30 years old. For some reason, my interest has waned lately.

Now… Since I can remember, I’ve been passionate about basketball. I’ve loved it ever since I sat in a theater at the age of ten and a young Lawrence Fishburne screamed “they killed Cornbread… they killed Cornbread… they killed Cornbread” over and over and over again for what seemed like an hour. Jamaal Wilkes (Cornbread) became my favorite player until Magic Johnson knocked off Larry Bird in the NCAA Championship game in 1979.

Lawrence Fishburne and Jamaal Wilkes in “Cornbread, Earl and Me”

I’ve been to hundreds of basketball games over the years since then. NBA games, G-League games, semi-pro games, NCAA Final Four games, high major college games, small college games, high school games, AAU/grassroots games… every type of game you can imagine.

Maaaaaaan listen…

Nothing… and I mean nothing is like a game between my beloved alma mater Lincoln University and our long-standing rival Cheyney University. But this game ain’t for everybody.

If you eat potato salad and you don’t know who made it… The Lincoln/Cheyney game ain’t for you…

If you prefer pumpkin pie over sweet potato pie… The Lincoln/Cheyney game ain’t for you…

If you think Eminem is better than Biggie, Nas or Jay-Z… The Lincoln/Cheyney game ain’t for you…

If you never dropped your candy on the ground, retrieved it and kissed it up to God… The Lincoln/Cheyney game ain’t for you…

If you never played “catch a girl, get a girl”… The Lincoln/Cheyney game ain’t for you…

If none of your cousins sell weed… The Lincoln/Cheyney game ain’t for you…

Real shit…

On Wednesday, December 7, 2021, this magnificent rivalry resumed at Cope Hall on Cheyney’s beautiful campus nestled on the border between Delaware and Chester counties. A raucous sell out crowd filled the brightly lit sauna… I mean gymnasium.

The thermostat had to be set to “broil”… Those familiar with some of the older HBCU facilities across the country understand that the heat is just like the heat in old public housing projects. It’s either off and bitter cold or on and sweltering. There’s no adjusting temperature… No fine tuning…

In the old projects, if you want the temperature to get below a 100 degrees? Open a window. You want it below 90 degrees? Open 2 windows.

And so it was at Cope Hall…

Once it became overpowering, they opened the doors in the rear of the gym for some relief. Within seconds, no fewer than 50 young Cheyney “scholars” rushed in and immediately sat in the bleachers blending seamlessly into the sell out crowd.

I must admit, I was taken aback by their lack manners. The overpowering aroma of high grade marijuana was unmistakable. Ignorant ass Cheyney kids…

They didn’t even offer to let the Ol’ Head hit the blunt!

Keeping it real… The game itself was not very competitive. Since joining the CIAA conference, Lincoln has devoted significant resources to the basketball program. Meanwhile Cheyney, struggling financially, has de-emphasized sports. Cheyney no longer competes in the PSAC and they have disbanded their football program.

They are trying to revive the basketball program. They’ve made a GREAT Head Coaching hire. Simon Gratz and University of Maryland Legend Terrell Stokes will eventually have the Wolves back on top.

However, he just got there. He wasn’t brought on board until October… He had to recruit this year’s team in the cafeteria… That’s not normally where you find top notch college basketball talent.

Eventually, HBCU’s will stop handcuffing their new coaches and get them situated in the spring. The few dollars saved by not paying a coach for a couple months are not worth aggravation of falling woefully behind in recruiting… But that’s a matter for another time.

Back to the game… Entering the game, Lincoln had whupped dat ass 9 consecutive times… The Lions were going for 10 straight… Mission accomplished!

The margin on this night was 28 points.

Nonetheless, despite the lopsided nature of recent contests, the Lincoln/Cheyney game remains a must see event for those that understand and appreciate HBCU culture. It’s special… At halftime, the cheerleaders had a ferocious battle in the middle of the court. Anticipating the confrontation, the crowd spilled on the playing surface. One overly optimistic Cheyney athletic department employee walked through the crowd asking the students to please stand outside the out of bounds lines.

I watched her ask no fewer than 25 kids to please get of the court… Each one, very politely, said Naaaah…

However, it wasn’t confrontational… To the untrained eye, it may have looked hectic, perhaps evern out of control. But there were armed Cheyney police in the gym at all times… These officers knew each and every one of their Cheyney students… There are only about 650 enrolled in the school. The officers knew the kids were “technically” wrong and violating protocol… The also knew both sets of cheerleaders were “killing that shit.” They were not about to be party poopers.

Why escalate the situation? One (white) cop standing next to me looked at the unfolding events and said “it’s good to see these kids having so much fun.”

He was absolutely correct… That was GREAT policing! Once the teams emerged from the locker rooms, the crowd dissipated from the floor and the players proceeded to warm up in preparation for the second half. At any other gymnasium in the Greater Philadelphia Region, security and the police would have immediately utilized force to clear the floor… and rightfully so.

But the people in Cope Hall that night don’t eat everybody’s potato salad. The Cheyney police know that…

As the game drew to a close, some of the Cheyney students – the same ones that broached the rear entrance smelling like that new fragrance “eau de purple haze” – grew increasingly frustrated and restless. With less than a minute on the clock and the Wolves down 28 they started chanting “Fuck LU… Fuck LU… Fuck LU… Fuck LU.”

I loved it…

I love Cheyney… I love when Lincoln whups dat Cheyney ass! Once that mission is accomplished, I become a Cheyney fan.

I want Cheyney to go 28-1 every year. The one loss must be… has to be… gotta be to Lincoln.

Cuz Lincoln is better than Cheyney in every way… For example, Lincoln kids would’ve let the Ol’ Head hit the blunt… But Cheyney is better than every other school in America.

I know it’s confusing. I know it’s convoluted.

You ain’t supposed to understand wit yo pumpkin pie eatin’ ass…

Remember… Everything ain’t for everybody.

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