Episode 2: 'Where Is It Written That You Guys Can't Win?'

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Columbia football players stand on the sideline of Fordham's Jack Coffey Field during Saturday's game against the Rams.

Fans of the Columbia Lions hadn't seen a football game like this in years. Though the team ultimately fell to the Fordham Rams 44 to 24, the Lions were in it for the first three quarters. They scored two touchdowns, one of them a first-in-a-decade, return off a kickoff. But that wasn't good enough for new head coach, Al Bagnoli.

"I don't want our kids happy that we made this thing respectable."

This loss wasn't just the first of a new season. It was the team's 22nd consecutive defeat, bringing them to something of a milestone in Columbia history: It means they're halfway to "The Streak," a time in the 1980s when the Lions lost 44 games in a row. Breaking that streak made the Lions campus heroes, if only for a day.  For the players who lived through it, "The Streak" was a formative experience.

Going forward, the team needs to improve. Columbia president Lee Bollinger has a specific metric for this: Lions football ought to be in the running for an Ivy League championship at least once every five years. The last time Columbia won the title was in 1961.

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Colubia v. Fordham September 19, 2015

 

Colubia v. Fordham September 19, 2015

 

Columbia v. Fordham September 19, 2015

 

Colubia v. Fordham September 19, 2015

 

Colubia v. Fordham September 19, 2015