Every few seconds, a few more players would enter and a roar would go up from those already gathered in the cramped hallway. The celebration, unlike any that had been seen by a Brown football team in quite sometime, was well underway.
The 2005 football team accomplished something that no other Brown team had ever done on November 19th in New York City. With a 52-21 pummeling of Columbia, the Bears clinched their first ever outright Ivy League football championship. After being presented with the championship trophy at the 50-yard line of Columbia’s Wien Stadium, the jubilant players began gathering outside of their locker room, waiting for Head Coach Phil Estes’ final address to the team.
Tri-captain James Frazier ’06, clutching the most significant piece of hardware in Brown football history, was one of the first to make his way through the crowd. The sight of the massive trophy brought an outpouring of elation from players already assembled. Zak DeOssie ’07 came a few moments later, chomping on a Honduran victory cigar and passing out others to whomever happened to be closest to him. More and more players, still wearing their shoulder pads and holding their helmets, swarmed in as coaches and photographers and even players from years past squeezed their way into the passageway. Hugs and congratulations abounded as bottles of champagne emerged, eliciting the loudest cheers yet from those present.
Finally, Coach Estes, still wet from the Gatorade bath he had received a few minutes earlier, worked his way to the front of the crowd as the gathering broke into another celebratory chant.
Estes somehow managed to quiet his players so that he could praise the accomplishments of the entire team and especially the class of 2006.
“Hey, listen up,” Estes said when sporadic cheers went up after someone inadvertently popped the first bottle of champagne.
“They showed us how to win, they showed us how to finish,” Estes continued, referring to the senior class, a class which had suffered through a 2-8 season in its first year at Brown but which placed 10 individuals on the All-Ivy squad in the championship season of 2005. “They showed us that we … can be champions and the outright champions when you set your goal to it. You did it, you set your goals, and you went out and you kicked some …”
Champagne was already headed skyward before Estes could finish his last sentence.