Victorious in Second Battle for Wyse 3rd

By Ted Maust

Now there will be two footballs on the third floor of Wyse Hall, the academic home to the History Department, Bible, Religion & Philosophy Department, and Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies Department.

Last year, an old deflated football, which sat above the cabinets in the kitchen and had the words “The Battle for Wyse 3” written on it, caught the attention of several history majors. They learned from professors that it was a trophy of sorts, commemorating a football game back in 2005 between the History Department and the combined forces of the BRP and PJCS departments. The ball symbolized bragging rights since the History Department had been victorious by a wide margin, winning 63-21.

Led by Daniel Penner (’12), this year’s history majors discussed bringing back the game. Amid a groundswell of enthusiasm at the History Department spring social gathering, history students formally issued a challenge to the BRP and PJCS students and faculty to meet them on April 20 on the field in front of Yoder Residence Hall. The day saw rain, but both teams had a good turnout. Highlights include the antics of Ben Baumgartner, BRP major and History minor, who played for BRP squad while using a cane since he was recovering from a broken femur, yet succeeded in receiving a kick-off, swatting away a pass on defense, and scoring a touchdown.

Despite Baumgartner’s heroic efforts for the BRP/PJCS team, the History Department won, 35-28. “The Battle for Wyse 3rd turned out as expected—History went in the clear favorite, and left the clear victor,” reflected Penner. The new football has joined the old one on Wyse 3 and a tradition may be reignited. There is already talk of making it an annual event. If that happens, Penner thinks that “the future for History looks pretty bright, even if PJCS professor Joe Liechty brings his cleats.”