Building Big Time School Spirit

By By Allan Chernoff, Parent '25, September 15, 2022
Join us in November to cheer on the Bombers at Yankee Stadium

Cortaca 2022 Logo

Beyond Ithaca College’s academic and artistic excellence, IC families take great pride in the athletic achievements of our students. As a Division III school, though, Ithaca does not have a large sports stadium with tens of thousands of fans cheering for the Bombers. This year, however, IC families have an opportunity to show their school spirit at one of the nation’s most famous sports venues—Yankee Stadium. 

The annual Cortaca Jug football game between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland will be played at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York on Saturday, November 12, the marquee event of Ithaca College Reunion Weekend in New York City. 

A summertime preview of IC spirit building at Yankee Stadium took place on July 28, as the Yankees, known as the Bronx Bombers, welcomed Ithaca College Bomber families to the Stadium for Cortaca Jug Day during a game against the Kansas City Royals. 

Upon entering Yankee Stadium, IC families received Yankees caps emblazoned with the Ithaca Bombers logo. IC football head coach Michael Toerper had the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch with his Cortland counterpart Curt Fitzpatrick.

After a tightly contested pitching duel, the Bronx Bombers lived up their nickname, as slugger Aaron Judge smacked a 431-foot solo homerun to center field in the bottom of the 9th inning to lift the Yankees to a 1-0 victory.

The game also provided an opportunity for sportsmanship, as IC and Cortland families were seated together in the same left field sections of the stadium; of course, both were rooting for the same team. 

This fall’s Cortaca Jug game promises to be a great school spirit building event at one of the most storied sports venues in the world, which, despite its name, does have a football pedigree. From 1956 through 1972, the New York Giants football team played at the old Yankee Stadium, which was located across the street from the current stadium. 

Since 1930, the Ithaca College Bombers and SUNY Cortland Red Dragons have faced off on the football gridiron. Nearly three decades after the first match, the team captains of each school, who were friends, purchased a jug at a yard sale that would be the winner’s prize. Thus, was born the Cortaca Jug football game. (“Cortaca” is a blending of Cortland and Ithaca.) Ithaca leads the series 37-24. Since the final score of each game is painted on the jug, the schools are now on their third jug. 

The rivalry between the two New York schools, whose campuses are located just 21 miles apart, is one of the most heated in Division III sports. In 2019, when the game was held at MetLife Stadium, home to the Giants and Jets, a crowd of more than 45,000 was in attendance, a Division III record. 

So come cheer the IC Bombers at Yankee Stadium this fall. Ithaca College fans will be sitting on the first base side of the stadium. Information about tickets may be found on the Cortaca Jug website