The men's basketball rivalry between Calvin and Hope colleges has a brand-new web presence.
The two schools announced this week a new website that features everything
fans will want to know about what is known in West Michigan, and beyond, as
simply The Rivalry.
Two new URLs - www.calvinhope.com  and www.hopecalvin.com  - both lead fans to a
site that includes the history of The Rivalry, stats from the 162 games played
between the two schools in men's basketball and, of course, all kinds of info
on where fans across the country can watch the first game of 2007 live.
In addition the site is customizable. Hope fans can click on a button that
turns the site's colors orange and blue. Calvin fans can change their site to
maroon and gold. And fans of neither school, or fans in families that are
split in their allegiance (and there are many!) can opt for a neutral palette! Even the new Calvin-Hope logo is customizable with fans able to flip the Calvin
and Hope sides of the logo depending on their preference.
Calvin web manager Luke Robinson says it was a cooperative effort to come up
with the new look for an old rivalry (the first game was played in the 1920-21
season, long, long before the internet).
"The idea for a new website originated with Mary Remenschneider and Scott
Travis at Hope College back in October 2006," he says. "Scott put together a
great mock-up for a new site that incorporated a new, easy-to-use navigation
system plus a new Hope-Calvin rivalry graphic by local designer Wes Wooley.
Mary and Scott shared those ideas with Donna Joyce and Mike VanDendend at
Calvin College. Shortly afterwards, Donna asked me about the possibility of
bringing a new website to life in time for the men's basketball game on January
Robinson notes that after he saw Travis' mock-up he immediately thought about
letting fans pick the colors.
"I always wanted to experiment with switching styles and this project was a
perfect candidate," he says. "I ran the idea past Scott and he agreed it
sounded like a fun feature for fans to discover."
The January 13 deadline was critical because that day's game between Hope and
Calvin will be the annual satellite game, which sees alumni of both schools
gather at sites across the continent to watch the game together.
The game will be televised by WGVU TV in Grand Rapids (the local PBS
affiliate) and College Sports Television (CSTV) picks up that feed for national
distribution. Alumni then gather at places that receive CSTV with Calvin and
Hope providing programs, balloons, prizes and more.
Calvin's Donna Joyce has been planning the satellite parties for five years
now and says the effort grows every year.
"We will probably have over 60 sites this year," she says, "which is the most
ever. It's a lot of work on the part of both schools to pull all the logistics
together, but when it's all said and done thousands of alumni of Calvin and
Hope get a chance to watch the game together in a fun setting. So it's
definitely a worthwhile project."
Another possible addition this year to The Rivalry will be live streaming of
the games video and audio on CSTV's website (with links on calvinhope.com and
hopecalvin.com back to the video). Details of that possibility are still being