As DePauw students and alumni alike geared up for the Monon game this year, one Jim Menighan was preparing for his 60th Monon game. Menighan attended his first Monon during his freshman year of college in 1959, and he’s been going ever since.
Meninghan drives here each year from his Illinois home without fail. “I’ve come in ice storms. I’ve come in 75-degree weather. I’ve been coming rain or shine,” Menighan said.
He said what keeps him coming back is the opportunity “just to watch it live. It’s good to be with your friends in the bar [for Monon watch parties], but it’s better to be there, freezing, drizzling or snowing.”
The rough weather hasn’t stopped him, either. Meninghan said that “one time we played here … where it snowed so badly that they were plowing one end of the field with a little brush, and on the other end, they were playing football.”
Meninghan said his favorite Monon so far was his senior year of college. He played as starting quarterback for the Tigers.
“[Wabash] was up on us 10 to nothing at halftime, and we couldn’t move the ball at all. So the coach came to me and said, ‘Well, you’ve always wanted to call your own plays, so let’s see what you can do.’ So I went out in the second half, threw a bunch of passes, and we won. We won the game 13-10. So that’s how I ended my career.”
During that game, Menighan completed nine consecutive passes in the third quarter and amassed 192 yards for the day.
Menighan was hopeful DePauw would pull off a win. He said, “[Wabash’s record] doesn’t matter because the losing record isn’t important when you play this game.” But overall, “Building all these friendships over the years and renewing them, that was the fun of it.”
Ultimately, though, Menighan was just excited to be here again. “[Monon is] one of the greatest football rivalries in this nation, people just aren’t aware of it.”