The “Electric City Bowl” is a big deal in Scranton, Penn. Hardware, after all, is on the line.
This makeshift rivalry game between the Raiders and Tennessee Titans has awakened a long-standing feud between West Scranton High and Scranton Central thanks to a pair of famous alumni. That’s why it was given a new name.
Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin went to West Scranton and Titans head coach Mike Munchak went to Scranton Central in different eras, but they’re still playing a Battle for the Bell. That’s what the schools play for in the annual prep football game, and a smaller version has been made and brought to Oakland for Sunday’s contest.
McGloin’s brother Paul McGloin, Jr., will present the trophy to the winner of Sunday’s game.
Scranton took greater interest after McGloin was awarded a second start following a victory over the Houston Texans where he threw three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The excitement is typical of Scranton, a blue-collar town loyal to its alumni and its prep football.
“I think it’s kind of like you see on a movie screen; when you grow up, everybody knows everybody,” said Munchak, a guard inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “High school sports are huge there, it’s a big following. I’m sure he had a big following at West Scranton. When you leave there, they’re very proud of their own; they follow the players when they leave.”
Though the two don’t know each other, Munchak followed McGloin’s career and vice versa. Both men went to Penn State, a dream for most everyone playing football in Scranton. They are legends back home.
“I’m sure the Raiders have a big fan base in Scranton now as they do Titan fans,” Munchak said. “It’s one of those towns that is very proud of the players that come out of there and they feel like they’re part of their success, and I think that’s kind of neat.”
That’s why those travelling to Oakland this weekend made a trophy to commemorate an AFC clash dubbed the Electric City Bowl, after Scranton's nickname.
“The feedback has been great,” McGloin said. “Obviously, back home in Scranton with coach Munchak being the head guy there and us playing them this week, there’s going to be a lot of eyes on the TV, and calls and texts from back home. It’s pretty exciting.”