The rivalry? Not with Penn's paltry performance this season
North Carolina vs. Duke. Indiana vs. Purdue. Tennessee Tech vs. Middle Tennessee State.
Rivalries are the blood that flows through college basketball's veins. Fanatics sporting the blue and gold and magenta of their hardwood deities foam at the mouth for the chance to witness victory — at any cost.
These are the games in which the cliches about sports ring true. For 40 minutes, nothing else matters. Miracles happen — in places like Philadelphia and College Park.
But does a school as amazing as Princeton have rivals?Six national championships in the last 10 years of lacrosse. Best school in America three of the last four years, according to U.S. News and World Report. 26 national titles in football, the most in Division I. Home to the year's best movie — "A Beautiful Mind". Time Magazine's man of the century — Princeton professor Albert Einstein.
Despite its superiority, Princeton occasionally allows others around the world to consider themselves its rivals.
In lacrosse, Syracuse and Johns Hopkins. In squash, Harvard. In academics, the Sorbonne and Oxford. In crew, the U.S. national team.
And in basketball, Penn.
Wait a second. In the Ivy League, Princeton is 5-1. The Quakers are 3-3. That's .500. That's below not only Princeton, but also Yale and Harvard, and tied with Brown. Can a team basically out of title contention midway through the season call itself Princeton's rival?
Penn started off hot, beating Georgia Tech in Atlanta, playing Illinois close, and then capping off the non-conference slate with a Big Five crown.
But the problems began when the league schedule rolled around. Penn had no problems with cellar-dweller Dartmouth, but traditional power Harvard (no Ivy titles since league play began) was too much for the talented Quakers. Penn was then knocked off by Columbia, who won a title as recently as 1967-68, and Yale, who won its last title only five years before the Lions.
One league loss, especially coming in a hostile gym, is excusable. Two losses and Tiger fans will still allow the Quakers to call themselves rivals. Three losses, though, especially considering who they're against, and Penn's been disowned.
Penn fans, do you realize that none of the three teams your Quackers have lost to have won the Ivies in the last 34 years? That's over 100 years of playing time between them. But the Lions and Crimson and Elis still managed to embarrass you? How?
Here's an idea — it's the overbearing arrogance of Penn students and Dunphy's dullards that have allowed the league's 'elite' to beat you.
Quakers like to accuse us of arrogance. Actually, we're perfectly humble. It's not arrogance when we go to the best school in the country.
Princeton played in the first college football game ever. Penn had the first football team to use numbers on its jerseys. Princeton's most famous alum is God. Penn's most famous alum invented the two-liter soda bottle.
Your most famous author wrote "Gorky Park." Ours wrote "The Great Gatsby."
You need to remember that it has always been Penn that has chanted "Princeton Sucks" during the national anthem. It has always been the Penn students who have complained to The Daily Princetonian editors whenever someone says that Penn is a safety school, proclaiming that their urban environment makes them better than everyone else, or something like that. Tiger fans aren't the ones coming up with the brilliant "Puck Frinceton" t-shirts.
Sorry to tell you, Penn, but you've got your arrogance and faults as well. Your hubris is your downfall. Sorry about that, but you are going to pay just like Icarus did.
When will you pay? Tonight in Jadwin. Yeah, we've pretty much gone the entire article without mentioning the fact that we're playing you this evening. The reason is that we don't really think about it anymore.
Player for player, Penn should be the best team in the Ivy League. With the Toole from Elon and Ugonna and Koko, how can you lose? Is Dunphy really that bad? Or are the Quakers just that heartless?
We understand that you like to call yourselves our rival in all things. We once allowed you to call yourselves our basketball rivals. Now, though, you can be our rival in, ummm...jump rope or something. You are just a pebble in our path to the next Yale game. It's time for the pebble to be kicked out of the road.
We want to win, but it's no longer important that it's against you.
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