Well, well, well, how the turn tables.
Here at the historic University of Pennsylvania*, things are looking up — but before we continue, we thought it would be wise to make sure you're ready for this. We know you need three weeks off to take your finals, so if you want to interrupt this column and come back to it next month we totally understand. We’ll just schedule some Big 5 content instead.
Take a deep breath of that disgusting New Jersey air. You ready?
Last year, your Tigers completed a three-game sweep of the older brother in this rivalry, but in the words of the legendary coach Rick Vice, “You got lucky! Lucky!” (Google it.)
This time around, things are back to normal. It’s Penn that finds itself at the top of the Ivy League standings, with Princeton left to grovel at its feet. The view is the same if you’re behind the lead dog, and we’d appreciate it if you’d stop sniffing our butt.
Penn is no longer an 0–6 team. (By Tuesday night, it'll be the opposite.) This year, now fully into the Steve Donahue era, it’s finally time for you to witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station. Darth Donahue may not be your father, but he is your daddy.
Set basketball aside for a moment. If you’d rather play football like you did last year, that’s fine too. By the way, did your kicker ever get that fruit basket we sent him?
Speaking of football, we just wanted to let you know that the greatest player to grace the Ivy League with his presence in the last decade is finally gone. Don’t know who we mean? We’ll give you a hint — it’s not one of your 18 starting quarterbacks. You might remember him from the time he put up eight catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner last fall. In case you’ve repressed the memory of his name, we’ll remind you: It’s Justin Watson, and you might want to get used to hearing it on Sundays.
And yeah, before you bring it up, we did see the recruit that turned down ’Bama. All we’re saying is that anyone that chooses Princeton over Alabama clearly isn’t smart enough to go to an Ivy League school. Someone call the NCAA.
Doesn’t matter, back to us.
The last time these two teams played, some guy named Ryan Betley dropped 19 in the first half. Let Coach Mitch Henderson know that they might want to try to stop him this time around. And sure, this time, it won’t be in the single greatest building in Philadelphia, the Palestra. But does it really count as home court advantage if your court is under 90 years old?
Besides, at the end of the day, what really matters are the games in March. Those ones will be played in the holiest building in college hoops. When that time comes (if for you), the Palestra will be rocking, Penn will be winning, and your band will still be wearing those ridiculous hats. (By the way, why does half of your band hold props instead of playing instruments?)
And have some dignity. Please try not to cry in your mashed potatoes in front of your eating club friends. It’s pathetic, but at least you won’t be eating alone.
Congratulations if you made it this far! (We weren’t sure how long New Jerseyans could read before they ran out of gas — and had to find someone else to fill up their tank for them.)
Oh, one more thing. If this column has you in your feelings a little too much, you know where to find us. Just come down to the Palestra and we’ll settle this the old-fashioned way: a couple of editors, a ball, and a hoop. And when you lose that too, take a minute and check out the old scoreboard in the back: Penn 125, Princeton 113.
We’ll see you then, little brother.
*Not written by actual Penn students.