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Feb 14, 2018; Gangneung, South Korea; Matt Hamilton (USA) throws a stone as John Landsteiner (USA) sweeps during men's curling round robin play in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Curling Centre. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Just days into the new year, the University made a huge splash in the news. This time, the athletic department took center stage. Princeton Athletics announced the official addition of men’s curling to its D1 repertoire. Making into reality what was joked about just a year ago, the University has pulled the trigger on the new team, hoping to capitalize on the interest drawn to the sport from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The addition brings the total number of Tiger teams to 36. With 19 men’s teams compared to 17 women’s teams, the University also fulfills its goal of bending Title IX requirements as far as possible without being investigated by the NCAA.

“We are so thrilled to welcome the men’s curling team into the tradition of excellence that is Princeton Athletics,” the University said in an unofficial press release. “We believe this team will not only bring more success to the school but also tap into such a diverse community of athletes that our peer institutions too often overlooked. Perhaps most importantly, we believe curling does an incredible job of teaching our student athletes how to succeed in life beyond Princeton as street sweepers and in shuffleboard leagues everywhere. We think curling truly embodies ‘Education Through Athletics.’”

The team will begin competitive play in the winter of 2020, though preparation for the inaugural season has already begun. Looking to be competitive from the onset, the University has received a grant of $100 million from Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos ’86, who was kind enough to donate 0.000001 percent of his Amazon Prime Day earnings to kickstart the curling endowment in exchange for every building east of Forbes College to be renamed in his honor. Per the University’s comprehensive budget, the administration plans to take all of this money, add it to the endowment where it will never be seen again, and instead divert 82 percent of the current club sports budget to pay for the new program. It is currently unclear what the team will need all of that money for, but rest assured 27 new committees will be formed to ensure it is allocated properly.

Beyond the extensive endowment addition, the University has already begun aggressive planning for the new program. The University has announced all curling events will be held in Hobey Baker Rink on Friday and Saturday evenings. To compensate, hockey games will now take place Tuesdays at 3 a.m., and open skate night will be held in the middle of July. Furthermore, the program has already hired a new coach, who wished to remain anonymous as to avoid too much popularity on campus.

“I’m honored to be chosen as Princeton’s first curling coach,” the coach said when speaking to ‘Prince’ reporters. “Curling is the pinnacle of American athletic achievement. I can’t think of a sport that is more physically and mentally demanding than curling, and I can’t think of a person more physically or mentally gifted than me. It’s a match made in heaven, and I cannot wait to get started.”

Additionally, to better connect with the local community, the University launched a campaign for local businesses to sponsor the team. However, the sole respondent was the chief executive officer of Swiffer. The company quickly became the official sponsor of the team. With the deal, curling becomes the first Princeton varsity team to be sponsored by a company and the second team overall, behind Wawa United. The University announced the first joint adventure for the partnership would be to design the sweepers used in competitive play. Unconfirmed inside sources have disclosed the sweepers look like customized Swiffers with the same orange plaid look used on Reunions jackets. Of course, the name “Swiffer” will be prominently displayed on the sweeper, as well as on the chest, sleeve, and nameplate of the players’ jerseys.

All of this has been done with the hope of drumming up a strong inaugural class of curlers. The University will sport a full team starting fall 2020, made up of recruits and walk-ons. To bring in senior talent, the Tigers plan to use every transfer student spot to bring in renowned curlers from other colleges. Additionally, the added emphasis on recruiting will make the Class of 2024 “the most impressive recruiting class we have ever seen.” However, administrators in Nassau Hall want to reassure alumni that “no changes to legacy admission numbers will occur.” Finally, the spring will feature a period where walk-ons can begin practicing with the team. Practices will be held in April, where players will hone their skills by sweeping up the courtyard of Henry Hall after Sunday Funday pregames.

The curling coach is certainly confident that numbers will be high during the walk-on season. “Curlers are some of the sexiest athletes in the world. Simply put, curling gets you laid.” Princeton students seem to agree. In a recent poll conducted by USG, 97 percent of students find curlers attractive, citing luscious dad bods, bushy mustaches, and athleticism unmatched by the other teams on campus. Unsurprisingly, the eating clubs have been vigorously fighting to gain the curling affiliation. Unconfirmed sources believe Cap & Gown Club is in the early lead, as the soon-to-be added Cox Wing is believed to be a sanctuary for curlers, including fridges filled with canned beer.

One thing that has not been agreed upon yet is the location of new practice facilities. However, it is widely believed that whatever space remains on campus will be used for this. That does not bode well for teams looking for a home, especially those across the river. To plan for the loss of real estate, the University has agreed to terms on a plot of land — a parking lot of an abandoned mechanic shop across Route 1 — where the Ultimate frisbee teams will practice and play home tournaments. Not to be outdone, the men’s and women’s rugby teams have coordinated to play all their matches in foreign countries.

Time will tell whether or not the team is successful, but early returns are promising, and others are taking notice. One other Ivy League president who wished to remain anonymous noted, “Princeton has taken the initiative and done what we all were afraid to do. Once again, the school shows the world why it is number one in literally everything.”

This article is part of The Daily Princetonian’s annual joke issue. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!

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