There were several possible themes for this column about the Princeton-Penn basketball game tonight: 1. Penn's athletic program and its little "oversight" of football player Mitch Marrow's failure to take three classes this fall. 2. The Penn student body's excitement about the trip to the game tonight. The trip will give the students an opportunity to visit an Ivy League school and see what higher education is all about. 3. The fact that most Penn students won't be able to understand this column anyway because of the abundance (that means a lot) of four-letter words like "play" and "game."
However, I realized that none of those topics were really necessary or appropriate. After all, this column is supposed to be about the game tonight, and when it comes to basketball, there is really only one thing this column could be about – the fact that Princeton is better than Penn. Pure and simple. Period.
Princeton will win tonight and we're so good that we won't even have to forfeit the win back.
A lot of you down in Philadelphia probably think that your star guard Michael Jordan will have a big game tonight, leading Penn to victory. A lot of you probably think that Jordan is good enough to one day get paid to play in the NBA. (Actually, we'll probably find out in a month or so that Jordan is already getting paid to play.)
I hate to break the news to you, but Jordan isn't even the best point guard in the Ivy League. That honor belongs to Princeton's Mitch Henderson. Henderson is a better passer and defender and would score as much as Jordan if he weren't surrounded by four other talented players. Henderson's superiority will become painfully clear to you Penn fans tonight. Even at the Quakers' best position, Princeton is better than Penn.
Speaking of Jordan, the only similarity between him and his more famous namesake is his number. The real Jordan wins big games.
I'm sure my Penn counterpart will talk about how overrated we are and how we don't deserve to be a top-10 team. So what? Rankings don't mean anything anyway. At least we're ranked. It just indicates what I've been saying. Like me, 70 intelligent members of the media and 30 Division I coaches know that Princeton is better than Penn.
Early in March, the NCAA selection committee will come to the same conclusion. Is there any doubt that Princeton will get a higher seed than Penn? Oh wait, the Quakers won't get a seed at all. We'll send you tickets to the tournament.
By the way, what kind of nickname is "Quaker" anyway? Aren't Quakers pacifists? That's really a good image for a competitive sports team to emulate (that means to be like). And last time I checked, most Quakers are intelligent, honest, hardworking people, so the name doesn't really fit Penn at all. Princeton's mascot – the Tiger – on the other hand is fierce, strong and competitive, qualities that make Princeton better than Penn.
To make matters worse for those of you down in Philly, what else do you really have besides your basketball and football teams? At least Princeton is located on a beautiful campus and ranked the top university in America by U.S News and World Report. Sure, those rankings are arbitrary and meaningless, but it's just another example of how Princeton is better than Penn.
So say all you want about Princeton students being a bunch of snobby, rich kids. Say how our basketball team is a bunch of slow white guys. Talk about how boring our games are to watch. Mention how our national ranking is a joke. None of that really matters. All that matters is that we have a better basketball team, and nothing anyone can say or do will change that.
Penn, try as you might to bend the NCAA rules, it's inescapable – Princeton is better than Penn.