Wednesday, December 1

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Letters to the Editor

On revitalization of school spirit

Three years ago if you had told me I would be arriving at Princeton basketball games an hour early just to get a seat, I would have said, "No way." Well, I did. If you had told me that I would be driving nine hours to see a basketball game I could have watched TV, I would have said, "No way." Well, I did. And if you had told me I would be camping out for days to get a ticket to the NCAA tournament, I would definitely have said, "No way." Well, I almost did. But, we all know that there were plenty of people who did camp out, who went to Jadwin two hours early to get a seat, and who did numerous other things which demonstrated their loyalty as fans. It was amazing to see how the campus came together to cheer on our Tigers. So often people have complained that there is little unity on this campus, that everyone is too caught up in their own little worlds. Well, I think this year we proved that wrong, at least for a few months. Princeton showed that it did have school spirit for something other than the Nude Olympics.

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So I want to thank the basketball team for giving us a reason to flaunt our orange, for giving the 'Prince' some exciting news to hold us over until the next bank robbery and just for giving us something to get psyched about. At times it almost seemed that we couldn't, or had no reason, to get caught up in the hype of painting our faces orange and everything else that goes along with college sports. That stuff was for big schools, not for us Ivy Leaguers. We had our academics, so we should be happy with that. Princeton's excellent academic reputation has always made us proud, but for once, it was to see us on television for something other than the latest ranking in U.S. News and World Report.

Watching the basketball team this year provided us with plenty of entertainment, but it also made me, at least, think about a few things. While I know that most college athletes love what they do, I also know that it takes a lot of dedication to play college sports. The basketball team reminded me of how hard so many of Princeton athletes have to work to balance everything. It's inspiring. I don't think any of you athletes could inspire me to wake up tomorrow morning to run sprints, but I'll be thinking of you when I hit snooze for the fourth time. Seriously though, the sacrifices that athletes at this school make are impressive, and I respect you for that.

So, back to the basketball. Maybe as a second semester senior I'm getting overly sentimental, but in my last year at Princeton it was great to see how basketball brought this campus together. Thanks to the entire basketball team, the guys who started and the guys who only played a minute here and there, for an exciting season and a wonderful experience. Beth FitzPatrick '98

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