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Friday Water Cooler: Princeton's Culture War?

It's time to gather once again around the water cooler and talk Patriot League picks for the week and the upcoming game of course... but what's been dominating my mind these days is the bizarre altercation between the Citadel cadets and Princeton's band last weekend in Charlotte, SC.

Princeton's scramble marching band, or the Princeton University Band (or PUB for short) marched through the middle of the Citadel campus in an effort to "get people hyped for the game", which was kind of like the English marching through Scotland about how they shouldn't be alarmed how their armies are going to kill, pillage and (let's just say) dishonor your women.

The Princeton University student paper called it a "culture war", and they're right in a way. What's interesting and unsaid, however, is what it shows about each student body's attitude towards football.

Football, for those in the Ivy League, is a fun day out. It's a tailgate on a pretty campus, with eating clubs close by and a chance to catch up with old (powerful) friends. Many times, the tailgate is the only purpose of going; some never even bother to show up and watch the actual game. In that context, the band's purpose indeed is to go through and remind them that "yes, there's a game and there's fun in there too, why don't you come and see? We might just win, too."

In the SoCon and the Citadel in particular, however, games are defining moments in their lives that give them meaning. To Citadel fans, you go support your team because it's your moral duty; and the opposition are always feminized Communist scum, whether you're from Princeton or Georgia Southern. News flash: Unlike in the bubble of the Ivy-land of the Northeast, football is taken seriously.

The band should have known better. They thought the Citadel's campus would be like theirs: a civilized cocktail party where football doesn't really matter. (You're going to be running the country someday? Should I be scared?) The cadets probably should have known better: but consumed with irrational bloodlust and emotion, they lashed out on the least responsible party to what they see as a disrespectful American electorate that doesn't appreciate their sacrifce: the band. (You're going to be defending the country someday? From who, 130 lb women in the band?)

Here's the larger takeaway from this. What would it harm the Ivy League to take football more seriously? Maybe not as psychopathically as the cadets at The Citadel, but what would be the harm just a little bit more pride in the game of football? It's not like Princeton doesn't have the money or the facilities to do it. If Princeton wanted to compete in the FCS playoffs, they certainly could.

Maybe the problem isn't a band, or cadets. It's a league which cares so little about the sport that their marching band has to march through campus to whip up support.

Press Links
As of today, my plan is to post any links concerning Lehigh on the CSN Log, which will then be neatly listed in the form of a neat-o news feed in the upper left corner of the blog. That will not only allow me to be lazier, it will also allow you to be able to read all your Lehigh information in one place.

I'll clean up the sidebar with all sorts of neat widgets. You'll see.

Patriot League Picks: Week Five
One of these: notably, the Colgate/Fordham clash - is reprinted from my regular CSN Way column at the College Sporting News. Click on the link for my lead column about the NEC and Big South... and how the "path to the autobid" may not have been what folks thought it originally was. You can see my regular Top 25 picks there too, as well as other interesting picks from FCS games around the country.

Last week, I was a pathetic 2-3, putting me at 6-6 on the year. I'll aim to do better this weekend.

Colgate at Fordham. Runningback Jordan Scott, who almost single-handedly carried the Raiders to victory over Dartmouth last week, outduelled Fordham runningback Xavier Martin for Patriot League Player of the Week honors despite Martin’s four rushing touchdowns. I think Martin carries the grudge into this week and the Rams prevail.
The X-Men 35, The J-Men 21

Penn at Lafayette. Last year, the Leopards managed to eke out an 8-7 victory against the Quakers - and that was with an unsettled quarterback situation and a real lack of offense. Penn surprised last week by playing Villanova so tough before falling 0-14 in overtime, while Lafayette has done the expected in the first few weeks. It's a wickedly hard game to pick. Give be the Leopards... and a baseball score.
IronLeopards 6, Quacking Phillies 4

Holy Cross at Georgetown. The Hoyas are still looking like they're struggling (after their 47-7 drubbing by Yale) while Holy Cross must be ready to pop after narrow losses to powerhouses UMass(45-42) and Harvard (25-24). Dominic Randolph and the Crusaders will have an extra day to prepare: and will let off some steam in DC.
Deep Purple 47, Gored Gray 13


Anonymous said…
frustrating loss - after a chance to set up a winning FG

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