I'm sure this won't be appreciated by the latest famous freshman to attend an Ivy League school. No, no, I'm not talking about Brooke Shields, I'm talking about Emma Watson, the actress who is best known for her turn as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies.
We always knew there was something, well, different about kids who went to Harvard - a bit of an upturned nose, perhaps, annoying arrogance, or maybe even some Brahmin-ness while we're at it. Turns out, though, that some students were up to something more sinister: stalking Ms. Brown University at the Harvard/Brown game last weekend, as reported by the New York Post:
Anyone else might have been coaxed into an apology after such a stunt, one that obviously shook Ms. Watson to the core. However, the article continues, the writers at the Voice were unrepentant:
Page Six reported on Tuesday that the "Harry Potter" starlet and Brown University freshman looked "quite shaken" on Saturday as Harvard beat Brown 24-21 in Cambridge. Watson was reportedly flanked by security guards to protect her from gawkers.
But her discomfort was actually the result of a targeted campaign by the Harvard Voice student magazine to draw as much attention to her as possible.
Before the game, a blog post on the mag's Web site said: "We will be Live-Tweetin' the game and possibly stalking Emma Watson, so keep your eyes peeled for that, too!" A succession of tweets posted on the Voice's Twitter account during the game followed, including, "Let's go Hermione! Lolz," a reference to Watson's character in "Harry Potter." It went on, "In enemy territory. Lookin for a certain witch," and, "WATSON FOUND. i repeat WATSON FOUND."
While Heaven knows I'm all for a certain amount of collegial hijinx, like Don Imus a few years ago these students didn't (and still don't) seem to get that they've crossed some sort of line - that the game itself was immaterial to stalking Emma Watson like greasy fan boys and fan girls. "Football on a Friday night, eh. But Hermione was there! Wow!"
The Harvard Voice also posted a picture of Watson on its Web site and proclaimed its stalking mission a "success." Some readers were furious. "There is a locatable cause of Watson's experience at Harvard Stadium and a blameworthy party," read one online rebuke. "Anybody can do anything unfeelingly to anybody in this day and age, especially if they feel imbued with entitlement from membership in Harvard College."
The Voice eventually attached an editor's note to its post of Watson's photo, saying, "There seems to be much ado about nothing over this photo and liveblog. Understand that these live tweets were made to be intentionally outrageous and overblown."
Once you've made it completely about Hermione and Harry Potter - something fictional - instead of something real - the football game - you've entered stalking territory. Hijinx are fine. But when you do something like this - and you don't let Ms. Watson in on the joke - you've become stalkers.
Of course, there is a bright side to all this. Perhaps Harvard students need a Hermione sighting to get students to actually care about their games.
To close out this bewitched week, I bring you my Patriot League picks, reprinted from my CSN Way column this week about "Close (Conference) Shaves". Enjoy: and see you at the game tomorrow.
No. 21 Holy Cross at Northeastern. Quarterback Dominic Randolph and the Crusaders should not have much trouble with the Huskies, who don’t seem to have figured out how to score points or prevent other teams from scoring, either. Not a good recipe for a upset of a ranked team.
Crusading Goliath? 41, Bostonian David? 14
(Note on game above: While early in the week I looked at Northeastern to give the 'Cross a good game, I looked closer, and yeesh, I didn't like what I saw. Cross wins big.)
Cornell at No. 25 Colgate. Speaking of emotional rivalries, you’d think this upstate New York rivalry, the 92 meeting between these two schools - the first in recent memory between undefeated Colgate and undefeated Cornell, no less - would be the source of an emotional press conference. Not so. Cornell defensive coordinator Clayton Carlin told the Cornell Daily Sun “We’re so much different this year than last year in every way, shape and form,” he said. “We don’t circle any game. … The focus is on us and how we can get better.” While admirable, to this reporter that sounds like the recipe for a blowout loss. Never, ever underestimate the factor of emotion here.
Big Maroon (Raider) Machine 37, Broken Down Big Red Machine 6
Lafayette at Yale. Led by Mark Leggerio, Lafayette’s defense is one of the best in the nation. The question is: with starting quarterback Rob Curley out with an injury, can Ryan O’Neil helm the offense to score enough points to take on another tough defensive team in Yale? (Don’t ever say I avoid picking tough games.) I’m thinking this is one of momentum: Yale, after their heartbreaking 14-12 last weekend, will not reverse their slide against the Leopards, who gutted out a 20-17 overtime win against Penn. Take the hot team.
Hot Steaming Leopards 15, Ice Cold Bolldogs 11
Old Dominion at Fordham. I'd love to take the Rams here, but with that emotional loss last weekend versus Colgate - and the fact that the Monarchs pretty much have zero pressure this year - I think Fordham lays an egg big enough for ODU to come away with the victory.
Baby Kings 28, Skelton's Skeletons 27
Georgetown at Bucknell. The Hoyas would love to build off their first offensive touchdown and ride that to another league win over the Bison, Bucknell still has designs on making a run at this Patriot League title thing. When in doubt - though it sounds cruel - take the team that knows how to win.
Balanced Bison 24, "Beat By Bison Times Two" 12