It is a time-honored tradition that, before the first men’s basketball game of the season between Princeton and Penn, the Sports Editors of the Daily Princetonian and Daily Pennsylvanian exchange columns in which they trash-talk the other school’s team. Though we felt sort of bad doing it this year, given Penn’s record, we nonetheless proudly present this year’s exchange. Daily Pennsylvanian Sports Editors Steven Tydings, Ian Wenik and Riley Steele’s column can be found here. Below is Sports Editor Stephen Wood’s column:
Given that the Quakers have really been living up to their name this season, it seems almost unfair to write a trash-talk column about them. When I went to the DP’s sports page to find fodder for this column, it was just depressing; I was immediately confronted by two articles about the Quakers losing and two columns about how that wasn’t going to change any time soon. Really, where’s the sport in making fun of Penn?
But, just when I thought my sympathy would get the better of me, I remembered what happened last Fall, when I was hit by a flying piece of toast while covering the Ivy League Co-Champion Princeton football team beat the Ivy League Participant Penn squad. Consider this column my retribution for that minor nuisance, just as Princeton’s victory Saturday will be payback for the minor inconvenience Penn poses Princeton by refusing to leave the Ivy League.
Seriously, isn’t it time we talked about Penn moving to the Patriot League?
Entering Saturday’s game, the Quakers’ record stands at 2-10. Season highlights include eking out a victory over Monmouth, a solid win at home over perennial powerhouse Niagra and that time Tony Hicks found $5 in his pocket. Low points of the season include the rest of it.
Still, stranger things have happened than a 2-10 team beating an 11-2 team. Or, at least, stranger things are conceivable. In the interest of objective journalism, here’s our look at what each team needs to do to win on Saturday:
Penn’s winning scenarios:
- The Polar Vortex sets its sights on the Palestra. Its 100 mph winds blow Princeton’s first shot across the court and into the Tigers’ hoop, then the Palestra is destroyed in a snowy maelstrom, preventing the Tigers from answering because everything is gone. Penn wins 3-0.
- The Ghost of Seasons Past visits Mitch Henderson in the night. It explains to him that he was too cruel to Penn during his days as a Princeton player and that losing to Penn is the only way to save his soul. Henderson tries to throw the game but can’t keep his team from scoring, so it goes into overtime. As overtime starts, the Polar Vortex scenario happens. Penn wins 70-67
- The entire Wharton School attends the game. The collective obnoxiousness drives Will Barret to distraction and causes him to miss a shot for the first time ever, while T.J. Bray and Hans Brase are unable to communicate on the court over the deafening sound of Wharton students telling people that they’re in the Wharton School. In the confusion, Wharton alumni bribe the official scorekeeper with offers of discount business consulting. Penn “wins” 85-72, but the scorekeeper’s business goes bankrupt.
To be fair, though, Princeton won’t just automatically win the game. Ivy League rules stipulate that, except in case of forfeit, a game must be played and one team must have scored more points than the other in order for a game to be officially won. With that in mind, here are Princeton’s winning scenarios:
- Penn forfeits (recommended).
- At least five of Princeton’s players arrive at the Palestra for the game, relatively able-bodied.
The Tigers won’t win unless one or more of those things happen.