Bwog football correspondent CML reports on the Lions’ dismal loss to Penn, of all places.

footballThis last Saturday, among the verdant foliage, obtrusive infrastructure, and thoughtless mélange of architectural styles that defines University City, Philadelphia, PA, an epic gridiron confrontation took place.  Coming off a 24-0 blowout of the enigmatic yet pitiable Iona, Columbia looked to knock off a decent opponent while notching its first Ivy win of the season.  Facing them, a Quakers team seeking to improve its conference record to 2-0, and impress the parents in town for the annual UPenn family weekend.

The game started on an auspicious note for the Lions, who received the kickoff flawlessly and proceeded to obtain two first downs in quick succession.  But the usually moribund offense soon found itself facing a fourth down situation on the Penn 34-yard line – too close to the end-zone to punt, and too far to kick a field goal with significant chance of success.  The Quakers’ defense stuffed the conversion attempt, and the Penn offense took over.  The Lions’ defense held, but after the offense busted out what has become its signature move – the three-and-out – the Quakers were able to advance up the field far enough to kick a field goal, putting the score at 3-0.

This three-point deficit essentially put the game out of the reach of the Lions’ offense, which proved to be the personification of Oscar Wilde’s aesthetic ideal: somewhat pretty to look at, but completely useless.  Of course, the Columbia Peacock Feathers strived to score, even coming close a couple of times, but all these endeavors ended in failure.  An artistic field-goal attempt in the second quarter was brusquely blocked by the Philadelphian Philistines, while the Columbia Blue China’s four attempts from the four-yard line to ram the hard, long ball through a gaping wide hole in the opposing defense and into the end-zone were summarily denied by the Pennsylvanian Anti-Sodomy Statutes.  To blow one opportunity like that may be regarded as a misfortune; to blow both looks like carelessness.

As time expired in the fourth quarter, with Penn up 16-0 from two additional touchdowns (one of which had a missed PAT), Columbia ran a long pass play, but the quarterback ended up throwing laterally to a nearby receiver, who was immediately tackled on the field.  The clock kept ticking, and two plays later, the objets d’art – er, Lions – exited the field without a penny or friend – er, point – to their name. 

It was a fitting and tragic end to this Picture of Offensive Incompetence.