Nov

11

Football Recap: Pigskins of Prozac

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Recapitulation of this weekend’s football success by CML:

Thousands of fans from both Columbia and Cornell converged upon Baker Field today, each to witness firsthand the contest that would determine the best Ivy League football team in New York  – and whether Columbia, after two years, would finally notch a conference win.  The sun shone high above the somewhat seedy tenements that comprise the stadium’s environs, and the trees in Inwood Hill Park had turned pretty shades of green, orange, and red.  The tranquil weather and natural beauty were to be the perfect ironic contrast to the slaughter that was about to occur, or so I thought.

What ensued was a series of incredible events, each more improbable than the last.  First, the Lions didn’t fumble the kickoff.  Next, they made a first down.  Then they made another one, and yet another, sprinkling a few effective running plays amongst much improved passing game.  The drive – certainly the offense’s best all season – culminated in a one-yard touchdown run.  A few minutes later, the Cornell quarterback threw an interception, which the defense returned for a touchdown.  And just like that, the Lions were up 14-0.

On the following drive, Cornell finally figured out that running the ball against our undersized defensive line might be effective, and for a few minutes, the specter of what had befallen Columbia at Yale two weeks ago overshadowed their hopes.  The Big Red scored one touchdown, but were unable to manage another drive before the second quarter ended, and the Lions took a seven-point lead into halftime.

After the break, the offense was unable to recapture the efficiency of its opening drive, but it did convert an opportunity after the beleaguered Cornell quarterback threw another interception deep in his own territory.  The Big Red compiled another strong rushing drive to bring the deficit within seven again, then recovered their own onside kick, but the Lions’ defense attained a huge sack on fourth down with five minutes left in the game.  The offense could only manage another three-and-out, giving Cornell a final opportunity, but one last interception torpedoed the Big Red for good, 21-14.

The Lions improved their Ivy record to a euphonious 1-5, and their record against other teams from New York State to 3-0.  As the final seconds faded away, the players began to celebrate, and M. Dianne Murphy and Norries Wilson – the ultimate physical juxtaposition – embraced in an emotional cocktail of euphoria and relief.

Was the victory a great triumph, indicative of a systemic improvement and better things to come?  Will Norries be able to kick his smoking habit, and will the hairs in M. Dianne’s androgynous haircut decrease their precipitous rate of graying?  Or was it an isolated, serendipitous incident, more of a reflection on Cornell’s futility than on any Columbian improvement, and as ephemeral and ultimately irrelevant as a pill of Prozac is to a deep depression?  The fate of the season (well, sort of) hangs in the balance next Saturday as the Lions take on Brown in Providence.

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13 Comments

  1. CML  

    A great game, but your love of words led you astray. Why are the environs of Bakersfield "seedy"? (disreputable, shabby, says Merriam Webster) Is it because they're poor? Is it because they're Dominican? The juxtaposition of CU's wealth with a struggling neighborhood is painful enough - I find your cleverness and smugness tedious and disgusting.

    Albert Camus once wrote -
    In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.

    I'm not too worried about being all PC, but Columbia's culture of privilege just blows my mind sometimes.

    Excuse my rant on what is a very small point.

    • Erf  

      It is a seedy neighborhood. I grew up across the street from Baker Field. When I was two, some guy attempted to mug my mom. A year or so later, my mom and I passed a guy in the park with his junk hanging out of his pants. The water fountain in the playground was never working for than a few days at a time because it would be continually destroyed by vandals. Tires were often slashed.

      Of course, this was the 1980s when crime in NY was generally pretty bad, but yeah, it was somewhat seedy.

      • J.K.

        Was and is -- two very different things. It's not seedy. I'm raising two young children in Inwood, and I wouldn't have picked it if it were. In addition to being (and possibly because it is) racially diverse, it's become a favored neighborhood of artists, performers, musicians ... and parents.

  2. CML  

    It's OK. I wasn't too enraptured with my work this week, either, and constructive criticism is always good. I went to high school in an area somewhat similar to Inwood (at least, economically), and I felt both when I was there and in retrospect that it was a much better experience than going somewhere like, say, Bill Gates's alma mater. Seedy, with its negative connotations and all, wasn't the best word choice. But I certainly don't think of myself as on the "side of the executioners," and based on a single word, it's not fair to categorize me as such.

    yay,
    CML

  3. so...

    "Columbia's culture of privilege just blows my mind sometimes."

    I didn't realize calling a spade a spade was the result of a culture of privilege.

    I'm sick and tired of that term. Next thing you know we're gonna be told we're just acting on 'privelge guilt' when we're nice to minorities.

    skip it.

  4. cute  

    I thought that the article was cute, as was the graphic that accompanied it. The "culture of privledge" point is definitely a valid one, however in my mind the choice of words in this piece is less indicative of such a culture and more an attempt at humor. I'm not the biggest football fan, so I like quirky Bwog coverage.

  5. Hmmm  

    Seedy is seedy is seedy. I'm sorry, it doesn't matter why it's seedy, but I wouldn't want to be caught there late at night and I doubt you would either. I actually come from a very poor white community and there are definitely areas there I would not want to be caught in at night time either. I'm afraid you've attempted to label our dear columnist a privileged white boy just by your understanding of who Bwog people or Columbia students are in general, which is a bit sad. I agree wholeheartedly with post #3: the author was calling a spade a spade. No racism involved in his statement--move along.

  6. nasty.  

    this article is rife with pretentious word vomit. it made me nauseous two sentences in.

    in other news: yay columbia football for finally winning a game against a peer institution. 'bout time.

  7. I know why

    Maybe because it IS seedy? Stop looking to excoriate those who accurately describe a situation, and deal with the reality of the situation itself. It's far more productive than whining about privilege

  8. bravo  

    i thought this article was wonderful. can't you people take some sarcastic humor once in a while? it's great. why do you people tear EVERYTHING apart?

  9. CML is retarded

    Anonymity is the province of cowards.

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