Bwog’s 2006-2007 Sports Recap

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The last day of class has come and gone, and with it a year of Columbia sports marked by unusual success: some of our vaunted athletic squads have indeed emerged atop the Ivy League pissing match.  For those of you watching at home or not watching at all, don’t feel bad—all the winning teams compete in sports that most people see only in the Olympics, if ever. In case you’re ever forced to answer the question, “How did the Lions do this year?”, Bwog generalist CML presents a lightning recap of 2006-2007 Columbia sports.

 Football: The football team garnered widespread attention and critical acclaim by sucking far less than it normally does, clawing its way to a 3-0 non-conference record against hardcore competition from Fordham, Georgetown, and Iona, and even mauling two out of seven of our fellow Ivy collegian-cracksquads for a final record of 5-5.  Columbia’s small community of sports fans is still wondering how they pulled that off, given the offense’s utter inability to score and propensity to fuck up at critical junctures, but then again, most people at Columbia are unable to score because they fuck up at critical junctures.  Look for Coach Norries “John Coffee” Wilson to magically whip quarterbacks Craig “Tom Hanks” Hormann and Millicent “No Green Mile Analogy” Olawale into shape for our viewing pleasure.

Men’s Basketball: The basketball team ascended to unprecedented heights of mediocrity, finishing with a 16-12 record (7-7 in Ivy play).  Most discouraging were the two drubbings that the Lions received at the troglodytic hands of Penn; most encouraging is the fact that Penn loses its best players – including the awesome Ibrahim Jaaber – and Columbia loses nobody whatsoever, leading Bwog to believe that, with the Lions’ ethnic and skillwise diversity (Baumann, Nwachukwu, Matsui, et al.), they can come together to form one Light-Blue Rainbow Coalition that will send the rest of the Ivies to anti-oppression training and finally reach the first round of the NCAA tournament, where they will once again lose by 43 to Duke.


Archery: Finished first in some esoteric category in the only event where they have a “team score”; national championships May 17-20.

Baseball: Concluded the season a couple days ago with a 16-28 record—and an aggregate ERA that would put Heathcliff Slocumb to shame. Undoubtedly their most impressive accomplishment was managing to get a tie in a sport that does not have ties, which hasn’t happened outside tee-ball since … the 2002 MLB All-Star Game.

 Women’s Basketball: Finished 8-20, the first season in quite a while that they have been worse than both the men and the football team.  On the bright side, they avoided being fingered as “nappy-headed hos”; and junior Brittney Carfora shot a ridiculous 51 percent from behind the arc, making her NCAA Division I’s leading trifecta-launcher.

 Cross Country: Men’s and women’s teams placed second and second in the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and fifth and fourth in the NCAA regionals; actually worse than how they did last year.  At least they had something interesting to say afterwards: “Honestly, I just tried to finish,” junior Carmen Ballard said.  “I stayed back in the second pack most of the race, then finished strong.  I passed one runner at the end.”  Cicero would be proud.

Cycling: Finished third in the country, which is an impressive feat if you consider that all of the Lions have two testicles and none of them took any steroids and lied about it for seven years while maintaining an aura of cancer-survivor heroism. Wheaties-box appearances may still be in the cards.


Fencing: Always a bright spot in a field of gloom, both men’s and women’s fencing teams performed admirably, foiling, sabering, and epĂ©eing their way to two third-place finishes and a shitload of Spectator coverage.  Sophomore Daria Schneider won the national saber championship, entitling her to bragging rights and a warm, fuzzy sense of accomplishment, while freshman Alex Rudnicki won Assassins, entitling him to $500 and an infinitely greater measure of campus recognition.


Field Hockey: A 7-10 overall record belies the less respectable 1-6 Ivy finish in this gentlewomanly sport played in Northeastern prep schools the world over.  Hopefully the Lions can find more recruits from New Canaan and Greenwich to bolster their chances next year.

Golf: Another bastion of Lions awesomeness.  The men took third at the Ivy championships, while the women won it all, vanquishing Harvard, Yale, and even polo-shirted Princeton. Junior Chris Condello and Sophomore Sara Ovadia each won individual titles, making them both the number one WASPs of the most WASPish sport in the most WASPish athletic conference.

 Hockey: Ignited a campus-wide controversy by   almost being barred from playing due to a recruitment poster that said “Don’t be a pussy,” drawing the wrath of the capricious AD M. Dianne Murphy and generating more publicity than all the Other Sports combined.

 Lacrosse: The NCAA-sanctioned women’s lacrosse team went an impressive 0-7 in Ivy League play and 5-10 overall.  Men’s lacrosse, which Title IX has condemned to club sportdom, won the National College Lacrosse League championship by conquering such powerhouses as SUNY Cortlandt and our papist neighbors to the north, Fordham.

 Crew: Men’s heavyweight and women’s have up to this point had rather undistinguished seasons, which is significantly better than men’s lightweight. One race remains before the national championship regatta in Camden, N.J., which will juxtapose the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking spectators with the deprived residents of the most dangerous city in America.

 Softball: Finished 8-12 in Ivy play.  Collected 22 wins overall (and 26 losses), which is probably more than the number of male spectators to have ever watched a softball game at Baker Field.

Swimming and Diving: The men’s team went 3-4 in league play, if you can call competing in a “sport” at the Division I level that consists of chlorine-laden, Hellenically-streamlined, shaven bodies flinging themselves through turgid waters “playing.”  The women’s team also went 3-4 in what outside observers generally agree requires too much raw athleticism for a Columbia team to be excellent at it.

Tennis: The men sent the Penn cave-dwellers back to the Stone Age a couple of days ago, earning themselves a berth in the NCAA tournament through Roger Federer-like force of will.  Unlike Federer, they will probably lose there in the first round.

Track and Field: Savannah lions can outrun meerkats, gazelles, and the occasional wildebeest; Columbia Lions cannot outrun anyone.  Meat, er, meet finishes generally ranged from bad to awful, though perhaps poachers can be blamed for the Lions’ being
predated upon. 

Volleyball: The volleyball team remains, like the lacrosse team, a Title IX technicality.  Unlike the lacrosse team, they actually won a conference match, though they had twice as many tries and a thousand more yards of Spandex in which to do it.

Wrestling: The wrestling team was by and large pretty OK.  Senior Matt Palmer concluded his career by finishing eighth in the NCAA finals, after which he will either fade into anonymity or become the protagonist of an Updike novel. 


Bwog exhorts you to come back next year to build moral fiber by rooting for
Columbia University athletics.  Or, if you’re a graduating senior or an alumnus, don’t come back at all, because it’s creepy and you’d be better off watching your kid’s micro-soccer game, for both the energy of the crowds and the overall quality of play.

“Whenever I feel like exercising, I lie down until that feeling goes away.” – Robert Maynard Hutchins, University of Chicago President, 1929-1945

                                                                                                             – CML




  1. wow  

    holy shit was this breathtakingly brilliant. go CML!

    • boo  

      What an asshole.

      He should be at U Chicago, NYU or Washington U - St. Loo if he doesn't like sports.

      He gives all columbia hipsters a bad name. One wonders why he is in the band and goes to the games if Columbia athletics offends him so much.

  2. uh no  

    that was actually beathtakingly douchebagish and seemed all too happy to encourage a false impression that there was still a bunch of failure in sports here (when things are finally beginning to look up for once).

    Instead they missed out on the fact track and field came first nationally in probably the second most important race in the country at their last meet and only chose mid major names that club lacrosse played when they did play good teams. Downplaying tennis was also pretty douchy and where the heck are our soccer teams? Including the ivy champs girls team?

    By the way, cortland is probably a good team. Maryland/DC, New York and the northeast all tend to have the best lax.

    • poo poo

      if you didn't get sugar coated boosterism.

      be glad you even GOT this much coverage. Is CML even a sports writer for spec? Does spec even qualify as actual coverage? that paper has gone to the fucking dogs.

      Back to my point, most people on this campus, or who read bwog, wouldn't even know about half of these accomplishments, so give bwog a little credit for trying to shine a light on it, even if it's in their own special snarky way. And really now, how can you possibly positively spin a program that's won ONE conference game in ten years and that's only kept in existence because it's a women's team?

      Anyway, CML, if you could make some of the suggested corrections and notes, that would be awesome.

  3. SALEX  

    I forgive you CML.

    And when you look at it from an objective perspective to the point that you don't even know or care anything about sports, it's really funny. People are only offended when they care about it. Which, I mean, is understandable. In conclusion, care less and then you can appreciate the humor!

    And did someone really just indirectly refer to CML as a hipster? HA.

  4. high school wrestler  

    CU wrestling did awesome this year. They were ranked in the top 25 teams nationally for the first time in decades, right up there with Lehigh and Army. Granted we lost to Lehigh and Army, but we stopmed on Penn and they're ranked in the top 10.

  5. congrats  

    Wow. CML, you've impressed me. You've soared to new pompous highs with this gem. I wouldn't care as much if what you wrote was actually funny, but alas, your smoldering grudge against athletes has overshadowed any attempt at humor. Instead of presenting an honest account of sports team's accomplishments peppered with witty commentary, you decided to forgo any basis in reality and begin a bash-fest. I mean, did you even try with the track team?! I'm really ashamed to be a member of the same class as you.

    When meeting CML at orientation, I thought to myself, "Wow, this guy's a real self-important douchebag."

    Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

  6. ummm  

    How did you not include the fact that the boys track team won the men's 4x800 championship of America at the penn relays? That was HUGE.

  7. true fan  

    John Coffey: "Yes, boss, like the drink, only not spelled the same."

  8. asdf  

    men's hoops had a great season. next year is gonna be sick.

  9. sports sports sports  

    bart gets to sit in the front seat today because he's good at sports.

  10. alum

    My word that was an embarassing piece of writing. If CML was a sports team he would be 0-27. Bwog you have taken a giant leap backward. In the future please do not assign topics to people who are a) ignorant and b) consumed with envy of their subject. Restore your integrity and delete the entire item.

  11. Red  

    All this CML bashing makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

  12. this is  

    offensively selective. cml literally managed to find the lousy parts of every season and omit absolutely everything positive. men's basketball had an improved season over last year as did football. and you colossally mischaracterized track and wrestling - men's track won the 4x800 at penn relays (penn relays are comparable to a national championship)& wrestling was top 25 in the country the entire season w/ a huge upset over top 10 penn. cml, if you're gonna be a snarky bitch about all columbia sports, you better know your stuff.

    p.s. milli vincent is an awesome guy and he's developing into a great QB. we can expect great things

    • who  

      is milli vincent?

      millicent possibly?

      • i'm #15  

        and yeah, milli is short for millicent. i'm not an athlete (a high school washup, I guess), but a pretty avid sports fan and a friend of milli's. anyone who saw this kid throw this year knows he's got some serious talent... and he's a genuinely good guy.

        also, i know this won't stop anybody from spewing hatred, but i'm seriously sick of people ragging on athletes, find somebody new to bitch about. they work hard (they easily put 20 hours a week or more into their sports) to do something they love and they get continually mocked for it - both when they succeed and when they fail.

        I'm not saying never make fun of athletes, I'm just saying don't be collossal douche bags about it. If you've got some anger from the mean high school jocks who stuffed you in your locker, go see a shrink and shut the fuck up.

  13. SOCCER!  

    Where is soccer, bitches? Soccer (= football) is the world's most important, popular & fun (in my opinion) sport, & our girls team won the Ivies.

  14. yep  

    I think CML may need to rewrite this one...apparently even all the cynical anti-athletics Columbians are pissed off by this

  15. I think  

    that if BWOG is going to publish CML's unmittigated crap, they at least shouldn't attach their name to it. Perhaps the article should be called "CML's Astoundingly Awful Athletics Review" (we all know CML's penchant for alliteration).

  16. Guys Lax  

    In response to the sarcastic reference to Cortland being a "powerhouse", they won the championship last year and their varsity team won the DIII national championship last year. Columbia also beat Lynchburg in the semi's, who has a DIII top 10 varsity team and whose club team won the national championship two years ago.

  17. CML  

    Oops, I fucked up. Goddamnit. Condolences to all the sports that I screwed over.

    But you didn't know/care, right?

  18. CML  

    In retrospect, the only seasons that I really mischaracterized were Track/Field and Soccer (which I forgot to cover because I am dumb.) Deez nuts.

    • You're An Idiot  

      Maybe you just have no idea what you are talking about. I can't see how the wrestling team can be categorized as not having a good season when they were ranked in the top 25 in the country and beat UPenn who was ranked in the top 10. Seems a little strange to me. It also seems interesting that you take personal jabs at particular athletes. Have you ever played a sport? If you have I highly doubt it was anywhere near the level of competition of Division 1 athletics.

  19. the only good thing  

    about this is the picture of dr murphy as a south park hockey player...that's hilarious

  20. I Heart CML  

    CML, I love you.
    Yes kids, Columbia sports aren't that good. Sorry to break the news to you. Do we all have a sort of screwed up pride in our sports? Yes, I suppose, if we consider pride drinking at the sport frats. Now someone has written a sarcastic article about it, and we get all up in arms. I'm confused as to why.
    Chill out people.
    And CML, if you read this, i think you did a fabulous job, sincerely, your neighbor.

  21. Where's the funny?  

    Columbia athletics is pretty awful, I'll admit (I'm part of the problem), but this article went beyond the sarcasm usually reserved for our teams and into purely hateful territory. "Sarcasm" implies a certain level of humor. This article had none (and I'm displaying none with this post, but that's irony for you).

  22. Jessica  

    The Fencing team won Ivies! And the Finkels rule!

  23. no, that's  

    really not irony you stupid jock.

  24. apathy

    i dont care for columbia athletics, and this article wasn't enjoyable!

    but...i don't quite care about either point.

  25. alum again

    To those who are saying Columbia is not good at sports....either you're not paying attention or you don't know how to keep score.

    Spec recently reported on Columbia's five Ivy championships this year. Penn and Princeton have more, the other five Ivies had fewer. That means Columbia this year has (more than) its share of top teams compared to its peers.

    Any team that has a .500 record is a good team or at least an average team. Such a team can't be called a bad team. Columbia has a lot of those.

    Then there is Columbia's practice of not offering athletic scholarships. Yet baseball, basketball, fencing and other teams play lots of scholarship schools. If basketball gets beat by Duke or St. John's who offer scholarships and have different admissions criteria, does that make them a bad team?

    Finally, the canard about athletes not being up to snuff many schools have higher admissions standards for their student athletes than Columbia? Zero, nada, none.

    The persons whose admission by Columbia is questionable are those whose biases are so great or intellects are so weak that they cannot see that their classmates are the the most academically qualified student-athletes in the country AND play on highly competitive teams. Far from being bad, Columbia athletes and athletics are impressively good.

  26. dear god  

    The track and cross country teams, while they do not always win Heps (this was the first year in a while xc didn't win, for the women), they still did quite well by placing second. Think of who they lost! They lost Caroline Bierbaum, winner of the HONDA AWARD which is easily the biggest honor awarded to any Columbia Athlete in decades.

    Penn Relays, as somebody said before, is definitely comparable to the National Championships. In fact, you should think of it as such because the 4x800 relay does not exist as an event in the NCAA Championship. Our running teams are consistently good.

    Also, see this article about Erison Hurtault being faced with an Olympic choice:

    Seriously, how could you so badly mischaracterize track and xc?

  27. Hey Bwog

    Both men's and women's water polo won New York State titles. Bwog actually covered the men's victory.

  28. ooh  

    Will CML ever recover from this misstep? All signs point to unlikely

  29. how about,  

    CML is the new Miraim Datskovsky.

    • do not

      fucking compare CML to the sexplorer. He's more like Howard Cossell.

      • What???  

        Besides the fact that Howard Cossell was talented and actually understood the sports he was commenting on? Or the fact that he actually personally knew many of the athletes he criticized? Yea, CML is exactly like Howard Cossell, makes a lot of sense.

        • Roone Arledge  

          He may well be the next Howard Cossell. He sure isn't the next Howard Cosell.

          For all we know, Howard Cossell could be a little person with a low IQ...

  30. hey  

    CML, if your self-esteem is so low that you're gonna call Lance Armstrong a fake, either provide some proof (and not all the same old crap that's been disproven) or move to Paris.

  31. alum again

    Caroline Bierbaum deservedly won a Honda Award as the outstanding female cross-country runner in the nation in 2005, but that was not the highest award given to a Columbia athlete in decades as stated above. That distinction would probably go to Cristina Teuchser C'00 who in addition to winning her own Honda award for being the outstanding female swimmer of the year, also won the Honda-Broderick Cup, which is awarded to the athlete who, by vote of athletic directors across the country, is judged most deserving of recognition as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

  32. read this

    An article on Caroline Bierbaum's hope for an Olympic run.

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