Sir: Seven years ago, when I was a student in Harvard, I traveled with the football team to Princeton and witnessed a victory. The score was 5-0. Under the stimulation of the victory, and the rather intense rivalry, I composed a paean. It was my intention to send this little effusion to Coach Bill Roper on the occasion of Harvard's next victory over a Roper-coached team. Unfortunately, the next three games were 34-0, 36-0, and 12-0 in favor of Princeton, and there have been no games since. Now, it appears, Mr. Roper is retiring, and Harvard will never beat another of his teams. So I am sending the little verse along, freely admitting that the joke is on me. Tiger! Tiger!*
Tiger! Tiger! Lacking fight, You can't celebrate tonight.
Old Bill Roper's cunning brain Forged a team that could not gain.
In what dance halls and what bars. Trained those Princeton football stars?
On what liquor and what dope Did those linesmen base their hope?
Oh, the tricks those coaches plan--Flashing plays for every man.
Roper's bucks, both line and cross, Mean a fumble or a loss.
Not to mention coaches new--Men who know a trick or two--
Poor old Princeton merely lacks Linesmen good, and decent backs.
Tiger! Tiger! lacking fight, You can't celebrate tonight.
You can only sit and wail With a knot tied in your tail.
The point is here. When I composed the above, I really meant it. I really believed that nothing good could ever come of Princeton football, and that a dead tiger was a good tiger. Naturally, that view has passed, just as the dynasty of college students in whom rivalry surpassed reason has passed. I now find my little verse nearly as amusing and as pointless as the well-known break between the colleges. And that, you must admit, is very amusing and very, very pointless. Sincerely J. S.
* Profuse apologies, upon request, to Blake, the poet, and Roper, the coach.
--Communication in the Daily Princetonian.