The Best and Worst Places to Watch the Ivy League Play

A Saturday Special

Being a sportswriter isn't all that bad. You get to go to games for free and sometimes you can even get free food at press conferences.

And when you're traveling with the teams, you get to see the home stadiums and gyms of other Ivy League schools.

Here's a list of some of our most and least favorite places to watch games in the Ivy League:

Football: What could be better than watching a football game in The Stadium. First of all, it has a great name. Secondly, you can't help but love that Roman look.

The Stadium, built in 1903 and renovated in 1983, has a lot of football history built into its walls.

When members of the rules committee tried to widen the game's dimensions in the early part of this century, they were foiled by the stands' proximity to the field in The Stadium. Instead, the rules committee decided to allow the forward pass.

The Yale Bowl also has a lot of history built into it, but who cares about history when you have frostbite.

But being at The Game in the Yale Bowl last year wasn't as bad as it could have been. At least everyone had a chance to warm up during the hour-long trek back to the Yale campus.

Hockey: Lynah Rink in Cornell drags you into the action on the ice, whether you like it or not.

If you are an avid hockey fan, you'll like it. The players will check you against the boards. You'll take a couple of shots on the power-play. You'll get hit in the head by a puck.

What fun.

And it's loud. Louder than a Metallica concert. The student section, conveniently located right behind the opposing team's net, has been known to cause some minor tremors in downtown Ithaca.

If you go to Princeton's Baker Rink, bring a heater with you. And an electric blanket. And several pairs of socks.

Someone forgot to finish the rink. Who left that wall open?

In Princeton, they say the people are a little colder. They study a little harder. Some say say you can feel it in the rink.

Basketball: Remember the movie Hoosiers, when the small-school team comes into the biggest gym in Indiana to play for the state championship. The kids are amazed by the stands which go up and up and up.

That's like the Palestra in Philadelphia, where the Penn Quakers play. The stadium seats 9208 people, and there isn't a bad seat in the house.

Remember the movie Towering Inferno? That's what should happen to Marvel Gym in Brown.

Marvel is lit by a single 20-watt bulb. Directly above the stands is an indoor track propped up by pillars. You can take a nice run if you don't want to watch the game.

There are only two good things about Marvel. The first is a ten-foot high metal bear, which stands in front of the gym to scare you away. The other good thing is that Brown will move to the new Pizzitola Sports Center after this season.

Baseball: Where is the coldest place on earth? The North Pole? The South Pole? Princeton's Baker Rink? The Yale Bowl during The Game?

Nope, it's Harvard's Soldiers Field during baseball season.

The Crimson has to play back-to-back weekend doubleheaders in full-length parkas. And that's when the sun is out.

No wonder Jeff Musselman '85 wound up in Toronto. He got used to pitching in the cold.

And although there's not many good things to say about Yale, everyone should know that Yale Field, the home of the Elis, is the finest little ballpark you could ever go to.

An old-fashioned field with a single deck of stands encircling the diamond, Yale Field could just as well be a spring training park for a major league club in Florida. A line of trees lie behind the outfield fence, isolating the park from the rest of Yale.

No wonder it's such a great place.