The RaHooligan: Benjamin Franklin's Big Mistake

Clip this column and take it with you to the Stadium on Saturday.

I’m not an egomaniac, nor trying to be boastful. It’s just that everything you wanted to know about Harvard and Penn will follow in the next 20 inches.

Sure, if you’re a football fan, feel free to peruse the previews on the rest of this page for in-depth analysis about the teams on the field.

But this column is for you Harvard fans out there who REALLY want to know why Penn sucks. I’ve carefully considered several “intangibles” in proving why Harvard is better than Penn, as if there was any doubt.

Quick disclaimer: I am from Pennsylvania, and I once considered applying to Penn. Then, I sobered up.

On to the break-down:

1) LOCATION: Harvard’s located in Cambridge and Boston, beautiful New England towns with a rich history and plenty to offer young students. Penn’s campus is in Philadelphia, replete with smog, rats and people from New Jersey.

EDGE: HARVARD.

2) CAMPUS: Harvard centers around vibrant Harvard Square, the Charles River and the green Longwood Medical Campus. Penn was built in the middle of the Philly ghetto. Sometimes I think that was on purpose.

EDGE: HARVARD.

3) FOOD: Sure, Harvard students may suffer from an abundance of General Wong’s chicken, but at least we have 13 places around campus to get a free meal at all times of the day. Penn students—I’m not making this up—primarly get their sustinence from cheesesteaks and Chinese dishes bought from street vendors. You ever try egg rolls dipped in hot dog water?

EDGE: HARVARD.

4) ACADEMIC REPUTATION: Harvard, of course, is one of the nation’s top universities and is attended by the best students from around the world. Penn, at best, acts as Penn State’s Philadelphia campus.

EDGE: HARVARD

5) FOUNDER: John Harvard was a mysterious Englishman with a few books whose statue gets pissed on by drunk students. Ben Franklin, founder of Penn, was a great American intellectual and founding father.

EDGE: PENN. We can’t win ’em all.

6) MASCOT: Harvard’s “Crimson” moniker doesn’t immediately lend itself to an easy physical depiction, so we use a Pilgrim. Penn athletic contests feature a giant dancing Quaker. Ugh, I don’t want to get into a religious debate, so let’s call it a PUSH.

7) FAMOUS B-SCHOOL GRADS: Penn’s Wharton School gave a degree to Donald “The Don” Trump, and a separate one to his hairpiece. Of course, we’ve got President Bush. ’Nuff said.

EDGE: HARVARD.

8) THE OPPOSITE SEX: Whether you’re into guys or girls, the opposite sex at Harvard is intelligent, witty, generally attractive and assertive. At Penn, you look for dates at Villanova.

EDGE: HARVARD.

9) MAIN RIVALS: Harvard—Yale. Penn—Princeton. Sorry, but Yale sucks.

EDGE: PENN.

10) POP CULTURE: Harvard’s campus, along with Boston in general, has been the setting for “Good Will Hunting” along with popular television shows “Cheers” and “Ally McBeal.” I think they filmed “Boy Meets World” in Philadelphia.

EDGE: HARVARD.

11) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Harvard students enjoy some of the finest, cheapeast public transportation in the country. The “T” makes travel fun and convenient. Compare that to SEPTA, Philly’s answer to a question no one asked. The subway is so bad that even the homeless don’t hang out there.

EDGE: HARVARD.

12) CAMPUS NEWSPAPER: Duh.

EDGE: HARVARD.

So now that I’ve given you this handy frame of reference for poking fun at the scores of Penn students sure to beset the campus on Saturday, you’re fully prepared, right?

Wrong.

One last word of warning: the chants normally reserved for the Game, such as “safety school” or “Yale sucks” just won’t cut it for the big game this weekend. You’re going to have to add jibes at the Penn players themselves, i.e. saying quarterback Gavin Hoffman’s first name in a slow, taunting manner (“Gaaaa-viiiin, Gaaaa-viiiin”).

And if you can figure out an encouraging chant that somehow incorporates the name of Harvard linebacker Dante Balestracci, more power to you.

This is probably going to be one of the best football games you’ll ever see here. I’m giddy. But I guess the whole point of this column was to point out that in what matters, the edge goes to Harvard.

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