Frisbee, Nerds Collide

Friday, October 16, 2009, a date which will live in infamy—or absurdity, depending on your point of view.

At 3:30 this afternoon, a team of Physics department students, faculty, and administrators were set to challenge the Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) department to a game of Ultimate Frisbee, in hopes of settling a rivalry with origins as clear as the problem sets these guys tackle on a regular basis.

“We just thought it would be fun,” said Kenneth H. Gotlieb ’10, a physics concentrator in Mather House and co-president of the Society of Physics Students, which organized this clash of the titans. “Plus, we’ve got a score to settle with EPS, so we thought it’d be better to take it out on the Frisbee field.”

And why, pray tell, does Physics have issues with EPS?

“They have awesome field trips,” Gotlieb said.

But EPS understands the rivalry differently. More on the rift after the jump.

According to Jennifer L. Middleton ’10, co-president of the GeoSociety, EPS concentrator, and Adams resident, the rivalry has emerged only as the result of Gotlieb's initial challenge.

“Since the challenge, there’s been a growing rivalry—Physics tried to prank us by hanging a banner saying ‘Physics Rocks’ in our department,” she said. “But we thought their banner was lame, and we retaliated by filling their office with rocks and our own banner.”

The event was advertised as an opportunity for faculty to join hands with students in defending their departments against the barbarians at the gate.

According to Gotlieb, David Morin, the Physics Department’s Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, will be there, but FlyBy was unavailable to reach Morin as the match approached, perhaps because he was preparing to dominate on the field.

As for EPS, Middleton was unsure of which faculty members—if any—would come. “None of them contacted me, but who knows, maybe we’ll have a junior faculty member show up at the last minute.”

But Physics has a secret weapon—listed by Harvard College Facebook as a computer science concentrator—to reveal at the showdown.

“I don’t know if it’s safe for me to reveal who it is—he’s actually on the real ultimate Frisbee team,” said Gotlieb. “Actually, his name’s Devon [R.] Williams ['10].”