A Few Minutes with Andy Mooney
I didn’t much follow soccer before playing EA’s FIFA series, and I didn’t particularly care to. Largely because of the deficit of hand-eye coordination native to the Frenchman, the sport did not involve the use of one’s hands, as all red-blooded sports must, and so I dismissed it as a curiosity.
In one of my most vivid college memories, I am dressed in a red bodysuit in the student section at Lavietes Pavilion (a time before I was confined by the bounds of journalistic objectivity). Then-junior forward Kyle Casey catches the ball at the baseline in front of us, pump fakes, drives, and humiliates Princeton right down to the Slavic Languages department with a one-handed, and-one dunk. A bunch of Crimson-hued stomping later, and the students are charging the court at Lavietes Pavilion, celebrating Harvard’s first Ivy League title since whenever-it-was.
ESPN’s resident bracket wizard, Joe Lunardi, currently projects Harvard as a 14-seed, and unless some wacky things happen in the mid-major conference tournaments this week, its seed won’t climb any higher than that. This would match the Crimson up against a 3-seed, which makes an upset a daunting challenge. In the last decade, only three 14-seeds have won their first NCAA tournament game. If Harvard is to pull off the improbable next week, what type of opponent should it look for?
However, after experiencing the games live for the first time, I’ve come to realize that both are indispensable to the Olympics’ identity. The games wouldn’t mean what they do to us without the pageantry—the national anthems, the medal ceremonies, the torch lighting. The repetition of these rites keeps the almost mystical importance of the Olympics intact internationally, though the modern sporting landscape doesn’t resemble 1896 Athens in the slightest. But the games also cannot be separated from what they are, at root: a series of fiercely contested sporting events, featuring the world’s most impressive athletes.
“We are pleased to showcase more Ivy League competition nationally to our passionate fan base which has a thirst for Ivy League athletics,” said Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris in a statement released by the Ivy League on Monday.