Though our Eli friends haven’t lacked for bad press in the past couple of years, I would like to open the spring term’s first edition of Around The Ivies with the, well, bad press currently coming out of New Haven.
Last Friday night, Yale’s men’s basketball team traveled to Cambridge to take on its sworn enemies in Lavietes Pavilion and left predictably humbled. As Crimson fans reveled in the Bulldogs’ defeat, punctuated by Yale forward Nick Victor’s thunderous failure of a dunk attempt, I wondered what my compatriots at the Yale Daily News had to say about the affair.
Not much of anything, as it turned out. The Yale Daily News produced one article for the basketball team’s two weekend games against Harvard and Dartmouth. The author of the article, Alex Eppler, did a fine job concisely capturing each of Yale’s faceplants over the weekend, but come on, YDN, you couldn’t get the guy a train ticket? Perhaps they’re onto something; eschewing coverage of “popular” sports like football and basketball, they will be better able to focus their pens on trendy, buzz-generating topics like yoga competitions or Ph.D. funding policy.
This brings me to that curiosity of the Ivy League social media world that is @YDNsports, the Yale Daily News sports section’s Twitter account. Its live coverage of Friday night’s rivalry showdown between Harvard and Yale consisted of retweets of the Harvard Athletics, THC Sports, and Ivy Hoops Online Twitter feeds, all occurring in the final five minutes of regulation. I imagine the good people at the YDN were adhering to one of their two cardinal rules of basketball coverage: “we step up when it counts” or “what time is the game?"
But the most thrilling moment of the week in @YDNsports was undoubtedly its performance on Feb. 5, when it officially went rogue. Astutely noting the lack of Tuesday midday Ivy sports activities, the P.R. wizard operating the account deemed it prudent to “live tweet [his or her] field trip to the Yale cogen plant.” For those of you who didn’t receive this month’s issue of Electrical and Thermal Energy Quarterly, a cogeneration, or “cogen,” plant is a power plant where electricity, heat, and steam hang out and save energy, or something. Inexplicably, the phrase “cogen plant” did not begin trending worldwide, despite the broad appeal of such a topic with all of @YDNsports’ 234 Twitter followers. I can assure you that the six current Crimson staff writers that proudly count themselves among the “Lucky 234” were riveted.
HARVARD V. CORNELL
It’s Tommy Amaker’s annual challenge: how to keep his players away from the sensual attractions of the Ithaca nightlife, most of all Kuma Charmers, the premier gentleman’s club in all of the Finger Lakes National Forest metropolitan area. There are even dark rumors of one Harvard team’s boozy late-night trip to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls. Ithaca, baby.
DARTMOUTH V. COLUMBIA
According to Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, which are based on Pythagorean expectation, Dartmouth is the 286th best team in Division I basketball, the worst in the Ivy League. Yet the Big Green has performed relatively not awful in conference play thus far, playing Harvard tough twice and defeating Yale by nine. I’m giving this one to the Lions, but don’t think I’ve forgotten you, Gabas Maldunas. Your delightful fragility at the free throw line helped preserve the Crimson’s undefeated Ivy record.
YALE V. PENN
For me, the most stunning moment of Harvard’s triumph over Yale on Friday was when I glanced at the game program and noticed that the Bulldogs featured a player named Armani Cotton on their roster. I guess it’s most likely that this was an intentional move on the part of his parents, but I choose to believe Mr. and Mrs. Cotton put their son’s christening in the hands of a random word generator and were blessed with a smooth, cosmopolitan-sounding name. Their other children, Minute Fertilizer and Stampede Moustache, were not nearly so fortunate.
BROWN V. PRINCETON