Football to Take Columbia Seriously in Road Bout

Around the Ivies

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Freshman running back Aaron Shampklin (20) celebrates with teammates after catching his first career receiving touchdown in last week's game against Dartmouth.

This article marks the end of an era. Today, for the first time since the Big Bang, we have to take Columbia seriously.

Despite a loss to Yale last weekend, the Lions sit at 6-1. If Columbia wins three more games, the long-time losers will win the Ivy League championship.

I can’t believe I’m writing these words. Honestly. Four years ago, I would’ve bet on Vince Wilfork to win an Olympic gold in sprinting before the Lions won a title. I would’ve bet on George Washington to rise from the dead and appear at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. I would’ve bet on the Harvard Management Company to turn a profit.

Columbia’s sudden ascent has left me desperate. I’m gasping for breath like a Yale student escaping a pack of rodents. I’m frozen in confusion like a Yale student facing a multiplication table. To prevent total psychic collapse, let’s survey previous coverage of Lions football:

Article on Nov. 10, 2011, by E. Benjamin Samuels: “Let me give you a list of bowls that mean more than the Empire State Bowl [between Columbia and Cornell]. The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. A bowl of chicken gumbo. Lawn bowling.”

Article on Nov. 2, 2012, by Scott A. Sherman: “To call Columbia a doormat would be an insult to front porches. To call it a bottom-dweller would be disrespectful to deep-sea fishermen everywhere.”

Article on Nov. 9, 2012, also by Scott A. Sherman: “The Quakers needed a last-minute drive to squeak by Columbia, which is kind of like needing a harness to successfully climb up that hill where the Teletubbies live.”

Pour one out for those golden days.

BROWN AT YALE

Some call New Haven, Conn., the “Cultural Capital of Connecticut.” That’s akin to calling Subway the “Culinary Capital of Airports.”

Granted, New Haven has a long history. Disaster struck in 1646 when New Haven merchants sent off a huge shipment of local goods that never reached their destination. Hence the origin of the phrase: “Nothing good comes out of New Haven.”

The 2017 Yale team is reversing history. The Bulldogs dominate opponents at the line of scrimmage, holding opponents to six sacks while racking up 31. The team logs 6.2 yards per rush and limits opponents to 2.4.

The Bears, meanwhile, struggle at every level. Brown owns the worst scoring defense (30 points per game) and worst scoring offense (15.3 points per game) in the Ivy League. The Bears also average the most penalty yardage (75 yards a game). Even kicker Ben Rosenblatt has faltered. The senior has hit one of four field goals in 2017. His season long is 19 yards.

Brown’s offense will advance approximately that far on Saturday.

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