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Sis-Boom-Bah

TAKING SIDES

By Paul M. Barrett

THE CRIMSON football team has won two in a row. We can still lay claim to a share of the Number One ranking in the nation, or at least in the lives. Let's get serious this year. Let's mangle those Yaledogs. And let's get rid of the cheerleaders.

I've nothing so drastic in mind as the solution frequently suggested by members of Harvard's alleged half-time entertainment corps. "Two-Four-Six-Eight...Cheerleaders, roll over and die!" the merciless would-be minstrels bellow. But after all, these are Harvard students we're talking about. A lot has been invested in them, and there may well be something left to recover.

Yet we must take immediate action. Precious University resources are flowing from the endowment coffers for pom-poms and megaphones; pleated mini-skirts for the gals, and snug-your-bum slacks for the guys. Underprivileged students, meanwhile, yearn for larger scholarships; scientists of every stripe cut throats for research funds; and the window men at Lowell House have vowed not to remove their scaffolding until someone starts paying the bills down there. Can we afford cheerleaders in times of fiscal austerity?

For their own sake, we should retire this troupe of gratuitous pesters. Wandering around unprotected amid the frantic renovation activity at the Stadium, one of them is bound to get hurt.

Already weeks behind schedule and scrambling to jam in enough seats for the Eli Game, the Gilbane Construction Corp, will no doubt begin adding shifts' between halves and during extended injury timeouts.

Who's going to suffer when the first steel girder slips from its winch and plummets toward the field? The players are wearing helmets and pads. The fans are so tanked up on rum and cider they wouldn't notice an earthquake. The band is probably under the stands lighting firecrackers. It's the cheerleaders who will be the ones to get squashed. Talk about ruining the atmosphere for post-game tail-gaters!

Finally, there's an undeniable image problem associated with this tomfoolery on the sidelines. How can we be suitably disdainful of our rivals, and of rah-rah spirit in general, when a dozen Ken and Barbie Dolls with "H's" on their chests are yipping, "Let's get ROWDEE?" Do we want to compete with the UMass color guard and baton twirlerettes? Doesn't anyone have any pride in final club snobbery anymore? In the Hahvahd sneer? In smoke-filled coffee houses?

One cannot demand change without proposing an alternative. I say satisfy everyone by renting out the entire squad to area high schools. Not only would Harvard generate a little added income (new billiards table for the-Faculty Club?), it would also alleviate long-standing town-gown tensions.

Say, for instance, we offer Cambridge Rindge and Latina a cut rate: $200 for the afternoon, and throw in some Crimson pennants at no extra charge. Surely that would go a long way toward hipline local residents forget about high rents in Harvard-owned housing and the possibility of genetic engineers pouring little green monster eggs down the drain and into the city's sewage system.

If some undergraduates must get a "Hip! Hip" or two out of their system every Saturday, let them do it elsewhere and leave the rest of us in peace at Soldier's Field.

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