The end came, oddly enough, against the team many predicted to win the Ivy League championship.
The Columbia football team, owner of a 44-game losing streak, beat Princeton, 16-13, Saturday in New York. Shouts rose to the sky. Goalposts came crashing to the earth.
The long Ivy League nightmare was over.
Columbia was not the only dog to have its day. Irony prevailed, too.
Princeton, you may recall, was the team that beat Columbia last year, 38-8, giving the Lions a collegiate-record 35-straight losses.
Princeton, too, was the team that carted off Columbia's great hopes, quarterback Jason Garrett and running back Judd Garrett, after the 1985 season.
The Garretts are sons of ex-Columbia Coach Jim Garrett, the brash gridiron master who vowed to wean Columbia of its losing ways. After falling to Harvard, 49-17, in the 1985 season opener, Garrett called his players "a bunch of drug-addicted losers."
Papa Garrett was the real loser. His team went 0-10 that year and he was dismissed. He took his anger and his sons away.
Jason and Judd Garrett, now Princeton's great hopes, were on the field Saturday. Improbable losers.
Larry McElreavy, the most patient man in football, took over as Columbia coach in 1986 and proceeded to lose 23 straight games.
Waiting for Columbia to win was like waiting for Godot.
Victory will come.
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