PROVIDENCE, R.I.--The players on the Brown football team have got to be the biggest suckers alive.
They're pretty good, don't get me wrong. Brown is now 7-1 (4-1 Ivy) thanks to its 17-10 win over Harvard (5-3, 3-2) on Saturday. But suckers, all of them.
Last year, Brown Coach Phil Estes used a quote by Harvard senior running back Chris Menick, who said he was "confident we could run the ball" against the Bears. That innocuous quote became bulletin-board material.
This year, he took analysis that appeared in The Crimson's game preview on Friday: "The hole in the defense is in the secondary, which has allowed quarterbacks to pick their way through it all season, giving up more than 250 yards through the air each game. Overall, Brown's defense is by far the weak link on an otherwise championship team."
"When they said they were going to throw at the secondary and that we were the weakness on the web site, that pumped us up," sophomore Melvin Justice said.
So I asked Estes after the game if this is a standard ploy of his.
"Yes," he beamed. "I love the Internet, I think it's a great invention. I was looking all week, and they kept pumping up how good we are, and I was ready just to make something up, but bam!--there it was on Friday."
Maybe he was just having a good time, but based on his track record of thanking The Crimson after Brown's win in '98 ("Are you with The Crimson? We enjoy reading your stuff online. Thanks."), it appears he probably wasn't.
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