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Around the Ivies: Football for All

Clear Eyes, Full Heart
Last weekend, Harvard downed Howard, 62-17, in the teams' first-ever meeting.
Football is for everyone. Are we the only country in the world that places such a unique emphasis on the sport? Sure. But it’s still for everyone. People of all different backgrounds, views, and opinions can come together in harmony in the company of a good ole game of football.

Devoted Twitter-goers, such as myself, probably know where I’m headed with this one. This past weekend, while the Dallas Cowboys failed to show up for their matchup against the Green Bay Packers, over 93,000 people showed up to the state-of-the-art AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Most of these fans would leave with the very Cowboys-familiar feeling of frustration and disappointment, customary for big games involving the Cowboys. I was not alone when a certain segment of the Fox broadcast left me laughing on my couch.

In honoring a wonderful new Medal of Honor Museum accompanying the new Texas Rangers stadium in Arlington, multiple important people who made the museum happened were pictured on the field before the game, among them former President George W. Bush, a part-owner of the Rangers. When the broadcast went live, President Bush was pictured in Jerry Jones’ owner’s box laughing next to none other than Ellen Degeneres. Many fans cried out against Ellen for “befriending” President Bush due to their clear disagreement on politics. Ellen defended her friendship on her show, saying that disagreements should not pit people against one another in this country.

I stand with Ellen. Everyone should do their best to understand everyone else. And there is no better outlet for such human bonding than football. So with that, I ready for the next installment of one of our most admirable aspects of culture and bonding: football.

LAFAYETTE VS. PRINCETON

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For the third straight week, an Ivy League football game will be televised on a national ESPN network on Friday night. This matchup, however, is the first non-conference game to take up that mantle. You can thank nationally ranked Princeton for that one. In its last non-conference game, the Tigers are hoping to stay undefeated heading into Ancient Eight play. To be totally honest, each week I write one of these things and talk about how it’s been even longer since Princeton has lost. At this point I can’t even remember when it was. But it’s been at least since 2017. I doubt that ends this week.

Princeton by 28.

HOLY CROSS VS. BROWN

This week, Brown waived the GRE test for 24 of its graduate programs. I was shocked when I heard this. Not because Brown removed this requirement, but because it meant that before this moment, Brown did require the GRE for these graduate programs. I am surprised that standardized testing had any place on a campus with absolutely 0 (zero) General Education requirements. While it may seem that I’m still poking fun at our neighbors from Rhode Island, I say this past sentence out of envy. I wish that General Education was not so intertwined with a liberal arts education. Those SLS 20 midterms were cruel and unusual. I wish we had the flexibility of Brown’s General Education requirements. Unfortunately, the Bears’ defense is even more flexible than their curriculum.

Holy Cross by 14.

SACRED HEART VS. PENNSYLVANIA

All four of the Ivy League teams playing out of conference this week get to do so at home. This is good news for the conference. Tough to say if this is good news for Sacred Heart. Philadelphia proves a peculiar place, both culturally and academically. This week, one of Penn’s peer institutions from downtown Philly was caught in the middle of a news story that definitely counts as bad press. An engineering professor was caught having spent over $190,000 of federal academic grants on personal costs, most notably on strip clubs. I’m sure he’s very busy writing the engineering paper related to these costs, so I won’t dwell on the story.

Penn by 7.

CENTRAL CONNECTICUT VS. COLUMBIA

I’m not really sure what constitutes central Connecticut, I’m guessing it means not touching New York. If that’s the case, the Blue Devils will be forced to take the bus instead of the train to the Lions’ concrete jungle territory. In my first ATI of the semester, I said that Columbia had turned around its recent history in the cellar of the Ivy League. It is with a heavy heart that I admit this was short-lived. This past week, the New York Knicks conducted an open gym practice at Columbia University. I don’t think I have to explain why this means that Columbia may have some trouble winning from this point on. Let’s hope that the Knicks only rub off on the basketball team.

Columbia by 17.

YALE AT DARTMOUTH

Consider this matchup lucky. Yes, we’re super early in the year. But this contest has some major conference implications. Both teams are undefeated, and Yale started the year picked as the Ivy League favorite thanks to its returning 21 of 22 starters that I can’t stop gushing about. Dartmouth and its Big Green Defensive MachineTM, however, has looked fantastic going back to last season. Its championship hopes were dashed in a similarly undefeated matchup with Princeton last season. Both squads will be taking this early October game with the importance of the last game of the season.

This matchup, while early, has major implications. There’s a reason that this game isn’t slotted into the normal 1:00 P.M. start time for most Ancient Eight football games. It fully deserves the Ivy League primetime spot at 1:30 P.M. that it earned.

Dartmouth by 4.

CORNELL VS. HARVARD

I really want to talk about this game, I do. I really want to talk about how, in the past two years, Cornell has topped Harvard by a combined seven points. I really want to point out that these games, while not expected to be particularly or especially exciting, turned into enthralling barnburners. I really want to talk about how the Crimson, for two straight years, has had some ineffable struggle in close games against its Big Red rivals. I would love to talk about these things. However, there is something much, much more important to address that transcends the game of football.

Last week, some of the most exciting news in the history of the area came out of Ithaca. On October 3, the Cornell Daily Sun excitedly reported that Ithaca, New York, was ranked as the very top car-free city in the nation as apart of the “very small metro” category. I know, I’m not sure why I didn’t see it in the New York Times either. I’m proud of you, Ithaca. This major accomplishment will not be overlooked. I was going to take an easy cheap shot at Ithaca, but not this week. Not in the midst of its finest moment.

Unfortunately for Cornell, this week’s game is not in Ithaca. It’ll be played in a place that sadly did not win the “very small metro” category for top car-free cities: on Harvard’s campus.

Harvard by 3.

—Staff writer Joseph W. Minatel can be reached at joseph.minatel@thecrimson.com.

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