The 800 GP guidelines say no smac, which in the case of this game will require great restraint on the part of your correspondent. (The lawyer in me is tempted to muse on the nature of guidelines vs. rules, but that would in all likelihood get me in trouble at work.) So, just the facts.
Last night, Penn hosted Princeton. Penn won, 82-67. Penn guard Miles Cartwright had an #omgivydunx, and he wasn't even the only Quaker to do so. Zack Rosen scored 28 points, passed his coach Jerome Allen on Penn's all-time scoring list, and got a Twitter shout-out from Dickie V. All in all, Penn fans were happy about basketball.
As you may know, Penn/Princeton is one of the fiercest rivalries in the Ivy, at least in men's basketball, as the two schools battled each other for the conference title, often without serious challenge from a school whose name doesn't start with P, for many years in recent memory. There's a running tally on the wall in the Palestra. Princeton brought their band on this road trip, and of course they were kindly shoved into an upper corner of the Palestra.
This season, though, it's not the biggest home game on Penn's schedule from a conference standings perspective -- most people would agree that'll be the weekend after next, when Harvard makes the trip south. That didn't keep the campus from getting fired up, though. Coach Allen published a letter in the student newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, asking the students to come out to support the team, and it, among other things, appeared to have worked. This is the first regular game of the season where I've seen the students extend all the way to the back wall.
Penn's student section (the Red and Blue Crew) prepared some rollouts for the occasion. Double entendres are, for better or worse, a staple of the rollout genre, taking advantage as they do of (arguably) plausible deniability to push the boundaries of propriety in a manner that won't get the students or university in real trouble.
Case in point: a rollout reading "Princeton [loves] the backdoor." Now, the website of the local Philadelphia newspaper explained this sign as follows: "A tongue-in-check [sic] banner by Penn students makes reference to Princeton's trademark 'backdoor' cut whiie [sic] telling them to take a hike." (Yes, I had to sic that caption twice.) I don't know whether the caption writer is a comic genius or especially pure of mind, but I don't think those were the two entendres that the Red and Blue Crew intended.
Another rollout from the game went back to this same well. "We eat [synonym for 'cats'] like you for breakfast." The picture of the front of a box of Frosted Flakes, though, with its cartoon tiger pictured, elevated this rollout from a mere un-PC pun on the Princeton mascot to something actually clever.
Last year, Coach Allen was interviewed by the student paper in advance of the Princeton game about the rivalry, and he explained his ingrained antipathy for the rival Tigers this way: "I do not eat Frosted Flakes."
(I think this qualifies for some sort of exception to the "no coach quotes" rule. Er, guideline.)
When coaches are fired or resign after having not won enough, fans sometimes point to losses in rivalry games as special evidence that the coach wasn't the right fit for the university. More than once, I've heard that Coach X "didn't really get" the rivalry. I've always thought that seemed a bit silly -- it's not exactly a difficult concept ("I'm the Michigan football coach, I wonder if I should try to win our game vs. Ohio State?"), and losing rivalry games tends to come hand in hand with losing generally. However, if it's true that part of a coach's job is to engage the wider university community in support of his team, and if setting the right tone for a rivalry is part of that task, then it seems that Coach Allen is succeeding. And of course, 82-67 helps.
at PENNSYLVANIA 82, PRINCETON 67 01/30/2012
PRINCETON 10-9 (1-2) -- I. Hummer 8-12 3-9 21; T. Bray 1-2 0-0 3; D. Davis 6-13 1-1 14; B. Connolly 7-8 1-2 15; B. Hazel 1-1 2-3 5; D. Koon 2-4 0-0 4; P. Saunders 0-2 0-0 0; J. Sherburne 0-0 2-2 2; M. Darrow 0-0 0-0 0; C. Clement 0-1 0-0 0; J. Comfort 1-2 0-0 3; D. Edwards 0-0 0-0 0; B. Fabizius 0-0 0-0 0; C. Wilson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-45 9-17 67. PENNSYLVANIA 11-9 (3-0) -- Z. Rosen 10-18 4-6 28; R. Belcore 1-3 2-3 4; S. Rennard 2-3 4-4 10; T. Bernardini 5-9 1-2 14; M. Cartwright 2-4 6-8 10; H. Brooks 3-4 2-2 8; M. Howlett 1-3 0-1 2; M. Kukoc 1-2 0-0 3; F. Dougherty 0-1 0-2 0; C. Crocker 0-0 0-0 0; D. Jok 0-0 0-0 0; S. Esprit 0-0 0-0 0; C. Gunter 0-0 1-2 1; P. Lucas-Perry 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 26-49 20-30 82.
Three-point goals: PRIN 6-16 (P. Saunders 0-1; D. Davis 1-4; J. Comfort 1-2; I. Hummer 2-5; T. Bray 1-2; C. Clement 0-1; B. Hazel 1-1), PENN 10-18 (T. Bernardini 3-5; Z. Rosen 4-7; M. Cartwright 0-1; M. Kukoc 1-2; S. Rennard 2-3); Rebounds: PRIN 17 (B. Connolly 4), PENN 31 (R. Belcore 7); Assists: PRIN 17 (D. Davis 5), PENN 14 (R. Belcore 5); Total Fouls -- PRIN 23, PENN 17; Fouled Out: PRIN-None; PENN-None.