Saturday, October 23, 2004

Harvard vs. Princeton (via email) 

At halftime, Harvard leads 22-14, having scored 19 unanswered points in the
second quarter. No matter, it is a beautiful day for football in Princeton,
apart from the stiff breeze out of the east, right into the faces of the
hometown crowd.

Ivy League football games are very polite affairs. The crowd sort of claps
when the Tigers do something gratifying -- you wonder if there ever was a
time when the fans actually went nuts. Perhaps, back in the day. The old
grads "coming back" (as we say here) certainly claim there was. My own
stepfather, Princeton '56, bellows out "the refs are blind" and such, which
gets chuckles from the old guys in their black and orange tweeds and
slightly annoyed backward glances from their wives.

The halftime shows with their "scramble bands" have gotten pretty tame in
recent years, generally in sync with the blanding down of American society
generally. There used to be all sorts of subversive dialogue read over the
loudspeakers during halftime, but puritanical types on the left and right
objected and by the mid-eighties the University had interposed a censor
between the Princeton Marching Band and its audience. Now the edgiest it
gets is a set of placards that read "Tigers Kick Ass" or somesuch. A far
cry from 1981's famous "Yuck Fale" show. Ok, so maybe it isn't clear that
censorship has done real harm.

More later, unless I can't take it.


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