Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Me, Myself & I

Maybe this study about the growing self-centered nature of American college students is the best explanation for why attendance is down at so many Ivy League sports venues.

After all, if you're self-centered to the point of narcissism, why would you bother to root for a team? Maybe you don't even GET the idea of being on a team. Maybe they need to start selling personalized bongs at the games. I'm just not sure.

Look, I don't even know if the study is really accurate. But I do know that getting people of all ages to get off their couches, out of their houses, and do things together in even a somewhat crowded setting is getting harder and harder these days. Seriously, if you don't live in New York City, is there any place in America you can go other than a major sporting event or a concert where you'll see more than a few dozen people milling about outdoors? I find it depressing that people are more willing to "chat" on the Internet about sports than actually play them or go to the games. And I obviously like chatting on the Internet!

Getting back to the self-centered study linked to above... truth be told, I'm one of those parents who lavishes praise on my kid whenever she does something good. But I also teach her common courtesy and the fact that when things turn out well, usually more than one person is responsible.

So when it comes to boosting Ivy League football, maybe what our schools should be doing is not begging the kids to go to the stadium, but showing them the values of getting out of their dorm room in the first place. Seriously kids, put the laptop and the cell phone down for one second and pay attention to the people and life in general around you!

And speaking of getting outdoors...

Bruce Wood has a poll up at his Big Green Alert Blog asking fans to name their favorite Ivy football stadium. Obviously, Baker Field/Wien Stadium is my favorite, but the true test is to ask which stadium other than your home team's field is the one you like best. Bruce understands this and so he asks people to exclude Dartmouth's Memorial Field from consideration, since most of his readers are Big Green fans.

Choosing my favorite non-Columbia venue was a tough job. But I narrowed it down to two places. 1) Harvard Stadium and 2) Princeton Stadium.

The new Princeton Stadium is easily the NICEST venue in the league as it is the newest structure and it has amenities up the wazoo. The free programs and attractions for tots, (like a moonwalk cage), put it over the top. But it's just not classic enough to get my number one spot. Plus, it's general setting is too suburban and cookie-cutter for my taste.

Harvard Stadium, with its Greco-Roman architecture and perfect setting right on the Charles River, is my winner. They built a new fieldhouse about 10 years ago facing the open part of the horseshoe, and that blocks a lot of the view of the river, but it's still tops. Now if we could only get Columbia to win more games there, it would be perfect.


At Wed Feb 28, 04:56:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The concept of team, responsibility to a group seemed to have faded away a few years ago, especially among people under 30. When I've brought that up among friends' kids, the usual answer is, why?
The military seems to be a hold-out against "me, myself, and I." In fact, many soldiers, marines, sailors often say they're not fighting for the country but for their unit, their buddy. Prince Harry seemed to feel that way when he responded to being asked why he wants to go to Iraq.

At Wed Feb 28, 04:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Princeton Stadium is too antispetic and lacks panoramic views of the sort we take for granted. A great venue is not just the stadium but the setting. Ours is unparalled. # 2has to be Cornell. Of course, nobody wants to make that trip. The worst:.Franklin Field; lousy venue, old and slightly seedy.

At Wed Feb 28, 05:06:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Anonymous #1:

I agree with your comments about the military. I thought the best quote in "Blackhawk Down" was the one where the soldier explained he only does things to save his buddies... he doesn't care about politics.

Anonymous #2:

I like Schoelkopf field too.. but it's really two stadiums. The large crescent is a classic Greco-Roman structure, and the other side of the field is just some regular old bleachers.

At Wed Feb 28, 07:25:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is going on with CH? What is plan B? Would MA be ready if needed? Or the kid from Temple?

At Wed Feb 28, 09:59:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

I still have no confirmation on the Hormann injury rumor. I emailed the info to the Columbia Spectator yesterday, but they have not touched it. If anyone reading this is on campus and can somehow confirm or deny this story, please let us know. Because if this turns out to be some kind of bogus tip or cruel prank, I want to erase all evidence of it right away from this blog.

At Thu Mar 01, 01:10:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig tore his ACL last monday and had surgery this morning. Expected recovery time is 4-6 months, he should be good to go by the time camp starts.

At Thu Mar 01, 01:30:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Okay, now this is sounding like a more credible "rumor." I hope the recovery time table is correct.

Funny, I was just going to start writing how much of a bummer it is that we have such a long off-season. If this story is true, I'll be grateful for the extra time.

At Thu Mar 01, 01:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the history is at penn!!

At Thu Mar 01, 02:36:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Yes, Franklin Field has a lot of history. But it's just way too big, and Penn fans don't fill the place as much as they should considering the success the team has had. Harvard Stadium does much better attendance-wise year after year. With more than 50,000 seats, the cavernous Franklin Field is positively creepy sometimes.

At Thu Mar 22, 12:17:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

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