Monday, August 25, 2008

Unpack Some School Spirit!

If you haven't learned the school fight song yet, be ashamed... be VERY ashamed! (PHOTO CERDIT: BWOG)

So the class of 2012, (except for the football team and probably the soccer teams who arleady arrived last week), are moving on to campus right now!

That means it's time for the:

Columbia Football Freshmen FAQ *2008 Edition!
(*15% new material for this year!)

1) Is Columbia football going to be a subject on the final?

Yes, yes it is. Study this blog hard my friends. Your 4.0 GPA dreams rely on it.

2) Where's the football stadium?

The Lions play at Wien Stadium about 100 blocks north of campus at the Baker Athletics Complex. It's a beautiful spot and with the construction of YET ANOTHER parking garage less than two blocks away, parking for your parents or friends with cars is no longer an issue for the first time in more than 20 years.

The best way to get to the games from campus is to take the #1 UPTOWN train to 215th street and then walk three blocks to Wien. Before you start whining about the trip, (you should leave about 25 minutes or so to get there), let me let you in on an little secret: the subway is your friend. You will NOT enjoy your four years at CU if you don't start getting used to using the subway early and often. There is no better way to get around this city, NONE. Yes, it would be nice to walk to the games at a spot right on campus, but it can also be fun to get out of the Morningside Heights neighborhood once in awhile.

3) Um, I heard the team is really bad...

The last 40 years have been mostly bad for this proud college team. After giving the sports world some of its greatest stars like Lou Gehrig and Sid Luckman, Columbia started to become a consistent loser in the mid-1960's. Our last winning season was in 1996 when the team went 8-2, and our last Ivy League title was in 1961.

But before that the Lions actually won the Rose Bowl in January 1934, and ended Army's then-record winning streak with a huge win at Baker Field in 1947. More recently, the Lions have boasted some great individual stars, like former NFL All-Pro Marcellus Wiley.

4)I'm a big sports fan, isn't Ivy League football going to look like high school to me?

Where'd you go to high school, the set of Friday Night Lights? All the Ivy football teams use a much more sophisticated system than anything you saw in high school. Columbia in particular uses intricate and innovative formations on offense and defense. Football experts who watch Ivy football for the first time are always amazed by how professional the games look.

The contests are also exciting. Most Ivy games are close and filled with big plays. And each Ivy team has at least one player in the NFL right now, so there's likely to be 2-3 future pros on the field at any time. Is it Ohio St.-Michigan? No, but it is great football no matter how you slice it.

5) But I think football is a sexist, warlike exercise that helps to oppress the indigenous people of New Guinea.

Please Professor Bulliet, this forum is for the kids.

6) What else is there to do at the games?

There's a quirky, funny band that's worth listening to from time to time, (depending on how original they're going to be with their humor and whether they use their wit to support the team instead of bash it). And the cheerleaders are great too. Basically, being at the games is a great way to enjoy some time outdoors. Leave your laptops in your dorm room.

7) Oh yeah, who the Hell are you?

I'm a class of '92 alum which means I am positively ancient at age 37, (I was a sophomore or a junior depending on the year you were born). When I came to campus, the Lions were in the midst of a 44-game losing streak that they finally ended at my first homecoming against Princeton. I've been a huge fan of the team since I first stepped foot at CU, and it's been a lot of fun despite the lack of championships. Of course, I expect that drought will end sometime soon.

I'm also do the color commentary on the radio broadcasts of the games that I suggest you tune into when the Lions are on the road, (when we're at home, just come to the games, okay?).

8) Who plays on the team, a bunch of dumb jocks?

Hmm... I guess when you went to the sensitivity training that taught you how to not be sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. they somehow forgot to tell you to not be prejudiced against athletes. I'm SHOCKED, SHOCKED! Seriously, the football players are all excellent students, a good number of whom could have been accepted to CU even without athletics. Don't listen to ANYONE on campus who tells you otherwise or tells you to look down on anyone before you get the facts yourself. This should be obvious on what's supposed to be such a diverse and inclusive campus, but you'll soon learn that everyone has the potential to be bigoted. Be unique and buck that trend now!

9) Okay, I'm sold. When's the first game?

The first game is a mere 26 days from now, September 20th at HOME at 1230pm. This is a special game because it's for the Liberty Cup, a trophy that was made in 2002 to remember the victims of 9/11 from both Columbia and Fordham, (and there were quite a few, I'm sorry to say). Columbia has won three of the six Liberty Cup games so far, and that means Fordham has won... anyone, anyone. (Isn't this supposed to be a smart class?)

10) Are we going to win some more games this year?

I think so, and you can actually help make that happen by showing up to the games and supporting the team on campus as well. The players have been working hard all offseason and they deserve your appreciation.


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