Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Program Director's Chair

Everyone channel your inner Roone Arledge '52 and program a season of Ivy football on TV

Let’s pretend you’re back living in the world before everyone had a multimedia set-up in their homes, offices and cars.

Let’s pretend you can ONLY watch or listen to one Ivy football game each week on TV, radio, or the Internet thingy.

Let’s pretend you HAD to make your choices NOW, instead of adjusting week by week.

What games from week 1-10 look the like best choices for your valuable time?

Here’s how I’d make my suggestions for the “Game of the Week” to the fans who just can’t make up their minds:

Week One

This is the only week of the season where there are absolutely no in-conference games on anyone’s schedule. But the Harvard-Holy Cross game at Harvard should be a very good game as it has been for the last several years. This will be a night game at Harvard’s very impressive home stadium.

Week Two

Harvard at Brown. This is a no-brainer. Some of the best games over the past 15 years in the Ivies have been Brown-Harvard matchups… and that’s even without the games having a big impact on the final standings. Throw in the fact that this will be the first ever night game at Brown Stadium and that clinches the deal.

Week Three

Dartmouth at Penn. This game has been more competitive lately, including the 2008 game at Franklin Field when Penn ended up third in the Ivies and the Big Green finished 0-10. This will be the game when we really see if all the excitement in Hanover is warranted.

Week Four

This is a tough week, because it doesn’t look like you have a lot of great choices. But Dartmouth at Yale seems like your best bet, especially since the Big Green has a really good chance to get some revenge for the whippings they’ve suffered at the hands of the Yalies recently.

Week Five

Columbia at Penn. For some reason, Columbia has played Penn better on the road since 2004 than they have at home. The Lions come into Franklin Field looking for their first win over the Quakers since 1996.

Week Six

Dartmouth at Columbia. Last year’s game was an exception, but most of the games between these two teams over the last decade have been very exciting. It will also be Columbia Homecoming, and the matchup between two teams a lot of people believe are going to turn in around 2010. Harvard and Princeton meet up this weekend as well at Princeton in the renewal of that great rivalry, but I don’t expect that game to be very competitive, (at least not at this point in the preseason).

Week Seven

Brown at Penn. This game is also starting to become a traditionally wild and crucial matchup year after year. Brown may have a tough time keeping it close this year without so many recently-graduated stars, but don’t underestimate Head Coach Phil Estes!

Week Eight

Columbia at Harvard. Good matchup between two “first division” finishers from 2009.

Week Nine

Harvard at Penn. It would be a surprise if this game doesn’t have a profound effect on the league championship. That’s been the case for most of the last 15 years.

Week Ten

You have to go with “The Game” between Harvard and Yale here, but that’s not so much because of tradition as it is the result of the fact that it doesn’t look like the other three games on the schedule will be that important.


At Tue Jul 27, 11:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason to watch the Harvard-Yale game is to see whether history repeats itself and Yale loses the game again on another dumb call.

At Tue Jul 27, 11:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fact: Unless Columbia is playing, we Columbia fans have no interest in watching any other Ivy League football game.

At Tue Jul 27, 11:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would rather watch a Columbia J.V. game than a varsity game involving other Ivy League schools.

At Tue Jul 27, 01:56:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


How can you not consider the Columbia-Brown matchup in Week 10? The Brownies will be thirsting for revenge at home, and the game could be a battle for second place or even the title, and a real good test for the Lions. To say that none of the games other than Harvard-Yale look important is just wrong, especially for you!

At Tue Jul 27, 06:19:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger HBShannon said...

Look where isolationism got us at the beginning of the last century.

I would love for Columbia v. Brown to be a grudge match for the Championship.

What about the Week 7 Cornell v. Princeton game to see who finishes last in the league this season?

At Tue Jul 27, 08:26:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I would like to note a few games in which the only satisfying outcome is for both teams to lose. For starters, how about Penn/Harvard, or for that matter Penn/Yale? And then Harvard/Yale, of course.

At Wed Jul 28, 12:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In suggesting that any other game could be more important than one involving our beloved Lions, Jake is clearly succumbing to the pressures of the seemingly endless pre-season. C'mon, Jake, we're with you! Don't go under!!

At Wed Jul 28, 06:22:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

I too wondered at the unwisdom of Jake suggesting a tv sked which includes games involving teams other than our beloved Lions.

Not least because we open against Fordham as it moves to a scholarship program. And for all my complaints about the curious grandstand situation up in the Bronx, it is always great fun to get there early, get a good parking spae and then head over to the Arthur Avenue area for a really fine Italian dinner at any number of good local restaurants. That alone, I think, cannot be matched at any Ivy stadium's immediate neighborhood.

At Wed Jul 28, 07:47:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

The Fordham game is at Wien Stadium this year, FYI>

And of course, we Lions fans will only want to focus on our games this season or any season.

But the premise was all about being a fictional program director at a fictional network.

At Wed Jul 28, 09:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waaaaaaaay back in the early 70s, Manhattan Teleprompter Cable TV was the cable franchise for Manhattan north of 72d street (or was it 96th?). Regardless, one of the the public access channels showed replays of every Columbia game on Saturday night. The only drag was they did not televise the half-time show! I watched those games when I wasn't able to sneak in to the old Baker Field!

At Wed Jul 28, 08:02:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Actually, Jake, I knew that Fordham is a home game this year, honest. But every other year there's been a wonderful opportunity to dine in the Bronx.

Again, too, the immediate neighborhoods for Ivy stadiums (stadia?) offer pretty poor culinary pickings. So do those for Lafayette and Towson, come to think of it.

I also like to think that, even if one was a "fictional program director at a fictional network," one might still opt for the Lions on a weekly basis this season, based on the gumption and skill displayed last season. The time when Harvard-Yale was "the game" and home Saturdays in downtown Princeton were a mob scene of old duffers in orange and black blazers having a few, those days seem long gone. And thank goodness for that. Life is no longer like a John O'Hara novel.

At Wed Jul 28, 10:19:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Kraft Field at Wien Stadium at the Baker Athletic Complex is not too far from Arthur Avenue. Just take the University Heights Bridge at 207th Street across the Harlem River and you're practically there. Certainly doable on game day.

At Sat Jul 31, 04:40:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work on the 1964 Mad Men research, Jake.

Game days in downtown Princeton no longer see "a mob scene" of anybody, but there are still a shocking number of "old duffers" in orange and black blazers. I'm not sure if they wear them because they don't realize how garish the color combination is or if they wear them because they DO realize it.


Post a Comment

<< Home