Here is a point by point rebuttal to Eli Cohen's February 16 Article.
Even during an abysmal offensive performance that led the Penn men’s basketball team to a 56-50 loss at the hands of Harvard Friday, there were encouraging signs from the crowd.
The student section was completely packed; so much so that I was uncomfortably intimate with my fellow Quakers.
So we get lambasted when we have 100 students per game the past 3 years, and now that we have 1000+ for three consecutive games we get lambasted again. You gotta pick whether you want a small student section so you can stretch out and have enough room for you and your ego to be comfortable, or a full student section.
For three of my senior TEP fraternity brothers, it was their first time in four years attending a Penn basketball game.
Birds of a feather flock together...
No doubt, credit for improved attendance must be awarded to many sources: the student body’s increasing passion for Red and Blue basketball, the athletic department’s decision to give out student tickets for free and most importantly, the squad’s inspired play.
No mention of us. Could it hurt to have mentioned our presence on Locust Walk before the Princeton and Harvard Games? What about our working with Class Boards and Greek Life to get the Clash of the Classes Promotion lined up? And why do you think that Penn Athletics decided to give out free tickets, was it because they suddenly thought it was a good idea or was it because we have been intensely working with them?
Indeed, standing high up in the Cathedral with the rest of the congregation reminded me of how the place got the nickname in the first place.
I thought you were too crammed? Perhaps you would want The Palestra to be known as "The Sardine Tin of Basketball" or "The Hen House of Basketball" (sorry Delaware).
But one area of fandom has taken a decisive turn for the worse, and has continued to assail my eardrums and retinae from before the game to the final buzzer. Heckling, jeering and yelling at opposing teams is at an all-time low in terms of ingenuity and taste.
Eli Cohen has done the research people. He and his crack team of never-been-to-a-game-before brothers have compiled a meta-analysis of all DP Sports Articles and all game footage and have decided without a doubt that we are in the dark ages of unoriginality and vulgarity. Perhaps he missed Calder Silcox’s Nov. 25 Buzz Post where he says “the Red and Blue Crew has had something of a creative renaissance this year”. Maybe he missed our new “Olé Rosen”, “Oh, uh, Oh Ber-na-di-ni”, “Miii-zzoo” chants, as well as “Jok-Jok-Everybody!”. Maybe he hasn't read the recent praise on Bastketball-U Message Boards directed at The Red and Blue Crew.
My personal revelation began at the Quakers’ 84-80 victory over St. Joseph’s, where the Red and Blue Crew had a banner proclaiming, “Jesus loves NOVAbetter.” As good Quakers, they certainly should have known that the Religious Society of Friends believes everyone has the light in them.
It seems that Cohen has not done his research on Penn Basketball or on Big 5 rivalries. Had he done so, he would have known that The annual St. Joe's/Nova game is better known as "The Holy War" and has grown intense over the decades due to both schools having top programs, being located in Philadelphia, and having Roman Catholic affiliations.
No, you come one!
These are students at the vaunted University of Pennsylvania — students proclaiming their intellectual superiority over their opponents — and that’s the best they could come up with? I wrote the banner off as unimaginative and completely irrelevant to basketball.
Maybe he hasn't read the recent praise on Bastketball-U Message Boards directed at The Red and Blue Crew, but this specific rollout was called out for being one of the best in recent years. Even Tim Legler of ESPN has recently commented on rollouts in Big 5 Basketball. I wouldn't attack rollouts, Eli. They are more important pieces of paper to the program than your commentary.
That is, until I saw the successive ‘Puck Frinceton’ and ‘Huck Farvard’ mottos plastered around campus on T-shirts and signs and adorning emails from the Senior Class Board.
I wasn’t disappointed by the crude efforts to promote student solidarity, but rather at how cookie-cutter those efforts were.
Heaven forbid we use "Puck Frinceton" as a rallying cry, the same rallying cry that has been used for decades. I'd call it a tradition, not a cookie-cutter effort. But apparently, we can't have traditions anymore because they are not original, just tired and old. Let us also remind Eli Cohen that it is DP Sports who has their name on the back of the shirts. Some of his upcoming pizza and travel costs will be payed for by these shirts. It’s long lasting nature is a sign we can all see the humor and sense of school spirit created by a somewhat crude shirt.
My disappointment turned fully into surprise Friday night, when I spent the entirety of two halves listening to a female student next to me screech, “You suck,” every time the Crimson got the ball.
After a while, I came to expect the shrill declarations of enmity like they were death or taxes.
Death and Taxes? Talk about unoriginal. Maybe saying "I came to expect the shrill declarations of enmity like they were my mother's whining voice ringing in my ears as I let her and the family down again" would be more original than taking the words of our Founder.
The expletives were so profuse, I couldn’t hear myself think.
What a coincidence, your screeching, shrill column is so bad I cannot hear myself think.
Not only was I surprised the young woman could not recognize that everyone in her immediate vicinity was extremely annoyed by her antics, but even more so that she couldn’t think of anything else to yell.
Were you cheering Eli? We want to know your never-before-heard cheers.
As a fellow Penn student, I was embarrassed that her writing seminar had so evidently failed her.
Is this column in Nestorian Order, or are you using Straw Man? The writing seminar has failed us all Eli, we all know it is a pesky requirement. It doesn't seem to have helped your writing.
But she’s not alone. Now that students are starting to return to the Palestra, this has become the norm. Penn fans have stayed away in droves until the Quakers picked up their game on the court. Now it’s the spectators’ turn to pick up their game — in the stands.
You notice how Eli has not suggested one specific idea of what we can do? He just complains about generalities without any useable feedback of how we can improve the experience. We welcome every student to continue to make our games a tremendous place to be and we offer Cohen a seat in Row 1 so he can see for himself that his claims and concerns are elite fabrications.
You can find us on Junior Balcony tonight at 5:00PM, and standing in Section 119 and 120 during the games. We’ll be the ones focusing on helping the Quakers win, instead of worrying what the opposing team thinks, because will never let school spirit die.