Bartholomew: Yale torn between two lovers

Hey Princeton, we need to talk.

It’s just, well, it’s not that the occasional fling hasn’t been fun. Really, what we have between us is great. There’s mutual interest and attraction, even if it’s a bit one-sided. We love being able to call you up every couple years for a gridiron tryst at our place.

But there’s this other school, and our heart is hers. Always has been, always will be.

You swept us off our feet in 2006 — we were on an emotional break after Boston unveiled its truly draconian tailgate regulations — but time will heal those wounds. A booty call every once in a while is nice, but you have to know where our loyalties lie. It’s time to clear up this situation once and for all.

Sure, you’ve got a lot going for you. You’re cute, for one. Remember when a handful of your students drove all the way up to New Haven to chalk trash talk on our sidewalks in 2005? That was adorable.

You know how to have a good time, too. While our northern in-laws crack down with curfews, ground rules and demands (who ever heard of a two-hour tailgate, anyway?!), we can always count on Princetonians to show up for a little partying without deans and police in tow.

And you’re committed to the relationship. Nothing makes us more secure — and you more desperate-looking — than having thousands of orange-clad students and alumni show up to cheer on a team that we outwardly care little about. Nothing except for telling ourselves outright that you don’t matter, of course.

But there’s something unsettlingly unbalanced about the whole affair, and that’s no fun in the long run. While Penn sweats Princeton and Princeton courts us, we and Harvard are the only ones that can claim to have anything even close to a mutual understanding.

We can peer down our noses at you all we want, but what really makes a relationship work is being able to look your partner in the eye.

We’ve been trying for over a century, but no one around here seems able to convince the Crimson that a smile is something worth having, even just for one day a year. Hopefully showing Harvard that she’s the only one who can’t have a good time — and that if need be, we can leave her for the spunkier girl who lives down the road — is all it will take to turn things around in what has admittedly been an unstable relationship.

But just because we’re willing to go to bed with you, Princeton, doesn’t mean we’re actually serious about ditching our one true love.

Next weekend we celebrate our 134th anniversary with Harvard, and we can’t simply leave the marriage that spawned American football for some knee-jerk infatuation.

Sure, we’ve gone on more dates with you (130) than her (124), but she’s got that special something that has always turned us on. She’s got the good looks, the reputation and the worldly city background. You’re orange and from New Jersey.

Maybe it’s because we always date Harvard on the last day of the season. Maybe it’s the color crimson, which apparently Handsome Dan has been trained to hate. Or maybe it’s the fact that we don’t even bother to schedule a homecoming, knowing that tradition alone is enough to bring together tens of thousands of alums every Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Whatever the reasons, we’ll never be able to escape the often abusive pairing of Crimson and Blue. The first Game in 1875 (a 4-0 Crimson win). Harvard’s miraculous comeback in 1968, which resulted in matching 8-0-1 records and the famous Crimson headline, “Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29.” And of course, last year’s debacle, a 37-6 Yale loss that ended a perfect season and gave the Cantabs the Ivy title.

With every jolting betrayal, we come back for more. It’s a reminder of our love — a love founded on unending, mutual, respectful enmity. Although things haven’t always been great with Harvard, she’s ours, in sickness and in health.

But hell, she’s out of town this weekend. Want to come over to our place and hang out?

Andrew Bartholomew is a senior in Davenport College and a former sports editor for the News.


  • Tiger

    Only 5,711 answered the call. Apparently interest on both sides is low.

  • Well,if we're truly going to straighten things

    Dear Yale,
    It is for this exact reason that I chose to attend Princeton over Yale-- I deliberately did NOT want my entire collegiate life and beyond to be focused on the desperate need to be compared to Harvard (a school to which I did not even bother to apply for undergraduate studies.) I'm sorry Yale, but this perpetual insecurity was a real turn-off for me.
    Princeton has a certain vitality and viability which stands alone, without "needing" a main rival.
    When people hear "Princeton" they simply think "prestige" or "wow" or "excellence" or "genius" or "the best", etc. Unfortunately, when they hear "Yale", they simply think "not Harvard" or perhaps "drama school" (I know, that last was a bit mean.)

    Sure we are proud of our Harvard and Yale brethren, but do not mistake this pride for insecurity.
    Seems to me that Princeton truly stands alone-- we admire and respect our peers at Harvard and Yale, and we are fiercely competetive with them on the sports field. But, make no mistake, most Princetonians aren't "sweating" (as you call it) neither Yale, nor Harvard in our everyday lives when we think, with great, almost euphoric pride, about Princeton….We are simply thinking Princeton.
    Tigers like me have purposely chosen to avoid becoming Bulldogs as to do so would have been to voluntarily accept a number two association for eternity. Princeton concedes no such privilege to any of its competitors, and for this reason can as easily be defined as number one as can Harvard on any given day. Yale, no; so concerned with being close, and THEREFORE, so permanently far.
    So perhaps, beloved Yale, it should really be, "Yale needs Harvard, Princeton needs no one."
    But, my Eli brothers and sisters, and in closing, do not despair: you can still rather easily regain your souls by reclaiming and refocusing on why Yale is Yale rather than worrying so much about being associated with your Harvard.
    Princeton (dontcha just love the sound of that? All by itself even --"Princeton"-- Dontcha?)

  • Normal Human Being

    What the HELL is this article even talking about!? You elitist scumbags need to get off your high horse and come down to reality. You probably spent hours coming up with cute little quips to fit your theme all culminating in an article that made absolutely no sense. Relax buddy, nobody cares about the ivy rivalries; it's all just compensation for your pathetic sex lives (while on the subject).