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.