February 15, 2007

Perlin’s Belated V-Day Remarks

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Last year on Valentine’s Day, I decided to profess my love for the track teams. This year, after a full 366 days of deliberation about that admission, I’ve decided that winning 10 consecutive indoor and outdoor Heps championships (women) and seven of the last eight (men) is too ridiculous to pass up again. So, I must profess my love to women’s head coach Lou Duesing, men’s head coach Nathan Taylor and assistants Robert Johnson, Artie Smith, Mark Bilyk, Rich Bowman and Kevin Thompson.

Just kidding, coaches. But seriously, I love your teams, and as coaches, you’re redefining the term “job security” every day. For example, coach Duesing, you’ve won Northeast Region Coach of the Year for nine of the last 11 seasons, indoor and outdoor combined. Maybe the U.S. Track Coaches Association should just award you this trophy annually, and concurrently, award one for the rest of the candidates. Have you ever thought about this?

Often when I’m writing columns about how much I love the track team, I’ll ask myself, “Hey Josh, what else about Cornell athletics do you love — besides the track teams?” Well, I like to laugh. So, without further ado, here are the subliminal slogans, outrageous coaches, athletes and fans and offensive chants that I love.

“Ring that bell”

The football team’s 2006 slogan is one of the best I’ve ever heard. Imagine you’re a Harvard wide receiver, running a 10-yard slant over the middle. The ball flies in your direction — but high — and as you jump for it, a 240-pound Cornell defender rams his facemask into the back of your ribs at a dead sprint. A sharp pain shoots up your side and you lose yourbreath. A moment later, you’re lying flat on the ground unable to breathe or move, dazed and dizzy. You watch in agony as a large Red player pulls himself off you, and through the white noise and loud ringing in your head, the one thing that registers is his departing cry: “Ring that bell!”

I don’t know if this series of events has ever happened, but if it hasn’t, that’s a shame. It certainly should have with a team slogan like “Ring that bell”. There’s one more thing too about this slogan: the team has an actual bell. After every win, they ring it … Ring that Bell!

Anything Rob Koll says

Every Thursday during the winter sports season, The Sun runs a wrestling story. And every Thursday, there’s one person whose quotes I look for first: wrestling head coach Rob Koll. Although I’ve never had the privilege of meeting one of the nation’s finest wrestling coaches, I get to read his quotes regularly. If you learn nothing else from this column, you should at least remember that reading wrestling articles can have significant entertainment value.

“Wrestling is a small community and I know every coach, so the fact that [coach] Shifflet is over there doesn’t make it any more special unless we beat [his team] and decide to rub his nose in it.”

The Lynah silence

Due to recent speech restrictions at Lynah Rink, a number of the crowd’s chants have been reluctantly modified, though sometimes not at all — just ask the handful of people who are thrown out every game. While I understand the logic behind these restrictions, I don’t necessarily agree with them. There’s something equally inspiring and intimidating that comes from hearing hundreds of people scream, in unison, “it’s all your fault,” over and over. That’s why it strikes me as both awesome and hilarious whenever the new “goon gap” occurs: “see you … [pause] … you goon.”


They run, yell, waive their arms, stomp their feet, clap their hands, paint their chests and faces, and of course, they love their girls. They’re the women’s basketball team’s hardcore followers, and they’re the most raucous fans around. I would never do any of the things they do at a game. You may label me “old school,” but I’ve always liked fans that sit and watch, without yelling. But I admire their dedication and shamelessness.

The voice of reason?

I just heard about this from a source inside one of the track squads. Apparently, there is a fairly wide-spread competition amongst track athletes to do the best impression of Nathan Taylor. It’s this kind of hilarious news — along with your domination of athletic events and masterful coaching — that makes me love you, track teams. Happy belated Valentine’s Day.