I used to think that Ivy League student newspapers were the only places to go for Ivy League athletic news. And even that didn’t suffice sometimes. Yeah, The New York Times always gives a paragraph to the Ancient Eight football schedule in the fall — just to satisfy all the alumni who read the paper — but that’s about it.
Then I picked up last week’s Sports Illustrated. Even leaving out the cover story on the most famous Cornell affiliated athlete, Sarah Hughes, there were two Cornell-related articles. Not mentions, or Faces in the Crowd, but actual stories on the Ivy League.
The national press has been weaving through the Ivies mining their athletic departments for material, and it has come up with substance.
Imagine our surprise when last Thursday’s ESPN.com listed the Cornell-Princeton game as the only Game to Watch the next day.
Tonight’s biggest game in college basketball: Penn versus Princeton. Hey I didn’t say it, Sports Illustrated did.
After seven weeks of conference play, the Quakers will play for a share of the Ivy League title at their home, the Palestra. The Tigers currently have a one-game lead over Penn and a half-game lead over Yale in the Ivy League. They win and Princeton gets the championship and the NCAA-bid. They lose and there is a three-way tie in the conference. This is what it’s about BABY!
It gets better though. Princeton and Penn both have some of the best teams in recent Ivy League history. The Quakers carry an RPI of 44, Princeton is 66, and Yale is a little farther back at 109. ESPN also listed the Elis as a team on the bubble.
But why listen to me, Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis and Grant Wahl have already expounded upon the excitement, as they surveyed the prospects of the Ancient Eight in every sports junkie’s bible. There is even a photo spread that shows Andrew Toole of Penn taking a shot over Eli Steve Callahan at Yale.
Cornell’s hockey team is a gold mine for the national media as well, especially with the goalie tandem of senior Matt Underhill and freshman David LeNeveu, both of whom head hockey coach Mike Schafer ’86 deemed worthy of playing in the NHL. Not to mention the team has been one of the biggest surprises in the ECAC and college hockey after being ranked as low in sixth in preseason poles. That’s sixth in the ECAC; the Red has been closer to sixth in the country though all season.
Now with spring gearing up, men’s lacrosse senior goalie Justin Cynar found his way onto the cover of Inside Lacrosse. This is the same Cynar that tolerated a half hour interview for a 500 word feature in The Sun last year.
It’s a little daunting for we sports editors now that our mundane questions, stories and constant swarming of the athletic campus competes with “real” journalists. But don’t worry, we’re being compensated as well.
Even we Ivy League newspaper sports editors have been in the media. Jesse Spector of the Daily Pennsylvania was the brainchild behind a full-blown attempt to buy the Expos. And not to toot my own horn, but we Sunnies were given a shout out from TSN.com’s Jake Daniels.
We are conditioned to expect Cornell’s name dropped in U.S. News and Word Report, the education section of The Times, even in lawsuits for plagiarism — but nothing for our athletic endeavors.
Then again, with two current students and two alumni grabbing two gold medals and a silver at the Olympics, a handful of professional hockey players, and an NFLer, maybe we should be looking at the sports sections more closely.
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