Tradition is paramount at a place like Cornell, and ever since its founding days, there have been individuals who, after leaving Ithaca, have ascended to levels even higher above Cayuga’s waters — yet many still come back for hockey games. This past Saturday, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and current NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman were in attendance as the Cornell men’s hockey team embarrassed the University of Vermont 8-1 on Lynah Rink. Now, motivated by seeing these prominent figures enjoy our #3 ranked hockey team, I started to wonder which other Cornell alumni might also enjoy a hockey game. Here is my top five list.
5. Allen Funt ’34
Funt, who lived a glorious life from 1914 to 1999, was genuinely intrigued by the essence of human nature. He was the mastermind behind and host of the wildly popular television series Candid Camera, which debuted and delighted audiences in 1948. Funt showed the world that people are truly capable of laughing at themselves, and before he passed away, he generously donated all of his candid collections to Cornell. Perhaps when he was still alive, he came to one of our hockey games. If he did, I’m sure he brought his camera.
4. Keith Olbermann ’79
Born in 1959 in New York City, Olbermann is best known as a sports anchor on ESPN’s Sportscenter during the mid-1990’s. After graduating from Cornell in 1979, he went on to be a successful radio sportscaster, and won the California Associated Press award for Sportscaster of the Year three times during the 1980’s. How do I know he would like a Cornell hockey game? As a teenager, he worked as a play-by-play announcer for his high school’s hockey team.
3. Bill Maher ’76
His career hasn’t exactly been free of controversy, but then again, that’s the way he likes it. Graduating as an English major from Cornell, he used his linguistic genius in New York City comedy clubs and eventually on his hit ABC show Politically Incorrect. Though the show was taken off the air (controversially, of course), one-time Emmy nominee Maher will return to the air on February 21, this time on HBO. And now, finally, he can say whatever he wants. He can even swear — you can’t even do that in Lynah anymore.
2. Dr. Joyce Brothers ’47
Imagine seeing her reaction to some of those unkind cheers directed at opposing teams. Dr. Brothers, who contributes regularly to NBC’s Today Show, has been offering advice for years — on topics ranging from marriage and relationships to happiness and sex. She has also guest-starred on a variety of other programs, including Married