December 30th, 2006

krazy koati

For has she not stood since the time of the flood

Let's get one thing straight: No, Rutgers did not just win its first Bowl Game. I know Rutgers football. I went to Rutgers back around the time of the first Bush and War on Iraq. Rutgers is a football school in the same way that Star Trek: The Next Generation is a Marx Brothers movie. I don't understand how this hoax got started or why it's carrying on, and particularly I don't understand why ESPN and otherwise responsible newspapers are giving it any attention, but no, it hasn't happened.

Rutgers Football started with the very first intercollegiate football game in 1869, playing Princeton and winning by a score of 6 to 4, confusing all by the concept of getting a four in football. (Yes, I know there's a ``safety'' scoring two points, but the safety is a mythical entity never observed in the wild, like ``travelling'' in basketball.) Actually they managed that because, it being so early in the history of the game, they didn't know to score six points for a touchdown; they just counted the number of goals made, and were playing to ten goals. Rutgers would have had another goal, but -- and this is true, you can go to the November 1869 Targum, Rutgers' oddly named student newspaper -- one of their players got confused and kicked the ball the wrong way. That is Rutgers football.

This cuts me personally since in the early 90s I was marginally more vocal than the average Rutgers student (I wrote multiple highly sarcastic barbs in the weekly Review that I'm sure deeply affected President Francis L ``Fran'' Lawrence) in protesting the administration's plan to get out of the University's dire financial straits (while Rutgers has been officially supported by New Jersey since the Morrill Land Grand Act, the support has historically consisted mostly of the state not actively setting Rutgers buildings on fire) was to spend kajillions of dollars to expand the woefully empty Works Progress Administration football stadium, on the grounds that once there were more than twice as many seats people would spontaneously start attending games, which would inspire the football team to not have 3-8 seasons and routinely lose the Homecoming game against Russell Sage, and this would inspire alumni to spontaneously donate hundreds of millions of dollars to Rutgers.

This is a brilliant plan except for the vast stupidity assumed in going from each step to the next, but they only spent my senior year renovating the stadium (so that all the Home Games had to be played in Giants Stadium, which would be more exciting if the team had actually successfully made a play that year), so it didn't affect my bills too much directly. The team went to several 0-387 seasons after that, losing by scores so high that touchdowns are still coming in, and they were officially excluded from Bowl games for centuries to come. And that's why I know that these rumors of having a non-god-awful season or being in a Bowl Game are nonsense, so kindly stop it.

Trivia: George Johnstone Stoney coined the term ``electron'', meaning the unit of electricity lost when an atom was ionized, in 1874. Source: The God Particle, Leon Lederman, Dick Teresi.

Currently Reading: They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War, DeAne Blanton and Lauren M Cook. (Another Civil War Christmas Present.)