Well, so maybe soccer is our sport
I come to you today, Columbia, with the cold pragmatism born of an 0-8 start to the football season. I’ve waited four years for the Lions to be good—I never asked for an Ivy Championship, just for a team that could compete. I even spent a month as Roar-ee the lion hoping it might bring the team luck.* But today, sadly, it’s time that I admit the truth: We stink.
And I don’t just mean this year. We stink historically. We still hold the FCS record for most consecutive losses, and the last Ivy League Championship we won was 1961. The Organization as a whole peaked with a Rose Bowl win in 1934—that was 77 years ago, which, incidentally, is a very long time ago.
I don’t mean to get down on football. I do hold out hope that the right coach could turn the program around. But our historical troubles have got me wondering: What if we’re focusing on the wrong sport?
Much as we might hate to admit it, Columbia’s roots are English. Our earliest incarnation was as King’s College, and our Lion mascot is probably a remnant of that royal heritage. What if, then, our real sport is soccer? After all, the English invented the game (or they codified the rules, anyway—apparently China was way ahead of the times on soccer, too).
As it turns out, our history on the soccer pitch is not too shabby. Columbia played in the final for the 1983 National Championships, and has won 9 Ivy League Championships.
This year, we have a chance to win a 10th. If Columbia beats Cornell on Saturday and if Dartmouth and Brown tie, then the title is ours.
My suitemate hates the idea that a sport could actually require one to root for a tie. I understand his frustration, but as Stephen Stills once said, if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with. **
This year, football’s given us no choice. Maybe it’s time we show soccer some love. Here’s to Brown 1, Dartmouth 1. Go Lions.
*This is a lie.
**As far as I can tell this is the first sentence in history to reference both Stephen Stills and soccer. You’re welcome, Internet.
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