Other things Harvard is best at
This week we learned that “Harvard is the best at many things.” Crimson writer Alexander Koenig says so, in a pointed article titled “Columbia: The Ivy League’s Worst Athletics Program.” Spoiler alert: Alexander Koenig does not think our athletics program is very good!
Koenig (official nickname: “If I wanted to be called Alex, I would have gone to a state school”) points out that we’ve won fewer championships than Harvard, that our football team is bad, and that our basketball team has lost to Harvard’s basketball team on at least one occasion. And Harvard’s sports program, Koenig says, is second only to Princeton in the Ivy League.
All of these things, perhaps, are facts! But what Koenig seems to have forgotten is that, um, none of this matters. Bragging about being the second-best sports program in the Ivy League is like boasting that you had the second-hottest prom date at your homeschool. It may be true, but it’s nothing to be proud of.
It’s not that we don’t love our teams — we do. They unite our school and provide a sense of community that is too often missing, even when they lose. And of course we’d all like to do better. But you’d think an article that opens “Harvard is the best at many things” could find some more important measures than conference titles. Luckily, even if Koenig can’t, we can. Here are some of the other things that Harvard is best at.
1. Most pretentious writing. Exhibit A: Alexander Koenig (official slogan: “All of my favorite sportswriters were born in the nineteenth century”). If you haven’t read his article, you should check it out. You’ll see phrases like “No matter” and “Let’s have a chuckle” and “Jolly good, old boy!” Ok that last one is not actually in there — but seriously, this is pretty pretentious stuff, even by Harvard standards.
2. Most racist law school students. “Today are are lots and lots of extra blacks on campus.”
3. Largest number of university presidents who have been forced to resign over sexist remarks. In 2006, Harvard president Lawrence Summers resigned his position after suggesting that there aren’t many women in the science and math fields because…uh, because women aren’t good at science and math. Whoops!
4. Longest amount of time a university community was willing to tolerate their sexist president. This category is like a breath-holding contest, except instead of timing how long people can go without breathing, we see who can ignore sexism the longest! Harvard wins! Summers made his controversial remarks in 2005, and stayed on as president for another year (and then got a paid, year-long sabbatical after that).
5. Fakest evaluations of student performance. Is “fakest” a word? If I went to Harvard, no one would ask me that question! They’d just give me an A minus and get on with their lives.
7. Lamest nightlife. Your bars close at midnight, Harvard. At least Cornell doesn’t pretend to be located in a real city.
See, Alexander Koenig (official drinking game rule: “Nothing that’s not poured from a decanter”) is right! Harvard is good at lots of things, guys!
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