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November 16, 2005


Mark D

I know what you mean about "classic" campuses. There is just something special about a classic campus. I always get a sense of accomplishment and seriousness. For me, the ideal "classic" campus belongs to Dartmouth. It is the quintessential New England college campus and town.

Like you, I’ve never understood college football rivalry. With that said, I used to love to go to Harvard/Dartmouth games (at Dartmouth). Hanover is a beautiful town nestled in the narrow Connecticut River valley wedged between New Hampshire and Vermont. The classic buildings, the campus green, the gentle wooded hills in a riot of fall color, a little nip in the air, everyone dressed in green and white (Dartmouth colors) - there was just something magical about it.

When I was young and poor, I would go to Murphy’s Pub just off the Quad on Main St and enjoy chili and a bear before the game. When I got older and wealthier, I would go to the Hampshire Inn (right on the Quad) for a world class meal and a bottle of good wine. There is something to be said for the ivy league.

I’m told that Armidale University (in Australia’s New England region) has a “classic’ campus. Maybe, when you come to Australia we will drive up and have a look. The universities here in Sydney are shockingly ugly. Unfortunately, uni campuses here are littered with modernist monstrosities turned on to themselves. I’ve come to call this style “academic fortress” architecture.


I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and the OSU-Michigan rivalry is far too intense. The game is this Saturday, which means that screams of "Go Bucks!" (it's the Ohio State Buckeyes) must be echoing through the streets.

Once I was at a miniature golf course, and a father--child in tow--wore a t-shirt featuring a picture of a Michigan cheerleader providing oral pleasure to Brutus Buckeye, the Ohio State mascot. Nothing like good old Midwest family values to make you smile.

Although the Michigan rivalry evokes the fiercest passions, it's all OSU all year round. Last year we went to Ohio on Labor Day weekend, for a friend's wedding. It was the preseason; conference play had not even begun yet. When we arrived in town, I called Dad to let him know we were there. He pleaded with me not to tell him about the OSU game, because he was taping it to watch it later that night. I didn't even realize they were playing.

Later, at the wedding, the minister said it was a good day for two reasons: The Buckeyes had won, and a new marriage was beginning. In Columbus, love itself is sweeter when the Buckeyes are victorious.

It's easy to ridicule this obsession, but I must admit that I get swept away sometimes myself. I went to Northwestern, and was elated last year when they beat OSU for the first time in 33 years. (We did much worse this year.) Jumping up and down elated.

So I can't criticize fandom too much. But that doesn't make it any less absurd, when you stop to think about it.



Katy G.

Good heavens, honey. You've been in Alabama 10 years now, haven't you? Do you mean to tell me that the football police haven't come and asked you to declare allegiance to either UA or AU? My, they are getting derelict in their duties...

T Scott

I try to keep a low profile...

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