Classic Ivy League sports debate that no one actually plans on answering: Who is Princeton’s rival?
Some Tiger fans cling firmly to the geographical convenience of the supposed Penn-Princeton rivalry. Back in 2006, a columnist from the Daily Pennsylvanian noted that the rival stems almost exclusively from the two schools’ dominance of Ivy League basketball. But this year, Penn was just an obstacle standing in the way of the Tigers’ Ivy League run — the men beat the Quakers handily to force the one-game playoff against Harvard, and the women (who continue their ridiculously dominant streak, stretching all the way back to last season) absolutely trounced Penn in their final game of the regular season, 78-27 (no, that’s not a typo; it’s a 51 point win).
Aspirational sports fans, meanwhile, will tell you our rivals are Harvard and Yale, although neither school seems particularly interested in us. In a recent Deadspin article , a Harvard fan complained about choice of Yale as a “neutral site,” noting, “How is Harvard having to play at their fiercest rival’s court, where “neutral” fans that show up will automatically root against Harvard?” (Fair point, although the obvious counter would seem to be, everyone hates Harvard, so no where outside of Cambridge could ever be “neutral”.)
But this winter season, the games where we had the most to lose, and the contests we really cared about winning, were against Crimson athletes. And (here’s the shift), it seemed like this season, Harvard cared about us, too.