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The Dartmouth
April 15, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Football looks to end four-game skid against Columbia Lions

At least they are not 0-7. That is just about all Dartmouth football fans can console themselves with as the Big Green (1-4, 0-2 Ivy) heads into a Homecoming weekend matchup with Columbia (2-3, 0-2 Ivy). Unlike last year's team, the 2005 Big Green has won a game prior to Homecoming. Nevertheless, they have also lost four straight and find themselves on the edge of disaster and, even worse, a repeat of last season's 1-9 debacle.

To their credit, four of the five teams Dartmouth has played have better than .500 records, and the fifth, Yale, is tied for first in the Ivy League. However, the games have not been terribly close, as the men in green have fallen by a minimum of two scores in each of the losses. A competitive schedule should not be an excuse for scoring only three touchdowns or amassing a combined 98 rushing yards in their past three games.

Head coach Buddy Teevens attempted to ameliorate these offensive ills last weekend at Holy Cross by replacing quarterback Charlie Rittgers '06 with Josh Cohen '09. The freshman looked his age for the first three quarters, but sparked the sputtering offense in the fourth with two long touchdown drives. Cohen threw for an impressive 290 yards, with two interceptions, in his first collegiate start.

The truest answer to Dartmouth's futility may in fact be Columbia. The Lions, although 2-3, remain, along with the Big Green, the only other winless team in Ivy League play. Columbia was dominated by Princeton in its first Ivy contest, 44-3. Dartmouth will look to exploit the porous Columbia defense with an offense that showed significant potential during the final quarter of the Holy Cross game.

In their previous game, the Lions fell to Penn 44-16, as once again, their stammering offense was only surpassed by a non-existent defense. Columbia undoubtedly represents Dartmouth's best chance to break out of the funk that has plagued the team for a month.

The two teams have met 75 teams in their history, with Dartmouth winning 58 of those meetings. Columbia was victorious last year, however, in the battle of Ivy cellar-dwellers. The final score of 9-6 was indicative of the troubles facing both squads throughout 2004.

Spurring the 2004 feud was an inflammatory article printed in the Columbia Spectator prior to the game. Writer Kwame Spearman, whose admitted purpose was to incite a rivalry between the two struggling teams, eloquently accused Dartmouth fans of bringing with them the "scent of manure" to Columbia. Spearman went on to discuss Dartmouth students' propensity to don "overalls and a straw hat to class."

Furthermore, according to the well-researched article, Hanover was no match for New York because Dartmouth students could not, like Spearman, shop constantly at Bloomingdale's and watch TRL through a small window in Times Square.

Thankfully, according to the writer, Columbia was not infested with cows as is Dartmouth, and when their football games were over, students at the New York Ivy could flock to "Soho and Chelsea" to, once again, shop until they drop. (For those who are confused at this point, Kwame is indeed a male name.)

This review of Spearman's luminous writings is in no way an attempt to rehash animosity towards our brethren from the Big Apple. It is only fair to inform Big Green fans about what they are up against, and what the opposition thinks of them. Let the games begin.

Dartmouth, with its solid defense and new-look offense, will look to send the meowing Lions back to Saks Fifth Avenue, or, if they choose to spend the night in "desolate" Hanover, to sleep with "our cows."

Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. at Memorial Field (unless, of course, Columbia arrives late due to a major sale at vintage stores in The Village this weekend).

Mr. Spearman will, unfortunately, not be attending the match due to the aforementioned super sale.