Riding the Pine: With Joe Clyne '16 and Henry Arndt '16

by Henry Arndt and Joe Clyne | 2/10/16 6:30pm

by Eliza McDonough / The Dartmouth

Even the best fall down sometimes. The Carolina Panthers fell victim to the fix we correctly anticipated. Jeb got whooped by Kasich, 2016’s first benefactor of the “Gates Lucas bump.” Hillary fell to Bernie “the Butthead” Sanders by a margin of more than 20 points in the Granite State.

In this broken and chaotic world devoid even of the organizational capacity necessary to erect a simple snow sculpture on the Green, we, the boys from Riding the Pine, bruised and battered, find ourselves with no choice but to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward.

Sometimes you have to return to your roots before you can make any progress at all. For us, we had to look no further than to Sanborn Library, the closest thing this campus has to an architectural coffin. Encased in its wooden walls, completely impervious to the harsh light of day and the harsh realities of the surface world, in as blissful a repose as if we were already 6 feet under, we can finally muster up the strength necessary to craft incisive commentary on the crumbling world around us.

It’s time for us to tell it like it is. No more pussyfooting around the real issues. Riding the Pine is going full Donald Trump this week and we don’t care if we offend a few of the lily-livered among you.

First, electricity is overrated. The few peaceful hours of pitch darkness on this campus were exactly what the doctor ordered. We need a return to the days of candles and lanterns, days when even the biggest partiers were forced into bed by 9 p.m. at the hands of the strictest curfew-keeper of all: God. College President Phil Hanlon, don’t listen to the haters. It’s time to cut the cord on this campus for good. Keep on keeping on.

Second, Coldplay was absolutely electric. In a Beyoncé-Bruno Mars sandwich, Coldplay was the delicious mayonnaise holding the whole thing together. “Yellow.” “Viva la Vida.” “Sky Full of Stars.” What more could we ask for from the world’s preeminent soft rock divas? Thank you Chris Martin. You truly sent us to “Paradise.”

Third, we’re sending prayers up for our man Derek Fisher. The former head coach of the New York Knicks was canned by the Zen Master over the weekend after a five game losing streak by Kristaps Porzingis and the boys. Rumors are abound that Fisher’s firing came not due to the team’s underperformance but due to Fisher’s dalliance with another NBA player’s estranged wife. While the Zen Master stands in firm opposition to such extracurriculars, we here at Riding the Pine have no choice but to nod our head in solidarity with the inflamed and embattled coach. From one Fish to another, you’ll be in our hearts.

Finally, we were force-fed an unfortunate truth on Sunday. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware broke free in the backfield play after play. The Denver Broncos’ elite defensive duo made the NFL’s most mobile quarterback look entirely helpless as Cam Newton ended the game with two fumbles, an interception and six sacks.

After watching Miller and Ware do the same thing two weeks earlier to Tom Brady, we did everything we could to hold onto our misguided belief that Superman Cam would expose the Broncos’ D as an empty Trojan Horse. Instead, we witnessed the death of the dab, televised in real time for an entire nation to behold. We’ve finally learned the most powerful lesson of all: Defense wins championships, substance beats style, steak surpasses sizzle.

This is truly a hard lesson to internalize for us, the two most sizzling and stylish men on Dartmouth’s campus, but we’ll continue trying our best.

Now that the Super Bowl is over, we are left in a veritable sports wasteland, with only the Golden State Warriors’ all-but-inevitable march to the NBA Finals to keep us company until baseball starts up in the spring. Fortunately for our readers, this means a radical increase in Riding the Pine’s non-sports coverage in this section. We know some of our more loyal readers have grown impatient with the amount of space dedicated to persuasive and insightful sports writing. The final three weeks of this term will mark a triumphant and manic return to the babbling incoherence that our fans desperately desire.

Until then, we’d like to leave you with a few select words from legendary playwright Tennessee Williams that seem particularly poignant as we approach our antepenultimate installment of Riding the Pine of the term.

“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.”