Friday, Sept. 21
So this is it. Tomorrow will be my first Penn football game! Part of why I came to Penn was because I wanted to get involved in the school’s athletic culture, really be an uber-Penn sports fan. Red and Blue Crew, toast-making, the Line, all of it.
Penn’s really got a lot of great athletic traditions, but all I ever hear about is how no one seems to care anymore. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks now, so I’m not really sure what to think of this. An alum that my dad knows told me Penn Athletics is dead! I sure hope not, but I might find out at the game tomorrow.
Saturday, Sept. 22
So there was a solid crowd of ’Nova fans at Franklin Field tonight but a lot fewer Penn fans than I expected. I think I would have had a good time if I didn’t keep looking around to count just how many Penn fans there were. My friends apparently had a good time without me — in the second half I started to roam the bleachers to see how many Penn students were there and how happy they were and how into it they looked. Oh well, maybe it will be better at Rhodes Field tomorrow.
Sunday, Sept. 23
Well I went to the women’s soccer match today. They lost 1-0 to Boise State, but I missed the Broncos’ gamewinning goal in the second half because I was craning my neck away from the match to look at the stands. All the students and parents looked really into it! They were excited and then they were disappointed, but they looked how they should have looked.
But there should have been more of them! All those people commenting online about the attendance at games are right — there should have been more people there. I mean, why even have a special seating area for guests with wheelchairs if there aren’t even going to be any people there in wheelchairs?
Sunday, Sept. 30
I know I haven’t written in a week, but that’s because there weren’t a lot of things happening with my classes and stuff. I mean, how can I think about something as inconsequential as classes when students are ignoring their classmates who play varsity sports? Right?
Anyway, Franklin Field. It doesn’t need to be as big as it is anymore. It’s just a lot of empty space now. That’s what I often find myself thinking about during games. Sometimes I read the DP and their columnists are criticizing Bagnoli or Ragone or whoever, and I just go, “Nobody’s watching anyway!” Why even say anything?
Saturday, Oct. 6
It was Family Weekend at the Frank today. Here’s what I saw in the stands — one student couple was watching the game semi-intently and holding hands the whole game. Another group of frat kids were eating lots of chicken fingers and joking around and cheering while they watched the game too. There were a lot of students with their families, pointing stuff out and hugging each other after the game was over. I don’t know where my friends were.
But when it came time for the toast toss, almost half the crowd threw their toast at the beginning of “Drink a Highball” instead of towards the end of the song like they’re supposed to! Then a student sitting in the row below me sat down and started texting before the song was over! And an older couple sitting next to me shook their heads in disgust and said, “What is that kid doing? Doesn’t he know the song?”
That’s how I knew Penn Athletics really is in big trouble. And then I got hit in the head with a frozen bagel.
Saturday, Oct. 27
Oh my God! I’ve had so many midterms lately that I forgot about updating my diary! I missed the Columbia football game. I missed three weeks of soccer. What have I done? Have I helped kill Penn Athletics?
Sunday, Oct. 28
I’ve already fallen too far behind. I didn’t go to The Line last night because I can’t put up with emptiness at games anymore. Sure, there may be thousands of happy students and alums who go to athletic events every week on campus. Sure, there may be tons of relationships between student couples and alumni families that come together at games all the time. Sure, there still may be food and cheers and excitement and programs and championships and all that good stuff.
But Penn Athletics is dead. Dead as a doornail. Its soul must have died out a long time ago too, whenever the alums from way back said it did. Now the only thing left to determine is whether Penn Athletics has a soul.
Looks like I’ll have to get another diary.
This article appeared in the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Joke Issue 2013. For more information, click here.