Like always, it wasn't pretty. Like usual, the Kamin Cup will spend the offseason with its true owners.
DPOSTM reclaimed its rightful place at the throne on Tuesday, doubling up the NARPs by a score of 56-28 in the 2017 Kamin Cup at Franklin Field.
With the win, the noble Sportsmen claimed their 11th title in 12 years, bouncing back quickly after seeing a 10-year winning streak shattered in the infamous debacle of 2016.
"Honestly, I think the biggest difference was leadership," said one DPOSTM player who wished to remain anonymous despite the fact that Will Snow is a pretty cool name.
Strong turnout on both sides allowed Sports to keep all of its players a year after the opposition leaned heavily on borrowed talent to borrow the trophy. However, the 40 people in attendance (a Franklin Field record) led to organized chaos, especially early in the game. At one point, incoming President David "The Crimson Chin" Akst illegally ran off the sidelines and onto the field in the middle of a play to break up a long pass. Multiple high-speed collisions on a crowded field led some spectators to become concerned, although the more gory scenes were shrugged off as "AFC North football, baby!"
Many rules were continually in a state of flux, including the width of the field and the number of players allowed. Defensive touchdowns were banished altogether, nullifying multiple DPOSTM pick-sixes and keeping the score from becoming truly unsightly.
Nonetheless, DPOSTM managed to win convincingly, finding the end zone eight times to the NARPs' four. The actual final score of 56-28 was questioned by some, as it was not clear how many hypothetical extra points the victors' kicker would have converted.
But it wasn't always easy for DPOSTM. After an early touchdown (and an epic "Duck Duck Goose" celebration) to take the lead, neither team managed to find the end zone for several drives. NARP quarterback and Opinion Editor Alessandro van den Brink proved to be quite mistaken in his opinion that he could make decent throws, and chemistry appeared to be an issue on a key fourth-and-goal play that saw a pass intended for incoming Digital Director Julia Schorr fall incomplete.
"To be honest, I didn't really know who she was," van den Brink said. "I just saw her open in the end zone."
Meanwhile, DPOSTM struggled to find its footing as a revolving door at quarterback struggled to produce results. Presumptive starter Marc Margolis was late to the game and benched for several more drives upon his arrival due to attitude concerns. Sports Editor Yosi Weitzman connected on a few nice throws, but suffered from what Senior Comma Sports Editor Tommy Rothman called "the peripheral vision of a Stormtrooper."
Rothman himself threw an interception in the red zone after promising not to throw an interception in the red zone, and fellow editors Brevin Fleischer and Jonathan Pollack did not fare much better.
With neither team able to establish an effective passing game and both defenses playing some stingy football, the scoreboard remained inactive until a NARP score late in the first half tied the game at one touchdown apiece. DPOSTM answered with a touchdown to end the half and take a lead into the break, but many on the favored side felt that things were too close for comfort.
But the cream always rises to the top, and DPOSTM's talent shone through after halftime. The once and future dynasty pulled off several highlight reel touchdowns, including a beautiful lob to the corner of the end zone from Snow to Pollack and a dazzling dash by Cole "Swole" Jacobson, who caught a pass 25 yards from the end zone before using a series of dizzying moves to leave the entire NARP squad in the dust on his way to the score.
Jacobson was also responsible for the most important —indeed, the only important— play of the game, "accidentally stomping on NARP standout Chase Sutton's hand, breaking the skin and ensuring that the historic, holy turf of Franklin Field would indeed receive its requisite tribute in blood this year so that the Kamin Cup could continue for years to come."
For his efforts, Jacobson was awarded the game ball after DPOSTM's triumph.
"We just wanted it more," Jacobson said through a mouthful of the aforementioned game ball.
And while DPOSTM's talent shone through in the second half as Weitzman and Margolis settled into something of a groove under center, the NARPs' lack of talent was even more visible. This was the case when outgoing Social Media editor Dylan Reim went down like a ton of bricks after a short reception despite not having a defender within five feet of him.
But at no point were the shortcomings of the NARPs more painfully obvious than when outgoing President Carter Coudriet decided to try his hand at quarterback. Sensing an easy sack, a DPOSTMite brought the blitz and feasted on his scruffy prey as Coudriet, his aged, stubby legs churning as fast as they possibly could, inexplicably made a run for it instead of throwing the ball away.
"I forgot myself there," Coudriet panted when asked about the play.
As DPOSTM pulled away on the scoreboard, the team began to replace actual quarterbacks with human victory cigars, allowing Rothman and fellow seniors Jacob Adler and Tom Nowlan to take a few final disastrous snaps under center.
But celebratory cigars would not be needed, as DPOSTM's celebration game was incredibly strong throughout the day. The early "Duck Duck Goose" celebration was followed up with "Row Your Boat," "Bowling," "Family Photo," "Christmas Dinner," "Leapfrog," "Polite Handshakes" and, of course, "500 Miles."
"We were actually calling out the touchdown celebrations before the ball was even snapped," said incoming Sports Editor Theodoros Papazekos.
By the end of the day, DPOSTM's dominance was so apparent that former DPOSTMite-turned-NARP David Figurelli attempted to rejoin his former comrades for the final drive.
"I didn't want to end up on the wrong side of history," Figurelli said.
History will remember this as a splendid day for DPOSTM, and the future looks bright as well. Solid performances from Danny Chiarodit, Vincent Lugrine, Will DiGrande, Sam Mitchell, Stephen Tannenbaum, and Zack Rovner can only spell trouble for upcoming generations of NARPs.
While the annual clash was a heated affair, both teams lined up together for handshakes and photos after the game, displaying the classiness and sportsmanship upon which the Kamin Cup was founded. After exiting the field, DPOSTMites and NARPs alike went to a local eatery to receive the free cheesesteaks that had been promised should the game's final combined score exceed 75 points, but were told to "go f**k themselves."
President's Note: The Kamin Cup is an annual football game between the DP's sports department and the rest of the company. While the result of the game and many of the plays described here did in fact happen (I absolutely tried to outrun a sack despite my "aged, stubby legs"), many of the quotes and descriptions are satirized. Many important details were omitted, including a sick one-handed catch I made, but alas.
Signing off for likely the last time... —Carter Coudriet, President
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.