The games aren't played on paper, even when the games are played by the paper. The Daily Pennsylvanian's Only Section That Matters learned that the hard way last year. Now, DPOSTM must restore its honor in the 2017 Kamin Cup, to be played on Tuesday at noon on Franklin Field.
The non-sports team, previously known as the Weenies, pulled off a stunning upset in 2016, ending DPOSTM's 10-year winning streak. The team finds itself in the position of "reigning champion" for the first time in a decade, and also finds itself in the middle of a rebrand after shocking revelations regarding the contentious origins of its previous name. Sources confirmed that the team will at least temporarily be competing as the "NARPs," or the Non-Athletic Regular People, named after the team mascot, Executive Editor Dan Spinelli.
If we know one thing from last year, it's that the Kamin Cup can be unpredictable. Still, former and incoming Sports Editor Cole "Swole" Jacobson identified a few things fans could expect on Tuesday:
"A naming controversy, a team hungry for revenge, a winter bloodbath, and a lot of questions," Jacobson said in between pull-ups.
The biggest question on the eve of the big game is, as usual, the roster for the newly-dubbed NARPs. Last year, the team employed a highly-polarizing, strategically-low turnout, requiring DPOSTM to loan more players than usual across enemy lines. Many of those players excelled after being traded, leaving the then-dynasty helplessly at the mercy of the "no givesies-backsies" clause in the then-active Kamin Cup Rules. But one of those regrettably-traded players, sophomore Marc Margolis, will no longer be competing for the NARPs after leading the non-sports squad to victory as a quarterback in his freshman year.
"I will be competing for DPOSTM. DPOSTM is love, DPOSTM is life," said Margolis into a camera, reading off a whiteboard held by masked, unfamiliar men.
Another question is who will be coaching the NARPs, as outgoing President and general manager Carter "Cooter" Coudriet was still carrying out a comprehensive national search the day before the game. While the former DPOSTM prospect has kept his cards close to his unsightly chest, sources have indicated that Colleen Coudriet, Carson Coudriet, Vincie Coudriet, Cathy Coudriet, Bert Coudriet, and Maryjo Coudriet are the likely finalists for the position.
The NARPs may also be facing a quarterback controversy, especially in light of proposed legislation that their signal caller cannot be a DPOSTM-ite on loan. One potential solution is outgoing Opinion Editor and Social Chair Alessandro van den Brink, who recently expressed confidence in his throwing ability. "AVDB" also expressed confidence that the NARPs will emerge victorious regardless of who ends up under center.
"Look, if I didn't think we would win, I wouldn't be here," said van den Brink, clad in a New York Yankees jersey, a New England Patriots hoodie, a San Antonio Spurs scarf, and a Duke Basketball hat.
Other potential NARP standouts include Lucien "The Sky With Diamonds" Wang, Madeline "Lulu" Lamon, Julia "Reasonably" Schorr, Dylan "The Lawfirm" Reim, and the army of "StrARPs" led by Orly Greenberg. The NARPs will need these players to provide fresh legs, as conditioning is expected to once again be an issue for others such as Coudriet, who mustered just 38 yards on five targets and 99 bananas in last year's showdown before heading up to the upper deck at halftime and spending the rest of the game as a spectator.
But DPOSTM is confident that it doesn't matter whomst've is on the other side, as long as the "Redeem Team" brings its A-game.
"We lost last year, but losing is a part of the process if you want to win," said Yosi "Hinkie" Weitzman.
"If we don't slack off, the NARPs only have, like, a one-in-eight chance," Theodoros "The Greek Freak" Papazekos chipped in.
"As long as we submit our picks... I mean as long as we show up, we should win," added Brevin Fleischer.
While some DPOSTM rookies will likely be forced to feign softness for a day, Sports has plenty of young talent to make up for a couple trades, including Will "The Big" DiGrande, Vincent "Pablo Sanchez" Lugrine, and Danny "TWG" Chiarodit.
One concern for DPOSTM may be effort on both sides of the ball, as many of its key players are one-dimensional.
"I don't play defense," Sports Editor and incoming Senior Sports Editor Jonathan Pollack reminded the press.
"I can only play defense, said Senior Comma Sports Editor Tommy "Snowflake Memes" Rothman. "I would never do anything that might be considered offensive."
The veteran had more to say in the final hours before his final Kamin Cup:
"I just want a good, clean, innocent, fair game," Rothman said. "And to lay Spinelli out the first time he tries to go over the middle. It's two-hand touch, but it's tackle if he ever somehow gets the ball."
Other players who will be partaking in their final Kamin Cup include the other DPOS-Toms, Thomas Munson and Tom Nowlan, who returns to DPOSTM after a brief experiment with the other side. Will Agathis and Jacob Adler will also be gracing the field for the final time.
Perhaps nobody has more on the line than outgoing Senior Sports Editor Will "The Forecast" Snow, who knows his tenure will be judged as a failure if DPOSTM does not win on Tuesday.
Speaking of forecasts, there is a potential for inclement weather — whether it be rain or snow — on Tuesday. Regarding the potential snow, Snow expressed defiance for the conditions.
"Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway."
Motivated as ever, Snow will be leaning on his captain Pollack to lead the DPOSTMites to the promised land, but he isn't afraid to take matters into his own hands if his frat-star player fails to impress.
"I would do anything to win this game," Snow said. "I would walk 500 miles. Heck, I would even walk 500 more, just to be the one holding that trophy when all is said and done."
But every single player left Monday's press conference knowing that the only thing that matters is what happens on the field Tuesday afternoon.
Talk, like Franzia, is cheap. So buckle up, and get ready for the sporting event of the year.
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