Guest Column | A reason to unite
Join your fellow Quakers, show your school spirit and attend the Line
October 21, 2011, 1:34 am · Updated October 21, 2011, 1:52 am·
The Line is coming, but it is also on its way out.
The once-prominent Penn basketball tradition seems to have lost its charisma in recent years. Without increased student support, who knows how long it will be before the Line is merely a memory, archived with other has-been Penn Athletics’ traditions. The Line traditionally marks the start of Penn basketball season. This Friday night is when the season begins. The Line is our first game, and we are playing against a fierce opponent.
We cannot afford to lose — none of us can. Not players, not fans, not coaches, not students. Some traditions are too great to die out, too valuable to fail, too important to forget.
Fortunately, the basketball programs, the Red and Blue Crew and Penn Athletics refuse to let the tradition die without a fight. It is a fight worth fighting because while activities may change, the seating policies may change, the players on the court may change and even the features of the Palestra may change, the Line is timeless.
The Line is a connection to years past years to come. The Line is a show of school spirit and Quaker pride. The Line is a fosterer of a stronger sense of belonging and identity. The Line is a way to not just be a face in a crowd but be the one who can start a chant. The Line is a reason to unite, reason to rejoice and reason to celebrate.
This year is a fresh start. A new journey. Penn basketball is one of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball and the Palestra is one of the most historic gymnasiums in all of sports. We can sit back. We can stand idle. We can rely on previous memories to guide us. We can rest on our laurels. We can hope the past will be enough. Or we can live in the present and take action in restoring that glory.
Taking action is a responsibility that can’t fall only on the fans, only on the teams or only on the administrators. Taking action requires the entire Penn community to come together and breathe life into the program. Taking action requires all of us to rally and leave our own mark on Penn. Taking action requires all of us to decide what kind of legacy we want to leave. We can start to build momentum and cultivate energy, but we will get nowhere without broader support and greater attendance.
For many Penn alums, their greatest experiences at Penn took place in the Palestra. For many current Penn students, they can’t even tell you where the Palestra is located.
Change that. Come out to the Cathedral of College Basketball this Friday. Enjoy some fun with the teams, coaches and fellow students. Be a part of a Penn tradition.
Before the season starts, before we can play our first game, before we can even look at a clean loss column, we need to write our names on the scorecard.
Join your fellow Quakers in reaffirming that we all want to play.
Jessica Knapp is a College senior and women’s basketball captain. Zack Rosen is a Wharton senior and men’s basketball captain. Jayson Weingarten is a College senior and Red and Blue Crew leader. Weingarten can be reached at email@example.com.