OK, Class of 2004, your Penn careers are underway. The revamped and refurbished New Student Orientation has run its course; Judy did her bit at Convocation; and you've all been through the first two weeks of your college educations. Well, another part of that education begins tomorrow, and I'm sure you don't need me to tell you about it. The Penn football team opens its home season tomorrow afternoon, and many of you have probably already made plans to go. Before you pack up your toast and head to Fortress Franklin, however, let me give you a quick run-down of Penn sports traditions. You'll see some tomorrow, while others will not occur until later this year. Many upperclassmen could explain these to you, and some of you may already know all of this. But since I've been around the Penn sports scene for more than three years now, I'd like to give you one final lesson for your Penn orientation. Hopefully, you'll find it a bit more exciting than the Penn Reading Project. Toast. I know, I know. Every single one of you has heard about the toast tradition. You can't get through a tour of this campus without learning that Penn fans throw toast on the field. It's right up there with "the Addams Family house is really College Hall" on the tour guides' list of important things to say. But I'm not here to tell you about the Engineering School's magnificent Breadboni machine -- its greatest accomplishment since ENIAC. I'm here to tell you that football games at Penn don't end after three quarters. It happens every year. First-year students toss the burnt bread and head for the door. Don't do it. Stay in the stands until the "Red and Blue" is finished, then you may go. Attendance. Yesterday, 34th Street ran a blurb in its StreetBeat section that said the entire freshman class will show up tomorrow and that it will be the last game they'll ever bother to attend. While Street is not always regarded as the most "mature" part of the DP, they do have a point with this. Long gone are the days when Penn students wouldn't spend a Saturday afternoon anywhere but 33rd and South. But you will still be missing exciting action if you stay home after tomorrow's game. Go to as many home games as you can. Don't wait until Mommy and Daddy drag you during Parents Weekend. The same goes for attendance during basketball season. Princeton is not the only team on the Quakers' schedule. Songs. Learn the words and when to sing them. And as you'll see, the words to "Hang Jeff Davis" that you'll find in your facebook are not the words that will be sung tomorrow. The Line. While football season is just getting started, hoops season is not too far off in the distance. And if you want the best seats at the Palestra -- the holiest cathedral in all of college hoops -- you'll need to spend a few nights with other diehards waiting for tickets to go on sale. Due to renovations, this year's two-night sleepover will not be held at the Palestra, but waiting in "The Line" is the best way to start off your Penn basketball-watching careers. "UUUU!" OK, so maybe it's not a tradition if it just started last season. But when you hear this cheer during the winter, no one is booing. And their hand-raising is not signaling a successful field goal. It just means a certain sophomore power forward is getting the job done on the court. Penn Relays. The greatest track and field athletes in the world are gathered in Sydney, Australia right now. In seven months, they'll be gathered in our own backyard, along with several thousand other athletes of varying ages and abilities. It's the world's greatest track and field carnival, and you shouldn't miss it. Bill Cosby never does. € I didn't cover every Penn sports tradition here -- nor could I in a single column. And it's impossible to convey any of these in print. You have to experience each of them yourself, even if they do sound corny now. Consider this column a handbook to your orientation. Classes start tomorrow. And for all of you Quad-dwellers, don't worry about setting an alarm clock for tomorrow. The Penn Band's got it covered.Comments powered by Disqus
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