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Dear Princetonian children, I hope this letter finds you well from the sacred and noble University of Pennsylvania. Our president, Ms. Amy Gutmann, left your school back in 2004 to pursue a career at what she decisively determined to be the nation’s superior institution, so I hope you will forgive my condescending nature towards you folks — perfectly intelligent tenants of a top-50 university yourselves.

And with that, I would like to close the book on any potential references to presidents of certain domains having ties to certain universities.

Now, I understand your beloved Tigers are 5-0 in Ivy League play, while my Quakers have sputtered to a depressing 0-5 mark. With that in mind, one might expect the level of suspense, on a scale from “one” to “Princeton swimming,” to be fairly low.

But expand your horizons! Search beyond! Add the two teams’ records together and you will find that the two teams have combined for a perfectly even 5-5 mark in Ivy play. Suddenly not so lopsided, no?

Now let’s factor in one more thing, for those of you who have been able to keep up thus far. Penn will have home-court advantage in this game. Our teams play better when the Penn faithful are there to provide a boost. And while the Tigers scored a lucky football win in the state of New Jersey (and I use the term “state” very loosely), that was in large part caused by Penn’s banning all of our drunk frat bros from tailgating on Princeton’s campus. If you think Penn is going to kick drunk students off our own campus, think again. We don’t even kick arsonists off our own campus.

So the Quaker fans in the student body will be there in full force tonight. All twelve of them. And you’re gonna feel them roar! Wait, no, wrong mascot. Anyway, I asked a few people who said they never went to the Penn-Princeton games before because they were always during Winter and Spring Break. Those same people probably won’t make it to this one because, as one source put it, they’re “totally busy” during the academic portions of our calendar and only have free time during Winter and Spring Break. 

But we’ll have plenty of alumni in the house from both schools, and they’ll bring the kind of atmosphere that you can only get from a person old enough to remember the last time either of these two programs really mattered.

Finally, the last time we hosted you guys during a normal damn time of the school year to host one’s biggest rival (seriously, Ivy schedule-makers? FIVE years?), Penn won. That was also the last time we did these columns. So this game is pretty much in the bag.

But maybe Penn won’t win. Maybe we’ll lose, and you guys will go to 6-0 and get one step closer to earning a chance to play a cherished March game on the court where we get to play all the time.

And then maybe you’ll win those games too, and head to the NCAA Tournament only to get dropped by literally any power-conference school whose highly-paid “student”-athletes have more pride than Baylor.

And then you’ll end up just like us. If you ain't first, you’re last. Shake & Quake.

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