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Monday, 26 March 2012

The roller-coaster season of the men's hockey team ended on Saturday night, with a 2-1 loss to Ferris State University in the NCAA Regional Final. The night before, they had forged a spectacular overtime win over Michigan (see Revenge, Served Cold, below). But their luck ran out against the FSU Bulldogs, who matched the Big Red's defensive intensity in a hard-fought contest. So the team finished the year 19-9-7, one victory short of returning to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2003. But cheer up — there are only four seniors on this year's squad.

Revenge, Served Cold Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 March 2012

Congratulations, Cornell, on the most significant athletic accomplishment of the past two decades! I sincerely could not be prouder. No, I’m not talking about the fact that three Big Red wrestlers won national championships last week, although I have become a fan for sure – and one could argue that it ranks up there with just about any feat in the history of Big Red sports.

I’m talking about Cornell’s 3-2 defeat of the Michigan hockey team in overtime on Friday, March 23.

What? You don’t think a victory in the Midwest Regional semifinals deserves quite such lofty praise? You don’t think it’s all that big a deal to earn a match-up against Ferris State, which I can only assume was founded by the amusement park guy or a con-man named Bueller? Well, you don’t live in my world.

My father earned his degree from Michigan. My aunt graduated from University of Michigan Medical School. My best friend went to Michigan, along with about half of my closest high school friends. My screenwriting partner went to Michigan. All four of my wife’s cousins went to Michigan. More than a quarter-century ago, when the dust settled on my college applications, I had a choice between two estimable institutions – one in Ithaca, the other in Ann Arbor. My twin brother was headed for Michigan. Really, for me, there was no choice.

Even then, the suffering continued. Over my very first winter break as a Cornell freshman, when I desperately wanted to spend time with my girlfriend (now my wife) in Chicago, I was instead whisked off to Pasadena to watch the Michigan football team play in the Rose Bowl. Pep rallies and “Hail to the Victors Valiant” and Wolverine well-wishers ad nauseum. Sure, I suppose I should have been grateful for the family vacation. But it wasn’t MY school, and it wasn’t my finest hour. I’m not quite as proud of that.

Perhaps as punishment, over the years I had to endure endless sporting storylines. I had to suffer through Rumeal Robinson’s title-winning free throws (he’s in jail for fraud, by the way) and Tom Brady’s college comebacks (he’s doing alright for himself) and the precocious exploits of basketball’s Fab Five (Fab Five? How about Edward Bernays ’12, E.B. White ’21, Gregory Pincus ’24, Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54, and Charles Feeney ’56. They had lousy crossover dribbles, but at least they graduated).

Truth be told, in otherwise neutral situations, I occasionally find myself rooting for the Wolverines. Brainwashing has that effect. I can only assume that iconoclasts raised in the Bronx can’t help but root for the Yankees on occasion. Sort of like rooting for the muggers. And sure, Ann Arbor is actually a fine city. And the Michigan fight song is undeniably catchy, a bit like swine flu.

Still, what I’m saying is this: I have maize and blue bruises on my psyche.

But you know what they say: Revenge is a dish best served cold – on ice, preferably. So thank you, Cornell hockey. It was a gift tied up with a Big Red bow.

Oh, and while I’m at it, congrats to the football team for its stirring triumph in the last game of the season. Both of my in-laws went to Penn.

                                                                                                     — Brad Herzog '90

Congratulations, Cornell Athletes Print E-mail
Monday, 19 March 2012

Congratulations to Cornell wrestlers Kyle Dake, Steve Bosak, and Cam Simaz, who all won national championships in their weight classes at the NCAA wrestling tournament in St. Louis. Dake made history with his win, as he is the first wrestler to win three NCAA championships in three different weight classes. (And he's a junior, so he'll get one more chance next year.)

Congratulations also the men's hockey hockey team, whose 3-0 win over Colgate in the ECAC championship consolation game earned them a berth in the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in the last eleven years, and to the women's hockey team, who advanced to the Frozen Four for the third year in a row. Even though they lost to eventual national champion Minnesota, that did not diminish an outstanding year where they posted a 30-5 record.

It's Dragon Day Print E-mail
Friday, 16 March 2012

Unfortunately, the weather is lousy. But the show must go on . . .

Follow the events online.

March Madness Print E-mail
Friday, 09 March 2012

Harvard's basketball team may be going to the NCAA Tournament as this year's Ivy League champions, but Jeff Foote '10 -- the center on Cornell's Ivy champions from 2008, 2009, and 2010 -- has joined the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA.

Foote played his first game with the Hornets on March 9, scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds in a contest against the Denver Nuggets.

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