Web Exclusives: Inky Dinky Do
a PAW web exclusive column by Hugh O'Bleary

Feburary 13, 2002:
Olympic Orange
It's the venue, stupid!

By Hugh O'Bleary

Ask Peter "Pierre" Pinkley ’77 what time it is and he’ll tell you, "It’s Tiger time!" Pinkley is an unabashed booster of of all things Princeton. This is a man who has a room devoted to Princeton memorabilia, from flags and pennants to old Palmer Stadium programs to a framed and signed color photo of George Schultz’s tiger tattoo. I’m not so sure he doesn’t have a tattoo of Schultz’s tattoo.

I often ride the train into the city with Pinkley ("I work in advertising," he likes to say, "but my heart’s in Princeton.") and he usually has some sort of Princeton-centric scheme he’s working on. Last summer, it was orange-and-black hot dogs (veggie dogs, actually; they were made out of carrot and black beans, and despite the obvious appeal for tailgating never caught on), the year before that it was the campaign to get Woodrow Wilson added to Mount Rushmore. It should have been no surprise then when he plopped into the seat beside me one morning last week and said, "Swifter. Higher. Farther… Oranger."

"Aren’t I gonna what?" I said.

"Not ‘aren’t ya,’ O’Bleary – Oranger. Oranger, as in ‘more orange.’"

"Meaning?" I should have known not to ask.

"It’s the motto for my new campaign," he said.

I asked what the product was.

"It’s not a product, " he said. "It’s a dream. A vision. A mission." He reached into his briefcase and pulled out a rolled-up piece of paper. He held it up and with a flourish let it unscroll. On it were the words GOING BACK TO THE GAMES.

"The Princeton Olympics," said Pinkley. "Just think of it – the world comes to Princeton."

I may have tittered, or snorted.

"They laughed at Baron Pierre de Coubertain, too," he said, "but he made his vision come true. Aren’t you watching the Games every night? I’m serious about this. Just think, at the first Modern Olympics in 1896, most of the U.S. team was from Princeton. What could be more fitting then bringing the Games back here?"

"Well almost anything," I said.

But he was not to be deterred.

"Just picture it, O’Bleary," he said. "The stadium filled with cheering spectators from all over the world, medal ceremonies on the steps of Nassau Hall, the P-rade of athletes at opening ceremonies." For a moment a far-away look came into his eyes. "And get this – instead of gold medals, we’ll have ORANGE medals for first place!"

He had clearly been watching too much Jim McKay. "What makes you think," I said, "that the International Olympic Committee would even consider Princeton?"

"Aha!" said Pinkley. "How did the ancient Greeks conduct their Olympics? In the nude. And how does Princeton conduct its Olympics?" He gave a big grin. "It’s a lock," he said.

You can reach Hugh O'Bleary at "Hugh O'Bleary" paw@princeton.edu