Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellwyn nsellyn@princeton.edu

For an alternative view of the seven-week rule, see President Tilghman's President's Page in February 26, 2003, issue.

January 28, 2004:

P-Nut's Winter Prediction Column
Princeton will be titletown in 2004

OK, who missed me? Who made a New Year's resolution to save every column I've ever written before I retire this summer? Who lit a candle on the menorah and thought of Nathaniel Woolfe Sellyn? Who put a present under the tree for the P-Nut that went unclaimed?

No one, huh? Yeah, well, I didn't think much about you either. Moving on, plenty of ground to cover in this column. The Tigers' winter teams returned to action January 23, and I've got predictions on how they will finish — and how a few other things will turn out also:

A female will win the third American Idol, but the black guy won't last long in The Bachelorette. Both will garner less hype than My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Fiancée, which will make an instant celebrity out of some overweight schmuck — less than a month till the success of the show puts a supermodel on his arm.

A national title for men's squash. A sweep of the individual titles for the increasingly hairy Yasser El Halaby '06, who won't drop a match all year. An Ivy League title for the women's side, which could do some damage nationally if their four freshwomen continue their early season success.

An Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl, Pats win. Of course, by the time this column hits the Web, I could already be wrong on this one. In that case, Pats deserved to win. Whatever happened, they got robbed.

Women's hockey, buoyed by the security of Megan Van Beusekom '04 between the pipes, will continue their stellar season, but fail to claim the E.C.A.C. crown. Men's hockey, despite the arrival of some long awaited firepower from its underclassmen, including top-scorer Grant Goeckner-Zoeller '07, will have to wait at least another season before even beginning to resemble a decent side. The team has allowed almost four goals a game this season, something that needs to change before the win column will.

My pro hockey and basketball picks — Canadiens and Lakers, respectively — remain unchanged from the fall. What's now surprising is that the Habs look to be the smart pick out of that pair. N.B.A. M.V.P. will be Kevin Garnett. N.H.L. M.V.P., Jose Theodore. N.H.L. Rookie of the Year, Michael Ryder. N.B.A. Rookie of the Year... ah, forget it, you've probably never heard of the kid. He'll have the Cavs in the Finals by 2010.

Men's volleyball, anchored by senior setter Jason "Smooth Criminal" Liljestrom '04, will see their young team grow up a little. The squad struggled at times last year, when the roster was dominated by underclassmen. This season, however, look for Liljestrom to lead them to a chance at the E.I.V.A. title. A star since his freshman year, the captain will not likely settle for less — and will almost certainly see the team that defeated his squad last year, perennial E.I.V.A. powerhouse Penn State, on the way to the top.

Bill Walton will, sadly, suffer a horrible kitchen appliance accident that leaves him unable to speak or write on anything related to sports. The news is celebrated nationwide, as millions acknowledge that the big man has finally thrown it down.

Men's basketball are already a good ways through their season, but the all-important stretch of Ivy League matches doesn't begin until the end of this month, when the Tigers will face Brown in Providence. That will mark the first of fourteen straight games against Ivy opponents. How will the team, currently 6-6, fare? Tough to tell. Harvard looks dismal — they surrendered almost 100 points to Sacred Heart on January 14 — but Cornell, Brown, Yale and Penn could all provide decent competition. That said, I'll be optimistic about basketball for once, and actually predict an Ivy title and trip to the tourney for this year's edition of the Tigers, who finally have a healthy Andre Logan '04.

The nuclear war I predicted in the fall issue will not occur. We will be saved at the last moment by Pete Rose, who will then receive a Nobel Peace Prize — but no Hall of Fame berth, ever.

Women's basketball are also well into their 2004 campaign, with less successful results. The Tigers stand at 3-10 overall, and are 0-1 within the Ivy League as of January 19. The problem so far has been offense for the women, who didn't put away a single field goal for the last eight minutes of their January 9 match-up with Penn. Although I don't foresee any great successes for the squad this year, I do think they will come together a little near the end of the year, and finish slightly above .500 within the Ivy League.

And that's it! The spring's first column will feature a look at Princeton alumni currently in pro sports.


You can reach Nate at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU