Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellyn firstname.lastname@example.org
bad is Princeton Football?
Detroit, the Tigers have a chance to rebound
Earlier this year, the Detroit Tigers appeared certain to lose
more than 120 games and unseat the 1962 New York Mets as the worst
team in baseball history.
Their season provided the moments and milestones of a legendary
loser. Centerfielder Alex Sanchez attempted to steal home in the
first inning of a 0-0 game against Kansas City with the Tigers'
clean-up batter at the plate. He was, of course, caught. Pitcher
Mike Maroth lost more than 20 games, the first hurler in more than
two decades to drop so many decisions.
The '62 Mets had comparably comical stories. They were nine and
a half games out of first place after playing only nine games. In
April of the '62 season, the Mets traded a player to be named later
for the Cleveland Indians' Harry Chiti. Just under two months later,
the Mets sent Chiti back to Cleveland as the player to be
These teams were bad. Really, really, really bad.
This year's Princeton football team is also bad. Its 0-4 start
is the worst in a history that spans more than 125 years. A history
that puts the team's all-time record well in the black (750-338-50).
A history that includes the first intercollegiate football game.
That this team now has the worst start is a fact. It cannot be
changed. Is it the worst team ever? I don't think so. Even bad teams
are capable of winning in difficult circumstances. The Detroit Tigers
lost 119 games this season, but they avoided the single-season loss
record by winning their last two decisions against the playoff-bound
I think the Princeton Tigers will rebound, too. No, I don't think
they're set to smack the Ivy League around and finish 6-4. I think
they'll likely finish 3-7. Not good, by any means. Not even respectable.
But they'll lose fighting, win with grace, and be far from the worst
It's unfair that the Tigers are even winless right now. The Columbia
loss Columbia's first win here in 45 years was a dicey
one, and even the visitors will admit it. The Tigers had a 20-0
lead after one quarter. Yet that long, wobbly pass, found a home
in Wade Fletcher's hands as time expired.
So who will the Tigers beat?
Not Harvard, Penn, or Yale they've all started the season
with four consecutive victories and look tough to handle. But there
are three games that Princeton should win.
Brown, October 18, away. The P-Nut would bet his entire collection
of Cosby episodes on it. The Tigers know how to get their offense
in gear, as the first quarter against Columbia showed. Unfortunately,
in last week's slaughter against Colgate, Princeton rushed for just
four yards in a half. The Tigers just need to go out and put together
good football. They're due for some breaks.
Cornell, on November 1 at home. Cornell has beaten the Tigers
three times in the last four seasons, but this still looks like
an opportunity for a Princeton win. The Big Red is 1-3 and 0-2 in
Dartmouth, away, on November 22. There is simply no way the Tigers
can go all the way without a win when they face the Big Green in
the last game of the season. Dartmouth has allowed 17 touchdowns
through four games. At the very least, these Tigers will be 1-9.
And hey, I'm picking Detroit for the pennant next year.
Nate Sellyn '04 is an English major writing a creative thesis,
and thus actively looking for employment. Seriously. You can reach
him at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU