Author: Jonathan Cousins, SEAS’14
They say that you never know how much you miss something until it is no longer there. Well, in the case of Penn Basketball, I realized just how much I had missed an hour before game time. I realized that I was going to get to go to the Palestra, the cathedral of college basketball, and watch Penn and Temple in a Big 5 matchup.
That would have been enough, as I and many of the Penn fans felt we had no business being competitive in this game. But, that’s why you play the games. Penn fought as hard as I have ever seen them against a bigger, more talented Temple team. Tied at halftime, and with back and forth swings throughout the second half, the game had an atmosphere of spirited competition that was rarely there last year. Last year’s Harvard game was amazing, but the Big 5 brings out something special in the Palestra. There is nothing like having the arena split half and half, with every shot, miss, turnover, and foul drawing half praise and half objection.
There was a strong internal temptation to make a statement about the officiating, especially at the end of the game, but I will let others do that, at least in public forums. My focus is on the atmosphere. The other night, the Palestra was loud and proud, and hopefully, the experience will keep Penn students coming back for more. There is understandable disappointment after the loss, but, from my perspective, the atmosphere of Penn pride could not be beat. Keep it up Penn students – we need your voices all season.
Looking forward, this game gives me hope. Temple is a better team than Harvard, who everyone is predicting to run away with the Ivy League title. Whether we end up winning or not, we can play with any team, and I hope to see good efforts in each and every game. This experience is what I have been missing ever since Spring Break last year. Finally, it is back.
Here’s to a good season. Go Quakers!
You can read more about the game here.