Author: Jonathan Cousins, SEAS’14
Last Friday, I went to see Penn Basketball play at Columbia. It is always a unique experience to watch your hometown team in another city. For one thing, the crowd is rooting against you. It is especially hard to deal with by yourself, because if there is only one of you, you stick out. At Columbia though, there were ten members of the Red and Blue Crew, and we were sitting right next to the Penn Band. Between the two groups, we basically owned a corner of the gym. And, it was fun to have a bunch of us cheering against the majority of the pro-Columbia crowd. I also noticed that there were a lot of Penn alumni present, especially in the section right behind the Penn bench.
Getting to and from the gym was an adventure. We took Bolt bus from 30th Street Station to Penn Station in New York, and then rode the subway from there to Columbia’s campus. However, the gym is underground, and once you step on campus, it is not easy to find. I bought the tickets for the group ahead of time, and so I had to be the one to pick them up at Will Call Office. I booked a bus that left at 3 PM and arrived at 5 PM, thinking that would give me plenty of time before the 7 PM tipoff. I didn’t anticipate that my bus would leave an hour late, and I found myself scrambling to get to the gym on time. In the end, I made it, arriving in plenty of time at 6:30.
The game remained close through the first half, with Columbia taking a small lead into the break. We surged back at the beginning of the second half, and led by nine points with two minutes to go. We watched the lead quickly evaporate due to poor fouls and turnovers. Columbia even had a chance to win the game with a three at the buzzes, but thankfully, it clanked off of the iron as the horn sounded. The final score was a close 66 to 64 with Penn winning. You can read the full press release here.
On the way back home, our group stopped for pizza, and then took the long ride back to Philly. I really had a great time taking half a day and going on an adventure to another city. I got to get out of the Penn bubble, see another Ivy League campus and watch a Penn victory. I have also found that you get closer with the group of people that go on trips like this. In the future, I hope we find funding to send groups of students to the road games, Ivy or otherwise. Even if only 5-10 students went on each trip, if we took 3-6 trips a year, every season ticket holder would at least have the opportunity to go on one. This also discounts the bi-annual trips to Temple and La Salle, which are located right on the Broad Street Line. I hope these trips continue to exist, and expand in number, so that more people get to have the type of fun experience that we did.