Our Basketball Ivy O-PENN-er

Ah January, a time for coldness, finals period, and a trip to the Palestra.

That’s right, the band took its annual basketball trip into Philadelphia to support both Tiger teams as they faced off against the Quakers (who I think are still dorks?). Our first road trip under the new officer corps went fairly smoothly, and we successfully arrived at the Palestra with plenty of time to spare. Greeted by a friendly event security guy who let us into the gym, we sauntered into our seat. We were shoved into a corner, as usual, presumably because Penn fans can’t handle the awesomeness of the band, but what we lacked in proximity to the court we made up for in loudness of cheering and playing.

The day started off weird when we left the gym shortly before the game and met the Penn band outside, where we jointly rehearsed the Star Spangled Banner. Penn wanted us to jointly play it before the women’s game, presumably because their numbers were pretty tiny as it was their break. We obliged, and our combined forces were magnificent and beautiful. Of course, we like to think that was mostly us, but I don’t think the Penn band made it any worse.

Princenn University Band?
Preparing to play the SSB with our combined bands!

After a rousing tribute to country and school, the band headed back to our corner, where we cheered on the phenomenal women’s basketball team. It was a strange game, with remarkably little scoring happening in the entire first quarter.

Scoring got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low
A full 4 minutes into play and the score was only 2-0!

Eventually though the teams got going, and they stayed neck and neck the whole game. There were many jeers and cheers from the band, in typical fashion, and we wiggled our fingers as intensely as possible to give the Tigers all possible luck in their free throws.

Wiggle wiggle wiggle
Roland F. ‘19, Mariel V. ‘16, and Graham R. ‘15 intensely finger wiggling. Photo credit to Yash H. ’18

The game came down to the wire, but unfortunately the Penn women pulled just ahead of the Tigers to eke out a 2-point win.

The band ambled around for a bit between games, getting food and generally recovering from the very emotional and high-intensity game.

Nap time!
Erika D. ‘17, Angeline J. ‘16, and Tom R. ‘18 recuperating from an emotionally gruelling women’s game.

Not to be worn out, however, the band geared up for their second game, supporting the men’s team against Penn.  This rivalry has been one of the most intense in the Ivy League, and Penn clearly recognized this, with a  scoreboard in their gym dedicated to keeping track of their record against Princeton.

16 games from now, this board won't look so favorable to Penn
The unfortunate standing of the Princeton and Penn men’s basketball teams. If this were a scoreboard of the bands, it would look like 0 – 232

The men’s game got off to a much more typical start, with a reasonable amount of points scored, but this just fuelled the bands even more. The game was equally as intense as the women’s game and equally close. In fact, the game went into overtime because the teams were completely tied up when the clock ran out, and so the teams (and the band) went into hyperdrive with the energy and the effort.

Dancing 101 with Instructor Kyle
Drum Major Kyle G. ‘18 grooving along with a gaggle of new friends to cheer on the band and the team. Photo Credit to Yash H. ’18

Ultimately, the Tigers pulled ahead and won against the Quakers (who, incidentally, are still dorks). The band, exhausted but filled with adrenaline, played Kiss ‘Em Goodbye and Rock Lobster in celebration of the men’s successful win before heading out. It was time to head back to the Beat Old Place of All after a very emotional but exciting day out with the basketball teams. And so we concluded another successful road trip in which the band emerged undefeated. Go Tigers!