In the 2010-11 academic year, the athletics department launched a student contest called “Tiger Universe,” in which undergraduates checked in at Princeton varsity games to earn points and prizes. At year’s end, freshman Jay Hashop from Dallas, Texas, topped the rankings after watching the Tigers about 50 times – mostly in football, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse.
Hashop, who plans to major in math, sings in the Chapel Choir and plays club water polo, so his schedule is not exactly loaded with free time. But when he has a chance to watch a game, he goes, even if it means “late Sunday nights working on problem sets due Monday morning.”
While Hashop still has a long way to go before he reaches the high bar set by Tiger alumni – for example, Walter “Holly” Hollenbach, Class of 1903, attended every home football game for more than 70 consecutive seasons – he’s off to a good start.
Below, get Hashop’s take on the highs and lows of Tiger fandom this year.
Best game of 2010-11: “Football against Lafayette. It was double-overtime, the stands were packed, everyone was there, and Jordan Culbreath ’11 scores that game-winning touchdown. It’s just ridiculous. It was one of those great experiences.”
Toughest one to watch: “Football against Brown. Up 13-0 at halftime, Tommy Wornham ’12 goes out with a collarbone injury, he can’t come back. The offense just stalls, and Brown comes back to win.”
Craziest fans: “The best fans are normally other athletes. There are a couple of guys on the baseball team [who heckle the refs]. I don’t think the referees after basketball games are the same – they probably need therapy, after what the baseball team puts them through. We’ve got a couple of people who are really rowdy, really awesome fans.”
Best moment for the student section: “Men’s basketball was heart-attack city all year. … The men’s basketball game against Harvard was intense, but I think what was more important was the home game against Columbia on senior night. The crowd didn’t have a whole lot of energy, and with about eight minutes left, we were down by six. Finally, everybody stood up, Princeton went on a hot streak, and put the game away. That was really awesome to see how the fans could have impacted the game. I couldn’t say for sure that it was us, but I’m going to give [the students] credit.”