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Princeton football: En fuego

For the first time since 1994, Princeton will set a stack of celebratory wood ablaze on Cannon Green to mark the Big Three football championship, secured last weekend in New Haven with the Tigers’ dramatic 34-31 comeback win over Yale. The bonfire, set to start Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. [UPDATE: Due to the weather forecast, the bonfire has been rescheduled for Friday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.], also will serve as a pep rally for the Nov. 18 home game against Dartmouth. With another win, Princeton will earn at least a share of the Ivy League football championship. If Princeton wins and Yale loses to Harvard, the Tigers will win the title outright.

The reasons for Princeton’s win against Yale are many — quarterback Jeff Terrell ’07’s career-high 445 passing yards, a stifling second-half performance by the Tigers’ defense — but alumnus J. Michael O’Neil ’64 credits his own secret weapon in a poem that he submitted to PAW:

“Report from the Bowl”

By J. Michael O’Neil ’64

Thirty-one to Thirty-four,

That was this day’s final score,

Sitting in that storied Bowl,

One reflects on games of old,

Princeton Tiger, Yale bull pup,

Running down the field and up,

Sunlight graced this place today,

As dog and tiger fought the fray,

Tiger clawed — sent bull pup running,

Was it ’cause of Tiger cunning?

Was it ’cause of coach’s rants?

Twas ’cause I wore my lucky pants!

Orange pantaloons so bright,

They can light the blackest night.

Hideous talisman of power—

That’s what won the final hour.

And though my wife might just say poof,

I wear the pants — and there’s the proof.

Top, the 1985 Big Three bonfire, pictured on PAW’s cover; bottom, last weekend’s postgame celebration in New Haven, courtesy of Randy Meadows ’71.
Minding the trees

Thursday’s bonfire might seem like fun for all on campus, but for Jim Consolloy, the University’s grounds manager, the prospect of seeing tall flames near the canopy of treasured ash trees on Cannon Green is a little unnerving. To protect the trees, this year's fire will be moved slightly to the southeast of the spot where it was held 12 years ago, and the recent rain will help to guard the trees from the bonfire's heat, according to Consolloy, who said he is a fan of both Princeton football and Princeton traditions. Of course, thousands of students standing on the grass for hours is not a groundskeeper's dream. “It would have been great to have a frozen turf, as in ’94,” Consolloy said, “but that is not likely to happen this week.”

Dinner as a movie

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni have been invited to a free private screening of Fast Food Nation, a new film based on a book of the same title by Eric Schlosser ’81, Nov. 15 at the James M. Stewart Theater. Schlosser and director Rick Linklater will be on hand for a question-and-answer session immediately following the film. The screening prefaces a major conference on campus, “Food, Ethics & the Environment,” in which Schlosser, Professor Peter Singer, and others will examine a range of ethical dilemmas related to food production and consumption. To read a 2003 PAW interview with Schlosser, conducted shortly after the release of his book, click here.

Photo courtesy of Matt Lankes/Recorded Picture Company
Students on stage

Irene Lucio '08 and Tyler Crosby '09 rehearse a scene from John Millington Synge's play, "Playboy of the Western World," to be performed at the Berlind Theatre Nov. 16, 17, and 18. The production is sponsored by the Program in Theater and Dance.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski
Enrollment facts and figures

Princeton’s total enrollment at the opening of the fall term was 7,242, up from 6,935 the year before, according to Polly Winfrey Griffin, the University registrar. A change in policy at the graduate school was responsible for most of the increase: This year, 214 Ph.D. students who have completed five years of study but are still working to finish their dissertations opted to enroll under Dissertation Completion Enrollment, or DCE, status. The growth in the student body also reflects Princeton’s gradual expansion of the undergraduate population. Each of last two freshman classes has included more than 1,230 students, while the previous three averaged 1,175 students.

Looking fabulous (while sweating)

On Oct. 28 and 29, members of the women’s ultimate Frisbee team donned pastel polo shirts and dresses, strapped on their spikes, and let the Frisbee fly at Haverween, an annual tournament at Haverford College in which the players compete in full Halloween costumes. Princeton chose to play as the “Princeton Preps” – “Bermuda shorts, lots of pink and green, and fake pearls, [since] we didn’t want to play with real ones,” said captain Rachel Sachs ’09 – a theme that allowed them to outmaneuver opponents dressed as rappers, ninja ballerinas, doctors, and various types of fruit. The young Princeton team, composed entirely of freshmen and sophomores, was seeded last in its pool but managed to play well enough to beat higher-ranked foes and move on to Sunday’s elimination round.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Sachs ’09