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UP SQUASH! DOWN BASEBALL!
Stephen Birmingham
November 09, 1959
In eastern colleges some sports confer status, and others destroy it. Surprisingly, skiing and polo are on the descending escalator. Football, contrarily, got so far Down it had to go Up
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November 09, 1959

Up Squash! Down Baseball!

In eastern colleges some sports confer status, and others destroy it. Surprisingly, skiing and polo are on the descending escalator. Football, contrarily, got so far Down it had to go Up

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My grandfather, who had a noticeably aristocratic turn of mind, once said to me: "When you get to college, boy, don't let them talk you into playing football. In the first place, it's dangerous. In the second place, it's time-consuming. And in the third place, it will get you involved with all the wrong sort of people."

The remark, though crotchety and old-fashioned, always struck me as amusing, and until recently I never took his admonitions very seriously or gave them much thought at all. But a few weeks ago I happened to overhear a well-brushed covey of Smith girls discussing whether they would or would not accept an invitation to attend the Penn-Dartmouth football game, which, as everybody knows—or I think everybody knows—was played in Philadelphia this year.

"I really think we ought to go," said one girl to the others. "Believe it or not, Penn's parties have come up quite a bit lately."

"Penn itself has come up," another agreed. "But, still, I don't know. It seems a terrible risk to take—to go all that way and perhaps be bored."

"Believe me," the first girl said, "Penn has come way, way up."

Fascinated, I sauntered toward them. In the nonchalant manner I used to employ in my own college days to imply that I, all along, had somehow been a part of the conversation, I said, "By the way—just what do you mean by up?"

"Well," said the first girl, "I mean—well, up. Up in—" she groped for the right word—"up in importance, I guess. Up in whether you'll have a good time when you get there."

"You mean up socially?" I suggested.

"Well, sort of."

"Who else is up?" I asked.

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