Author Jennifer Ahearn

31 entries

AOU→EOU

In the essay E Unibas Pluram, David Foster Wallace (whom you may know from his non-fiction work like Consider the Lobster or his NY Times magazine article on Roger Federer) analyzes the relationship between television and literary fiction in U.S. culture. The essay was written in the very early nineties, so the...

A Current Questionnaire

Okay, let's get this out of the way: the Palestra is magical, historic, a fantastic place to watch basketball, etc. You do not need me to tell you this, because you are a fan of TMM and therefore you know about the ghosts, the rollouts, the soft pretzels, the charming custodians who make you want to quit your...

Marist at Loyola (Md.) 12/1/2011

TheMAAC started conference play last night, and I love conference play, soit was off to Baltimore. My first game outside of the Palestra this season reminded me that taking in a game in an arena you've never beento before can feel like a great anthropological adventure. (Like at my first Navy game last season...

Wagner at Pennsylvania 11/22/2011

When Wagner visited Penn, it was a rainy Tuesday night; getting from Annapolis to Philadelphia after work for a 7 p.m. tip-off on these types of nights can be a dicey proposition. We can avoid I-95 all the way to Wilmington, but that area between Wilmington and Philly is just a killer, traffic-wise, and of course...

'UMBC3K' and 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey Mid-Major Basketball'

There are two reasons you might "just hope for a good game" when you watch any sporting event: you're not emotionally invested in either team, or you're invested in both teams....

Line-Drawing

As part of my (self-imposed) duties as custodian of the @800gp Twitter feed, I occasionally search some of the common terms that TMM readers out there might be using in tweets. One of the terms I search is "midmajority," and so as you can imagine, I see a lot of the tweets directed at Kyle. I'm not sure why, but...

Major Boredom and General Apathy

In a number of our recent recaps, writers have echoed a common refrain: The students are finally back! After those sometimes eerily quiet winter break games where you could count, if not on one hand at least by hand, the number of people in the stands, it's finally time to get back to the raucous environments...

This Is Our* House

"This is our house." It's a common cheer in college basketball - I've heard it, or at least versions of it, in arenas all over the place. When the "house" in question is the Palestra, thou...

I Do Not Eat Frosted Flakes

The 800 GP guidelines say no smac, which in the case of this game will require great restraint on the part of your correspondent. (The lawyer in me is tempted to muse on the nature of guidelines vs. rules, but that would in all likelihood get me in trouble at work.) So, just the facts. Last night, Penn hosted...

Meetup!

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a game with several of our fellow 800GP-ers when Old Dominion traveled to Fairfax for George Mason's homecoming. Although this was nominally the DC-area meetup, attendees came from south (Norfolk) and north (Philadelphia), east (Annapolis) and west (ok, not too far...

Control

On my own personal sportz-related crimes-against-English scale, on which the offenses range from "just trite" to "utterly senseless and inane," the one I heard most about Penn coming into Friday's game against Cornell fell pretty far towards the life imprisonment end: they "controlled their own destiny" in the...

One More Saturday Night

At this time of year, the factoid closest to the front of most people's minds about the Ivy League is the lack of a conference tournament. (Indeed, I wrote about this yesterday.) This state of affairs is a matter of frequent controversy among fans, though I admit to being pretty ambivalent about the whole thing....

From Purgatory Swamp to Sunset Lake

Although my heart would be in Boston with the Penn Quakers on Saturday night for their critical game against Harvard, the rest of me was obligated to be in Washington, D.C. But I couldn't leave this weekend empty-handed, 800GP-speaking -- time is too short for that. After realizing I wouldn't have time to make...

Brown at Pennsylvania 3/2/2012

By the time I had a chance to write about the game that took place on Friday night, Brown coach Jesse Agel had already lost his job. Brown certainly came into the Palestra looking overmatched. They were 2-10 in the conference. Their pace earned the coveted "excruciating" designation from Basketball State. Even...

The 14-Game Tournament

Let's get this out of the way right up front: personally, I think the Ivy League has got it right in how it selects its NCAA tournament representative. To me, the goal should be to send the team to the tournament that has the best chance of winning once it gets there, and in this league (especially since conference...

Ghost (Bracket) Story

About a week and a half ago, I walked out of the Palestra for what I assumed would be the last time this season. Penn had just defeated Yale to stay in the hunt for the Ivy League title, and though it was a long shot that they'd go on to beat Princeton and Harvard to earn the NCAA bid, I left feeling pretty pleased...

Sturm und Drang

What's more dramatic than a confession? OK, here goes: this past Sunday was my first time ever seeing a game at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on the campus of Drexel University. I know! Despite living not more than ten blocks away for four years as an undergrad at neighboring Penn and having made numerous...

All In

Friday was a pretty big day for the phrase "all in," if a phrase can have a big day. As I was speeding away from Washington, D.C. to make the 7pm tip at the Palestra, Beltway types I'd left behind were all abuzz about the author of a biography by that name, and its subject, whose relationship apparently made...

Unforgettable

This essay is not about the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Having grown up in the Commonwealth, I can tell you that in many parts of that state, the above sentence is almost a logical impossibility if you're writing about basketball. In the parts of Kentucky where most teams below the Red Line play, it can...

THE BATTLE OF 33RD STREET

Since this game happened, I've been trying to figure out the best way to convey how much fun it was to be in the Palestra on Saturday afternoon watching Penn and Drexel battle it out for bragging rights over ... a few blocks in West Philadelphia (as you may know, the two universities essentially share a border...

You Get to Decide

In his commencement speech at Kenyon College, the late writer David Foster Wallace put forth the theory that the true value of a college education is that it teaches you how to exercise the most basic freedom of all: the freedom to "consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't." Wallace gives examples...

Rebirth of the Cool

One of these things, as they say, is not like the others. The Penn Quakers huddled up late in the second half of last night's game against the Binghamton Bearcats, a team they were expected to defeat handily. The standout shoes in question belong to the guy who called the huddle, Penn guard Miles Cartwright....

The Holy Grail of Gift-Giving

We truly live in a golden age of shopping. Anyone with a credit card and a public library nearby can basically get anything they want, delivered right to their door. (Unfortunately, for me this has translated into buying chocolate bars in bulk.) Which means we live in a dark age of gift giving - if your intended...

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Dear Virginia, Hi there. I'm Jen. You don't know me, but you will. Here's what you need to know right now: I'm about to help you right a terrible wrong. Look, I grew up in that Commonwealth due west (no, not that one, the one you had to give up way back in 1792). And I went to school in that state directly...

Admiral Ackbar vs. the Princeton Tigers

It's a classic set up: in and among the exams, holiday travel, and holiday eating, major conference teams want to keep things moving before they transition into conference play. So they schedule a guarantee game at home. We'll take just one example: on December 30, 2011, the Princeton Tigers traveled to Tallahassee...

Cookies for Santa

Rare is the holiday cookie that can truly survive in the wilds of the non-December baking schedule. You wouldn't eat a gingerbread man in July, right? However, I've got one that will be right at home in March: the TMM cookie. The particulars of the cookie dough itself, I leave to the discretion of the baker....

A Quaker Goes to Hinkle

It's a little strange to plan a basketball trip for a game that you don't even know will happen, but such is the lot of the pilgrim, I guess. When it was announced last March that Butler and Penn would play a ghostbracket game in the Palestra (which gave rise to one of my favorite 800GP essays), I heard lots...

Empower the Youth

"Too hyped to do school work so I will keep reading the nonsense on Sudanese diaspora list serve." Not your usual college-athlete-Twitter-feed fare. "In my opinion - in the end - the university will have benefited more from having him than he will from having attended Penn." Not your usual coach-speak. "In...

Questions and Answers

When I first moved to Annapolis, I decided I needed to take up a water sport - sailing, boating, and the like are big here, but I was interested in something else: rowing. I found out that during the summer, the U.S. Naval Academy offers a week-long camp for women of all ages to be coached by Navy rowing coaches,...

Talented, Prolific, Exciting. Vulnerable.

Noon on a Sunday seemed like a rather unfortunate time for Iona and Loyola, two of the MAAC powerhouses, to square off. Despite the time, there was a decent crowd filing in when we arrived, including a fair number of traveling Iona fans. Some of the people sitting around me were locals, including a few who...

Route 301

I'm probably only as dedicated a Penn fan as I am because of Route 301. The option of driving that stretch of road to Wilmington instead of I-95 is one of the things that has contributed most to my willingness to continually make the 2-hour drive back and forth to Philadelphia for Penn games (especially on...

Search TMM Archives
One Beautiful Season

1BS weaved the history of mid-major college basketball together with stories from the 2009-10 season, culminating in Butler's epic run to the National Championship game. Now it's available as a free download: PDF in the original 592-page book layout with all photos and graphics, or ePub format for electronic reading devices.