Saturday, April 8, 2017

Deans' Cup

What was announced as the “single largest event in law school history”, and was aimed to be the pre-game to great celebrations, turned out to be a great disappointment.

On Thursday, Columbia’s Levien Gym opened its doors to host what is by now an important part of NYU-Columbia rivalry: the Deans’ Cup. Once a year, NYU and Columbia Law Schools assemble a team of students, exercise hard, and compete in a charity basketball game for pride and honor. Now, it is necessary to show color: Bright Blue or Purple-Black?

It is probably the only moment, when the rivalry between Columbia and NYU shrouded in legend openly breaks out; throughout the rest of the year, it is rather dormant. In fact, many students of each university make use of the possibility to cross-register; interesting events or parties are shared and attended together – why should one’s law school affiliation be of any issue here? We even have shared LLM-couples and almost every LLM is part of the both LLM Facebook groups (FOMO…). And the few attempts of teasing by NYU students are usually answered by us Columbians with a mild and nonchalant smile: NYWHO is trying to make fun of our calm resort of deep thought?

Preparations for the game have been highly professional and absolutely America: The game was advertised almost from the day we arrived at Columbia Law School. Tickets were sold weeks in advance. Students have been racking their brains in a competition for the best fan-t-shirt design. Each player was introduced individually via the Facebook page. Pre-game beer and snacks were served. Materials to design posters and free swag (including quite intrusive bells) for the game were distributed. The day of the game, virtually everybody wore his or her Columbia wear.

When the game finally started, there was actually an impressive atmosphere in Levien Gym. Sitting opposite to each other, NYU- and Columbia-students competed for who is louder. A band was playing, the players were sprinting and scoring, fans were cheering. The first half was fun – both teams engaged in a hard fight, and showed their skills especially in throwing penalty shots – it was a highly competitive game.

But then, the fiasco unfolded itself. First, the faculty team lost the half-time-game. Our professors fought hard (and quite entertaining as well, to be honest) – but remained unsuccessful.

And in the second half, our Columbian players seemed to have been bedeviled. Whatever they tried, the ball bounced out of the basket.  Well, and without constantly scoring…


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