By Chris Giblin
An old, lonely radio broadcaster challenged the real, tangible significance of sports in modern American society as Princeton defeated Cornell in a game of baseball, 6-2.
“This is a must-win game for the Big Red,” broadcaster Rich Jarvis said at the beginning of the game. “They’ve lost three in a row coming into this contest and they’ve got a long, tough road trip ahead of them. Pretty obvious how important it is for them to gain some momentum before that. Then again, the concept of a team’s “momentum” is pretty debatable really.”
Jarvis’ debate on the importance of momentum soon transitioned into how important the game really was in the whole scheme of things.
“Important?” he asked himself. “I guess [the game] has a certain level of importance when it comes to Ivy League Baseball, as well as the players and coaches involved in it. But really, what effect does this game have on you or me? None, as far as I can see.”
Jarvis went on to acknowledge the fact that the game only featured college players, and that none of them would ever be drafted by a major league team. However, he stood by his comment, saying that even in watching professional sports, the only possible motivation for continued watching is vicarious achievement.
“I remember when the Celtics won the NBA Finals a couple years ago,” Jarvis said. “That pitch sails high. 2-1 count. I had this friend from Boston who said it was one of the best days of his life. All I could I think was ‘really? Some group of people you don’t know and never will wins a basketball game and that’s one of the best days of your life?’”
“I’ve been in this business for 34 years,” Jarvis went on. “And maybe it’s a little late for me to be realizing this, but I think Noam Chomsky was right all along. Spectator sports are only here to distract us from what’s really important. There’s absolutely no reason anyone should be watching ESPN instead of keeping track of current events, but that’s what we as Americans do in this country every day. Sports don’t do anything to improve our lives, really. It’s just an outlet for our frustrations.”
Jarvis qualified his points in the later innings, debating whether working class American people would really prefer to ignore sports to improve their economic and social status within the country. Jarvis concluded that he was unsure about the collective intellectualism of average Americans, and that he thought people may already be as happy as possible just watching sports and TV shows mindlessly every night after coming home from unfulfilling jobs.
Brian Berkowitz led the offensive charge for Princeton, going 3-for-4 with a 2-run homer in the 5th. Zak Hermans contributed a stellar outing on the mound, pitching seven innings while allowing just one run on three hits and a walk. Mickey Brodsky went 2-for-3 with an RBI for Cornell.