There was far more interest than usual in last Saturday’s Princeton football game against Penn. As Richard K. Rein pointed out in his column last week, Princeton entered the game with a 9-0 record, and with a victory would be sole winner of the Ivy League title and the first Princeton team with a perfect record since 1964, the team led by Cosmo Iacavazzi. The team had a chance to do the same in 1965 but lost the last game of the season to Dartmouth.
Leading up to the game the topic came up spontaneously in conversations at Landau’s store, Panera Bread, and at the university’s 10th anniversary Celebrate Innovation event. There we ran into an alumnus from the Class of 1964, who shared memories of the 1963 Dartmouth game that had been delayed for a week by the Kennedy assassination. That alumnus, Peter Kurz, later shared the Rein column with several far-flung classmates.
“Among the several interested recipients are at least two from the Class of 1964 who, as a result, will be following the game live from thousands of miles away,” Kurz reported. One was the president of the Princeton Club of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Another was an avid follower of many sports, a former member of the University Press Club (a group of student freelancers), who responded as follows:
“I remember that 1965 game well and painfully. I was back on campus for a graduate school year. This month’s undefeated rematch was nerve-wracking but much more satisfying. I plan to follow the live updates of the Penn game on my phone from the river boat in Cambodia post midnight this weekend. Fingers will be tightly crossed.”
That old Cambodian finger-crossing play worked for the Tigers. Princeton defeated Penn, 42-14. Attendance at Princeton Stadium was 7,756, about 40,000 less than the crowds during Princeton’s last perfect season.