2018 Bonfire

As a lifelong fan of sports in general, and NCAA football and basketball in particular, one (albeit minor) concern I had coming to Princeton was that there wouldn't be many other students who shared my interest. While it is certainly the case that Princeton’s home football and basketball games, for instance, typically don't bring students out in masses to attend, I think my concern was for the most part misplaced. 

For one, Princeton has 37 varsity men's and women's sports teams, all of which compete at a high level, without neglecting the "student" portion of student-athlete. In my first two years, a number of Princeton teams have brought home Ivy League Championships*, including football, which shared the title with UPenn in 2016, and men's and women's basketball, who won Ivy League Championships in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Men's basketball near upset of Notre Dame in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament got the attention of even the most normally disinterested students..

Also, there are a plethora of organizations on campus for those interested in either participating or covering sports. In addition to the varsity athletics programs, Princeton offers another 38 club sports teams, and a variety of intramural sports offerings in each part of the year. There are usually some quality pick-up basketball games running on the Dillon Gym courts as well. For those more interested in analyzing sports than playing them, there's the Princeton Sports Analytics club, as well as the Daily Princetonian sports section, where I've worked for two years (and we're always looking for new writers!).

So while nobody is going to mistake Princeton stadium for "The Big House" (University of Michigan football stadium's nickname) or Jadwin Gym for Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke University's basketball stadium), I hope I've shown it's still good to be a sports fan at Princeton. 

*Editor’s Note: Our football team finished up the 2018-19 season with a perfect 10-0 record, resulting in an Ivy League championship. To continue the celebration Princeton partakes in a long time tradition of a bonfire. This bonfire only takes place if our football team beats both Harvard and Yale in the same season. It truly brings out a strong showing of students. Check out the highlights here.

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