Yawning at the Yeomen (or, Oberlin’s Paper Trolls Kenyon)

Oberlin College has a lot going for it. It’s a great school, known for it’s top-notch academics and socially conscious student body. It’s a harder school to get into than Kenyon, but is often cited as an admissions rival by our homies in Ransom Hall. Rarely, though, are the Yeomen and women mentioned as athletic rivals to the Lords and Ladies. That honor goes to Denison’s Big Red.

But Oberlin does have a pretty good newspaper, The Oberlin Review. They kill it with their web presence and the writing’s solid. So I was surprised to see a column appear on their website the other day, entitled “Loathing the Lords” and written by one of the Review‘s sport editors, Madeleine O’Meara, that not only attacked Kenyon like we were Oberlin’s Denison, but also made some pretty stealthy attacks — in my view, at least — on the work ethic of some of Kenyon’s student-athletes. O’Meara lays her cards on the table pretty quickly.

My hatred for Kenyon College began before I even decided to apply to Oberlin. My first college interview was with Kenyon, and I absolutely bombed it, effectively leaving a bitter taste in my mouth whenever Kenyon is brought up.

For the record, I didn’t even get as far as an interview before I decided I didn’t like Oberlin. When I asked my tour guide how the food in the cafeteria was, she replied, “Greasy.”

Let’s keep breaking the key quotes down below the jump.

O’Meara notes that Kenyon’s football, men’s soccer and women’s soccer all beat their Oberlin equivalents this weekend. This did not make her happy, and apparently she now remembers just how much she hates us. Why, Madeleine, why?

Undoubtedly, much of this loathing is due to the similarities between Oberlin and Kenyon. The fact that we are both small, private liberal arts schools in Ohio inspires a sibling rivalry not felt for any of the more conservative, less academically rigorous colleges we compete against. And like any jealous sibling, I would like to point out that Oberlin is consistently ranked above Kenyon and currently stands six spots above it in the U.S. News National Liberal Arts College Rankings. But this is beside the point. My present hatred for Kenyon is not because I’m bitter about academics.

Like any jealous sibling, I would like to point out that our football, men’s soccer and women’s soccer teams all beat you this weekend. Just kidding, sis! Let’s hug it out!

It’s because I’m incredibly bitter about athletics — I want to be better than Kenyon at sports.

Oberlin, by the way, holds the Division III title in biodynamic farming. Also, did we mention this is Division III, home of the most apathetic sports rivalries in higher education? O’Meara goes on to say that it’s really all about the KAC.

It’s hard to say whether it’s the sushi bar stationed at the entrance of the athletics facility or the swimming pool that plays Ke$ha underwater that makes me want to throw stones. Maybe it’s the rows of treadmills flanked by plasma screen televisions that draw a harsh comparison to our hallway filled with rusted exercise bikes, or possibly the 120-seat theater housed inside Kenyon’s shiny glass box.

First, it’s not a sushi bar, but a sushi café. Honest mistake. Second: Our pool has underwater speakers? I’m pretty sure that’s not true. But it would be pretty cool if it was true — so points to Madeleine for being craftier than Graham Gund on this one.

Ultimately, it’s my personal vendetta that makes me want to shatter the windows of that 12,000–square foot athletics center. My lacrosse team has lost to Kenyon for the past three years. My freshman year we lost 4–20. My sophomore year we were tied before the half. As we walked off for halftime, I heard a Kenyon player turn to her teammate in disbelief and say, “I can’t believe we’re tied with Oberlin.” We ended up losing 10–20. Last year, we lost by one point, 8–9. Each year the gap has decreased, with an inversely proportional relationship to my desire to beat them.

Oberlin loves being the underdog, but I would love beating Kenyon more. I would love to shout, “I practice in a facility that was built before the passage of Title IX, and I still won!” after a Kenyon game. The only thing that might make this victory sweeter is if I could grab a sushi dinner in Philips afterward.

Surprise! This column is the culmination off a TWO YEAR revenge plot. I’m going to repeat that: these 472 words have been in the works since someone at Kenyon said something admittedly classless. The pen is more powerful than the sword, especially when the pen is used like a sword to directly avenge a slight two years later in a campus’ paper-of-record.

But you know what? Jealousy may be the least sincere form of flattery, but it’s flattery nonetheless. And after all, this is Division III — where campus-consuming sports rivalries are all too rare. So I say that we, as a campus, embrace this newfound feud between the Ladies and the Yeowomen. They play each other on March 30, 2013, and it’s in Gambier. See you there. If you must find an outlet for your simmering rage, you can comment on the story here.

33 responses

  1. Oh, my God. This is actually deluded. I’ve never felt a desire to hate Oberlin. It bugs me some times that it’s better know than Kenyon, but I blame myself for being shallow, not Oberlin. Also, seriously, as McCabe says, DIVISION III. Our athletes are talented and work hard, and some competition is healthy…BUT JEEZ.

    • It is time to either create a Division FOUR in athletics or put Kenyon Swimming in Division TWO. Because of Jim Steen, one can no longer qualify for Division III Nationals in Swimming unless you have been swimming competitively since the age of SIX. It’s ridiculous. The meaning of student-athlete in Division III has changed to the point that it should be called athlete-student. The same has happened to track and cross-country. Were I a student at Oberlin now, I would not even THINK about joining the swimming, track and cross-country teams. I wouldn’t be competitive. And lest you think this is sour grapes, I lettered in ALL of those AND went to nationals in Swimming when I was a student at Oberlin.

      • Oh and just for the record: I got into BOTH Oberlin AND Kenyon. I went to Oberlin because when I asked about NMR research in Chemistry at Kenyon, the tour guide told me, “Oh undergraduates don’t do research with NMR anyway.”

        Yeah, right. And Kenyon College doesn’t have a swim team either.

    • looools

      And Oberlin is a better school in general.
      The only reason didn’t go is because of all the hipsters on the campus.
      Now Kenyon is infested with them too…

  2. A prospee left the best comment on the Oberlin comment section. I think he/she should come to Kenyon for sure. We need more down to earth people.

    Or better yet, Prospee for Kenyon’s new president!!!

  3. Woah, is it just my shitty connection to Kenyon Wireless or did we break the Oberlin Review’s website by overloading it’s server. Fuck yeah.

    Well done, McCabe.

  4. So you wrote a story which highlights that Oberlin is ranked as a better school, and mentions how Kenyon’s athletic dominance over Oberlin (one thing so many Kenyon athletes cling to) might not be relevant for much longer. So, why did you write this?

  5. Is it possible this whole thing was coordinated between The Thrill and the Oberlin Review to garner interest in the Lax games? Or am I giving too much credit to the writers?

  6. most humiliating and painful athletic moment is trailing oberlin. it’s like losing to a waldorf middle school b-team.

  7. Come watch Oberlin play Kenyon in Field Hockey and see the sister rivalry play itself out!


  8. It’s really rather funny to read both the excerpts from the Oberlin lacrosse girl, and the commentary from the Kenyon side. This reminds me of two country clubs comparing golf courses, the interior decorating of the clubhouse, and so on. Madeline has most probably ruined any chance of a Oberlin lax upset in 2013. The Kenyon lax girls would not circle this game on their calendar. Now they care. This won’t turn out well for Oberlin.

  9. Pingback: Where’s it At With SJW: Family Weekend Edition « The Thrill

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