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"What's that 'H' Stand For? Ivy League Teams Go Urban":

The New York Observer has a hilarious story on the new urban chic clothing--Ivy League regalia--in "What's that 'H' Stand For? Ivy League Teams Go Urban." The title of the story relates to this exchange:

When asked about the provenance of his Harvard jacket, Shakeil Brown, a St. Anthony High School student in Jersey City, responded: "I don't know," He helpfully pointed to the back: "It says 'Crimson.'"

And since I can't pass on an opportunity to promote my alma mater, I will note the number 1 selling institution:

In fact, Harvard, Yale and Princeton are not the top sellers, Mr. Cuff said. While buyers in suburban markets like those clothes more, the urban market's most popular school is, surprisingly, the one in New Hampshire.

"The No. 1 seller of 2006 would have been Dartmouth," he said. "And Cornell was very, very popular." In the 2007 video for rapper Mims' recent song "This Is Why I'm Hot," a young man is completely accessorized in Cornell University gear.

Although we can't boast too much, as we can't claim too much credit for being the colors of choice: "Harold Soto, 18, who works the register there and owns a Dartmouth track jacket and matching hat, said that the combo nicely matches his green-and-white Air Jordan shoes. When asked about the school name, he said, "It's like a university, right?" [TZ notes: No, its a COLLEGE!]

As for the rapidly-gaining Cornell:

A worker at a hip-hop clothing store named Morlee's in Jersey City showed me a fitted Cornell hat ($25, plus tax) and chuckled that the kids thought it was for the Cincinnati Reds (which it does resemble). I asked him what the hat did represent. "Some college team," he said. "Clemson, I think."

Harvard's sales suffer, it seems, because the Bloods have adopted Harvard's garb because of the colors (there's a phrase I never thought I'd be writing).

But don't go looking for this stuff in your local bookstore--"We don't sell our product to the bookstores," Mr. Cuff said. "Our price points are much higher than what you'd find at bookstores."

Aaron:
I wonder if Yale has a similar problem with Crips.

I am most disheartened as what could have been a great opportunity to introduce this demographic to these schools has been transformed into nothing more than a shallow marketing gimmick.
2.22.2007 2:54pm
gab:
I thought the Bloods wore a brighter red than the Harvard crimson.
2.22.2007 3:00pm
anonVCfan:
"In his girlfriend's neighborhood, he explained, he often sees reputed Bloods members wandering around in the Harvard jackets."

The mental picture is kinda hilarious, if only for the irony.
2.22.2007 3:00pm
JRL:

"Our price points are much higher than what you'd find at bookstores."


Whoa! That is must be pretty high, then.
2.22.2007 3:05pm
JRL:
That is must be?

/sorry, newborn makes brain not good brain function
//need sleep
2.22.2007 3:06pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
Dartmouth College is "like a university" in many important respects.
Meanwhile, I'll point out a distinction between American English and British English. To an American, Dartmouth is a school somewhere around the New Hampshire Vermont border, just an arbitrary place name.
To a Brit, it's the naval college at the mouth of the dart river.
2.22.2007 3:12pm
Zywicki (mail):
arbitraryaardvark:
Good point--I hadn't thought of the comment "like" that!
2.22.2007 3:27pm
lemond jr.:
Brown v. Board of Education
The Great Society
Must Hire--Can't Fire
Emmet Till
Section IX
Progressive Taxation
Gerrymandering
Affirmative Action
Democrats: No Guns
Republicans: No Abortions
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama
John McCain
Break Dancers
Rap Singers
Boom-Boom-Boom from the car next to you
Mex gov't publishing comics on avoiding La Migra
Iran
Iraq
France
Homeland Security
Musselmen--not Arnold
Longshoremen--$125K p.a.
NYC Janitors--$135K p.a.
Postal Workers--$90K p.a.
Ward Churchill tenure
Larry Summers
Condo Rice--back to Forest Moon of Endor
Bill Clinton back in Wh. House
Jiminy Carter saving the world
Bono w/o his glasses
John Newcomb w/o his mustache

But I digress...
2.22.2007 3:34pm
anonymous and curious:
Is that last comment spam? I'm confused. If it's a joke, could someone explain it to me?
2.22.2007 3:43pm
lemond jr.:
Erm, sorry.

The idea of inner-city youth wearing garments of institutions that were historically restricted to at least students with half of a brain started my stream of thought wool-gathering.

Any persons of goodwill would certainly not be offended.
2.22.2007 3:54pm
anonVCfan:
so, basically it is spam.
2.22.2007 4:21pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
Reminds me of a song by MC Steven Hawkings (a much neglected by Adler artist)
[MC Hawking]
Ah-yuh
That's right motherfuckers
I'm back, driving a funky track
I've got a story to tell you all, so listen up
You'll trip on this

I'm rollin' through the hood on Saturday night
Got a 40 in my left hand, dick in my right
Some Cronk in my left, pager in my hat
And a 9 millimeter in the small of my back

I'm just chilling, no place to be
I take another pill off my 40-Z
I'm thinking about skimming from MSB
A B- to the L- to the -U-N-T

Then I get a call on my dope cell phone
Check the call ID - "What up homes"
Yo it's the Doom and his news ain't good
[Doomsday]
Little Pookie got capped last night in the hood

[MC Hawking]
I feel like the world is fading away
I saw Little Pookie just the other day
Pookie was my boy, we shared Kool-Aid in the park
Now some punks took his life in the dark

I asked Doomsday who the motherfuckers be
[Doomsday]
Some punk-ass bitches from M.I.T
[MC Hawking]
The fucking Institute! Man I should have known
I say "Meet me at my crib" and hang up the phone

Playtime's over, I've got a job to do
And the world will be less crowded by the time I'm through
And I'll keep rolling while bullets slide
'cause all my shootin's be drive-bys

[Chorus]
(Drive-bys) (drive-by)
(drive-by) (Drive-bys)

[MC Hawking]
One minute to midnight, we hit the street
Cold as a cadaver, hard as concrete
Doomsday's packing, the Baby Mac
Got my AK-47 and the Nine in my back

The Alpine's flowing, PE's blowing
Got my swerve untied, and my game face showing
Them damn punks are gonna pay
The Hawk's on the case, the Bird of Prey

Then up ahead, cold chilling in the street
Six motherfuckers from M.I.T.
I flick off my safety, check my grip
And load - a dum-dum clip

I glance at the Doom-Doom, make sure he's packed
His finger's on the trigger of his Baby Mac
Time to give a Newtonian demonstration
Of the bullet hits mass and it's acceleration

Nine in my left, AK in my hand
I roll up slow, like a snake in the sand
I wait 'til I'm sure they can see my face
Then I bust out slugs to the beat of the bass
*gunshots*

Peace's dealt out in the full moonlight
M.I.T. punks dying left and right
There's nowhere to run, don't even try
'cause all my shootin's be drive-bys

[Chorus]
(Drive-bys) (drive-by)
(drive-by) (Drive-bys)

[MC Hawking]
Then silence hits the street like a bomb
An eerie calm like - the eye of the storm
Beneath the glow of an old street light
Dead M.I.T. punks be the only sight

Six motherfuckers no longer alive
Pookie's been avenged one-for-one plus five
And we'll be long gone before the cops arrive
'cause all my shootings be drive-bys

Ah-yuh
I'm busting more shit than an incontinant man at a chili cookoff
The moral of the story is
don't fuck with the Hawk-man

'cause the Hawk-man
ain't down with eye-for-an-eye bullshit
Fuck that, you take an eye
And I'll take your mother fucking head
2.22.2007 4:33pm
chrismn (mail):
Wow. I miss so much not ever listening to rap. That's practically Shakespeare!
2.22.2007 4:38pm
Crunchy Frog:
Harvard's problem is nothing compared to that of the makers of Cristal - what do you do when half of your sales are to a group of people you would rather not be associated with?
2.22.2007 4:53pm
Cornellian (mail):
Go Cornell!
2.22.2007 5:13pm
WHOI Jacket:
What else can you say but keep your eyes out for 9-headed dragons rising in the East and whatnot.
2.22.2007 5:55pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Judging by what I see, Georgetown must have the largest student body in the country. Or its alumni association is rolling in dough.
2.22.2007 6:03pm
BobNSF (mail):
A trademark is a terrible thing to waste
2.22.2007 6:48pm
KeithK (mail):
I can't count the number of times someone has thought my red Cornell cap was a Reds cap. Even though it quite clearly says "Cornell" in the back. Go Red!
2.22.2007 6:56pm
Zywicki (mail):
John Burgess:
I remember seeing a documentary on the famous Georgetown-Villanova national championship. And I recall them saying that at the time Georgetown was what would be called nowadays the "hip hop" team and that their clothes were very fashionable as sort of an outlaw look.

But I would've never thought that my Dartmouth gear would have "street cred"!
2.22.2007 8:09pm
glangston (mail):
I'm really losing my respect for gangbangersandhiphop. Where's the integrity?
2.23.2007 12:08am
llamasex (mail) (www):
chrismn, since you might not have heard MC Steven Hawkings you might be missing the job. The whole rap is done by a voice to text computer program.

http://www.mchawking.com/multimedia.php?page_function=mp3z

to listen for yourself

If you want to attack the intellectual failures of the genre I suggest listening to Entropy.
Verse 1
Entropy, how can I explain it? I'll take it frame by frame it,
to have you all jumping, shouting saying it.
Let's just say that it's a measure of disorder,
in a system that is closed, like with a border.
It's sorta, like a, well a measurement of randomness,
proposed in 1850 by a German, but wait I digress.
"What the fuck is entropy?", I here the people still exclaiming,
it seems I gotta start the explaining.

You ever drop an egg and on the floor you see it break?
You go and get a mop so you can clean up your mistake.
But did you ever stop to ponder why we know it's true,
if you drop a broken egg you will not get an egg that's new.

That's entropy or E-N-T-R-O to the P to the Y,
the reason why the sun will one day all burn out and die.
Order from disorder is a scientific rarity,
allow me to explain it with a little bit more clarity.
Did I say rarity? I meant impossibility,
at least in a closed system there will always be more entropy.
That's entropy and I hope that you're all down with it,
if you are here's your membership.


Verse 2
Defining entropy as disorder's not complete,
'cause disorder as a definition doesn't cover heat.
So my first definition I would now like to withdraw,
and offer one that fits thermodynamics second law.
First we need to understand that entropy is energy,
energy that can't be used to state it more specifically.
In a closed system entropy always goes up,
that's the second law, now you know what's up.

You can't win, you can't break even, you can't leave the game,
'cause entropy will take it all 'though it seems a shame.
The second law, as we now know, is quite clear to state,
that entropy must increase and not dissipate.

Creationists always try to use the second law,
to disprove evolution, but their theory has a flaw.
The second law is quite precise about where it applies,
only in a closed system must the entropy count rise.
The earth's not a closed system' it's powered by the sun,
so fuck the damn creationists, Doomsday get my gun!
That, in a nutshell, is what entropy's about,
you're now down with a discount.
2.23.2007 12:54am
Bill Woods (mail):
I agree the Dartmouth College is "like" a university. (Though it's possible the kid said, 'It's, like, a university, right?' In which case, no.)

I'm puzzled by "The No. 1 seller of 2006 would have been Dartmouth," (emph added). Well, was it or wasn't it? And if not, why not?
2.23.2007 2:35pm
Edward A. Hoffman (mail):
"It's like a university, right?" [TZ notes: No, its a COLLEGE!]
I agree with Bill Woods' interpretation, but I disagree with his (and Prof. Zywicki's) stance that Dartmouth is a college. It calls itself Dartmouth College and should be called that by others, but its choice of name does not determine what it is.

Dartmouth satisfies just about any reasonable definition of a university. It has full undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences and engineering, along with Ph.D. programs in those areas. It also has degree-granting graduate schools of medicine and business. (There may be more for all I know.) It is thus a college plus a graduate school plus at least three professional schools. When one combines a college with these other components one gets a university.

Boston College also satisfies any reasonable definition of university, and I have seen at least a couple of BC press releases referring to it as such. The name "Boston University" is already taken; otherwise BC might have renamed itself BU long ago. The idea that a college isn't a university merely because it chose not to change its name is silly.

As I understand it, the reason Dartmouth doesn't call itself a university stems from a long-ago attempt by New Hampshire to take it over and give it that name. If I'm right, Dartmouth is in the same position as BC -- it simply chose not to change its name when it became a university de facto.

Rockefeller University in NYC is at the opposite extreme. It has no undergrads at all, and its grad students (just a few hundred at most) are all pursuing Ph.D.s in the life sciences or closely related fields. At most universities, these programs would be but a portion of a single graduate school. Surely Rockefeller is less a university than Dartmouth.

If either Prof. Zywicki or Bill Woods believes there is some qualification for university status which Dartmouth lacks (and better yet, one which Rockefeller has), I'd like to know what it is. As a Dartmouth trustee, Pof. Zywicki should be better able to explain the distinction than just about anyone else.
2.23.2007 6:36pm
Orin Kerr's Future Husband:
Urban = rap = African-American = violence = ignorance = gangs.

Wow, it all comes together in a nice little euphemism. :P
2.26.2007 3:40am
skeptical:
"As I understand it, the reason Dartmouth doesn't call itself a university stems from a long-ago attempt..."

Actually, it's more about the undergraduate focus (within an institution that does maintain three professional schools). Attributing the use of "College" to the effects of the Dartmouth College Case implies that the school uses that term merely for reasons of tradition, without substance.
2.26.2007 2:19pm
Edward A. Hoffman (mail):
Thanks for the response, skeptical. Your explanation makes more sense.

Of course, a focus on undergrads does not turn a university into a college. (I realize you did not claim it does.)
2.26.2007 4:03pm