By John A. Oswald, page 2!
Talk About Good Losers: The Lions Are the Best

   There are two types of 
football fans at Columbia: those who want to
see the team in the record books - 
somewhere, anywhere  -  and those who say 
this is a record they would really rather 
do without.
   It's a funny spot to be in. The Columbia 
Lions - rarely great on the gridiron - are 
skidding toward the national all-time record 
for consecutive losses.
   Yesterday, they tied the record at 34 
losses - and their fans turned out to cheer 
them on.
   "Columbia always wants to be a definitive 
- if they can't be the best then they want 
to be the worst," Roger Rubin, a junior and 
sports editor of the campus newspaper, 
Spectator, explained.
   The Lions' 23-0 defeat at the hands of 
the University of Pennsylvania's Quakers 
tied the consecutive loss record held by
Northwestern University. Northwestern ended 
its streak when it won a game during the 
1982 season.
   The record-breaking game comes next 
Saturday at Princeton, and the team has come 
into a national spotlight of unwelcome 
brightness. So has the Ivy League school and 
its fans, many of whom are notso-sheepishly 
planning to root for the 35th loss.
   "If we win, we lose," senior W. Dean 
Pride said, explaining that he thinks the 
team has come too far not to break the 
record next week.
   "I think it's sad, but a lot of people 
want to see them lose next week," said Wally 
Yassir, a senior who has yet to see a 
victory.
   "America loves a winner, but if you lose 
with enough consistency, you'll get just as 
much coverage," said writer D. Keith Mano, 
a 1963 graduate of the university and one of 
the team's biggest fans. Mano has been to 
153 consecutive football games - so he 
actually has seen Columbia win a couple. To 
be fair to Columbia, the team has been in 
the record books before - in 1934, the Lions 
won the Rose Bowl. It's been pretty dry ever 
since.
   One of the cheers of the Columbia 
marching band, which travels with the team 
wherever it goes, reflects student 
excitement over the coverage. "You may be 
winning, but we're getting national media
attention! Fight!" band members yell to the 
opposing side.
   The band does in fact pray each week for 
the team to win. At the band manager's side, 
throughout each game, is a tall church 
candle dedicated to St. Jude Thaddeus, the 
patron of difficult (and impossible) cases.
   "It [the flame] goes out all the time. 
Maybe that is a sign of something," Liz 
Pleshette, a junior and the band manager.
   Next week's matchup at Princeton is 
expected to be the largest road trip in 
Columbia history. 
   "We've already got a caravan and red wine 
and smoke bombs," said senior Brian Keizer, 
who plans to drive down to the game. 
   "I think Columbia students are going to 
be happy either way next week," said Michael 
McGovern, a senior, whose class would have 
the distinction of being the only one to go 
through four years of college without seeing 
a victory.
   "If they break it [the record for 
consecutive losses], the notoriety is 
welcome, and if they win, that's even 
better."