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Garden Hate: On Rutgers and “Rivalries”

Image Today, 7-58-35 PM

So, Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers, are you ready? Will you enjoy Christian Hackenberg reminding you that you played in the American Athletic Conference last year? Will it be fun losing under the lights in what some of your fans have called the biggest game in your history?

Oh man, because, wow, am I ever ready. I never expected to be this excited about an impending victory over New Jersey Community College, but here I am.

I’ve been waiting 167 days to respond to this post from On The Banks, Rutgers’ SB Nation blog, and I finally have my chance. Now, the fact that Rutgers has enough fans to deem an SB Nation blog dedicated to its athletic department necessary is almost as shocking as Champagne Super Gary Nova’s sudden effectiveness, but I digress. In the spirit of the post that probably launched my writing career over a year ago now, I’ve decided to go full-on FJM style on “I’ve Got Your Happy Valley Right Here: A Manifesto of Hate for tTFP.”

FJM style essentially goes line-by-line (skipping non-relevant parts) and breaks down a piece of writing and criticizes it, and was popularized by the legendary site Fire Joe Morgan. The bold writing will be the article’s original contents, everything else is me. I’m skipping the intro paragraph where author Ray Ransom talks about it being his first piece. Usually this is done to terrible pieces of writing, but in this case it’s merely out of a place of hate for an institution, not vitriol for a blog whose staff genuinely seems like pretty good dudes/writers. Remember, Ray, this isn’t about you or your site, it’s about your football team.

Get excited, because Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers is going to get spanked tonight, and everything will be beautiful and nothing will hurt.

Rutgers is a great institution represented by a great football team.
One sentence in and we already have our first mistake. Impressive. Calling the No. 70 university in the country “great” is pushing it, and calling its 58th-ranked football team with almost no history of success that wasn’t built around SCHIANO MEN “great” is even more of a stretch.

We have wonderful fans,
Those wonderful fans who recently said, regarding fellow Onward State writer
 Mike Reisman, after his beautiful love letter to Rutgers, “I hope this writer gets AIDS“?  Nailed it.

a beautiful campus,
“Visit Beautiful New Brunswick” isn’t a phrase I’ve ever heard, but whatever you say. Just don’t go anywhere outside the campus itself,
for your own safety.

and a seat at the biggest B1G kids table in the country. However, it’s time to bring the hate.
Realistically, the Big Ten is probably the fourth-best conference in the country, but anything is a step up from the remnants of the former Big East, I guess.

I’m not talking about booing our players. That’s for Syracuse fans. We should always be loud, proud, true fans, supporting our team with deafening cheers and boisterous celebrations, reserving booing for refs and opposing mascots.
Can a stadium that had an average attendance of just 46,549 really be deafening? It’s probably more of a dull roar at best, but that’s good! Support your team, even if your team went 6-7 and lost to Notre Dame in the Pinstripe Bowl and then followed it up with a 62nd-ranked recruiting class.

I’m talking about bringing some good ol’ hate for an old nemesis who’s about to rear its ugly head once more. I mean, we’re from Jersey, people! It’s time to stop being so frickin’ polite.
Nobody is as quick to embrace the fact that they’re a douchebag than people from New Jersey. That “aye I’m from Jersey fuck you” attitude is exactly why everyone hates New Jersey. You bring it upon yourselves. They’re so defensive about it too! I’m from Long Island, and I’m fully willing to admit that it is full of shitty, fake, self-absorbed morons. But levy the same claim to people from the Garden State and they’ll be quick to shoot you back a million reasons why Jersey doesn’t suck. “HAVE YOU EVEN BEEN TO WILDWOOD BRAH?”

I want to see some vitriol on the forums, I want to see some smack talk on Twitter, and for the love of all that is holy I don’t ever want to see the so-called “proper” name of the team from pennsylvania.
The whole “Team from Pennsylvania” schtick is so unbelievably lame. I mean, it sort of worked, because I already despise Kyle Flood, but that doesn’t make it cool. Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers, however, is hysterical because it’s perfectly sarcastic and it’s almost an implicit oxymoron. “Someone called Rutgers a powerhouse? In what, STI rate?”

Look, we don’t get to beat up on Syracuse and UCONN anymore. While they were entertaining cannon fodder, we have to up our game on the field and on the net.
Rutgers is 12-30-1 against Syracuse and lost 28-17 to UConn in their most recent matchup.

Specifically, I mean the team from pennsylvania, aka the school out west, aka PoSU (that’s Piece of Shit University, for those readers not fortunate enough to receive a fine Jersey education).
You’re supposed to capitalize proper nouns, Ray. But I guess grammar isn’t a key detail of a “fine Jersey education,” what with such topics as “Where are we going to be scumbags now that Atlantic City is falling apart” and “How to get a job at Six Flags Great Adventure with your degree” to discuss, there just isn’t enough time. Unless that was supposed to be some clever jab at Pennsylvania, in which case, bravo, because it might just be the closest thing this piece gets to being insulting.

Why is tSOW the biggest hive of scum and villainy this side of Tatooine? Why do they deserve our scorn? Why do they deserve our true hate?
Jealousy? An unrelenting inferiority complex because you’re the safety school of every Jersey kid in State College?

How about 96 years of unrelenting beatings?
Oh, well, since you mention it.

Does 22-2 give you the feel-goods?
It’ll be 23-2 after today.

How about Saeed Blacknall? How about Juwan Johnson? How about Mike Gesicki? How do those commitments taste?
Delicious, thanks. Oh, and they’re still coming, seeing as how three of the top-five recruits from the state are jumping the border into Pennsylvania to play for James Franklin in 2015. By being so inept, you’ve created a pipeline for us. We didn’t even really have to do anything besides be the only competent football team in the area. Thanks!

Isn’t it awesome to see the best players in Jersey leave for the backwater hill country of pennsyltucky? How about a scant three visits to Piscataway in nearly a hundred years of intercollegiate football? These pretentious bastards can’t deign themselves to leave their insular goat-farming hills to come to the epicenter of the country?
Listen, I’m not exactly the world’s largest supporter of Pennsylvania, but calling Happy Valley “pennsyltucky” is about as much of a stretch as calling the 11 men Rutgers is going to play opposite Christian Hackenberg a defense. It’s in the middle of nowhere, sure, but it’s indisputably one of the best college towns in America. I’d rather have that and be three hours away from anything else in the world than be stuck in the collapsing shithole that is the New Brunswick-Piscataway area. Not even people from New Jersey try to defend that place. You make Fordham look like it’s in Eden. Enjoy taking NJ Transit to Manhattan any time you want to go to a bar without fear of being stabbed. Oh, and there go people from Central Jersey (which doesn’t even exist depending on who you ask) trying to pretend like ANYONE in the world considers them part of what makes the New York Metro area the epicenter of the country. You’re the sewage runoff from all that is good about New York City AND New Jersey. You’re a shittier Staten Island with an attitude problem. Nobody wants to come to Rutgers because, truthfully, nobody gives a flying fuck about Rutgers except when it becomes an annoyance.

How about a century of dirty play, running up the score and shady business like this? Or the last time Rutgers played tTFP?

After Penn State had thrown for a deep touchdown pass late in the game, with the outcome well in their favor, Joe Paterno was caught on national television with some choice words for Rutgers head coach Doug Graber, who had approached Paterno with a “I thought you guys didn’t do that stuff” remark, suggesting that Penn State had run up the score on Rutgers. Paterno, not happy with Graber’s accusation shrugged him off, thus ending the series on a bitter note.

Oh man, the legendary Doug Graber, owner of a 29-36-1 record at Rutgers, was angry about a garbage time touchdown and Joe blew him off. That means it’s a century of dirty play and running up the score, guys! Oh wait, no, because that’s not how the concept of time works. Then again, if anyone would know about being dirty, it’d be Rutgers.

How about their insufferable, unbearable, impossible fans? The best way to find out why PoSU deserves our scorn, hate and unbridled malice? Talk to someone who had to deal with their shit for years. Talk to someone who sat through 59-34, 55-27, or 49-14. Talk to someone who had to put up with their holier-than-fucking-thou cult of personality for longer than 10 minutes at a train station.
Got it. So if you beat the shit out of a team that nobody gives a shit about, you’re insufferable. Got it. Here comes the same generic rant about Penn Staters that every person trying to attack the fanbase uses. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

You guys are missing the really BIG obvious stuff. The reason to loathe Penn State to the center of your very soul is the zombie cult army fanbase, spewing self-righteous, sanctimonious phony pious bullshit about “winning with honor” and “the grand experiment”, and Saint Joe the blameless.
Sure, I’ll take the cult accusations. You can basically call any fanbase a cult and it’s hard to dispute, which also makes it a weak-ass insult. Then, you can’t even get Success With Honor right. In the wise words of Mike Wazowski, “If you’re gonna threaten me, do it properly.”

They call their cesspool of Central Pennsylvania wilderness HAPPY VALLEY ferchrissakes. Have you ever driven from NJ to Penn State? You have to go through a damn prison to get there, complete with “don’t pick up any hitchhikers” signs all over.
Man, he’s right. Being on the seventh-best college campus in America totally sucks. I’d much rather be in what is essentially a garbage dump. Hell, people FROM New Jersey don’t even like New Brunswick.

And exactly why do so many seemingly intelligent New Jersey students bypass your beloved alma mater to pay out of state tuition to do keg stands in the middle of a damn corn field? Because it’s an all-around better institution with a great alumni network, a fantastic social scene, and provides maybe the consummate collegiate experience? Just guessing.

I hate “white-outs” — probably racist.
OK, that was kinda funny. Credit where it’s due.

I hate hearing about how many people fit in their stupid stadium.
107,282 to be precise. Which is more than twice what High Point Solutions Stadium holds. Speaking of which, oh man, what an impossibly bad stadium name. I bet they call it something stupid like “The Point” or “The Solution,” too. Gag.

I hate Franco Harris and the other Sandusky/Paterno apologists. I hate those dumb kids who flipped over cop cars the night they fired Paterno’s old carcass.”
I’m pretty sure there’s only one
Sandusky apologist on the planet, but I’m with you there. I’m not a fan of Franco Harris, and I didn’t grow up Penn State, so there’s not much Paterno apologist in me. That’s for the lovely folks in our comments section to inform you on. Did you know that less than a quarter of the current student population saw him coach a game from the student section? You should at least update your insults to include the current coaching staff. Oh wait, James Franklin is Tha Gawd and you don’t really have any ammo, I guess. And the kids who flipped the car were idiots too. Again, you’re not saying things we don’t know.

So, who’s ready for Saturday, September 13th? I’m ready to get lit up and roll out the goddamn welcome mat.
For once, we agree. Once we trample all over that welcome mat like Howard’s running game trampled all over you, though, you might be less than hospitable. Who am I kidding? You’re from Rutgers, “hospitable” is a foreign concept to you guys.

There’s a new kid in school. We aren’t getting picked on and we aren’t going to sit quietly in the back of the class. We’re going to square up Scott Farkus and beat him in the face. We’re going to let it be known that we’re not just happy to have a seat at the table. We’re going to introduce these Midwestern meth-heads to #ChopNation.
Meth-heads, huh?
 Oh, and the Chop Nation thing was stolen from the Atlanta Braves, so, y’know, enjoy that one. It’s the worst hashtag in college football and it isn’t close.

Let’s get out there and make some friends, Jersey Style!
That, I’m good with. See, here’s the thing, this is all in good fun. Let’s make this a rivalry to remember and not do anything stupid. But we’re gonna start it back up by kicking the everloving shit out of you on your home field. If you beat us, and you SB Nation boys from the Dirty Jerz are ever in State College, I’ll buy you a beer and we’ll discuss our mutual hatred of Maryland. However, let’s avoid doing anything Jersey style. Spray tans aren’t really our thing.

See you at 8 p.m., Rutgers. Sorry in advance.

P.S. Please win, Penn State. I don’t want to be the biggest jackass on the planet AND be wrong.

Noel Purcell is an Onward State staff writer who really hopes the Nittany Lions don’t make him look like a complete moron in front of the entire Internet tonight. Catch him spewing elitist New Yorker garbage on twitter.

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About the Author

Noel Purcell

Noel Purcell is Onward State's Features Editor. He's a senior Supply Chain major, but is going to law school at some point in the future and masquerades as a writer for now. He continues to disappoint his ancestors by being a complete Irish stereotype. His email is [email protected] because there were no other Noels before him. His ex-wife got the good half of his bio in the divorce settlement.

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