St. John’s College • 60 College Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401 • Apr. 12, 2014 • Vol. XXXV • Issue 10
Croquet Day (The Remix)
Croquet & Crumpets
Meet the Teams
What music ought to accompany your Croquet experience? Sophomore Will Brown has a few thoughts on fitting melodies.
Senior Ian Tuttle dons his bowtie and raises his glass (and his pinky finger) to Croquet Day’s aristocratic inclinations.
The Gadfly introduces the St. John’s College, Annapolis, 2014 Croquet Team and their challengers from the U.S. Naval Academy.
Before Croquet and the Naval Academy, there was the gridiron and Johns Hopkins. We dig into St. John’s’ original rivalry.
Follow the Gadfly online at:
!" The student newspaper of St. John’s College 60 College Avenue Annapolis, Maryland 21401 email@example.com Founded in 1980, the Gadfly is the student newspaper distributed to over 600 students, faculty, and staff of the Annapolis campus. Opinions expressed within are the sole responsibility of the author(s). The Gadfly reserves the right to accept, reject, and edit submissions in any way necessary to publish a professional, informative, and thought-provoking newsmagazine.
Nathan Goldman • Editor-in-Chief Ian Tuttle • Editor-in-Chief Hayden Pendergrass • Layout Editor Sasha Welm • Cartoonist Caleb Bernard Will Brown Annemarie Catania John B. Ertle Jr. Michael Lacy Drew Menzer Pres. Christopher Nelson
Sebastian Barajas • Editor-in-Chief Allison Tretina • Editor-in-Chief Noe Jimenez • Layout Editor
Shayna Jenkins Julia Kulon
34%.5/67*1% Pg. 2 • Letter from the Editors Pg. 3 • A Spectator’s Guide to the Rules of Croquet by Annemarie Catania Pg. 3 • Letter from President Nelson Pg. 4 • A Croquet Sonnet by Caleb Bernard Pg. 4 • The Sounds of Spring by Will Brown Pg. 4 • Croquet, Edited by Michael Lacy Pg. 5 • Croquet & Crumpets by Ian Tuttle
Pg. 6 • The 2014 U.S. Naval Academy Croquet Team Pg. 9 • The 2014 St. John’s College Croquet Team
44%19*%./!!*<* Pg. 11 • In the Old Days by John B. Ertle Jr. Pg. 11 • A Croquet Haiku by Drew Menzer Pg. 12 • First Foes from the Gadfly archives
ear Johnnies, Mids, Family, and Other Guests, Welcome, one and all, to the 32nd annual SJC vs. USNA Croquet Match! Our little college of 400-some students is for the most part a quiet, contemplative sort of place. But once a year, thousands storm our grounds for the one-of-a-kind celebration that is Croquet Weekend. St. John’s is, as we often say, a “talking college,” through and through. This is no less the case during Croquet—the volume of conversations just rises a few decibels. You hold in your hands the Croquet Issue of the Gadfly, the St. John’s student newspaper. Think of it as a complement to your otherwise reading-light Croquet experience. Herein you’ll find history, pontification, and plenty of plain, unadulterated (if somewhat self-effacingly pretentious) fun; we hope you’ll find this issue’s pieces a pleasure to turn to in a moment of respite from the festivities. (It works to provide a bit of shade in the case of
excessive sun, too.) As per tradition, in this issue you’ll find alumna Annemarie Catania’s (A’97) reader-friendly primer to the rules of the sport, for those of us whose interests turn to croquet only once a year. In a letter penned for last year’s issue, President Nelson (SF’70) muses on the importance of both the St. John’s and Naval Academy styles of education for maintaining a free nation. Co-editor Ian Tuttle (A’14) picks up on this theme and considers the uniquely democratic aristocratic style of both manners of education—as well as the Sperry-loving town in which both schools reside. Like all great traditions, Croquet makes us consider our past as we revel in the present. Toward the issue’s end, we dip into St. John’s’ history with two pieces from the College’s past—one from a 1997 issue of the Gadfly, the other from the yearbook from 1932, before the introduction of the New Program—for a look at the history of croquet at St. John’s and the rivalry that preceded the one we gather to celebrate today. The issue contains, too, some more creative looks at the history of croquet: a croquet mixtape from Will Brown (A’16), a croquet haiku from former Imperial Wicket Drew Menzer (A’13), a croquet sonnet from Caleb Bernard (A’14), and, of course, our annual Q&A with both teams. We wish to thank our dedicated contibutors, outgoing layout guru Hayden Pendergrass (A’14), the immeasurably talented artist Sasha Welm (A’14), and next year’s enthusiastic, not-yet-jaded-anddefeated-like-us leadership: Sebastian Barajas, Allison Tretina, and Noe Jimenez. But seriously: it has been a pleasure and honor bringing you the Gadfly these past two years. We’re glad to be leaving it in good hands. Now, without any further ado—Go Johnnies! Beat Navy! Sincerely, Nathan Goldman Ian Tuttle Co-Editors, 2012-2014
!"#$%&'(')*+,"-./0% ')"'1%"2.3%,")4"5*)6.%' 13
8 Start & Finish
5 Illustration by Hayden Pendergrass
tinuation gained by completion of the wicket shot. Scoring a wicket erases whatever effects the player may have incurred by hitting balls prior to by Annemarie Catania, A’97 going through it. Although hitting a ball has the s you sit in the sun, eating, drinking, and advantage of two continuation shots from that possibly burning, you may discuss the ball, it also means going dead on that ball. This game of croquet. In the midst of this com- means the ball struck cannot be hit again before munity picnic, your attention may turn to the the striking ball goes through another wicket. Lest the rules become too complicated for your game. Just in case this happens, you may be interrelaxing brain, take a sip of your drink of choice, ested in the rules of croquet. Today’s game is traditional American nine- sit back, and observe the deadness board. This wicket croquet, essentially following the rules of scoreboard of sorts keeps track of which balls have the United States Croquet Association. Each of the already been hit. Each ball has its own row with five matches consists of two Johnnies versus two three spaces that indicate which ball it is dead on. Middies. One team plays with the red and yellow At the beginning of the game, every ball is dead balls, and the other uses black and blue. The order on every other ball for the first shot. Any contact between balls on this turn is incidental. After this of play follows the colors painted on the stakes. The point of the game is to hit both balls of one shot, every ball becomes live on every other ball. team through all the wickets, hitting one stake Through the course of a game, going through a in the middle of the game, and the other stake at wicket restores liveness. The deadness board asthe end. The pattern zig-zags through the center sists the memories of those enjoying too much of wickets and the wickets to the right of the direc- their drinks of choice. This much knowledge will suffice for following tion of play. As you watch, you may notice that some players most of the game. The basic strategy is to advance have very short turns. We hope that these turns one’s own ball and one’s partner’s ball through as happen more often for the Midshipmen, since we many wickets as possible while deterring the othhope to allow them no other option than to set up er team’s balls as much as possible. You may hear for their wickets. A long turn is more advanta- the players politely referring to messing with the geous. You may hear someone asking, “How long other team by taking them off their sets, using stop has this Johnnie been playing this turn?” This shots to shoot them away from their wickets, and question indicates that the St. John’s player has taking advantage of them with split shots. The most cruelty you will see in this most civibeen using every opportunity for continuation quite successfully, and probably also means that lized of croquet matches will be in blocking, or in staking out the rover. The first of these is a simple the Johnnie player has run many wickets. Two types of shots result in continuation. One is defensive move. If a player’s opponent is dead on running a wicket (or scoring a wicket, as the USCA her ball, and the opponent is set up for his wicket, she may shoot her ball into a calls pushing one’s ball through place directly between his ball the metal structure). This re- Lest the rules become the wicket. This will obsults in one more shot. Although too complicated for your and struct his shot unless he is able going through the wicket is always the goal in mind, hitting relaxing brain, take a sip to execute a jump shot over her ball. a ball with one’s own ball may of your drink of choice, Staking out the rover is the be more immediately beneficial, since this type of shot results in sit back, and observe the most detrimental type of play, and occurs in the end game. two continuation shots. deadness board. When a ball has completed all Our friends from town may ask you about these two shots. As an articulate lib- the wickets and has not yet hit the final stake, it is eral arts student, you will provide them with the called a rover. An opponent has the opportunity to terminology for these turns, which even the play- hit that ball into the stake on a croquet shot. The ers do not bother to remember. The proper name staked-out ball must sit out for two turns, and hit for hitting another ball is “roquet.” (You may say, the stake at the other end of the field before coming “She has roqueted the ball.”) Upon hitting anoth- back into play. A rover still in play may go through er ball, the striking ball becomes cloaked, which wickets in any direction to gain continuation as means whatever happens to it before it stops roll- long as it is dead on two balls (or two-ball dead). ing is incidental and does not count. Impress your After going through a wicket, the rover remains friends by telling them that it does not exist. The temporarily dead on the ball it last hit before going official USCA term for this is a ball in hand. The through the wicket until it hits another ball. Have a fine time sunning yourself, eating, and player places the ball in hand next to the roqueted ball and shoots. This is called the croquet shot. drinking. Wander off to chat with friends and strangers. If you find yourself with further quesThe second shot is called continuation. Continuation is not cumulative. This means that tions on more complicated strategy or minor rules, a ball that runs a wicket on a croquet shot does not ask someone who often plays croquet to expound receive that continuation in addition to the con- on the game’s intricacies. !
[Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with minor edits from a ’90s-era Croquet Issue of the Gadfly.]
he battle for honor and glory we are about to witness between two great institutions, testing their friendship on the playing fields of our front campus, is a test of the strength and endurance of a liberal education—for whichever side should claim victory today. Both of our institutions are dedicated to the principles of freedom—to the arts of liberty. This commitment to liberty, to freedom of speech and action, is what undergirds our nation. And it is our national duty to assure that each generation of citizens is well educated in the arts of freedom to protect them from attack and from atrophy. It ought to be the first concern of our schools, from pre-kindergarten through college, that our young acquire the freedom to make intelligent choices concerning the ends and means of both their public and private lives. This requires the cultivation and practice of the art of reason and understanding and discipline in analysis, argument, and interpretation, so that they may be free from the tyrannies of unexamined opinions, current fashions, and inherited prejudices. Our nation was founded on the idea that good government is grounded in its citizens’ intellectual freedom; our strength depends upon this idea. Our economy is grounded in the notion of free enterprise; the freedom we have to test our ideas against the needs and demands of the community has helped build the prosperity we have enjoyed as a society. This too depends upon the intellectual freedom of our citizens. And so it is with our social order and moral character. For the sake of our country, then, we need our citizens to have two kinds of education that are in a very healthy tension with one another: (1) an education in the political and intellectual foundations, including the economic, scientific and social traditions and principles that have shaped our nation, and (2) an education in the arts needed to question and examine those very foundations and traditions in the light of reason, so that we may keep them vibrant and alive, and so that we may redefine and improve on them when we discover we have good cause. These are called the arts of freedom because they are grounded in the kind of free inquiry that helps us understand our world better and inspires in us a sense of wonder and longing to learn more. We have given serious attention to questioning and understanding these concerns at St. John’s. And the Naval Academy has given its attention to educating our fleet of midshipmen to defend them. Both of our schools are needed to make for a free nation! Whoever wins this match between our schools will win in the name of an education devoted to freedom. So, then, as the outcome will weigh equally with respect to the state of our nation, the victory should go to the team that demonstrates its superiority in strategic engagement. Let the victory then belong to our Johnnies! Five Games to None!! All Honor and Glory Are Due! Chris Nelson (SF’70) President
-.&)/#%0+1)#2)/3",04 by Will Brown, Staff Writer, A’16
When the editors asked me to write an article for this year’s Croquet issue, I was simply out of ideas. Part of this was due to my post-annual essay writer’s block, but the event itself also deserved blame—I never learned how to play croquet, and I didn’t remember much of anything from last year, so I was a bit of an outsider when it came to SJC’s biggest weekend. But with enough dedication, intelligence, and good taste, I managed to come up with the best croquet mixtape of all time. Below are some selections you simply can’t do without this weekend, much like ostentatious parasols and bowties:
really has nothing to do with it. Let’s hope our Imperial Wicket rises to the occasion this year, with or without violence. As Machiavelli once said, “Rarely do men know how to be altogether wicked or altogether good; ya best protect your neck.” You’re welcome. !
Song: “Tubthumping” Artist: Chumbawamba
Song: “Happy” Artist: Pharrell Williams Much like a croquet game, this song goes on too long. Best played for over fourteen hours at a time. Too drunk and falling asleep at your own party? Kick people out with this! Also, I’ve never done that.
Nickelback’s had a bad rap lately, but I find that they really pump me up for some primetime croquet action. Which makes sense, when you think about it: just about every Nickelback concert-goer remembers to bring a blanket, snacks, and a top hat. That said, I hear Chad Kroeger graduated from the Naval Academy. Song: “Wonderwall” Artist: Oasis This is my favorite song ever made.
People forget this, but the annual croquet game is about defeating our enemy; sportsmanship
!"#$!%&'#()#!%*&+!,-#.!/0&$+!&'1 ,#),/$2#3#,%#!"4,+!56-7#8'!/9: .!$;#,#)&4&+1#.;!'0&71#,"<# # 4!/0'#;,$#$+!/01 !#'5))&+#)+(%#-&%("7='"!/0&$+!&': !#>(#$(#'-&5$;#(5$#6+!'0&$#%7'$&+!&'1 65$#%7#$&,/5*=+!<&#<!??!"&''# # !'#@5!/01 ,"<#,#%,--&$#-((0'#-!0&#,# # .,-0!">#'$!/01 ,"<#3#A5'$#.,"$#(5$#()#%7#%!'&+!&':
“What form becomes a man after this gate, The final wicket cross’d, he must be chang’d, If naught is life beyond the ending stroke, He must stake out to never again move, Or else as ghost he hauntingly does rove.”
Song: “Protect Ya Neck” Artist: Wu-Tang Clan
was assigned to write a piece for this issue about the History of Croquet. I fully planned to subvert this assignment and turn it into a fictional romp through history. I would brashly exaggerate Croquet’s importance and make it seem like Croquet is an ancient mythological game that has descended to us from the wiser and brighter days of antiquity. Then I realized: it is! I happened to have heard rumor, and some quick research confirmed this, that many of the authors we read here at St. John’s have mentioned Croquet in books we read. Or, actually, they almost mentioned it. Croquet has had the unfortunate fate of not making the final draft of more than a few Great Books. In Homer’s famous epic, the Iliad, there is a lengthy passage describing the funeral games of Achilles’ [friend] Patroclus. The final version of the
by Caleb Bernard, ‘14
Hamlet’s 1599 premiere at the Globe Theatre, Shakespeare had a change of heart and switched Laertes and Hamlet’s fateful Croquet match to a fencing duel. Historians suspect he did this because of Queen Elizabeth’s recent loss at Croquet to the King of the Scots, James VI (who would later succeed her as James I, King of England). Shakespeare was advised by fellow playwright Ben Jonson to rework his final act in light of Elizabeth’s loss (that had brought much domestic shame), because it was, in his opinion: “Too soon.” One can notice the last minute patch-work when reading Act V of the play—a fault remedied by Hamlet’s original monologue before the match. The following selection really ties the whole play together using Shakespeare’s incomparable use of imagery to reveal his thematic intents.
Song: “How You Remind Me” Artist: Nickelback
[Ed. Note: This article from the Gadfly archives is reprinted with minor edits.]
65$#$;&"#'(%&6(<7#',7'1# # B'!$#<(."#,"<#$+7 ,#'-!/&#()#$;!'#)+&';-7#%,<&# # *&/,"#*!&CD 8(+#.;,$&4&+#EF!"'#$;!'# # *&+'("#*!/0'9 ,"<#.&#<+!"0#,"#,">+7#(+/;,+<# # (+#'!F: '(1#,-$;(5>;#3#0"(.#"($;!"># # ()#/+(@5&$1 !#%5'$#/("/-5<&#$;,$#!$G'#*+&$$7#(0,7:
This song is a great pick-me-up around 4 PM, when no one can really tell if the game’s still going on and someone definitely puked on the Coffee Shop stairs. Plus, it’s practically begging to be ad-libbed! “I get knocked down/ but I get up croquet/ you’re never gonna keep me down.”
by Michael Lacy, Contributor, A’12
funeral games features only violent sports, such as chariot racing and wrestling, all for the sake of glory and winning tripods (which is weird, because they didn’t even have cameras). Here is a passage that didn’t make it past Homer’s editor, but if it did, the funeral games chapter might actually be interesting to readers who aren’t meat-heads. This translation is by Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky: An oriole flew o’er the Croquet pitch, While Agamemnon lined his roquet shot, And banish’d Achilles’ wine-dark ball to Just beside the yard line rim. He who fought Ten-thousand men began a sobbing cry, But claim’d the tears were caus’d by pollen in his eyes. There is no trace of this Croquet match in the extant Iliad, but the sequence is featured as a deleted scene on the DVD of the movie Troy. Another author at one time considered having a Croquet match in his opus, but the night before
Croquet, being the thinking man’s sport, has drawn the attention of even the least athletic. Though he was so fat that he needed a hole to be cut in his monastery’s dinner table so that he could fit, St. Thomas of Aquinas did love a good Croquet match. After his ham sandwich-related death in 1274, his personal affects were searched for unpublished works. This fragment of a theological Article was found in his desk drawer, obscured beneath Toblerone and Twix wrappers. All content beyond the first objection is smeared with caramel beyond the point of readability. Here is what remains: Summa Sportologica Question 92 Article 3: Whether the red ball of Croquet represents the blood sacrifice of Christ Jesus? “Objection 1: It seems the red ball of Croquet does represent the blood sacrifice of Christ Jesus, because the ball is red, and blood is red, and Christ Jesus gave his blood as satisfaction for the sins of man.” No one knows what else Aquinas, or any other authors read here at St. John’s, thought about Croquet. But it sure doesn’t hurt looking into it! For as Plato says, “The unexamined sport is not worth playing.” !
!" A Concise History of Croquet An Anachronistic Account of Croquet through the Program The Ancients
by Hayden Pendergrass, Layout Editor, A’14
'""$%& Socrates explores croquet’s virtues. He calls it a sophist’s game.
!"#$%&'( )(!"%*+&', The Middle Ages
!(,#$*+ Thomas Aquinas’ rotundity makes it impossible for him to play croquet. He writes the Summa instead. !')-$*+ Geoffrey Chaucer travels to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas à Becket with a 29-person croquet team.
The Rennaissance & Reformation
eing an ancient town—by American standards, cucumber sandwiches on the water. That’s an Old at least—and the place where so many old (now World inclination—translation: an aristocratic one. dead) white men congregated to discuss matIt’s a Sperry town. ters both concrete and abstruse, Annapolis is a not Which brings us to Croquet Day. Croquet Day is inappropriate place for a school devoted to reading the pinnacle of Annapolis’s aristocratic proclivities. old (now dead) white men. Annapolis is what, in a Croquet Day features parasols; it is (unironically) slightly earlier age, we might have called WASPy— called the start of Annapolis’s spring “social season”; which, being a WASP myself (and, by my compeers’ for God’s sake, we play croquet, which, on a scale reckoning, also an old man), has always made return- from monster truck rallies to Downton Abbey, is just ing here a bit of a homecoming. one rung down from foxhunting. Each year, come Where I grew up, in South Texas, everything is new. mid-April, I suffer a nearly irresistible impulse to When Zach Taylor rolled through with his merry wear pastel shorts. My pinky finger starts to elevate band of American conquistadors, bringing with them of its own accord. Then again, I never was much one several brothels-worth of pleasurable company, my for boots and chaps, so Croquet Day is the occasion town consisted of a hitching post. By the time he for my Anne Boleyn-pale, High Church Episcopalian broke camp to push southward into Mexico, it had WASPiness to reach full bloom. The only thing missbeen transformed into an abuning is a powdered wig. dantly supplied den of iniquity. The whole thing is, in its way, On a scale from monThe Southwest has retained deliciously elitist (if in a harmless, ster truck rallies to something of that transient, mafinger cheeses-and-Bordeaux kind rauding quality—Indians and gun- Downton Abbey, croof way). But perhaps what makes slingers and get rich or die tryin’; Croquet Day in Annapolis so classy quet is just one rung Annapolis, by contrast, is about as is not its evocation of class, but its rough-and-tumble as silk pyjamas down from foxhunting. rebuke to it. Such an attitude is, as [yes, sic]. Another not entirely unit happens, manifest in the event’s fair way to put it: a sort of rogue democracy took hold two participating schools. On one side of King George in the Southwest; not too far (in Texas miles) from Street, St. John’s College offers an education that where I grew up, Judge Roy Bean held court in his claims to make free men and women from children riverside saloon. By contrast, horse thieves in Anne by acquainting them with history’s greatest thinkers. Arundel County have, I imagine, always been few and Johnnies will tell you that their school is not a place far between. for everyone—but the education can be. It is prediThe East Coast, particularly our little dollop of it, cated on nothing else than the humility to say, with inherited a touch of Old Country aristocracy (think Socrates, “All I know is that I know nothing,” and to Charles Carroll, resident Annapolitan, signatory to proceed from there. On the other side of King George the Declaration of Independence, wheezing bit role in Street, the United States Naval Academy offers anthe opening scene of the first National Treasure film). other type of elite education—one not predicated on That aristocracy remains; it has just been transmuted wealth or connections, but on the desire to serve. The into yuppie posh (think of the rise of the name “Admen and women who receive their commissions do dison,” the popularity of which, coincidentally, inso non sibi sed patriae—“not for self, but for country.” creased sevenfold shortly after ABC’s hit show Grey’s It is a very peculiar sort of aristocracy that each of Anatomy introduced Kate Walsh’s character, “Addison these campuses creates—aristocracies not of style, Forbes Montgomery”; if you needed proof that the but of spirit, less concerned with comfort than with name has reached peak saturation, it is even the name character. And insofar as joining that class is not deof an especially friendly poodle that makes regular pendent on one’s yacht club membership or summer visits to the dog park down Charles Street). vacation destination, but on a desire to learn and a But I cannot complain about any of this, because I willingness to serve, none are precluded. wear Sperries. So if once a year the campuses convene a chamThe Sperries (plural for the brand Sperry, which pagne-soaked lawn party and play the only game supplies boat shoes, deck shoes, and other fine nautiless interesting to watch than chess, it is to remind cal gear; for more information, cf. totalfratmove.com) everyone that what is happening on these couple of are an important point. I suspect that Annapolis has blocks is really kind of special—and that everyone is the greatest population of Sperries-per-capita in the welcome to partake. If America has an aristocratic contiguous United States—because, of course, Animpulse, it is of just this democratic sort. napolis is a yachting town, that is, a leisurely town, That it gives me an excuse to wear seersucker is just that is, a town with a disposition toward ascots and an added plus. !
'")$*+ Augustine of Hippo disparages the Manicheans for playing too much croquet.
!.'/$*+ Jean Calvin outlines in the Institutes that all those predestined for salvation have to learn croquet.
by Ian Tuttle, Co-Editor, A’14
()$*+ Jesus plays croquet for 40 days and 40 nights against Satan. He wins.
!,'"$*+ When philosophical speculation becomes too depressing, David Hume comforts himself by playing croquet with friends.
!.)-$*+ Suffering from a kidney stone, Michel de Montaigne painfully swears that it must be the size of a croquet ball.
!,),$*+ Immanuel Kant, in his Critique of Pure Croquet, states that the croquet ball travels “independently of all experience.” No one understands what that means. The Moderns
On Croquet Day’s aristocratic inclinations.
!!"#$%& Greek ships land on the shores of Troy. A ten-year croquet match ensues.
!)""$*+ After years of psychological study, Sigmund Freud determines, “sometimes a croquet mallet is just a croquet mallet.”
GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY
GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY
Ryan Lluy (IW)
• I play croquet...to prepare for the intense competition after I retire. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…prowess on the battlefield. • If I could, I would time-travel to…this day last year. • Every night before bed I…tuck in Zach Davis. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…my collection of Avril Lavigne. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Andy Carp’s Hot Fries. • My fictional alter ego is…El Shaddai. • I would rather swim with sharks than…narwhals. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am ...staring at Hunter Craig’s Biceps. • St. John’s College is...our true rival in sports.
• I play croquet...to get famous. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for...being bad at croquet. • If I could, I would time-travel to... April 12, 2014, and steal all the good interview answers. • Every night before bed I...take out my dentures. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...what’s an iPod? • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Bitcoin. • My fictional alter ego is...more popular than me. • I would rather swim with sharks than...drown with them. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am... enjoying one of the other 364 days of the year. • St. John’s College is...in New Mexico.
• I play croquet...because of Title IX. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…sass. • If I could, I would time-travel to...the last time I ate pizza, so that I can eat more pizza. • Every night before bed I…wish the Academy would just give Leo the Oscar already. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…“Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” by Aaron Carter. • My fictional alter ego is…Cadet Kelly. • I would rather swim with sharks than…see another movie with Kristen Stewart. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am... trying to find out if there is more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good-looking. • St. John’s College is…a center for ants.
• I play croquet...because what else is there to do at USNA? • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for...catching them all. • If I could, I would time-travel to... spring break would be nice. • Every night before bed I...give myself a motivational speech • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...“Toxic” by Britney Spears. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Apple. • My fictional alter ego is...my own larger-than-life ego. • I would rather swim with sharks than...swim with the fishes—I’m too young to die! • When I’m not playing croquet, I am.... there’s nothing else. It’s all I do. • St. John’s College is...going down again.
• I play croquet...for the cardio. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for...nothing. • If I could, I would time-travel to...May 23, 2014. • Every night before bed I...brush my teeth. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...probably something by Shakira. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Nano’s. • My fictional alter ego is...better than me at croquet. • I would rather swim with sharks than...be company commander again. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am... doing other things that aren’t a complete waste of time. • St. John’s College is...mad chill, bro.
• I play croquet...for a good workout. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…being the toughest 28th company xo. • If I could, I would time-travel to…the roaring 20’s. • Every night before bed I…brush my teeth. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...I only use Pandora. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Pop Tarts. • My fictional alter ego is…Woody (from Toy Story). • I would rather swim with sharks than…touch a snake. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am… taking naps. • St. John’s College is…uh...hippies.
• I play croquet...to prove that I can swing my hammer. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for...being in the movie High School Musical. • If I could, I would time-travel to...the moon. • Every night before bed I...tuck in Ryan Lluy. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...“On the Floor” by IceJJFish. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Meow Mix. • My fictional alter ego is...I am IceJJFish. • I would rather swim with sharks than...nothing; I actually would be stoked to swim with sharks. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am.... shreddin’ the Gnar Gnar pow. • St. John’s College is...a college?
• I play croquet...for the endorsement deals and intramural exemption. • If I could, I would time-travel to...the pre-production days of Gravity to prevent George Clooney from agreeing to be in that movie, saving him the embarrassment and reclaiming two hours of my life. • Every night before bed I...play an unhealthy amount of Candy Crush. Level 361 and climbing. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...the White Chicks version of “1000 Miles.” • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...not El Toro Bravo; their service is horrendous. • My fictional alter ego is...a mix: Frank Underwood meets Morgan Freeman. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am... always playing croquet #thetruth #ripPaulPierce #BostonStrong
GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY
GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY
• I play croquet...on occasion. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…nothing. • If I could, I would time-travel to…Jimmy’s glory days. • Every night before bed I…untuck myself and tuck in Hunter Craig. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…“Baby” by J. Biebs. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Fancy Feast. • My fictional alter ego is…the abominable snowman. • I would rather swim with sharks than…sharks with lasers. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…admire Hunter’s muscles. • St. John’s College is...near the Naval Academy.
• I play croquet...because it is a company tradition, one I want to be apart of. Also the chance to beat up on the Johnnies. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for...being a soulless ginger. • If I could, I would time-travel to...the days of cowboys, or to Sparta, with enough time to be a part of the Battle of Thermopylae. • Every night before bed I...thank God for gifting me another day that I had the privilege of living. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Dockers. • My fictional alter ego is...living in the future with my better half. • I would rather swim with sharks than...swim with sunfish. • St. John’s College is...a special place for the artists in us all.
• I play croquet...because it’s the only way to satisfy the demons that keep me awake for failing as a lacrosse manager. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…the man van. • If I could, I would time-travel to…time travel is impossible, therefore this question is irrelevant. • Every night before bed I…read Star Wars. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…none. 80’s rock isn’t embarrassing. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…A&D, original diaper rash ointment, to combat chaffing. • I would rather swim with sharks than…eat vegetables. • St. John’s College is…the place I dreamed of playing croquet as a child, but they didn’t recruit me. • I play croquet...because croquet is life. • If I could, I would time-travel to...Robin Thicke’s place in his performance with Miley Cyrus. • Every night before bed I...thank God for everything he has blessed me with. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is... “Tearin’ up my Heart” by NSYNC. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Jazzercise. • My fictional alter ego i... Luigi. • I would rather swim with sharks than...go to El Toro Bravo. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am... thinking about playing croquet. • St. John’s College is...our very friendly competition, and the USNA Croquet team will strive to win the 2014 match against them.
• I play croque...for the intense nonstop action. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for...afternoon naps. • If I could, I would time-travel to...the future. • Every night before bed I...stare into the mirror and recite John Glenn’s Speech • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...“My Jeans.” • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Frosted Flakes, because they are not just good. They’re great. • My fictional alter ego is...Geri. • I would rather swim with sharks than...go to St. John’s College • When I’m not playing croquet, I...like to go on long walks on the beach. • St. John’s College is...the second best college in Annapolis.
• I play croquet...because I’m rich, why else?? • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for...I don’t know what to choose! Socially, this place is like high school on steroids. • If I could, I would time-travel to...a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . . • Every night before bed I...look at pictures of back home in Montana on my enV3 and cry myself to sleep. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...“When I Grow Up” by the Pussycat Dolls. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be... Taco John’s... • My fictional alter ego is...Ron Swanson, the ultimate libertarian who also works for the government. I can’t claim to be as badass as he is, though. • St. John’s College is...where I should have gone to college.
• I play croquet...#fact. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…falling out of bed twice in one weekend. • If I could, I would time-travel to…Europe. • Every night before bed I…think about how much better off we are when Patrick McDonough isn’t around. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…“Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.” • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...the St. John’s croquet team. • I would rather swim with sharks than…drown with sharks. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” on loop. • St. John’s College is…going to be annexed by the Naval Academy.
• I play croquet...to pick up hot girls. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…my croquet jump shot. • If I could, I would time-travel to…the eighth grade. • Every night before bed I...eat a jar of peanut butter. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…“I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Taco Bell. • My fictional alter ego is…the red power ranger. • I would rather swim with sharks than…miss breakfast. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…play polo or enjoy some delicious tea and crumpets. • St. John’s College is…where I hope my kids go to school.
GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY
• I play croquet…AND racquetball. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…my esteemed reputation as an Armani model. • If I could, I would time-travel to…Ancient Ireland, where gingers were actually taken seriously. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…everything except Lady Gaga. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Lorna Doones. • My fictional alter ego is…da, da, da, DA GRINCH!!! • I would rather swim with sharks than…have Daniel Kinnamon on my ultimate frisbee team. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…lift really heavy stuff. • St. John’s College is…hot and dangerous.
• I play croquet...to defend the noble cup. • I’m infamous at the Naval Academy for...chilling a little bit too hard. • If I could, I would time travel to...the 1950’s (that’s swell!). • Every night before bed I...refer to Big Red Ed for important life decisions. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...Selena Gomez’s “Naturally.” • If I had a corporate sponsor it would be...Sam’s Club. • My fictional alter ego is...the Crimson Chin. • I would rather swim with sharks than...take another darn math class! • When I am not playing croquet I am... figuring out croquet. • St. John’s College...was my first choice for attending college.
• I play croquet...because I wanted a cool new sweater. • I’m famous (or infamous) at the Naval Academy for…serving proudly as a head restrictee. • If I could, I would time-travel to…the past. • Every night before bed I…watch a documentary. How else do you think I have become so knowledgeable? • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…you mean my Zune? • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Coca-Cola. • I would rather swim with sharks than…be near a snake • When I’m not playing croquet, I…am doing something else. • St. John’s College is…right down the road.
GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY •
GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY • GO NAVY •
Samuel Collins (Imperial Wicket)
• I play croquet. • I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for.. that thing that I’m legally not allowed to discuss. • If I could, I would time-travel to...1900, when the Olympics had croquet. #frenchmedalsweep • Every night before bed I...put my pants on just like everyone else, one leg at a time. But then I make gold records. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...I love my music. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...my mom. #thanksforthecoffeeshopnuggets • My fictional alter ego is...Lyndon Johnson (Jenny Shumpert). • I would rather swim with sharks than...wear pants with my jumpsuit. ;0) • When I’m not playing croquet, I am...the remix to ignition, hot and fresh out the kitchen. • The Naval Academy is...rollin’ that body, got every man in here wishin’. ;0)
• I play croquet...por las chicas.
• I play croquet...for the glory and honor it brings to St. John’s College.
• I’m infamous at St. John’s College for...my incessant punning. People think I try too hard, but most of my jokes are pun-intentional. • If I could, I would time-travel to...the moment before I entered the time machine. I don’t want to have to kill myself in some sort of space-time rendering paradox. On second thought, that might be kind of cool. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…I’m going to stop you right there for a second. Who has an iPod anymore? • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...the guys who make Big Hunk candy bars. You know what they say: You are what you eat. • My fictional alter ego is...Dr. “Bones” McCoy from Star Trek. • I would rather swim with sharks than...swim with sharks with lasers strapped to their heads. Are all the questions this easy? • When I’m not playing croquet, I am...working on my line of croquet-inspired cologne, edible croquet sets, and croquet-themed bedding. It’s just not enough to play croquet; I want to breath, eat, and sleep croquet. • The Naval Academy is...the current holder of the Annapolis Cup. Who let that happen?
Ethan Goddard • I play croquet...for the irony. • I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for… my cheery disposition. • If I could, I would time-travel to…New York next weekend. • Every night before bed I…smoke cigarettes. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…“Falling of the Rain,” Billy Joel. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Russian River Brewing Company. • My fictional alter ego is…Moriarty. • I would rather swim with sharks than…not swim with sharks. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…smoke cigarettes. • The Naval Academy is…across the street.
• I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for... being well-dressed and implementing the term “turn up.” • If I could, I would time-travel to...Ancient Greece and play a game of one-on-one basketball with Aristotle. • Every night before bed...I check Instagram. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...a remix of one of Sam Collins’s voicemails I made when I was bored. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...the Illuminati. • My fictional alter ego is...Odysseus, because, like him, people are always trying to find me slipping, but we’re too quick for the haters. • I would rather swim with sharks than...wear bootcut jeans. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am...working on my jump shot. • The Naval Academy is...going to wake up the day after the game, log into their Facebook accounts, and look at pictures of St. John’s students celebrating with the Annapolis Cup. Payback.
• I play croquet...for the exercise.
• I play croquet...because I wanted to get involved with something uniquely St. John’s.
• I’m famous at St. John’s College for...rocking the jumpsuit. • If I could, I would time-travel to...the battle of Thermopylae. #TrueSpartan • Every night before bed I...throw a trillion pillows off my bed. • The most embarrassing playlist on my iPod is...the Disney Pandora station. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...WilliamsSonoma.
• I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for… I am but a mere freshman. I have not yet won any fame or infamy. • Every night before bed I…read, do homework, but most likely eat. No shame in a midnight snack. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is… while I do not consider it a particularly embarrassing song, “Never” by Moving Pictures always wants to make me dance-punch out my emotions.
• My fictional alter ego i... the Mandarsmash.
• If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Mars, Inc. I could always go for free food.
• I would rather swim with sharks than...go skydiving, but can’t wait to do both!
• My fictional alter ego is…not fictional. It’s Beyoncé.
• When I’m not playing croquet...trick question? • The Naval Academ is...much younger than St. John’s. You have to let the underdog win every once in a while, right?
• I would rather swim with sharks than…eat a shark. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…don’t play croquet. I play the other whitest sport in the world: badminton. • The Naval Academy is… going to lose.
• I play croquet…because it’s mandatory. I’m on an athletic scholarship.
• I play croquet...because it’s very difficult for me to make friends outside of structured clubs or organizations. Also for the great core workout.
• I play croquet...for the unprecedented career opportunities it gives me after college.
• I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for... Do you know who I am? I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. • If I could, I would time-travel to…Easy: 1939, kill Hitler. BOOM! Famous. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...“Versace” by Migos. It’s embarrassing that it isn’t considered the defining song of our generation. • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Kenny Rogers. The Gambler has been a tremendous inspiration for me, and I think we could do great work together. I can already see the copy: “When I’m with that special someone...I need to know when to hold ’em,” a cologne by Jack Whitman and Kenny Rogers. • My fictional alter ego is…some combination of Maverick from Top Gun and back-up quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. I’ll let the ladies think on that one for a sec. • I would rather swim with sharks than…read John Calvin again. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…drive a dump truck of industrial paper waste. More of a job than a hobby, really. • The Naval Academy is…my benevolent employer.
• I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for… always being such a nice guy. • If I could, I would time-travel to…the year 2000. So I could beat the snot out of Hans Sorkanski, a big lump of a Pole widely regarded as the toughest kid on the block. • Every night before bed I…give a goodnight kiss to each of my three German Shepherds: Roger, Jameson, and Frankie Muniz.
• I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for... being that kid who looks like Jack Whitman. • If I could, I would time-travel to...the day when the video for Avril Lavigne’s smash hit “Sk8r Boi” was being filmed in an attempt to be in said video. • Every night before bed I...whisper insults to my roommate quietly enough so he can’t hear me. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is...a rendition of “Beat it” by Michael Jackson and “Eat it” by Alfred Matthew Yankovich where both songs are being played at the same time.
• If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…American Red Cross. I know they don’t have a lot of capital to • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be...Tampax. throw around, but I’ve thrown them a bone or two over the years. Plus, I’ve got veins a blind man could • My fictional alter ego is...Richard Swinger, the intersee. Those nurses are in and out every time I donate. pretive/swing dance prodigy. • My fictional alter ego is…Dyan Cannon. If you don’t • I would rather swim with sharks than...face off against a Midshipman in an interpretive dance know her, trust me: she’s got a shape to her. competition. • I would rather swim with sharks than…listen to the • When I’m not playing croquet, I am...trying and failnew Beyoncé album. I know, I’m such a hater. ing to communicate with various wildlife through • When I’m not playing croquet, I…work on my Kevin speech and interpretive dance. Spacey impression. • The Naval Academy is...where boats go to receive • The Naval Academy is…the well-known and widelya good education, while having some wholesome respected undergraduate college of our country’s fun—and to do some interpretive dance, if time alnaval service. lows.
• I play croquet…for Pope Francis.
• I play croquet...cause if you ain’t playin’ to win, you must be playin’ to lose.
• I play croquet...for the wickets.
• I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for... playing croquet for Pope Francis. • If I could, I would time-travel to…playing croquet for Pope Francis. • Every night before bed I…play croquet for Pope Francis. • The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…Juicy J’s “Bandz”…Sorry, Your Holiness... • If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…the Holy Roman Catholic Church. • My fictional alter ego is…Pope Francis. • I would rather swim with sharks than…not play croquet for Pope Francis. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…play croquet for Pope Francis. • The Naval Academy is…jealous of me playing croquet for Pope Francis.
• I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for… The Imperial Wicket has told me not to speak about that time.
• I’m famous (or infamous) at St. John’s College for… being, quintessentially, a Hell Bitch.
• Every night before bed I…Sorry, I don’t kiss and tell.
• If I could, I would time-travel to…the height of the Roman Republic. #greatestgeneration #odietamo #mostlyamo
• The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…T-Swift, baby!! #NOSHAME
• Every night before bed I…watch How I Met Your Mother.
• If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…a small, boutique knife-making store. They are going back to the roots of the profession, and you probably haven’t heard of them…
• The most embarrassing song on my iPod is…“Ice Ice Baby.” What can I say? He’s a lyrical poet.
• I would rather swim with sharks than…share the gin. • When I’m not playing croquet, I…DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE, I DRINK IT UP!! • The Naval Academy is…made of Building (courtesy of Ambrose).
• If I had a corporate sponsor, it would be…Starbucks. • My fictional alter ego is…Snow White. • I would rather swim with sharks than…never again go ball in hand. • When I’m not playing croquet, I am…I’m always playing croquet. • The Naval Academy is…Carthage. Delenda est.
!"#$%&$%!#'%()*+%),%$"+%-./%0#1' [Ed. Note: The following article originally appeared in the 1997 Croquet Gadfly.
by John B. Ertle Jr., A’84
he editor of the Gadfly has asked me to write a few words and share some memories of the croquet matches with you, and I am honored to have the opportunity. By way of introduction, let me tell you that, by an official act of the 1984 Student Polity, I have been given the title Imperial Wicket Emeritus, following our dramatic victory at the 1984 match. (I peeled one of our balls through the last wicket and into the stake to end the match. The Middie whose turn was next needed only to hit the stake to win, and he was about five feet away from it on the boundary line.) I need to correct one mistake that has appeared over the years: I was not the first Imperial Wicket. The Croquet Club was actually chartered as the Lawn Tennis, Croquet, and Archery Club by several members of the Class of 1981. (To the best of my knowledge, there was never any lawn tennis or archery equipment.) The founders included John Schiavo (the first Imperial Wicket as we know it), Noel Blyler, David Nau, Matt Hartzell, Evan Canter, and Tim Ficco. Buffy Bowser, Marion Sharp, and the O’Malley sisters, Anne and Kate, were also involved, and the Croquet Club has always had a fair number of women members. I succeeded to the title following John Schiavo’s graduation in 1982 under the divine right of succession afforded to Imperial Wickets. Each Imperial Wicket has had absolute authority to handpick his successor. I played in the first two matches against the Naval Academy, in 1983 and 1984. With the exception of 1992, I have come back every year for the matches. I don’t think any of us who were involved in creating this thing h a d a n y idea
how successful and how wonderful it would become. It started as a lark and is now 15 years old and going strong. That is not to say that I think everything is fine. I think “no drinking” rules, by which participants are forbidden to imbibe until they are through playing their matches, is a complete violation of all that we hold sacred and holy. Seriously, though, the purpose of the croquet match is to create social contact between individuals from two seemingly opposite institutions. Some years there has been too much of an emphasis on winning, which has impeded the social aspects of the game. I also have some nostalgia for the earlier games. We originally played with “backyard” sets, rather than the “tournament” sets currently used. It’s something of a personal preference with regard to comfort level—but, then, I also prefer a car with a stick shift. For the first matches, I wrote up rules that we used (based on local rules), some of which varied from the official United I don’t think any of us who States Croquet Association rules that have since been adopted. However, were involved in creating seeing as the record stands at 11-3 in this thing had any idea our favor, I guess we don’t really need to invite the Middies over to come how successful and how wonderful it would beplay by our rules. On the subject of the match’s ori- come. It started as a lark gins, there is no truth to the rumor that someone (either a Johnnie or a and is still going strong. Middie, depending on the version) was killed in a bar fight, which evolved into the Little Campus sponsoring the croquet match as a way to resolve disputes civilly. Nevertheless, the Academy’s sponsorship was essential in obtaining the trophy and storing it between matches. Kevin Heyburn (A’86) is the one who deserves full credit for the croquet match, since he was the one who set the whole thing up. Before that, the Croquet Club had no formal membership other than the Imperial Wicket, and all meetings were strictly on a pickup basis. The first year, the Middies had no idea what to expect. They merely accepted a challenge based on their “can do” attitude, and we completely demolished them. In fact, it got so bad that Drew Parker (A’83) and I were fighting against each other to be rover. All three of our players were done before any of the Middies had gotten even halfway. After that, the Middies were better prepared, but it is clear that they cannot hold a mallet to us. It is very difficult to have an institutional memory where every four years you are supposed to have a completely new group of people, so I am happy and proud that the croquet match has survived and prospered over the years. Go St. John’s! Beat Navy! !
2%34567+$%8#)*7 by Drew Menzer, ‘13
The sea may barrage The Johnnie castle today, but it shan’t break it.
Before Croquet, before the Program, St. John’s College had a different foe: Johns Hopkins University, with whom the men of St. John’s played an annual high-stakes football game. Yet what happened on the gridiron is not as interesting as what took place off it. [Editor’s Note: The annual football game between St. John’s and Johns Hopkins drew a crowd of 5,000— and inspired many machinations between the two schools. What follows is the account of a particular incident in 1931, when 150 Hopkins men launched an assault on the St. John’s campus. This version of events, lightly revised, originally appeared in the 1932 St. John’s College yearbook, the Rat-Tat.]
ended the first scrimmage of modern history. The fall of 1929 was rather quiet. The freshman patrols had but one encounter with the Blue Jays from Baltimore, who had their wings clipped and left town at a speed little less than that achieved by aeroplanes. Too bad one of the patrol had to mess up that nice big Cord’s [a model of car] paint job, so reaching a point at the junction of King George Street and College Avenue the men from Hopkins turned their nice new Cord about and, in a shower of sticks, stones, and other missiles, took their way hastily out of town.
cells crowded, water running through bars. “Nice men-—.” “Yeah, I haven’t had anything to eat—.” “Six seventy-five, the bums.” “Gonna appeal it—.” “The game—year, I’m taking her-—.” “So long—.” [By 1934, the October encounter had become the stuff of legend. The following recounting, slightly amended, appeared in that year’s Rat-Tat.]
ust when the ancient and honored custom of he pre-game rivalry between Hopkins and St. paying each other “painted” compliments, John’s has always been as spirited as the game previous to the Hopkins game, began, no one itself. These fraternal festivities have taken many seems to know. In all probability back in the shadforms. According to custom, each college used to ow eighties [1880s] a buggy load of the boys did a opkins is in town, 200 strong. Thus opened construct a fortress during the week before the little decorating on one of the campuses. Just to the evening of Thursday, October 22, 1931. big game; the idea was then instituted to wreak brighten things up, there was prompt retaliation, Ten o’clock came and passed uneventfully—almost. havoc on the enemy’s campus while guarding the and so began the series of scrimmages that have Down College Avenue from the Governor’s Man- home grounds. At St. John’s, the annual bonfire racked the two institutions throughout the years, sion came the hosts of Hopkins, 150 strong, lighted and “snake dance” were established as regular preculminating in the grand finale torches casting weird shadows game features, and it became the goal of the Hopof the fall of 1931. on the walls of old Crabtown, kins undergraduates to light the bonfire before the The crush of bodies, a We shall begin the modern paint buckets swinging. There scheduled time. history of these illustrious wars smack of fist hitting flesh, came cries of “Here they come, But in the fall of 1931, things got out of hand. Sevin the fall of 1928. In this year muffled cries, the thrashhere they come.” Swiftly, the eral enthusiastic but misdirected freshmen from St. the Rats [the nickname at the College Avenue and St. John’s John’s raided the Hopkins campus one dark night ing of wrestlers. time for St. John’s freshmen] Street patrols gathered at the and painted up as many buildings as possible with were assigned their posts as corner of College Avenue and black and orange paint. On the Thursday night bepickets about the campus as usual. With the toll- St. John’s Street, where they formed a thin line. fore the game, Hopkins stormed the college caming of midnight there sped into town an old Dodge. One of their number hurried to the bell in Mc- pus 150 strong to retaliate, but the St. John’s men The occupants were unknown but the redoubtable Dowell Hall. The hosts of Hopkins hurried on- were ready for them. All during the week, as had Cross [Harold E. Cross, class of 1929, later a cap- ward, closer, ever closer—“No further,” came the been the annual custom, members of the freshman tain in the U.S. Navy] sensed that they were Hop- cry; a pause—eyes staring, fingers stirring nerv- class were on guard at strategic points around the kins men. When the car reached the gym, a series ously on club handles, silence; the torches’ ruddy campus. At the moment the Hopkins men burst of yells greeted the patrol on duty there; the yells flames swirl in the night; will the bell never ring?; into town, the famous old bell in McDowell Hall were answered with stones, sticks, and tin cans. that one in the orange sweater—a clang, a move- tolled, and the entire student body was called onto After this exchange of compliments, the patrol ment, a club falls, one of the patrol down, a rushing the campus. 300 St. John’s men gathered to repel under Cross pursued the car through town, finally across the campus; men, men; the patrol struggles, the invaders. cornering it in a blind alley near the Naval Acade- breaks, but the Johnnies were there. The crush of Although the offense was perfectly planned and my Chapel. When the occupants surrendered, they bodies, a smack of fist hitting flesh, muffled cries, executed, the St. John’s men made short work of proved to be four in number, and were promptly the thrashing of wrestlers. They break, the hosts of the brave Hopkins men, who were quickly driven escorted to the Campus. Hopkins roll back up the street; at the back of the back to Church Circle. On returning to the college, At this point the prisoners announced that they Governor’s Mansion, the fightthe St. John’s men found the were hungry, and, as a result, dog biscuits were ing ceases. The Johnnies come members of the Water Witch supplied in quantity quite sufficient to satisfy the back and line up on the corner, One brave St. John’s man Fire Company calmly connectpangs of the starving. After relieving their hunger, the men from Hopkins follow, gave a war whoop and ing their hoses and aiming them the prisoners on bended knee begged to be released. forming on the other side of the charged. The entire stuat the victorious Johnnies. The This sort of sentiment was frowned on by the Rats, street near the mayor’s house. first stream of water sent the and after a series of prayers for a St. John’s vic- The police are there, blue uni- dent body followed. student body back to the high tory, the prisoners were allowed to paint their car forms here and there over the spot on campus. With the shock orange and black; following this they were street. Officious orders. The mayor is saying some- of the first attack wearing off, the absurdity of the escorted to bed by some fifteen Rats. thing, “Murder to cross—.” “Better leave—Balti- local firemen interfering in a fair scrap suddenly Promptly at 7 AM the prisoners more.” The crowd begins to disperse slowly, the inspired one brave St. John’s man, who gave a war were routed out of bed and tak- mayor has gone. There is a fire siren down the whoop and charged the firemen. The entire stuen to the dining hall, street, the gleaming paint of the City’s pride; hoses dent body followed. where they publicly and hydrants, water hisses through the leaves— The next few minutes were among the most prayed for a rolls noisily down the gutter: “I’m wet; what the amusing in St. John’s’ entire history. The members Jo h n n i e hell are they doing here?” Men streaming up of the fire brigade were scattered all over town. victory. Afthe lawn. “They are following-—.” “Let ‘em.” Their hoses were taken from them, and they were ter their Men taking off their shirts, men crouching, a drenched with the high-pressure streams of water picconfused murmur, white figures in the black that they had been directing toward the student tures night, running low, the hiss of water over body just few minutes before. Johnnies hijacked were bare backs, smacks of water full on; a few the Water Witch Fire Truck; bedlam broke loose. takblows, the hose changes hands, wet fireThe Annapolis police, in all their majesty, drove en, men running, a loose nozzle swaying in up and began picking up every student they saw on the street like an angry snake, policemen the streets, even those merely exiting local empohurrying away. A lone fire engine, only one riums. They herded them into four small cells in hose, gleaming bodies straining the antiquated police station on Duke of Gloucesin the lamp light, a tear and free ter Street. 33 men were taken in, of which about the gushing of water from the hy- ten were from Hopkins. In small cells, unable even Rats aldrant. Laughter—nervous to sit, the prisoners were kept all night and treated lowed cries and protests. “No I am abominably. The next day charges were drawn. t h e going—Baltimore.” The clang of a police President Gordon [Douglas Huntly Gordon, thenpriswagon, “Get in—none of your lip—see how you like president of St. John’s] took the matter in his own oners to this.” “But I tell you I have nothing--.” The wagon hands. In two days’ time, he had the fines returned take themis gone, irate justice at work. Prisoners, names, a and justice established. The seemingly dire matter selves to Baltihectic night, breakfast, and pictures. Childish thus ended well, though the frantic memories remore. Thus officials in court, more irate justice at work, the main. !