Monday, December 16, 2013

Ivy League Wilt

As I was watching Jason Garrett--a Princeton University graduate--be thoroughly out-coached yesterday by Mike McCarthy--a graduate of Baker University (1,000,000 trivia points if you can name where that school is located*) yesterday, I started thinking about how grossly overrated an Ivy League education is nowadays.

Consider our list of recent Presidents--none of whom will be considered for addition to Mount Rushmore.  George HW Bush went to Yale.  Bill Clinton went to Yale Law School (after attending Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship).  George W Bush graduated from Yale AND got an MBA from Harvard Business School.  And Barack Obama is also an Ivy League double-dipper, graduating from Columbia and Harvard Law.  President Obama even TAUGHT at Harvard Law (if by "taught" you mean writing your first of two memoirs before the age of 45)--which would lead you to believe that he is even smarter than the students attending that university.

And yet, there seemed to be a lot missing from their Ivy League educations.  In the case of the elder Bush it was keeping promises ("Read my lips, no new taxes").  For President Clinton it was proper inter-personal employee relationships.  For the junior Bush it was international diplomacy.  And for our current President, it has been Economics 101--along with website design and rollout.

Contrast that with the far more sucessful presidencies of Ronald Reagan--who attended Eureka College--or Harry S Truman--who will likely be the last President to never graduate from college. (Settle down Scott Walker supporters)  And consider the next crop of "frontrunners" for 2016.  Hillary Clinton went to Wellesley ("Harvard for women") and Yale Law.  Joe Biden went to Syracuse.  Chris Christie Monmouth and Rutgers--while Paul Ryan attended Miami of Ohio and American U.

Which brings me back to Sunday.  When it was so obvious to the entire world that the Dallas Cowboys just had to continue running the football in the second half--having averaged five yards per carry for the game--to hold onto their lead that even Indiana University graduate Joe Buck and "Captain Obvious" Troy Aikman who went to Oklahoma and UCLA kept wondering why Ivy Leaguer Jason Garrett couldn't figure that out.  Successful Strategies of Professional Football apparently isn't in the course catalog at Princeton.

*--Baker University is in Baldwin, Kansas

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