With the rumors about an Al-Nassr contract still up in the air, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo could still remain a free agent. I don’t blame the guy for staying uncommitted at this point. The World Cup was supposed to allow him to demonstrate his skills to potential clubs, but all it did was show off how good he looks on a bench and how good he looks playing chess. Now that Portugal is out of the World Cup, Ronaldo has even more time to think about what he wants from life.
Alas, I propose a solution–a controversial one at that. Penn should sign a contract with Ronaldo to join our slightly above average University. Here are the top five reasons why:
1. What else are we going to do with the money?
I mean seriously, though. We have an endowment of $20.7 billion dollars. If we don’t blow this money on a contract for Ronaldo, what else do you think the University Administration will spend it on? I’ll tell you: a new building. And what will be more memorable when telling stories to your grandkids (who at this rate will also go to Penn): “I was at Penn when they announced the strategic plan for the Musk Center for Money Laundering” OR “I was at Penn when we had Ronaldo?” Also, there is no more space for a new building anyway. If Penn does build that Musk Center, imagine how far away it’ll be. Do you really want to burden future Quakers with having to cross five streets just to get to ECON 0100 (or whatever it’s called after its 20 renames)? I think not.
2. We will finally win at something.
I think this point has been made sufficiently well already by the DP’s Sports Column.
3. People will recognize Penn.
Look, the hard pill to swallow is this–being an Ivy League does nothing for the prestige of Penn. If we are truly an Ivy, then how come every Thanksgiving your extended family asks you, “how is Penn State?” and you then calculate whether it is worth explaining the difference between Penn and Penn State or just replying, “it’s great.” If being an Ivy is not going to distinguish us from Penn State, nothing will.
Okay, I lied, Ronaldo will. He can transfer his star quality from the Premier League to the Ivy League. Having Ronaldo at Penn is the last hope at finally being seen as a separate school. Next Thanksgiving, your extended family will ask you, “how is it at the school with Ronaldo? I bet it’s not a very academically rigorous school, since they are willing to spend so much money on frivolous sports contracts.” And they won’t think you go to an Ivy League, but at least they won’t think you go to Penn State.
4. We need this, badly.
Brown has the open curriculum; Columbia has New York City; Harvard, Yale, and Princeton have the fact that they are Harvard, Yale, and Princeton; and almost everyone has grade inflation. What does Penn have going for it? We can’t keep answering this question with, “at least we are not Cornell.” We need to for once feel good about the school we go to. If Penn gets Ronaldo, Penn students will finally feel school pride, if that is even possible. If students are ever going to feel proud that they go to Penn, Ronaldo is the best shot at making this happen. Ronaldo will give us the self-respect we deserve (and he can get his own self-respect back as well).
5. People will show up to Penn games.
Right now, Penn sports has two types of fans: parents and alumni. There is no better way to say this, but if you want students to actually show up to games, Ronaldo is your only hope. Nobody cares about being a Fighting Quaker, what people want is to scream “SIUUU” at games. And if the Quakers get good, people might finally start using that stupid discount Papa Johns keeps sending us. All Penn needs to do is play schools that are worse than Morocco and South Korea.