Big Game, Small World
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E I G H T E E N : Philadelphia
PHOTO BY: AL TIELEMANSAs an undergradute at Princeton I grew to love the Palestra, that old arena on the fringe of the Penn campus. I’d regularly take road trips down for the games between the Ivy League’s two elite teams. But I found myself sneaking off to Philadelphia even when my own school wasn’t a party to the doubleheaders that still filled the place on chilly evenings. As manufactured rivalries between members of the arriviste Big East began elbowing Big Five matchups out of the spotlight, I hoped fervently for a Palestra renaissance. So it was that, when I swung through the building for the book, I stumbled upon a game for the ages.

Several years ago Penn turned the building’s old concourses into a museum worthy of the place. Here Quaker athletic director Steve Bilsky poses alongside some of the many images on display from the Palestra’s past.


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