Dude, Where’s My Trophy? Part II: Water Turns To Whine
The trophy debate rages on: it’s all kicking off in the wonderful world of water polo.
On the eve of their Varsity match, the Oxford Water Polo team rocked the boat by starting a war of words with their Cambridge counterparts.
Last week The Tab reported the theft of the Varsity trophy by the Oxford team after their loss to Cambridge last year. But in an article in Oxford student rag Cherwell, Oxford player Nick Worsley made waves with claims that they acted to protect the trophy.
He also alleged that the “boring and isolationist” Cambridge team broke the base off the trophy after partying too hard in Revs, and left the top half behind.
His defence was that he and his team-mates made a dive for the trophy to keep it away from the “thieving Tabs”. In order to hang on to the trophy – which he says is worth £1000 – they chained it to the women’s vice-captain.
On their return to Oxford Worsley claimed that the trophy “begged not to be returned to Cambridge” but wanted to see the world.
The trophy, here shown chained, “begged not to be returned”
OUWPC treasurer Imogen Pierce pitched in to say she was left all at sea by “the negligence of the Cambridge team in giving the trophy up so easily” and claimed they were awaiting the return of an OUWPC hat worth £18.95. Had the trophy merely been a ransom?
On hearing Worsley’s allegations, Cambridge captain Dan Woolcott replied: “this ‘thieving tabs’ thing has been taken totally out of proportion – have they forgotten who stole the trophy?”
He refused to believe that the trophy begged to stay away from Cambridge, and spoke of the “rampant lunacy amongst Oxford students… being so driven to despair that they heard the trophy speak to them makes me question their attachment to reality.”
Asked about the missing OUWPC hat, Woolcott admitted he was “conscious that £18.95 is a lot of money for a second rate university” but wished to distance the team from “Oxford’s inability to hang on to their possessions.”
Not happy with being labelled “boring and isolationist”, the Girtonian claimed they were “too busy being winners to thank them for returning it; trust Oxford to obsess over something like that. They just wanted acknowledgement from the better team. It’s understandable.”
Another member of the team added: “Having met the women’s vice-captain, I can assure you the trophy would have had to be chained to her against its will.
“Using a chain speaks deeply of Oxford’s neurosis about the best things running away to Cambridge – it’s basically shaped their history as the third best university in the country (not forgetting Hull, of course)”
Stephen Fry puts Oxford in their place
Woolcott, who played with Worsley in London, said of his Oxford counterpart: “It’s disappointing to see the great Nick ‘Worsel’ Worsley, once a half-decent water polo player and man of integrity, buy into the lies and perfidious ways of OUWPC. We had come to expect better than self-indulged slander against his betters.”
The rivalries will reach a peak today when the teams meet in Oxford to compete for the now-infamous trophy.