The Yale Law Journal

Yale Law Journal Football Remains Undefeated Against Penn, Columbia, and Harvard Law Reviews

Jeff Lee
06 Apr 2010

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—In the end, they had only Geno's cheesesteaks to console themselves with. 

Entering the 2010 Bluebook Invitational with the homefield advantage, the Penn Law Review fielded a team determined to seize their first title.  In its opening match against The Yale Law Journal, the Penn players put up a gutsy effort, repeatedly tying the game through the first three quarters.  The Journal rallied with successive touchdowns by Eli Best (Articles Editor, '11), Jim Ligtenberg (Executive Editor, '10), and Jake Kling (Projects Editor, '10), whose endzone pirouette brought bystanders to their feet.  History was made as Yale's offense, led by quarterback Benjamin Taibleson (Editor-in-Chief, '10), avenged the injury of star player Yaw Anim (Projects Editor, '10) to punch a ticket to the championship round with a final score of 35-28.  

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Left: The Penn Law Review demonstrates the futility of tackling Eli Best (Articles Editor, '11) in a flag football game. Holding up the offense are Cameron Kistler (Notes Editor, '11),
Ben Taibleson (Editor-in-Chief, '10), and Jake Kling (Senior Editor, '10).
Center: Sophie Hood (Projects Editor, '11) and Coach Stephen Gikow (Projects Editor, '11) demolish the Penn Law Review.
Right: Yaw Anim (Projects Editor, '10) and Scott Hartman (Notes Editor, '10) ready for the next play.

With Penn winning its consolation match against bottom-seeded Harvard, the Journal fired on all cylinders in its faceoff against the Columbia Law Review—a physical team renowned for its air attack.  Stephen Gikow (Projects Editor, '11), who made his debut as the Journal's coach for the coming season with the retirement of Sam Berger (Projects Editor, '10), sparked the team to life after a listless first half—earning him unfettered praise from Joshua Geltzer (Editor-in-Chief, '11), who dubbed him "a true leader at every step."  Led by Scott Hartman (Notes Editor, '10), termed a "bruising force of nature" by friend and foe alike, the Journal's defense held Columbia scoreless on seven consecutive possessions; a taste of the future came from Brad Tennis (Managing Online Editor, '11), Sophie Hood (Projects Editor, '11), and Gabrielle Holburt (YLJ Online Editor, '11), who snagged countless interceptions throughout the tournament, as well as Cameron Kistler (Notes Editor, '11) on the offensive line.  Kling, who sealed the crucial victory against Penn, continued to deliver a spectacular offense despite a fractured finger that may end his career as a classical concert pianist.  With Anim also coming off the sidelines to play on a sprained ankle, Yale crushed Columbia 30-14 to take the 2010 title.  

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Left: The bench waits for the final verdict...
Center: Shades of blue in Columbia v. Yale.
Right: Theresa Lee (Senior Editor, '10), Cameron Kistler (Notes Editor, '11), Sam Berger (Project Editor, '10), Jake Kling (Projects Editor, '10)
cluster around quarterback Ben Taibleson (Editor-in-Chief, '10) as Eli Best (Articles Editor, '11) readies himself.

The Journal defended its monopoly over the championship trophy with a veteran (and undefeated) team, led by Benjamin Taibleson and Jim Ligtenberg, who played continuously on both offense and defense, as well as returning champions Jake Kling, Sam Berger, and Yaw Anim.  Also returning to the veteran lineup were Theresa Lee (Senior Editor, '10), Aaron Zelinsky (Articles Editor, '10), and Scott Hartman, all of whom were instrumental to the fall victory over Harvard.  Despite the loss of the eleven 3Ls from the squad, the phenomenal play of the rising class gave spectators no reason to doubt the continuation of the storied New Haven dynasty.

The Yale Law Journal won the first Bluebook Invitational in 2007 with a combined score of 56-18 (also against Penn and Columbia), and has continuously defended its title since then.  The Journal will continue its season this fall with the annual match against the Harvard Law Review in Cambridge, where it will aim to extend its winning streak against the latter periodical to an unprecedented eighth consecutive year.

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Left: Grant Martinez (Comments Editor, '10), Theresa Lee (Senior Editor, '10), Sam Berger (Projects Editor, '10), Jim Ligtenberg (Executive Editor, '10), Ben Taibleson (Editor-in-Chief, '10), Scott Hartman (Notes Editor, '10), Aaron Zelinsky (Articles Editor, '10), Jake Kling (Projects Editor, '10), Yaw Anim (Projects Editor, '10), Jeff Lee (Managing Online Editor, '10), and Karen Grohman (Executive Bluebook Editor, '10) defend the Bluebook Invitational title. David Morrell (Editor, '10) will also be missed.
Center: Down to the wire in the opening match, Yaw Anim (Projects Editor, '10) takes stock of the situation.
Right: Tasked with continuing the dynasty, the Volume 120 class of Joshua Geltzer (Editor-in-Chief, '11), Avi Brudner (Senior Editor, '11), Gabrielle Holburt (YLJ Online Editor, '11), Christine Ku (Managing Editor, '11), Stephen Gikow (Projects Editor, '11), Cameron Kistler (Notes Editor, '11), Eli Best (Articles Editor, '11), Brad Tennis (Managing Online Editor, '11), and Sophie Hood (Projects Editor, '11) will form the core of the next generation.

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Benjamin Taibleson (Editor-in-Chief, '10) congratulates the Journal on its successful defense of the Bluebook trophy with
Scott Hartman (Notes Editor, '10), Gabrielle Holburt (YLJ Online Editor, '11), and Aaron Zelinsky (Articles Editor, '10).
Center:  Jim Ligtenberg (Executive Editor, '10) capped an all-star career by playing on both offense and defense in both games.
Right: Sophie Hood (Projects Editor, '11), Jeff Lee (Managing Online Editor, '10), and Scott Hartman (Notes Editor, '10) anchor the defense.

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Left: Brad Tennis (Managing Online Editor, '11) takes control of the ball—and the momentum against Penn
Center: Yaw Anim (Projects Editor, '10) is taken off the field.
Right: Ben Taibleson (Editor-in-Chief, '10) runs a critical interception back for the win.

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Left: Scott Hartman (Notes Editor, '10) goes into one-on-one battle while Jim Ligtenberg (Executive Editor, '10) reaches to block a pass.
Right: Stephen Gikow (Projects Editor, '11), Jim Ligtenberg (Executive Editor, '10), Yaw Anim (Projects Editor, '10), and
Scott Hartman (Notes Editor, '10) in action against Penn.