Since Harvard and Yale first met on a football field in 1875, the game of football has gradually degenerated--and that is precisely the word--into a science. There will be little men scattered throughout the Stadium today--some in person and some impressed into newspapers-- who will presume to tell you who is going to win and exactly why and how the result is going to be the way it is going to be.
They are wrong. They are wrong in the first place to think that 50,000 or so rational people would pay $4.80 each to observe operations ass mechanical as those of Mark IV, which can be seen in its cozy sub-mental surroundings about a mile to the north of the Stadium. They are wrong to think that they are any closer to reality than the thousands who will stomp their feet in the Stadium this afternoon and will cry for the ridiculous or the impossible, and will be genuinely disappointed when it does not occur. They are as wrong as the men who run the colleges which buy the best football players to impress the men who are wrong in their first assumptions.
For football is played for those who sit and shiver and shout and stomp in the Stadium of a Saturday afternoon, and the world of the second-guesser and the Monday-morning quarterback and the prognosticator means nothing between 1:30 and 4 p.m. this afternoon.
This is football--an elemental and rather brutal sort of contest which somehow ha captured the fancy of Americans better than any of the other brutal and elemental "sports" which are known. And this is the game, probably above any other, which banishes the evil mechanical men for a couple of hours.
Thus far there has been enough insulation of tradition, scholarship, and social prestige wrapped around the Harvard-Yale game to untangle it from statistics, no matter how weak or strong either of the teams may be. And as long as things stay that way, this will be football in the real sense.