If the members of Harvard's Government Department could manipulate a football as well as they do rhetoric, they would not have suffered an 18-0 defeat at the hands of Yale's Political Science department at their 2nd annual touch football game Saturday.
Not ten minutes had passed before Harvard's political theorists had proclaimed the debacle a "moral victory" for the Crimson.
'Organized and Spirited'
"Yale was more organized and more spirited," Harvard grad student Bob Kraynak explained yesterday. "But most of all, they were more obnoxious."
In a feeble strategic effort, Yale's coach and professor Douglas Ray had sent Harvard's governmental gridders the most circuitous directions to their New Haven battlefield. Then, at the last minute, he switched the field on which they were to "play."
And when the Crimson finally found that new field, a large and hostile crowd awaited them with cheerleaders and banners sporting such clever slogans as "James Q. Who?"
Mini SALT Talks
The Eli intellectuals greeted their now-tardied Harvardian collegues not with handshakes but with negotiations over rules and warnings that the game would begin promptly in five minutes.
Yale benignly neglected the facts that one of the Crimson gridders had had a car accident, and that their quarterback was lost. The Elis, who had been practicing since last spring, had played several exhibition games to prove whatever it is that Yalies always feel they have to prove.
So, as tailgating Game-goers slowly encircled the 80-foot gridiron, the hungry Elis ate up the Crimson defense, passing for three touchdowns and victory by any means.
The Crimson fireplug and Russian refugee, defensive lineman Eugene Demchenko, roused the Yale bench with his enthusiastic participation. More than once, self-appointed vigilante Doug Ray spurted onto the field fists clenched at the bewildered Russian, only o be dragged off again by his embarrased compatriots who were anxious to preserve detente.
But the guided missiles of disarmament expert John Steinbruner, the spectacular catches of Kraynak and Bill Kristol '73, the last-minute strategies of Professor Graham Allison '62, author of Essence of Decision, and the gutsy officiating of Harvard department head Professor Harvey C. Mansfield Jr. '53, could not help the impotent Crimson offense.
Former Professor Patrick Moynihan, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who searched in vain for the government department game in his chauffer-driven black Cadillac limousine, consoled the defeated Harvardians with champagne and smoked salmon later that afternoon. But Harvard's Government department cannot drink away the defeat to which they are so unaccustomed.
Coach and Professor James Q. Wilson drove back to Cambridge Saturday evening, out of uniform and back into horn rims. But as he speeded, as highway night lights streaked across him, Wilson was not thinking about crime or bureaucracy or any mean intellectual pursuit.
In the cold, reflective silence, you can rest assured that Wilson was grappling with a much more important problem: a game strategy which would not defeat, but humiliate Yale next year.