Saturday wasn't so hot to begin with, but for the four (pardon the repetition) Dartmouth teams that traveled to Cambridge, it was colder than that. Four made the journey, four lost--if you don't believe me then check out the rest of this page--and one turned greener than usual.
The Green Dartmouth racquetmen, though, shouldn't have been too upset about losing to Harvard 9-0, because thus far everyone has lost to the Crimson by that greatest of margins.
So the score itself is old news, as is the fact that seven of the nine matches were 3-0 affairs (that's 108 for 113 this season, folks).
The new news: the vanquishing took place without number one man Mike DeSaulniers, who was playing in the North American Championships in Philadelphia, and with brand new shirts and shorts, courtesy of Paul Sullivan, Harvard alumnus turned clothing entrepreneur.
DeSaulnier's departure meant that everyone moved up one notch on the ladder, a mass movement which affected the final score as much as Henry Wallace's Progressive Party did the outcome of the 1948 presidential election.
Bill Kaplan thus played numero uno, bringing back memories of '75, Mark Panarese numero dos and so on down the line. And so on down the line the final scores were all the same, 3-0, with a few notable exceptions near the end that at least broke up the monotony.
Clancy Nixon, playing seven, was one of those exceptions. Nixon lost his first game of the year, but not his analytical ability. "Dartmouth didn't use too much stuff," Nixon said last night. "They tried to wear us out with hard shots, but you don't win that way."
And neither did Dartmouth, a fact which surprised absolutely no one. Harvard, you see, team members' semi-denials to the contrary, is good. As in GOOD.
But no one wants to say just how good until February 5 at Princeton, when the Crimson plays its only match this season. Everything is hush-hush till then (you can't mention no-hitter until after the final out, if you know what I mean) but it's no secret that against the Green the Crimson was sporting a new look.
In the past, each of the players would wear an alligator of a different color, but Sullivan's generosity produced a uniform appearance which, appropriately enough, was either a blazing red or a not so blazing red, depending on whether you were an odd or an even.
About such things does one worry when victory is assured, which it is for the season unless the Tigers say otherwise. That's February 5 in Princeton. Happy reading period.