What Can You Do But Sigh?

Savoir-Faire's Last Home Game

So as not to upset any of the powers that spend their working hours on the ground floor of Mass Hall, a building, incidentally, where I first encountered McNabb and Towne--it is incumbent upon me, in the best tradition of one full course in each of the three major areas, to mention President Bok in this week's football column.

The latter, as those of you who follow the weekly Cube Predix surely know, was last week's guest selector. One of the conditions by which he agreed to make his picks public was that in the event of a perfect score, which is to say 4-0, I would mention his name in this week's column.

Well, if the truth is to be revealed, President Bok did not go 4-0 last week. He did, however, manage a 3-1 showing, which is nothing to scoff at, especially when, as he admitted, "I have to pick Harvard." That's funny, so do I.

In any event, I told him that his Harvard pick notwithstanding, there was little chance of him going even 3-1, as one of his selections, Penn over Princeton, differed from mine, and would thus be incorrect.

President Bok refused to budge, though, and said that Princeton would have the same disadvantage against Penn the Crimson had had against the Tigers. They just wouldn't be psyched.

The Quakers then took the field and proved his foresight to be accurate, and as a result, President Bok can now add yet another notch to his record: like God and my mother, he's made this column.

Oh well. Such is life when the preceding weekend has witnessed your worst prediction showing of the year, your career record has dropped below the .800 mark, and you realize that a few hours from now you'll never have a Harvard home football game to look forward to as an undergraduate.

Someone once told me, though, that it was better to look forward than backward, which brings us to this week's games, the toughest group of contests in memory. Also, my momentum, I'm afraid, has departed, and as a result, an 0-4 showing today is quite possible.

Of course, I never thought I'd get into Harvard, either, so who knows? I'll take 20 on the red, Bill, the following winners, and if I'm right, it's going to be in a very big way. Bang, we're in there:

PENN at HARVARD: First of all, let's get one thing straight: despite what I might write in the next 20 lines, Harvard will win its two remaining contests, Yale and Dartmouth will lose theirs, Brown will beat Dartmouth but lose to Columbia, and the Crimson will solo on top.

As for this game, I REALLY do think Harvard will win. Unlike some of the other Crimson contests this fall, this is not a hometown pick. The Harvard defense will stop the Penn wishbone, and the Quakers, who have beaten Brown and Princeton and are now feeling their oats, will be pushed out of the Ivy picture. Harvard 20, Penn 8 (just like last year), and if I'm wrong again, well, then I'll be wrong again.

YALE at PRINCETON: The Tigers haven't defeated Yale since a year or two before my Bar Mitzvah, and it's about time for some of those $18.75 savings bonds to be cashed in.

About time, that is, but not time yet. The Elis are simply too strong, and while the score might be close, Yale will dominate. Goddammit, I didn't want to write that. Nor this. Yale 16, Princeton 7.

BROWN at DARTMOUTH--I admit it. I haven't the faintest idea. Jake Crouthamel quit as Dartmouth's coach effective next Saturday, so perhaps the Big Green will have an extra incentive. Perhaps not. Brown 21, Dartmouth 17, and only because my father went to Brown.

COLUMBIA at CORNELL--When two teams this bad play, anybody, from Harvard to Penn, could win. I'll pick Columbia, so Cornell will probably triumph. Columbia 31, Cornell 30.

Last week: Two right, two wrong (.500). Ugh.

Season: 29 right, six wrong (.829).

Season minus Harvard games: 26 right, two wrong (.929).

Career: It's below .800 (95-25 [.792]), so I don't want to talk about it. Ahhhhh. What else is there to do but sigh. See you around the campus, sports.