The 70,000-plus fans in the Yale Bowl for this year's Harvard-Yale game are not alone: across the nation, alumni from both schools will watch The Game via satellite in celebrations organized by local Harvard and Yale clubs.
From a radio station in Maryland to the National Bank of Alaska, and from a beach in Florida to a horseracing track in Southern California, more than 15,000 alumni and friends will tune into the Ivy Satellite Network.
The cable channel, founded four years ago by a former Harvard football player and financed by a Boston television mogul, is broadcasting The Game to 32 cities. Saturday's action will be relayed to public television studios in Hartford, and from there transmitted to a satellite 23,000 miles above the country, according to a Connecticut Public Television official.
Those images will then ricochet to receiving dishes at Harvard and Yale clubs nationwide, although individual cable buffs with the right system could pick it up as well.
After the event, the network will shut its broadcast operations down until the 101th game, because the satellite system is little more than an entertaining second business for a small group of Boston-area men.
In Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Denver. The Game will be broadcast live. In 29 other cities in 18 different states and four time zones (see map) Harvard and Yale football will be seen on delayed broadcast.
Boston television personalities Bob Lobel and William Coughlin will provide commentary along with Brian Dowling (Yale '69) and Vic Gatto '69.
Both Dowling and Gatto played in the historic 1969 Game, in which Harvard tied Yale 29-29 in a stunning come-from-behind effort. Dowling was starting quarterback for the Yale team. Gatto was a running back for Harvard.
Though this is the network's fourth consecutive Harvard-Yale broadcast, the 100th Game has sparked an increase in interest. The subscription of this year's 33 cities is a record.
Last year, less than 4000 fans in 21 cities tuned into The Game, says Thomas Stemberg '71, the network's founder.
In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, former Harvard Club President Rod Hardy '60 says interest in The Game has been "absolutely amazing"
"We're expecting more than 200 viewers." Hardy explains, attributing the response to a recent mailing. "The Yale fans have already ordered special pennants and banners and plan to come dressed in the school colors."
Though marked by a uniformly high level of enthusiasm, the celebrations have markedly different characters, based upon locality.
In balmy Naples, Florida, the fourth consecutive year of parties for The Game has a distinctly warm-weather ambiance.
Harvard Club of Naples President Thomas E. Ingram '56 says the upcoming game will be a "big hoodoo."
Ingram says his club is planning one of the largest celebrations, expecting nearly 200 Yale-alums and 160 Harvard grads. But while Ingram says spirit and the temperature will be high, he adds that interest may wane if one side seems to be losing badly.
Last year, Ingram says, "the Elis all began to lose interest in the third period. They wandered down to the palm trees near the beach with their martinis and spent the second half of the game watching the pelicans."
In Alaska temperatures are expected to be below freezing with a foot of snow on the ground when Harvard and Yale aluminum gather at the National Bank of Alaska for a brunch open for and The Game.
Thick woolen varsity sweaters will abound, says Howard S. Reed '49. President of the Harvard Club of Alaska Alumni there he adds are making up for their isolated location by having five programs and other Game souvenirs flown to them by Federal Express in time for the broadcast.
In Maryland, more than 100 graduates will huddle in a local radio station studio where a giant satellite receiver is already in place to receive signals
And in California, facilities at Holywood Park, a Los Angeles horse racing track will be set aside for a gala football viewing.
In Alabama, Ann Heldman '60, says the group plans to "take over the bar" of a major Birmingham hotel "and not leave until the bitter end."
Organizers of the Harvard-Yale party in Colorado are a bit more relaxed. "It will probably be a quiet event," says Rocky Mountain Harvard Club President D. Bruce Ellsworth '48. "People will watch the game, eat a bit, drink a bit, and then leave," he adds.
The calmest alumni of all, however, appear to live in Hawatt There according to Hawatt Harvard Club President Charles Keever. The Game won't be seen at all
"We'll be going to the beach," he explains
Where The Game will be seen
Las Vegas NV
New Orleans LA
Kansas City MO
San Francisco CA
Los Angeles, CA
San Diego, CA
St Louis, MO
Cleveland OH (.)
Denver CO (.)
Washington DC (.)
Note (*) denotes live broadcast