NEW HAVEN, CONN.--The Game, they say, is special.
Nothing is like The Game--that's why out of all of the millions of games played each year in the world, it has earned the honor of being called The Game.
That's why over 57,000 people showed up Saturday in the cold of the Yale Bowl to watch Harvard and Yale face-off for the 102nd time. The largest crowd the Crimson had played in front of this year before Saturday numbered 18,040.
That's why a reporter from Sports Illustrated and three from the Boston Globe sat in the press box.
That's why John H. Norton took the trouble to determine that, with Yale's 17-6 victory this weekend, the Bulldogs now hold a 5-4-1 series advantage in Games played in a year ending in a "5".
But none of these is the reason that Saturday was special for the Harvard gridders.
For the gridders, this year's Game was special because they failed to come back.
Most of the games in Harvard's 1985 season played like a James Bond movie--enough adversity and rough going early to keep the customers happy followed by a spectacular finish which saw the good guys emerge victorious.
Time and time again, a gridder would step forward ("My name is White. Brian White." or "My name is Santiago. Robert Santiago.") and defeat the evil enemy.
At Columbia, a 17-0 third quarter deficit became a 49-17 Crimson laugher. At Cornell, a last-second Rob Steinberg field goal sank the Big Red, 20-17. At Holy Cross, a 41-second, 21-point explosion in the game's waning minutes resurected Harvard to a 28-20 victory.
And on Saturday, the same plot appeared to be playing itself out. Yale dominated play for the first three quarters and took a 17-0 lead into the final frame of the season.
But then our heroes began their much awaited comeback. Starting on its own 15, Harvard put together its best drive of the day, going 85 yards in less than three-and-a-half minutes to bring the score to 17-6.
And even though a White pass to split end Joe Connolly for a two-point conversion failed, the Crimson seemed back on track in its familiar plot.
A force for evil
But a warrior of evil stepped forward with all the determination of a man bent on finally retiring Roger Moore.