The partisan enthusiam generated by The Game has spilled over into a commercial bonanza for campus entrepreneurs yet again this year, with thought-provoking "Yale Sucks" and "Harvard Sucks" T-shirts leading the pack of paraphernalia.
At the Campus Clothing shop in New Haven, students are also snatching up the latest in Harvard bashing: rolls of toilet paper with "What Harvard means to Yale" printed on them.
"It's all in fun. It gets everybody psyched for The Game," said Mike Wampold, a freshman at Yale. "I don't see anything wrong with it."
April Limbaugh '88 took a more cynical view. "Toilet paper?" she asked. "That's rather silly of them, since we're usually what Yale defines itself against."
But while many Yalies fulfill their patriotic duties by buying toilet paper, apparently many more prefer purchasing what they consider clever T-shirts.
The "Harvard sucks" theme is being taken to new heights, according to Julie Kunen, Yale '90. "T-shirts in imitation of `Hard Rock Cafe' shirts are all over the place," she said. "Instead of `Hard Rock Cafe, New York' they say, "Harvard Sucks Cafe, New Haven"'
But students at Yale can be creative as well as imitative, and other, more profound T-shirt themes abound. Other mottoes include, "It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, it's where you go to school," "They may beat us on the field, We will beat them off," and, "Harvard's the disease, Yale's the Cure."
Students at Harvard, not to be outdone by their rivals to the South, have also gone wild with creativity in expressing their team spirit.
"Yale Swallows" reads one new creation, an apparent reference to Yale's recent sexual identity crisis.
Some of the more obscene merchandise met with little student approval.
"I think it's rude and tasteless," said one freshman who asked not to be identified. "I might get some of that sort of item if it cost nothing."
"It's beautiful. My mom would love it," said another freshman, who also requested anonymity.
T-shirts, of course, are not the only Game items Students can also purchase "Yale sucks" buttons and traditional "Beat Yale" hats, according to Rodney J. Taylor '91, a student vendor who will sell clothing items, banners, and pins at football games.
Another perennial favorite is the "GO TO HELL, YALE" button.
Students, alumni, and even Yale townies seem to find that this motto is just sharp enough to annoy Yalies, but not so obscene that it can't be worn by mother.
"Yeah, I'm wearing my `Go to Hell, Yale' button," said Brendan Williams, a clerk at Campus Clothing. "I'm a townie, and my old man went to Harvard."
The Class of 1991 "Yale Sucks" T-shirts sold by the Freshman Council in the Freshman Union this week have met with widespread approval.
Allen P. Webb '91 says that the shirts sell well because, "They state the simple truth."
"I think the picture [of a Harvard student riding a muzzled Bulldog] on the front is really well done," said one freshman.
"I think they're totally obnoxious, and totally awesome," said Thomas V. Kennedy '91, one of the Freshman Council members selling the shirts.
At Harvard the battle continues on whether anti-Yale items should be sold.
"It is all in spirit of the day. It helps everyone to get pumped for the game, and it's good for to get rowdy for a day," said Taylor.
Heidi K. Hopper '91 disagreed with Taylor and said that although she didn't like the idea of printing negative mottoes on T-shirts and sweatshirts, she didn't mind mild positive statements like "Harvard's better than Yale" or "Beat Yale."
"I don't think [the mottoes] should be negative," she said.
Many shops in Harvard Square who sell traditional items bearing either the Harvard or Yale insignias, are not carrying Game items this year.
Dmitri S. Tragos, manager of J. August Co., said he stocked the store with 48 sweatshirts with the words "The Feud Goes On" printed on them. The shirts picture a Yale bulldog facing off against a Harvard football player.
"They [the shirts] didn't sell well. I don't think the market's that big," said Tragos.