Friends don't let friends go to Harvard," reads the back of one t-shirt now for sale in New Haven. Calvin and Hobbes, presumably Yale undergrads, walk off together in smug satisfaction that they have chosen The Right School...or have they?
The Calvin-Hobbes take on fair Harvard is only one of the many t-shirt designs spawned by The Game--a source of healthy, friendly rivalry, an unabashed display of Ivy school spirit, an ancient, legendary tradition, and an occasion for a few especially ambitious and mercenary students to make a small fortune.
As November 20 approaches, the Yale commons, old campus, and mail rooms are overflowing with eager t-shirt vendors. According to one undergrad, the t-shirts are an effective means of perpetuating spirit and advertising the game.
H. Jason Winkler, a student entrepreneur who heads the production of many of the shirts, believes that they are a "funny way to keep up an old rivalry." Other Yalies cynically suggest that it's more of an opportunity for school organizations, fraternities, and individuals to make a quick buck. Whatever the case, many Yalies say that this season's Game t-shirts are selling well in New Haven, despite their disappointment last year.
The designs are numerous and varied--there's something for everyone. Predictably, Yale smut surfaces in designs which depend on "sexual innuendos," explains Winkler. "Huck Farvard," reads one, while another offers the "Top 10 Reasons to go to Yale" (Reason number one: Yale always ends up on "top.") Others shirts are take-offs of popular TV characters like Beavis and Butthead and "Yalie" Kramer of "Seinfeld," who stomps a Crimson helmet.
Those who are new to the Game are also most willing to shell out the cash for a commemorative t-shirt. First-years Mike C. Jung and Bryan M. Prutkin have each chosen the popular Calvin and Hobbes design. Although Elizabeth M. Thomas and her suitemates have not purchased any thus far, they're certainly in the market for chic Gamewear: "They're selling them all over the place and I'm sure we'll all buy one."
Peppy t-shirts can't win the Game, however. Most Yale undergrads admit they are not overly optimistic about this year's team. "We've basically lost every game [this season,]" says Prutkin, although he adds he is still "excited about going." After all, what could be more fun than a weekend dedicated to the philosophy that "basically Harvard [stinks]," Prutkin explains.
For those who just can't decide between the clever "Harvard Swallows" and the hip "Beavis and Butthead" motif, the Yale Co-op offers a tamer, if drier, option--"Yale vs. Harvard, `93." Coop sales staff admit that these are not exactly hot items.
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