For Love of the Pigskin

For a few Kirkland boys, the idea of suiting up in pads, attending time-consuming practices and losing to Yale for three years in a row just to play a good old-fashioned game of football is simply out of the question. And since intramural touch football games tend to attract those ‘less familiar’ with the sport, Nick D. Zeitlin ’02 and his off-campus chum Brandon K. Gutman ’02, are adding a litle Harvard power to a local Boston fooball league.

After becoming a local legend on his high school football league, Zeitlin found that “no one really knew what they were doing” in most of the on-campus football games. Gutman, who played football for Harvard during his freshman year, agrees, “We used to be total bad asses [in high school] All State, Final Four, college recruits, you name it.” The two decided to join the league when they realized that “now we’re fat, slow, and 1-2 in a Boston flag football league. The other ‘men’ on my team are hardly men at all. We look like men, but I don’t think you could really call us men.”

Gutman has gotten all of his off-campus roomates to join the league as well, though their commitment to the tougher side of the sport is a bit shaky. “Sometimes the games are early,” says Gutman, “we don’t go to those. It’s tough. Sure we don’t have spring ball, film sessions, mandatory workouts or even practice, but we’re playing for the love of the game.”

Zeitlin and Gutman both agree that the league provides a nice contrast to Harvard competitiveness; although some teams are highly committed, all can participate without having making the league their first priority. “The other teams take it pretty seriously, [but for me] it’s the only thing I do all year that’s not all Harvard people or Harvard organized,” Zeitlin says. Other members of the league are mostly men in their mid-20s who played football in high school or college and want to “relive their glory days,” as Zeitlin puts it. Statistics are posted on the web at

Even if Gutman and Zeitlin don’t have uniforms or go to weekday practices and early games, they do have what it takes to win. Last Sunday’s rally proved that with a score of 24-20.