Crimson Will Attempt Repeat Title on the Gridiron

Published by Jacob D. H. Feldman on August 08, 2014 at 12:07PM

Coach Tim Murphy will look to win Harvard's 16th Ivy League football title during the 2014 season. The Crimson is projected to finish second in the league, as per the conference's preseason media poll.

Football Talking about football is back.

Tuesday morning, 45 days before the Harvard football team kicks off its season against Holy Cross, the Ivy League released its 2014 Preseason Media Poll and hosted a marathon teleconference with each coach in the conference and select media members. A lot came out of the conversation.

FORMATTING NOTE: To keep things neat, I will include all of the news from the event below. Interspersed will be some of my thoughts in italics. Feel free to skip it. No, read it.


MURPHY'S LAW Coach Tim Murphy will look to win Harvard's 16th Ivy League football title during the 2014 season. The Crimson is projected to finish second in the league, as per the conference's preseason media poll.

Liverpool F.C. Practices at Harvard

Published by Jake Meagher on July 28, 2014 at 7:02PM

Although the Harvard men’s and women’s soccer teams will not be in action for another month, there certainly has not been a shortage of excitement at Ohiri Field this week.

Liverpool Football Club, one of the top teams in the English Premier League, arrived in Boston Monday to kick off its summer tour of the United States. And for the second time in the last three years, the Reds elected to practice at Harvard over the course of their stay.

For much of the week, Liverpool ran both morning and afternoon training sessions at Ohiri. Hundreds of fans lined the gates each day, and many were even treated to autographs and photo opportunities with some of the Reds, including star midfielder Steven Gerrard and forward Daniel Sturridge.

Over the past few years, Liverpool has developed strong ties to the Boston area. In October 2010, the club was sold to Fenway Sports Group, the sports investment company that owns the Boston Red Sox. Since then, John Henry, the owner of the two squads, has been working to generate support for the Reds in Massachusetts.

One of Henry’s initiatives was to bring his new club to the home of his old one. He helped establish the “Football at Fenway” series in 2010 and brought Liverpool to the ballpark for its Boston debut in 2012. The Reds took on A.S. Roma, an Italian Serie A Club, under the lights of Fenway in front of a sold-out crowd of 37,169 fans.

This year, Liverpool opened its American Tour with a rematch against Roma at Fenway Park on July 23. With most of their starters on the bench, the Reds fell, 1-0, but they will have several more chances to pick up a win during their stay in the States. The club plays next at Soldier Field in Chicago Sunday against Olympiacos. Henry’s team will also take on Manchester City at Yankee Stadium and A.C. Milan in North Carolina before heading back to Anfield.

Prior to leaving for Chicago, however, the Reds decided to give back to the city of Boston. In addition to running their own practices at Harvard, several Liverpool coaches conducted a free soccer clinic for kids from Allston-Brighton, Boston, Cambridge, and Watertown last Sunday at Soldiers Field.

Liverpool kicks off its regular season August 17 against Southampton. After finishing second last season, the Reds will be looking for their first Premier League title since 1990.

Lin '10 Will Head West to Lakers

Published by Juliet Spies-Gans on July 13, 2014 at 1:57PM

Jeremy Lin ’10 has suited up for “The City That Never Sleeps”, and now it’s time for him to wear the uniform of the City of Angels.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets traded the former Harvard men’s basketball superstar to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday afternoon. The deal was one of a surfeit of NBA moves that fell into place once LeBron James announced that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lin was the central cog in a deal that also handed the Lakers a 2015 first-round draft pick. For its part, Los Angeles only gave up the rights to an overseas player alongside cash considerations.

On the Lakers, Lin will find himself in a three-way point guard battle for playing time. Currently, the Lakers have under contract both two-time MVP Steve Nash and sharp-shooter Kendall Marshall, the latter of whom was sitting in the Development League until LA picked him up in the 2013-2014 season.

However, with Nash’s age and recent injuries—he sat out 67 games last year with an assortment of back and hamstring ailments—Lin will have the possibility of logging serious minutes with the Purple and Gold.

In addition to playing for one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, Lin will also get the chance to hoop alongside franchise darling Kobe Bryant. Traditionally, Bryant’s backcourt-mates have had increased operating room on the offensive end as defenses collapse around the two-guard—a boon and an opportunity for Lin.

Lin will have just one year to prove himself to Los Angeles, as his back-loaded $14 million contract is up following the 2014-2015 season. But Lin has never needed long to prove himself, and for a Lakers squad that just had its worst season ever, a little Linsanity might be just the spark that the team needs.        

—Check for updates.

—Staff writer Juliet Spies-Gans can be reached at

Matt Birk '98 Named Director of Football Development for NFL

Published by David Steinbach on July 13, 2014 at 1:17PM

Although he has retired from playing football, Matt Birk '87 will not be leaving the sport altogether. The NFL announced July 10th that the former Ravens center has been named the Director of Football Development.

While his football career may be over, Matt Birk ’98 will not be going too far from the gridiron. On Thursday, the NFL announced that the former Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens center has been named Director of Football Development.

Birk’s new duties will involve working with players, coaches, and members of front offices to promote football across the country.  He will look to improve all-star games for high school and college student-athletes, while facilitating the evolution of high school player development programs. The former center will also take on administrative duties for NFL gameday operations.

“I'm very excited to begin this next chapter of my football career,” Birk said in a statement. “It's a real honor for me to be entrusted with developing the game in so many different ways.”

Drafted by the Vikings in 1998, Birk took over the starting center position in 2000 and began a run of six Pro Bowls in seven seasons. He signed with the Ravens in 2009 and captured his first championship in Super Bowl XLVII. A few weeks later, Birk announced his retirement after playing in 210 games.

Birk also made his presence felt off the field during his NFL career, as his HIKE Foundation supports at-risk students by offering them programs and guidance during educational transitions. He received the 2011 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his commitment to reading and education in schools.