Things just keep getting better for Harvard football coach Tim Murphy.
Just weeks after setting the program’s all-time wins record with his 118th victory at the helm of the Crimson against Columbia Nov. 5, and just days after leading Harvard to a dominant 9-1 season in which it finished three games ahead of any of its competitors for the Ivy League title, Murphy was named on Monday one of 20 finalists for the 25th Eddie Robinson Award, which honors the national coach of the year.
The honor was established by The Sports Network in 1987, and is voted on by a panel of over 150 Football Championship Subdivision sports information directors, broadcasters, and selected sports writers. It was named for College Football Hall of Famer Eddie Robinson, who led Grambling State University for 56 years and is the second-winningest coach in Division I history, behind only Joe Paterno.
“When you are nominated for an award like this it generally means you had a great team and it is a reflection of what your team (players and coaches) accomplished,” Murphy wrote in an e-mail.
Generations of Harvard and Yale students have taken part in the wonderful tradition that is The Game. Interestingly, much of what we know and love about Harvard-Yale can be traced back to the very beginning of the rivalry’s storied history.
The schools’ football teams faced off for the first time on Nov. 13, 1875. Despite the steep entrance cost of 50 cents, 2500 fans showed up to New Haven’s Hamilton Park to witness Harvard’s 4-0 victory.
The game they played was still called football, but it would hardly be recognizeable to fans of the game today. The forward pass wouldn’t be legalized for another 20 years, and the two teams had to actually agree on the rules beforehand. Only upon Harvard’s urging did players agree that either side could run with the ball.
Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick '05 threw three interceptions in his worst game of the season Sunday.
In a new weekly feature, The Crimson will be tracking the successes (and potential failures) of some of Harvard’s most successful graduates not to use their Harvard degrees. While a tour through professional sports is not exactly a who’s who of Harvard alumni, a few athletes have taken their game to the next level. From Jeremy Lin to Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Crimson maintains a presence outsaide of the labs and law offices of the world.
After falling to the Jets last Sunday, Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 and the Buffalo Bills dropped their second straight, this week being defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, 44-7. The 37-point loss was the Bills’ largest margin of defeat of the season.
Fitzpatrick, who went 20-31, threw for a season-low 146 yards and was intercepted a season-high three times. The Bills’ sole touchdown was a three-yard pass from Fitzpatrick to wide receiver David Nelson in the second quarter. Buffalo trailed 28-7 at halftime, even though all three of Fitzpatrick’s interceptions came in the second half.
Buffalo, now 5-4, dropped back a game in the AFC East as the New England Patriots defeated the Jets on Sunday night. Coming off one of his worst performances of the season, Fitzpatrick and the Bills will travel to Miami next Sunday to take on the Dolphins.
But things weren't all bad for Crimson alums on Sunday.
Yale quarterback Patrick Witt '12 has chosen to play in The Game instead of going to his Rhodes Scholarship interview.
A dilemma for many athletes is balancing school and their sport. Yale quarterback Patrick Witt ’12 had to face this challenge in a big way—he had to decide whether to play against Harvard this Saturday or to take his interview for the Rhodes Scholarship, which happened to be on the same day. He chose The Game.
This is no decision that could have been made by picking a daisy in a field, plucking the petals off one by one, and saying “play, interview, play, interview…” This was a serious pro-con list situation.
Percy Haughton is undoubtedly one of the most successful coaches in Harvard football history, but while his results are indisputable, his legendary motivational tactics are dubious.
The legend of Haughton goes like this: In 1908 right before The Game, Haughton strangled a bulldog in front of his players in an attempt to motivate them to beat Yale.