Football's Zavala Adds Rhodes Scholarship to Memorable Day

Published by Kate Leist on November 21, 2010 at 3:11AM

Zar Zavala won two things on Saturday: a football game against Yale and the one of the world’s most prestigious scholarships.

Zavala, a walk-on senior wide receiver, found out just after yesterday’s game that he received the Rhodes Scholarship.

“Today is definitely the best day of my life,” Zavala said.

The native of El Paso, Texas, flew home Friday to participate in the final round of interviews for the scholarship. He arrived at Harvard Stadium just before halftime and suited up to watch the Crimson come from behind to beat Yale, 28-21.

“[I was] walking around the field, searching for my family,” Zavala said. “I find them, they have my phone. I turn it on and it says, ‘Congratulations, you’re a Rhodes scholar.’”

Zavala is an engineering sciences and neurobiology concentrator in Kirkland House. He was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa earlier this month.

“I can’t think of a better day,” he said.

Sound Off: Murphy Explains Penn Loss

Published by Kate Leist on November 16, 2010 at 3:11AM

In the modern era of sports, being a college coach carries with it the burden of constant media attention. Facing dozens of reporters at press conferences, head coaches have gotten savvier—they say what they need to and leave the rest up for speculation. Here at The Back Page, we’re happy to decode some of these media sessions, showing the average fan what we think coaches’ answers “really” mean.

Harvard coach Tim Murphy was in an unenviable position on Saturday afternoon. In his team’s biggest game of the season, the Crimson simply got outplayed. Penn won at least a share of an Ivy title on Franklin Field, and Murphy knew his team was out of the running for its sixth crown under his leadership. He took an accordingly somber tone at the postgame press conference, giving due credit to Penn and accepting responsibility for the Crimson’s shortcomings. We take a look at what Murphy’s comments say about Harvard heading into the Yale game this weekend in this week’s edition of Sound Off.

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The Game is Coming! But Big-Time Tailgates Aren't

Published by Madeleine Smith on November 15, 2010 at 3:11AM

The countdown to The Game can officially begin. In just six days, the Crimson football team will take to the field at Harvard Stadium to play Yale in the last game of the season.

Although yesterday’s loss puts the Crimson out of the running for the Ivy League Championship, the game, fueled by hundreds of years of rivalry, is still sure to be exciting.

And while we hope we can say the same for the tailgate, it seems like the Harvard administration is doing anything it can to stifle the student tradition that necessarily accompanies any big collegiate football matchup.

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Sound Off: Columbia's Norries Wilson Talks Miscues (Sort Of)

Published by Max N. Brondfield on November 09, 2010 at 3:11AM

The football team beat Columbia, 23-7, in a home game on Saturday.

In the modern era of sports, being a college coach carries with it the burden of constant media attention. Facing dozens of reporters at press conferences, head coaches have gotten savvier—they say what they need to and leave the rest up for speculation. Here at The Back Page, we’re happy to decode some of these media sessions, showing the average fan what we think coaches’ answers “really” mean.

With two big weeks looming ahead of it, Harvard had every reason to look past Columbia last Saturday on the gridiron. But the Crimson showed up to play at Harvard Stadium, handing the Lions a 23-7 loss and frustrating Columbia coach Norries Wilson. Particularly irritating to the Lions’ head coach was the number of miscues in what could have otherwise been a close game. Wilson vents some of his disappointment in this week’s edition of Sound Off.

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Get your Yale Football Tickets Tomorrow!

Published by Madeleine Smith on November 05, 2010 at 3:11AM

As Harvard students we’re all experts in procrastination, but there’s one thing you don’t want to put off.

Tomorrow is the last day for undergraduates to pick up free tickets for the 127th playing of The Game at Harvard Stadium on Nov. 20.

With the matchup only two weeks away, there’s just enough time to catch up on the history of one of the oldest rivalries in college football.

The first meeting between Harvard and Yale took place in New Haven, Conn. in 1875 and ended with the Crimson pulling out the 4-0 victory (at the time the only way to score was on the equivalent of a PAT). Since then, the Bulldogs have gained a 65-53-8 advantage in the series.

The matchup wasn’t referred to as “The Game” until 1898 in a letter between Harvard’s captain and head coach. The name was then made popular in the mid-1900s, when press coverage of the rivalry increased.

To get in on the tradition, make sure to pick up a free ticket at the Murr Center Ticket Office or Bright Hockey Arena Ticket Window sometime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. tomorrow. After then, tickets will be available for purchase.