Around the Ivies
On a few occasions this week, I’ve caught myself sitting in my room overcome with a very unfamiliar feeling: boredom. It’s the one strange week of the semester where everything has seemed to grind to a halt, and though I know the next stress cycle is just around the corner, I can’t help but be entranced by this magical feeling of having nothing of substance to do.
November at Harvard is a month of being in between. We’re stuck between fall and winter, between Halloween and the Game, between midterms and finals. And in Ancient Eight football, things are no different.
When you’re surfing through the channels this Saturday afternoon searching for the Missouri-Nebraska or the Michigan St.-Iowa football games, don’t be too surprised if you come across a pair of matchups that might seem better suited for a quiz bowl than a football game.
This weekend, two Ivy League contests will be coming to a living room near you. The matchup between Columbia and Yale will be broadcast on the YES Network, and Harvard will face Dartmouth on NESN.
All right, Ivy League football fans—it’s time to get serious. At this point, I know everyone is sick and tired of non-conference play.
After all, what do we have to show from the past five weeks besides a handful of wins against Patriot League foes, some devastating injuries, and a couple embarrassing losses (cough, Cornell, cough)?
Following Harvard football this season has been a little bit like watching my beloved Red Sox in 2010. Things started off well enough, although there were some early bumps in the road (the Crimson lost Collier Winters and was embarrassed at Brown, the Sox lost Jacoby Ellsbury and got swept by the Rays at home). And then the sporting gods decided that the team had experienced enough recent success and decided to dole out a plague of injuries.
Harvard has started its third-string quarterback in the last two games, is playing without two of its starting wideouts, and has seen its linebackers and secondary decimated by injury. Looking at the starting lineup from the Cornell game brought me back to the dark ages of July when a typical Sox lineup included Kevin Cash, Darnell McDonald, and Bill Hall.
Every week, our Around the Ivies team comes up with some witty way to present the state of Ancient Eight football. So as I sat in Logan Airport yesterday morning, I thought of all the comparisons I could make between my experience in the Southwest terminal and Ivy League sports.
Perhaps I could talk about the fact that, just like my sister and I were waiting for our delayed flight, pretty much every Ivy football team is biding its time this week. With the exception of the Dartmouth-Yale matchup, every game should either be a lopsided result, a meaningless non-conference tilt, or both. By this time next week, we’ll probably have no better idea of how the title race will play out.