THE BROTHERS SAMUELS: The Game Is Not Even "A Game" Anymore

The Brothers Samuels

In the lead up to The Game we had writers from The Harvard Crimson and the Yale Daily News offer their take on the age-old rivalry. Below is The Crimson's take. You can find Evan Frondorf of the YDN's column here.

Did you know that The Game used to be a rivalry?

A long time ago, it was a back-and-forth battle between two great Ivy League football powers in a nationally recognized showdown of brains and brawn.

On Saturday, Harvard vs. Yale will just be an embarrassment. Like Yale football coaches vs. The Truth (or the Rhodes Trust—either one). Like New Haven vs. A Safe Place To Live. Or like Fareed Zakaria vs. Journalism.

Honestly, this isn’t fun anymore.

Over the past decade, Yale’s been getting more hammered at The Game than most of the freshmen there. And now, the Harvard-Yale rivalry is like taking candy from a baby. Except babies have some hand-eye coordination and are not last in the Ivy League in time of possession.

And things don’t appear to be getting any better for our friends down in New Haven.

If you’ll indulge us for a moment, let’s a take a brief trip down Memory Lane.

[Please note that we don’t actually encourage any of our New Haven readers to walk down any street at any time after 6 p.m. It is not safe.]

It’s a classic tale, really: coach allegedly lies on his resume, resigns, and leaves his already struggling football program in an even greater situation of desperation. Then, this past spring, you steal a number of Harvard coaches, who head south to New Haven.

A brief aside: The Crimson is not in the business of questioning the decisions that individual members of our community, past or present, make. However, leaving Cambridge to go to New Haven is like a Dane Cook comedy tour: Maybe it seemed cool in 2006, but it’s 2012. Come on, Tony Reno. Sure, you’re the captain of the ship that is Yale football, but that ship is up in flames, sinking pretty quickly, and everyone is already on life boats.

You might be thinking: Hey, it can’t get any worse for Yale football. In movies, that would be the moment when it starts raining. In real life, that’s when your captain allegedly assaults a former Yale Daily News sports writer at Toad’s Place.

Another brief aside: Seriously? Sure, bar fights are cool. But purportedly giving a sportswriter 14 stitches is really no accomplishment. Our 13-year-old sister intimidates us to no end, and some say that we’re the muscle of the Sports Board of The Harvard Crimson. Okay, no one says that. But you get our point.

And lest you forget, all of this has happened before Yale even had the chance to botch a single snap.

But botch they have. Your quarterbacks are going down so fast that we don’t even have time to come up with a prom joke that does it justice. Regardless of who starts, the likely quarterback will be listed as a wide receiver and will have spent at least the past two years on the JV team (did you even know there was a JV team?). Both dudes have spent more time under center playing Madden than in real life. Word on the street is that Hank Furman’s most impressive athletic accomplishment was going 3-for-4 as himself in Backyard Baseball 2001.

Now, we were going to go week-by-week and offer incisive football analysis. But you lost to Columbia, so instead, we are going to continue mocking you.

Columbia? Seriously? Harvard beat them 69-0 with the fourth stringers in. And you lost?

We understand New York City can be distracting, what with its running water, street lights, and night clubs where the captain of your team isn’t allegedly punching sports writers. But there’s no real excuse to lose to a team whose bold vision is not to lose by 69 to Harvard next year (that’s actually what the Columbia coach promised).

We do hope that one day, Harvard and Yale can forge a truly great football rivalry once again. But for now, here’s some advice for you, Coach Reno: As an exciting halftime promotion, pick one lucky student from the stands. Have him start the second half as quarterback. By attending a couple high school football games, he would likely be the most experienced healthy quarterback on your roster.

Seriously, give it a shot. Because things literally cannot get any worse.

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