The riddle of a Harvard-Yale football game is one which the wiseacres of the football coterie have never been able to solve. If they cannot explain results that have been, surely they cannot predict what results will be. "The odds are on Harvard," say some with a finality that spells a Crimson victory. But who ever heard of odds on Yale, reasonable or unreasonable? "Harvard has a better record," say others, forgetting that games are not won on records. Harvard tried the record policy in 1910 and Yale in 1911, and neither won. "Yale has the old Yale spirit," say still others, who do not know that there is a Harvard spirit of less fame but no less power. Spirit counts, but who can say, "Here, is a true fighting spirit; there, is none?" In the end it is a question of faith, and we place ours in Harvard as Yale men place theirs in Yale.
Yet in placing our faith, we hope, as the sportsman always does, that the better team will win. And when all is said and done, the better team probably will win, for failures and flukes are as much a measure of a team as splendid gains and wonderful charges. If a team fails in a crucial test, it is not the better team at that time, whatever it may have been before or may be after. But, to be frank, the philosophy of hoping that the better team will win is curiously involved with a good deal of believing that we (and Yale men feel this, too) shall be found to have the better team.
This afternoon we shall expect Harvard men to support their team as they never did before; and we shall also expect the team to play football that will make it famous in Harvard history. If Yale can overcome such opposition, we shall still stand ready to shake hands.