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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Stay-at-homes on Saturday were probably congratulating themselves for missing the worst soaking seen on Soldiers Field for many an undergraduate generation and no one who went through it will deny that they had a point. But those who remained at anchor during the downpour seemed to realize that they were witnessing an unusually spectacular football scone, and judging from the noise they made, were apparently enjoying it.
In the first place, the game itself really divided into a double-header. During the first half, both teams played major league football and fought it out to a 7-0 victory for the Indians. In the second half, when football as such went overboard and rapidly sunk, the stands were handed an A-1 exhibition of plain and fancy sliding such as they will not again be able to see until the hockey season opens.
Deluge for Miracle
After Dartmouth's second touch-down, everyone realized that only a series of football miracles could save Harvard. In place of a miracle, a deluge of Biblical proportions arrived, crowning out all memories of last year's Army mud festival. A solid sheet of water covered the midfield area and rapidly gained sufficient depth to actually float the ball in places. Every play looked more like an outboard motor race than a football game, and when the backs were tackled they stirred up impressive "bow waves" as they skidded to a stop. And simultaneous with the appearance of white-caps on the jumping pits, the band struck up "How Dry I Am," and someone suggested that Charlie Butter be taken from the cheer-leading squad and sent in to swim the ball around right end.
Horseplay was featured between the halves. The Dartmouth hand chose to burlesque the huge drum of the Crimson marchers, and wheeled one on the field which must have had to duck to get into the Stadium at all. This cardboard monster and its antics caused the Harvard audience to smile with superiority as it gave birth to five little drums. But when the original was exhibited a few minutes later in the role target for the band's bow and arrow stunt, even the most patriotic had to admit it didn't sound very virlie for such a big fellow.
All the horoes on Soldiers Field on Saturday were not dressed in football togs. Many of them wore silk stockings, ridiculous footwear, and feathered hats and got thoroughly drenched watching a game they probably didn't understand. No greater love bath woman than this. As a visiting California journalist remarked: "These New England women certainly can take it--the suckers."
Nine managers appeared on the sidelines twice with a pair of shoes apiece. They didn't make any move to go out on the field with them, and the weekly Yale scout suggested that Harlow was using them as a signal to punt.
After the third quarter, Dartmouth worked to windward far better than their opponents, footing best on the port tack. It looked from the spectator fleet as though Harvard had picked up a lobster pot.
Indifference was washed out on Saturday. No audience is indifferent if it can concentrate sufficiently to execute an "echo" cheer.
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