Every so often in a football game, there's a little shoving after the whistle, and a brief verbal clash. The next time that happens at a Harvard game notice the number of the Crimson shirt involved. It'll probably be number 64, Gary Farneti.
"That extra shoving in a pile-up or shouldering a guy on the way to the huddle is all part of baiting him. When you start baiting an opponent, two things can happen. Either you intimidate him or you make him so mad that he starts cheating on assignments in order to get a blindside shot at you," the junior linebacker said.
"If you intimidate him, the whole afternoon is one hell of a lot easier. If he gets so incensed that he starts cheating on his blocking assignments, he opens holes in the line that guys like Rick Berne or Dale Neal blow right through."
Since the Holy Cross game, Farenti has been using these techniques in the games he's played to spark the defense. "I feel I'm contributing to the electricity of the team in the huddle," he said.
But he missed the Columbia and Cornell games with a separated elbow, and Cornell took advantage of that fact by sending its star halfback, Ed Marinaro, on slants off right tackle. When Farneti returned to the lineup against Dartmouth, the defensive unit, despite a losing team effort, was visibly inspired, scoring Harvard's lone touchdown and preventing any sustained Dartmouth offensive.
"Dartmouth scored two touchdowns on press releases in that game," said the husky left linebacker referring to the Big Green's psyched-up team. "But our defense put together a great effort. We attacked their attack, you might say."
Harvard's coaching staff is pleased with Farneti's performance so far this year-Yovicsin called him the best individual player Harvard has, and Gary has special praise for linebacking coach Ralph Jelic. "He's a great student of the game and can tell you what to expect from the other team. "And he's been right every time. He's full of enthusiasm and is young enough to sympathize with the problems of young guys-whether the problems have anything to do with football or not."
Gary involves himself in the things he does. "I like having a hell of a good time," he said. "I want to enjoy all the things I'm entitled to enjoy, without hurting anyone or being irresponsible." He added philosophically that "life is something that's got to be lived, not endured."
And what does a person with that out-look do, besides play a good, rough game of football? "I'm an absolute nut on sports car, racing. If it's the last thing I do, I'm going to get a Ferrari. And I subscribe to about fifty million sports car magazines."
When he quit his job with the railroad this past summer, he and his Caddy traveled all over the east coast. After seeing the Carolihas and Maine, he went to Woodstock, a 100-mile drive from his home in Binghamton, New York.
At Age 35
If he can get the money, he would like to continue his traveling next summer-this time in Europe. "I want to pick up as many experiences as I can while I'm in college, so that when I'm 35 I can look back and say I did that and I didn't do that. And one thing I haven't done enough of is traveling," he explained.
After graduating, Gary wants to take a year or two off before he picks out a graduate school, probably business or law.
The draft doesn't bother him. "I've got a good chance of being 4-F. That is unless some major wants to get up every morning and tape my ankle. So I've got a fighting chance to stay out of the fighting," he said.
The next time tempers flare in a football game look for Gary Farneti. He'll be in there playing smart football and having a good time.