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Yale Forfeits: Harvard Triumphs in THE Game

By E. J. Dionne

The Yale University community was in shock.

For weeks and weeks, rooms for copy had been issued from the national press on the benefits of co-education at Yale. And for weeks, the Yale football team and Yale's football aficionados had been psyching themselves up for the game which they hoped would avenge Harvard's 29-29 victory the year before.

All these hopes were dashed on Saturday morning. November 22. Sixteen players including the entire defensive backfield and most of the defensive line, had contracted gonorrhea from three cheerleaders at a party in Providence six weeks before THE game reported an Extra edition of the Yale Daily News, had been canceled. Yale had forfeited.

THE game of course was not canceled. The extra edition of the Yalie Daily had been produced not by energetic Eli newsmen, but by a nefarious group of Crimson editors intent on disrupting the Yale community and unnerving an already edgy Yale football squad.

The take extra inaugurated a series of pranks which the University dailies have been playing on each other for a long time. (Indeed, if you're not reading this story on Saturday afternoon, it's probably because revengeful Yale editors managed to black the real Crimson in order to replace it with their own.)

The next year the Yale editors put out their own Crimson announcing that Daniel P. Movnthan then President Nixon's duel domestic adviser had been rafted President of Harvard.

And the year after. The Crimson produced another Daily which told readers the news that the Yale administration had decided to build a new formal stadium and was turning Yale Bowl into loss cost housing.

The 1969 prank was probably the most elegant both in execution and in breadth of effect.

The idea was born in the mind of Tom Southwick. "I Wanting to insure that the Yaleman not emerge unscathed in their economies with Harvard in the event of an Elis football victory, he suggested that The Crimson play the role of the defender of Harvard's honor.

We'll put out a take Yale Daily News," Southwick said revealing that the entire Yale football team came down with hepatitis and had to forfeit the football game. It might be amusing.

Make it syphilis," replied sports editor John I. Powers '70 remembering that New Haven was in the first throes of co-education.

The idea lay dominant until the Monday, before the game. The prankster engraved their own copy of the Daily News banner and sold an ad to Crimson Copy, a New Haven, Xerox establishment which was have to open a Harvard Square.

Crimson pressman Pal Sorrento and his colleagues ran off 5000 copies, and a determined team of editors barreled down the Mass Pike to New Haven to distribute the bogus-papers at all Yale dorms early Saturday morning.

But the best was yet to come.

Powers and sports editor Ben Beach '71 managed to find an open window at the News located a telephone and a-la Martha Mitchell telephones anyone who might be interested in the "story."

On the phone list were AP. UPI. The New York Times. The New Haven Register, WRKO. "All the heavies," recalled Powers. "We were really putting the massive hurt to New Haven."

Both AP and UPI were skeptical and called back. Beach and Powers posed as Yale staffers confirmed the report and told the wire version that Yale President Kingman Brewater had told them to have anyone at anytime call him to confirm the report.

"This was our finest moment," said Powers. "AP tell for its and called everyone they could think of at Yale. It was 6:10 a.m."

The next year, Yale sought revenge. On Thursday night. November 19, Harvard students opened their doors to find Extra editions of The Crimson announcing that the Harvard Corporation had chosen a new President to replace retiring President Nathan Pusey '28.

Their choice? Presidential adviser Daniel P. Moynihan, professor of Education on leave.

Like their counterparts in New Haven, many Harvard students were taken in.

One abashed student telephoned his parents. Others went from room to room, bemoaning the future of the University, or praising the Corporation for its hard-headedness.

Particularly co-agent were the responses the Yale editors elicited from various Harvard officials on the merits of the choice.

"His church is not my church," they had President Pusey saying, "but we both pray to the same God."

"It's a helluva mess," said John T. Dunlop, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

That night the phones at The Crimson rang off their books with requests for more information.

That same year, 1970. The Crimson planned to put out it special game issue of the paper for distribution at Yale even though the game was being played at Harvard this year.

By a fortunate twist of fate, the editors of Cambridge's only breakfast table daily were standing on a New Haven street corner when a truck carrying the day's editions of The Daily News pulled up.

"You guys with the News?" asked the driver. The Crimson thieves replied to the affirmative, got the stuck of papers and promptly placed them in the trunk of their car.

Then they went about the business of distributing the Crimsons door-to-door. When they were through, the wily reporters went back to the News building. Ben Beach, taking his cue from Mohammed Ali, wrote a note on Crimson stationary and placed in on the front door of the News office.

"Float like a butterfly," it said. "Sting like a bee."

The irate News editors agreed to a settlement out of court.

The game was played at Yale last year, to it was Harvard's turn to play joker. Their plan was the most ambitious yet.

Harvard's newsman responded to the challenger with the story shout a doned stadium. Yale, they said, had announced plans to build a new domes stadium in the middle of a ghetto area of New Haven. In order to pacify an angry community, the Yale administration had agreed to convert Yale Bowl into low cost housing and guaranteed that five places in each entering class would be reserved for members of the community.

The story was impressive in its preciseness. The Crimson persuaded a friendly architect to draw up plans for both the Yale astrodome and the luxurious Bowl Apartments--which would feature the "Adobe Look."

And there was more. In 1971, the Crimson had converted from linetype production to offset, which was the set-up the News had been using.

In the offset process printing is done from a photographic plate. The Crimson not only printed copies of the Daily News Extra, but also brought the photographic plate with them on their Friday night ride to New Haven.

Their plan was dangerous they were going to kidnap the Daily News man on his way to the printer and substitute the take front page for the real article.

In order to carry out their friendish plan, the Crimsons pointed two-guards outside the News building to survey what was going on there. In the meantime, the two carloads of staffers made their way to Hamden. Conn home of the printer, for the long night of waiting.

The two cars situated themselves near pay phones. According to the plan, the sentries would call their colleagues when the Yale staffer left his office.

It didn't work out. The two carloads of folks just can there and waited. And waited. And waited.

Their toper was interrupted occasionally by a phone call from their boys at the News informing then that "the guy hasn't left yet." They were also interrupted by a policeman who asked them what they were doing in the middle of town at 3:30 a.m. "We're covering the Yale game for a newspaper. We're expecting a phone call with some information we need on the story." The policeman was satisfied, and lent one of the surreptitious scribes a cigarette.

One reporter headed back to the Daily to find out what was going on. He was stopped for a burned-out tall light.

And they kept waiting till the sun came up. And they waited some more. Daily News inefficiency had failed their plan. They couldn't carry it out in brond day light.

Dencon Dake '73 gave the Crimson one last hope. "We'll go into the printers about ten minutes after their guy leaves and tell him to stop the presses for our new scoop."

This didn't work out other. You I talked to a lot of nice people, including a Daily News staffer and a prospective advertiser.

Thus failed all across the board, the editors began distributing the extra at 9 a.m. At about 10. I fell into a friend's room, asking only for found, a warm however and a place to rest my based.

"Oh, hi E. J.," he said. "I knew you were here. I saw your domed stadium issue.

You can't fool all of the people all of the time.

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