Worn down by the relentless daily grind of hour exams and Sesame Street, angst-ridden undergraduates put in their 12 minute days toward a fading dream of academic success. But rather than sitting around the house dining room Saturday coveting each other's. After Harvard What--wanting more What than you'll ever need; rather than shedding tears for the hamburger grease because of those nagging fears that your major is not where it's at; instead why not take recourse in mass positive action--seize the weekend.
Seizing a weekend is none of this Adams House Oktoberfest stuff. It means hopping a ride to Princeton, N.J. and putting up with two days of strenuous life-experience. It's a little more than five hours from here to Princeton and a painless drive if you stop in New York for the night. Train transportation is equally easy from Boston or New York, getting off at Princeton Junction and taking the PJ&B (Princeton Junction & Back) car the short distance to the University. Either way you go it's mandatory to find some friends at lunchtime who have a station wagon-preferably the kind with the fake wood paneling-and a tailgate.
Tailgating is the largest Ivy League participation sport, but it is more an attitude than an event. The tailgating season runs concurrently with football although it is much less structured. Progressive tailgaters believe that anyone conviviality drinking any sort of beverage anywhere on a football Saturday is participating. But tailgating purists can be extremely funny, demanding an authentic tailgate at an authentic football game between two authentic Ivy League teams--in fact, everything has to be authentic except the people.
As many youngsters are brought up they are groomed for tailgating, often cutting their teeth on the discovery that tailgate are made out of steel. The Princeton game has always been the Henley of tailgating events, with its proximity to election day usually making it even more interesting. Some Harvard undergraduates have been sneering at Nixon stickers on Princeton cars for a full twelve years. Even without the political sidelights the Princeton tailgating convocation has been tremendously important. It has often been said, with considerable justification, that Ivy League supremacy is fought and won on the parking fields of Princeton. Luckily, we have always won.
With Dixie cups in hand, it is then time to walk to Palmer Stadium. For local color it might be worthwhile to station yourself on Prospect Avenue before the Princeton Band marches by, swelling its ranks with students and alumni pouring out of the eating clubs lining the street. If you are especially fortunate you will hear the natives sing their song "Old Nassau." In any case, the game begins at 1:30 p.m. and it's important to be there on time for Our National Anthem and the kickoff.
Coach Restic is one of the few members of Harvard's avant-garde, even if it seems that his offensive moves haven't gotten beyond the experimental stage. But when it works it works very well. Restic's "New Wave" pass attack is to flood the defensive zones with receivers who then must sink or swim. If "Endzone" Crone can maintain solidarity with his ends, victory should be easily attained.
While the team is in contention for the Championship, the Harvard University Band is having one of its worst seasons in recent history. The innovative talent is so dreary that it has had to resort to a re-run. This weekend, while fans can look forward to a new show, the Harvard Club of New York has had to cancel the traditional Band concert due to financial difficulties.
After the game Princeton overcomes its few inhibitions for a night of all-out festivities. The clubs on Prospect Avenue go wild with dancers so it's good to contest level friends to get you in. The best parties should be at Ivy Cottage and Cap 'n Gown, although they will also be the hardest to crash. If you're up for a "fun" party at Cannon say "They" sent you. While Princeton dances can be raucus they are excellent opportunities to most attractive and fascinating high school girls. Also going on Saturday night is a concert by Taj Mahal.
In the midst of anticipation, the importance of a Crimson victory should not be underestimated. If Harvard can beat both Princeton and Yale this season we will be able to look back on these years as worthwhile.