Petering Out

I wonder what Eric Crone will be doing this weekend when Harvard faces Yale in New Haven. After all, in the four years he quarterbacked for Harvard, his name became strongly identified with Harvard-Yale football. He had a roller coaster experience with Yale games. He led Harvard to three wins in four years (including freshman season). Yet what he is remembered for is that inglorious safety, the nickname-making two points that christened Crone "Endzone" for the remainder of his career.

There was a certain ring to the nickname "Endzone Crone." The safety, along with the distinct, stylistic idiosyncrasies of his craft--the Crone scramble, the Crone pump, the Crone interception--made the Zone a legend in his own time.

I wonder if Eric will be in the stands as Jimmy Stoeckel leads a 7-1 Harvard team against Yale. I wonder if he can still get into the Boola-Boola enthusiam that permeates the Harvard-Yale arena.

Of course Stoeckel has a safety on his record this year too. But it was against Penn, not Yale, and besides Stoeckel was working on orders from the bench. What is more, a nickname like "Endzone Stoeckel" just doesn't make it. It doesn't have that assonance, that rhyme, that "Endzone Crone" that struck a responsive chord deep within every Harvard fan.

So today, Harvard has a shot at a share of the Ivy title for the first time since 1968. And with Dartmouth almost assured of subduing Princeton, all the pressure is on the 100 yards of turf at the bottom of the Yale Bowl.


The Picks:

HARVARD YALE--Joe Restic says throw away the records for this one. Anytime Harvard and Yale meet, season performances have nothing to do with the outcome of the game. The Crimson are smarting from last year's squandering of a 17-point lead in losing to the Elis. Stoeckel and McInally have developed into one of the most devastating passing-receiving duos in the East. Yale maintains that it can get away with covering McInally one-on-one. McInally says no one in the country can do it. The winner of that debate will probably be the winner of the ballgame. Harvard can match Yale's vaunted Rudy-Green-Tyrell-Hennings running attack with either Neal Miller or Phil Allen. On the basis of passing, it looks like Harvard. Harvard 24, Yale 17.

BROWN-COLUMBIA--The Bruins are far too good a football team to let a chance for a winning season slide away with a loss to the Pussy Cat Lions. Brown firepower exploded last week against a good Harvard defense. Unfortunately, the Crimson firepower was even more explosive. But Pete Beatrice and Dennis Coleman have proved that they can hurt you on the ground and in the air. Columbia is not strong defending on the ground or in the air. A long day for the Lions. Brown captures its first winning season in a long time. Brown 33, Columbia 10.

DARTMOUTH-PRINCETON--Sad but true, but it looks like Dartmouth has finagled a share of the title. Again this year, the only way that Princeton has a chance is if rain turns the field into mud. If that happens, Tiger Walt Snickenberger may make the difference. But if the skies are blue it isn't likely that the Tigers will muster much. Dartmouth 24, Princeton 15.

CORNELL-PENN--When the season started this looked like the game that would determine the title. Since that time, Cornell has been crippled by injuries, and Penn has lost a couple of big ones to Harvard and Yale. Quakers still have an outside chance at the title. If Fanelli and Malone are still out Cornell doesn't have a prayer. If they play, their running could make it tight. Penn is back on beam after drumming Columbia last week. Penn 29, Cornell 14.

Last week: Four for four (1.000). At last! Season: 21 for 37 (.569).