The trouble with being a Harvard crew fan is that the Crimson is usually so good that it all comes down to one opponent--or sometimes two--in the Eastern Sprints.
Between the season's first race, always with Brown, and the race with that crew, whichever one it happens to be that year, Crimson fans get to stand by various rivers and watch Harvard demolish various crews.
This year Wisconsin seems to be the only crew which has a realistic possibility of challenging the best Harvard boat of the last six years. But the two super crews won't meet until the big showdown at Quinsigamond.
In the meantime the regular season goes on with MIT and Princeton facing Harvard today on Lake Carnegie in New Jersey. The Engineers are fresh off a victory over last year's spring champions, Northeastern and everyone is saying it's their year.
Don't bet on it. Tech beat a Huskie crew which was only a shadow of its former self. Northeastern suffered more from graduation than any crew in the East last year losing, among others, the key to their boat, stroke Cal Coffee.
Princeton, for a variety of reasons, has not been able to put together a good heavyweight crew in several years. This season and today promise nothing different.
Harvard humiliated Brown last week in Providence in a race that meant more than some people suppose. The weather in Providence was rotten and the water consequently quite rough, working to the advantage of the more powerful Crimson crew. But the real reason for Harvard's six length victory was its own talent--not weather or Brown's lack of ability.
MIT will probably try to beat Harvard at its own game, namely, outmuscling the other crew in the middle 1000 meters. Neither Harvard nor MIT has ever relied on the sort of ferocious spring in the last 500 Northeastern became famous for.
If the race goes that way then it will be a disaster for MIT. Harvard should win by open water in any case with Princeton a distant third. Merely another warmup before the meeting with Wisconsin.