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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
This has got to be the easiest kind of story in the world to write, a color piece on a football game where every shade and hue was painted from the palette of one man, one artist.
And so it was Art Appreciation Day for Harvard fans and the only one lecturing was Princeton tailback Bobby Isom. Isom loped, bulled, juked, and spun his way to 209 yards rushing on a Princeton record 44 carries. Talk about total offense-he was total offense!
In addition to all that yardage, Isom scored a touchdown in the 20-7 upset over the Crimson.
But 44 carries? More than 200 yards? That's Big Ten stuff. That's not for some 5'11" Ivy Leaguer from North Babylon, New York. Or is it?
"During the week we all felt really good. We needed this win and we all seemed to pull together today to get it. It's always nice to knock off whoever is on top," Isom said after the game.
Perhaps Isom's modest afterthoughts reflect his spectacular results from a lot of relatively unspectacular runs, and typify the way the Tigers almost secretly dominated the game. But run it over in your mind a couple of times and you'll realize that rarely did Isom get stopped for anything less than five or six yards. There was no Tony Dorsett 70 yard touchdown scamper. It was just hard, steady work, and a lot of it.
"He was incredible, as usual," remarked Jenny, who was dressed up as the Princeton Tiger which stalked the visitors' sidelines throughout the game.
But in truth it's been a little more than a year since Isom's "incredible" performance. In Princeton's opening game last season against Cornell, Isom ran for 161 yards. An injury in the following game against Rutgers from which he never quite recovered forced him to miss two games and wind up with only 439 yards on the season.
"This is his greatest day and there's no one deserves it more than Bobby. Nobody has worked harder than him this season. He was not to be denied," Princeton head coach Bob Casciola noted after the game.
Let's be honest amid tears for Harvard's first Ivy League loss of the season. NOBODY was denied. Players and fans alike were treated to as consistently strong and dominant an output as one could expect to see from one man on one gridiron on one Saturday afternoon.
Harvard wide receiver Larry Hobdy came up to Isom when it was all over and jokingly said, "I hope you had fun today, man, 'cause I didn't."
209 yards on 44 carries? That's a hard day's work, pal. Being there to see it all happen, now that's easy, that's fun. Thanks Bobby.
Now why don't you go out and do the same thing against Yale in two weeks? That would be a blast.
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