ITHACA, N.Y.--Games-R-Fun is a pin ball arcade down the hill from the Royal Palm Tavern on College Street. There, before three Cornell students and a Black man in an overcoat, Mike Bass and I played the Harvard-Cornell game last night.
Mike was Cornell and I was Harvard. He won the toss so I got the quarters while he minded the table. Then we pumped the video football game with two dollars of the Harvard Crimson's money and the game began.
The machine gave Mike the ball first, and he moved it on me right away. After a quick first down around end, he had quarterback Chris Metz hit flanker Mark Brown on a bomb to move the ball inside the Harvard ten. Derrick Harmon pushed it over for a 6-0 Cornell lead.
A kid with a black t-shirt and glasses arrived at the table and plunked his quarter down for next game. Mike gave him a dirty look; I had Ron Cuccia roll right and throw to Paul Scheper on the Big Red 46-yard-line.
From there it was five plays to the Cornell ten. Jim Callinan took it off tackle for the six, but I missed the extra point.
It was getting hot inside the Games-R-Fun so we both took our jackets off. Mike went to work on the right side of my defensive line, running options and picking up ten yards at a clip. He scored to make it 14-6.
But the Crimson came back. The Black man in the overcoat and a newly arrived kid in a New York Jets sweatshirt watched as Scott McCabe reversed his field and scampered down to the Cornell three.
I glared at Mike, called a keeper, and punched it over. I went for two and didn't get it. 14-12.
Then came the big play. Chris Myers intercepted a pass, and Harvard took a 19-14 lead. Cornell came back Metz-to-Brown for a 20-19 advantage, but I had the ball with three minutes left and I knew I could score.
I gave to Callinan. I passed to Jim Acheson. The clock wound down. The Black man cheered. The Cornell students wanted us to hurry up. I smiled as Cuccia snook over from the three. Harvard won, 26-20; pandemonium at Games-R-Fun.
That's the way it was--and will be: HARVARD 26, CORNELL 20.
To salvage my reputation after a less-than-psychic weekend last time around, I am turning to that oldest of gambling gimmicks, the Upset Special.
HOLY CROSS 13, YALE 12: John Andreoli dumps Rich Diana for a two-yard loss in the game's opening play. It sets the tone.
The Crusaders play the best game a Holy Cross football team has played in fifteen years and catch the Bulldogs napping. Dave Boisture and Andy Clivio dance in the streets of Worcester 'til the wee hours.
BROWN 30, PENN 21: Penn is a tough place to be in the fall, but basketball is just around the corner, then there are no more jokes. Hey, remember when Penn had a hockey team?
PRINCETON 6, COLUMBIA 3: Mark Lockenmeyer outduels Kurt Lundgren. Bill Miller and Ted Frangos homer for the Tigers. Mark Cascia picks up the save.
DARTMOUTH 30, WILLIAM AND MARY 14: Dartmouth rolls on The Green, Green Grass of Home. William and Mary looks ahead to possible revenge at Harvard.
Last week: 3-3. Season: 11-7 Lifetime: 8679-7. Yeah, sure.
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