It's strange the way Harvard and Yale have each other as chief rivals, and everyone else in the Ivies has Harvard.
Take Brown, for example. I don't know how it started, but the Bruins have taken it upon themselves to make Harvard she game. Brown athletes dig in all that much harder (especially with their elbows) against Harvard players. Brown fans go all that much wilder when good things are happening in games with Harvard, and Brown University officials have all but accepted this, slating the Harvard game for homecoming in years when the two teams meet in Providence.
On the other hand, to people around here, Brown is just another school off 1-95. We've got Yale to worry about first, and then there's Dartmouth, and--what do you know--now we've even got Penn to contend with. There's not enough time on the schedule to have to think about Brown as well.
They'll be thinking about today's game in Providence, though. Thinking especially hard this year, in fact, after the show the Crimson put on last year before the homecoming crowd. Harvard fullback Jim Callinan scored two touchdowns early in the first quarter, and after Ron Cuccia leaped into the end zone from a yard out, and Don Allard found Paul Scheper on a nine-yard scoring toss just before the half, the Crimson was well on its way to a 41-7 win.
Teams don't forget such humiliations easily, and you can bet Coach John Anderson will have his troops sky high when 1:30 p.m. rolls around. You might recall Harvard's 41-14 humbling before Cornell three seasons ago--the Crimson came back the next year wearing T-shirts that said. "We Owe Cornell" under their jerseys won that game and has not lost to the Big Red since.
The Bruins probably won't be wearing any special T-shirts, but they won't need any extra incentive to play Harvard tough. The last four times these two teams have met in Harvard Stadium, the winning margin has been (starting in 1974) three, two, one and one. The Bruins won three of those games.
The hatred that Brown has for Harvard when it comes to athletic competition plays a part in that record, certainly. It's not just football, either. Whenever the Harvard hockey team takes the same ice as the Bruins, bad times are guaranteed, especially when ECAC Dirty Player of the Year Darrell Petit is taking a shift. Last year's game at Bright Center was delayed for close to 15 minutes when a brawl broke out in front of the Harvard bench just before the close of the first period.
The women's soccer rivalry between the two schools is nearly as intense, and I wouldn't even be surprised to hear tell of the cross country squads squaring off in Franklin Park. May the muggers beware.
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Sad things are happening. I once was known as a great prognosticator. The Great Prognosticator, they used to call me. Now look where I am Fallen to second place in the chart. Limping along at 60 percent accuracy. Suffering sleepless nights. Having stray dogs turn the other way as I walk by. I just won't settle for it anymore.
And now to the predictions, a guaranteed 5-0.
HARVARD 24, BROWN 14--Not only is Hank Landers missing from the Brown football team this fall, he is missing from the Brown student directory. Sounds to me like a job for that other famous Brown--Encyclopedia. Call it "The Case of the Missing Quarterback." And start by reading the minds of Ivy presidents.
ARMY 30, COLUMBIA 14--The legend of John Witkowski continues to grow. And respect for the Columbia football team as a whole continues to wither away. Last week Witkowski completed 35 of 56 passes for 409 yards--all three marks shattered previous Lion totals set by former Baltimore Colt Marty Domres. And Columbia got blown out by Division II Bucknell, 42-25. It should be more of the same this week, on both counts.
CORNELL 57, MERCHANT MARINES 41--This game should be played in a sandbox. What is a Merchant Marine, anyway?
YALE 17, DARTMOUTH 15--A funny thing happened to these two teams on the way to the Ivy title--they both turned out to be mediocre. Not so funny in New Haven or Hanover, I guess.
PENN 27, PRINCETON 15--The Quakers are getting a bit cocky. Last week in their win over Yale, quarterback Gary Vura caught a pass. Cocky is not a good thing. Though it's enough to beat the Tigers.
Last week--3-2. Season to date--20-13, .606. These are the times that try men's souls, especially mine.