It started out cold, soon it got windy, then it rained, after that it hailed. It was last year's Dartmouth game in Hanover, N.H., and if you were there you know why today's football contest is second only to the Winter Carnival on the Dartmouth social calendar.
You see, Dartmouth has an inferiority complex bigger than the state of New Hampshire. Two and a half hours distant from Boston and further north than Cornell. Hanover is a miserable place to spend an afternoon, let alone four years. It's a campus with a fuzzy identity, in part because of the Dartmouth Plan--four academic quarters a year, with each student choosing which of the four he wants to use as a vacation.
The Big Green isn't even big. If you count Barnard as part of Columbia, then Dartmouth has the smallest enrollment in the Ivy League.
So for the Hanoverian, football is more than just a game, it's a struggle for attention. That's why Dartmouth freshmen wear those ugly green shirts with their year on the back, build gigantic bonfires, dance around the other team's band and sing ridiculous songs. That's why Dartmouth frat boys get a kick out of spilling green paint on the John Harvard statue. That's why Dartmouth's president just happens to be a record-holding football player.
That's also why Dartmouth has the best composite Ivy football record, in games played since the league was formed. Dartmouth owns 13 Ivy football championships. Yale 11 and Harvard just six.
The Big Green fans don't mind that Coach Joe Yukica's teams are 0-15-1 in nonleague play, because in Yukica's five years up north he has nabbed three Ivy titles and emerged victorious in more than seven out of every 10 league games.
Harvard hasn't won a game from the Big Green since 1978. Yukica's first year there. But that's all going to change today. After their 3-3 embarrassment at Cornell last week the Crimson gridders will be more determined than they've been all year.
HARVARD 21. DARTMOUTH 6
CORNELL 10, BROWN 7--Last week Cornell found a punter, a placekicker, and one of the toughest defenses against the run in the Ivy League. Bruin quarterback Joe Potter will have an off day. The Big Red deserves a victory.
YALE 30, COLUMBIA 28--The true Toilet Bowl of the Ivies pits the best passer (Columbia) and the worst defense against the best coach and the most injured players (Yale). Both teams are deservedly winless. Yale is 0-4 for the first time in its 112 seasons. Unfortunately, the Elis won't go 0-5.
NAVY 6, PRINCETON 0--The phrase "deep-six" applies, as the armed forces' strongest football team sinks the smallest of the Big Three.
LAFAYETTE 34, PENN 24--The Leopards will take this intrastate showdown, paws down.
LAST WEEK--2-3. My first losing week.
SEASON TO DATE--15-7. 682. Still better than two out of three.