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The other day I was inside the Coop, minding my own business while trying on a pair of official Harvard-Yale Game underwear emblazoned with the emblem of each school on the front and back panels.
Suddenly a large woman, gazing at my briefs, told me that she didn't understand what all the hoopla was about. She said that people make too much of this Game, especially when there are other important things happening--things like the Geneva Summit and children starving and so forth.
Well, I was flabbergasted. Until then, I had been under the assumption that everyone, everywhere, just lived for The Game.
So I decided to find out for myself just how much The Game meant to people. I decided to conduct a Gallup poll.
I've spent much of the past few days wasting the Crimson telephone budget by calling people named Gallup all across the country, asking them if they know the Harvard-Yale game is this weekend.
The results have been tabulated, and they are mystifying.
Eighty-nine percent of Gallups surveyed didn't know that The Game was being played this weekend. Thirty-three percent didn't even know that Harvard annually plays Yale.
Dale Gallup of Cedar Rapids, lowa, was typical. "I don't even follow it at all," he said. Hmmm. I guess he's probably too busy scaring crows away.
Mrs. Wilbur Gallup of Queens, N.Y., said, "My husband's sleeping right now, and he's not interested in football games."
Before getting too upset, sports fans, let's remember that there are lots of underprivileged, uncultured citizens who have never even seen a subway pit or eaten Tommy's cheesegrease subs.
I can sincerely understand why some people might not be following the 7-2 Crimson as closely as they would like to. For instance, Diana Gallup of Palmer, Alaska, said, "We can't always keep up to date with events back East."
And poor Al Gallup of Lawrence, Kansas, said, "I probably should know it being an Ivy League man. I'm a Columbia man, you know." Well, that explains it, Al.
The Gallups of Alba, Arizona, didn't know anything about The Game, either, but daughter Debbie said she wants to go to Yale. Good. The Elis need more bright people like Debbie.
Aside from these obviously clueless citizens, many normal people from all across the land had no idea the 102nd edition of The Game was almost upon us. Their responses were frighteningly uniform.
Wallace Gallup of Burbank, California: "No. Thank you." Click.
Braxton Gallup of Charlottesville, Virginia: "No, I don't follow it that closely." Click.
Edith Gallup of Burlington, Vermont: "I'm not interested. I know they play every year, but I'm just not interested." Click.
What's going on here? Is there something wrong with my polling technique?
No, I don't think so. I think the answer lies in the skewed perspectives of Gallups everywhere. Most participate in political Gallup polls so often that they probably feel compelled to study politics incessantly.
I guess that most spend so much time poring over the editorial pages of their local newspapers that they never have time for the sports section. Poor souls.
Only a few break free from the binding yoke of political pollstering. Dana Gallup of Cambridge, who has lived just a few blocks from Harvard for the past 50 years, said, "Of course I knew The Game was this week."
Dana, I salute you. You're a true sportsman and an informed citizen. Your prediction, please?
"Harvard will win by two."
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