Harvard Gives Party In Memory of a Draw

Twenty years ago this weekend, a Yale senior defensive back named Edward Franklin let a pass fly into a Harvard receiver's hands just inside the goal line with no time left on the clock, and watched in horror as history was made. A famous Crimson headline reported the results: "Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29."

Yesterday Franklin, now a California lawyer, sipped a drink in a crowd at the Carey Cage gymnasium, remembering that epic clash. "It was over. Nothing you can do about it when it's over," he said. "I've gotten ribbed a lot over the years."

More than 200 celebrants gathered at the Harvard gym yesterday at an early evening cocktail party Harvard threw to commemorate the legendary 1968 Game. The affair drew several of the stars who took the field that day.

Brian Dowling, the 1968 Eli quarterback and captain, disputed the Crimson's account of the struggle. "It was a tie, despite Harvard's arithmetic," he said. "It was Murphy's law in reverse, from Yale's standpoint," he recalled ruefully.

Dowling has another claim to notoriety: as the model for the super-jock B.D. in the "Doonesbury" comic strip, by his schoolmate Garry Trudeau. "It's a sort of immortality," Dowling said.


"It had a very unreal quality," reminisced Nick Davidson, Yale's right halfback in the '68 Game. "It felt like an extraordinary--maybe supernatural--intervention for Harvard," he said.

"I don't think God did it," he hastened to add. "It was one of those schisms in time."

Bob Hastings '57, one of the Harvard faithful on Hajj to Cambridge this weekend, was at the Chicago Harvard Club when the famous deadlock locked. "Two-thirds of the people left early, but the rest of us die-hards thought we'd see it through to the end--and let the real Harvard shine through," he said.

Another proud Harvard man, James F. O'Neil '51, who witnessed the 1968 Game, said he has kept a picture of the "winning" touchdown on his office wall for 20 years.

Harold Sedgwick '30, who claims to have attended 48 Harvard-Yale games, was at Carey Cage getting ready for his 49th. He said he will bring a flag that has seen every Game since the second one in 1884. Sporting a Centennial Game tie, Sedgwick said he waves the flag at every Crimson touchdown.

"Of course we won that game," Sedgwick insisted when the conversation turned to the '68 square-off.

"Oh, we won," said John J. Ignacio '69, who made the only interception of the Game. "If the Game had lasted another 30 seconds, we would have won."

Dowling disagreed. "Hindsight's always 20/20. It was a tie," he said. "One consolation," he added, "was that there was no way we could lose."

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