It's the season in a weekend. It's the beginning and the end. It's all that matters. It's The Game.
For the Harvard and Yale football teams, The Game is the barometer of a winning or losing season.
Harvard could finish the season 1-9, and a win in The Game would make it a successful season. Reverse the record to 9-1, and a loss to Yale would make the year a failure.
The Game. A 60-minute contest that makes or breaks a season.
Four years ago, Harvard was on the brink of winning the Ivy League title. Yale had nothing to play for. That is, except for The Game. The Elis rose up and denied the Crimson the title, 17-6. A 7-3 Harvard season meant nothing. Harvard lost The Game.
Sometimes The Game takes on a new meaning when the combatants battle for the Ivy League title. Last year, the two entered the game with identical 7-2 records. Winner take all. The Game, the Ivy title. When Harvard defeated Yale, 14-10, to win the title, it was hard for the players to figure out which accomplishment was more important.
There is only The Game this year. Harvard enters today 2-7 overall. Yale is 2-6-1. The Crimson has defeated only Brown and Columbia, a pair of squads that have combined to win one game this year.
Yale has beaten Columbia and Dartmouth. They tied winless Brown, 24-24, to start the season. Yale's opponents have scored twice as many points, 222-105, as the Elis.
But records don't matter in this game. Slaughters at the hands of other foes are inconsequential.
The rest of the Ivy League schedule is a preliminary match. The Game is the main event.
The winner of The Game leaves the season just that--a winner.
The losers will have the rest of the year, perhaps the rest of their lives, to think of what might have been.
Two years ago, the teams were in a similar situation. Harvard was 2-7 going into the game. The Elis were 3-6.
Both teams had long since been eliminated from the Ivy race. There was nothing to play for. Except The Game.
Sophomore quarterback Tom Yohe led the Crimson to a 24-17 victory over Yale.
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