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Anything Can Happen: Harvard Goes All the Way in '89

By Julio R. Varela

If Brent Musberger can sound like he's making sense when he talks about football predictions (hard to picture), then why can't I?

First of all, sit down, because what I'm about to narrate are perhaps the strangest observations ever made about the 1989 Harvard football squad.

While others talk about the Ivy League cellar as they page through the latest issue ofPenthouse, America's premier "sports" magazine, I have let my gut feeling do the talking instead of my head. Besides, I'd do the same thing if I were answering final exam question, right? Why should picking football games by any different?

So, I offer you the 1989 Crimson football season, the weird version:

Saturday, September 16, New York:A beautiful day for football. The sky is clear, the air is crisp and the nearby Hudson River is murky gray.

The Columbia Lions jump out to a 21-0 lead over Harvard before the ball begins to do some strange things, like bounce off two lions defenders and into the hands of Kevin Collins for the first Harvard score.

Next, Lions running back Solomon Johnson helplessly watches his fumble roll into the Columbia end zone, where Captain Greg Gicewicz scurries to smother the ball for another Harvard TD.

Then, with 10 seconds remaining, Harvard quarterback Tim Perry throws a pass that bounces off a goalpost, off the helmet of a Columbia safety and straight to Mark Bianchi.

The referees love the play so much that they award the Crimson 10 extra points for originality. Final score: Harvard 30, Columbia 21.

Saturday, September 23, the Stadium:As the Holy Cross defense lines up for the first play of the game, a large boulder falls from the sky and lands on the field, creating a crater the size of Tony Mandarich. The Crusaders trip and fall in. Harvard runs up the score to win, 56-0.

Saturday, September 30, West Point:Ah, the glory that is Army. But on this infamous day, the generals teaching basic tank training forget there's a football game being played.

One of the Cadets makes a wrong turn and crashes straight into the stadium, causing the ball to mysteriously slip through the hands of an Army receiver and right to Harvard defensive back Jim Smith, who proceeds to score the only touchdown of the game. Harvard 10, Army 6.

Saturday, October 7, the Stadium:The Crimson covers the crater caused by the boulder with a large, simulation-grass blanket. Lehigh falls for it and most of its starting players are trapped. Cakewalk for the Crimson, 23-3.

Saturday, October 14, Ithaca:Cornell Coach Jack Fouts oversleeps and forgets to wake up his players. The crimson plays the Big Red Field hockey team. Jim Reidy notches a hat trick. Harvard 4, Cornell 0.

Saturday, October 21, the Stadium:As has been the tradition, Dartmouth's Class of 1993 gets set to storm the walls and rush the field. Over 1000 green-jerseyed students fall into the Crater which, just the day before, was proclaimed a University landmark. Thinking it's some kind of mongo frat party, the Big Green Football players join, their buddies. Harvard 17, Dartmouth 10.

Saturday, October 28, the Stadium: "There's no way we're falling for the Crater trick,' says Princeton Coach Steve Tosches before the game. The Tigers don't but they do fall for the tie-their-shoelaces-together-while-they're-not-loo king gag. It works perfectly and Art McMahon streaks down the sideline for the winning touchdown. Harvard 29, Princeton 24.

Saturday, November 4, Providence:The Ivy League suspends Brown from league play for having the most annoying mascot in the Ivies.

"We've been warning them for the past 15 years," one official says. "They just ignored them. We were going to be lenient, but when that doofball started doing Denny Terrio impersonations during halftime, that was it. Have they no shame?"

Harvard wins by forfeit.

Saturday, November 11, the Stadium:Penn Coach Gary Steele convinces Coach Joe Restic to forget about the football game Wrestling would be much more entertaining for the fans.

Restic agrees, and Crimson defensive lineman Mike Murphy pins his opponent with a patented Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka leap from the top rope.

Harvard wins the Ivy title.

Saturday, November 18, New Haven:President Bush orders Yale Coach Carm Cozza to let him start at quarterback. Cozza concedes, most likely because he's reached the point of desperation with his offense.

Bush looks solid in the first half but can't drive the Elis into the endzone.

With the game scoreless in the fourth quarter, Harvard defensive back Bobby Frame blitzes from the weak side. Catches Bush by Surprise and sacks him in the endzone. The President's glasses crack and his three-piece suit gets smothered in mud

The Crimson wins, 2-0.

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