It's been called The Game for all generations, and indeed, the yearly gridiron matchup between Harvard and Yale has gotten its fair share of attention since the two squads first took to the field in 1875. But different generations haven't always quite seen eye-to-eye in their conceptions of The Game. Herewith, a few of the more interesting things that turned up in The Crimson's archives as we surveyed...
ONLY FOUR FRESHMEN HAVE SIGNED the book at Leavitt's to accompany their class eleven to New Haven. This is the most disheartening evidence of utter lack of class loyalty that any class has shown certainly within the recollection of the present generation of college men. Ninety-five has given plenty of evidence this fall that in most respects, it is the poorest class that has entered Harvard for some time. The class has done nothing creditable up to this time into which it has not been goaded by public opinion. In previous years, freshman classes have known the duties which fell to their lot and have performed them fairly well without any urging; when urged at all, their response has been quick and all that could be expected. If this year's freshmen want their class to stand for anything at all in the college life, they must earn the respect of the college. They will certainly never do this sol long as they give their class teams such miserable support. Ninety-five must send a good number of supporters to New Haven with her eleven. More men should sign the book at once.
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A CURIOUS FACT WAS NOTICED during the Harvard-Yale game, according to a dispatch from New Haven to a New York paper. Just before Yale made her second touch down, an engine on the Connecticut River road which stood on a siding near the grounds blew out an immense ring of smoke. It floated over the field a perfect O. As it sailed over the Harvard eleven, Yale scored the touch down, and as McLung kicked the goal the ring gradually broke and spread into a distant Y over the Yale team.
THE RIDDLE of a Harvard-Yale football game is one which the wiseacres of the football coterie have never been able to solve. If they cannot explain results that have been, surely they cannot predict what the results will be. "The odds are on Harvard," some say with a finality that spells a Crimson victory. But who ever heard of odds on Yale, reasonable or unreasonable? "Harvard has a better record," say others, forgetting that games are not won on records. Harvard tried the record policy in 1911, and neither won. "Yale has the old Yale spirit," say still others, who do not know that that there is a Harvard spirit of less fame, but no less power. Spirit counts, but who can say, "Here is a true fighting spirit; there, is none?" In the end, it is a question of faith, and we place ours in Harvard as Yale men place theirs in Yale.
Yet in placing our faith, we hope, as the sportsman always does, that the better team will win. And when all is said and done, the better team probably will win, for failures and flukes are as much a measure of a team as splendid gains and wonderful charges. If a team fails in a crucial test, it is not the better team at that time, whatever it may have been before or may be after. But, to be frank, the philosophy of hoping that the better team will win is curiously involved with a good deal of believing that we (and Yale men feel this, too) shall be found to have the better team.
This afternoon, we shall expect Harvard men to support their teams as they never did before; and we shall also expect the team to play football that will make it famous in Harvard history.
THE PRELIMINARies of the final and greatest case on the Harvard 1922 football docket were concluded yesterday with a parade that surpassed even the "record-breaker" mass meeting. Never have more Harvard men marched to to Soldiers Field to cheer a football team in its last practice. The briefs, "We are going to win" and "We'll beat Yale" reflect unmistakably the attitude in Cambridge. And every Harvard man who is going to witness the trial tomorrow will support the team with the same conviction.
Precedent favors Harvard. For many years Princeton has been at its best against Harvard; Yale at its best against Princeton; and Harvard at its best against Yale. And only one Yale victory over Harvard in thirteen years bears proof that the precedent has a solid foundation. And precedent in this case: John Harvard vs. Eli Yale is to be maintained.
HARVARD AND YALE HAVE MET for the fiftieth time in a football game. A crowd of 60,000 persons is dispersing in small, excited groups which bear with them the spirit of a rivalry firmly based on friendship.
There are players, who have furnished the competition, who have exhausted themselves in a great match of wit and abilities. They are to be congratulated for their noble contributions to the history of Harvard and Yale. It is the teams which met today, as well as their predecessors in the Stadium and in the Bowl that have supplied the meetest realization of the rivalry and friendship that has ever existed between Yale and Harvard. The conduct of all such delegates of the two institutions has built up a festive tradition that has long been regarded by Harvard and Yale men much in the same light as the Fourth of July.