"The Polish Connection" Makes One Last Hit

It's not p.c., but it's the P.C.

The Polish Connection, Harvard's two-man defensive tandem up the middle, has helped anchor arguably the best defense in the Ivy League this year. Senior tackle Chris Nowinski and senior inside linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski even have custom-made T-shirts to validate the Connection's existence.

Others on the team might be rolling their eyes, but they'll probably let the heart of Harvard's interior run defense get away with it, since the Crimson's last three opponents have rushed 77 times for 64 yards.

What isn't as clear is how the Polish Connection got started.

"He started it," they say, pointing at each other.


"He lied in a previous article when he said it was me," Nowinski said.

"What are you talking about!"

"It was you--you created it then put it on me because you felt embarrassed about mentioning it. That is the God's honest truth. You said we've got to get the press to start calling us the Polish Connection out of the blue, and I said fine."

"I remember hearing that, and him saying, 'Oh, you're the other half.' 'The other half,' like you're the original half--real condescending," Kacyvenski complains.

They're not the only two people of Polish descent on the team, but the Polish Connection has very limited enrollment.

"There's a few other 'skis on the team, but we've denied them access--they tried to weasel their way in," Nowinski says. "John Kadzielski, Mark Laborsky, Paul Stekala. You have to be either me or Isaiah. When we--when he--created this we decided it was just us."

"We created it," Kacyvenski says.

"All right, fine, it was a mutual genesis. Both of our brains separated and then we came together and said we should call ourselves the Polish Connection at the same time," Nowinski says.

See how well they get along?

They're not even the most Polish people on the team.

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