It was a sickening, disappointing and bittersweet sight.
Yesterday afternoon, as the clock expired on the 117th playing of The Game, Yalies poured forth clumsily over the 10-foot high walls of Harvard Stadium to join their football team in celebration of its 34-24 win. Strains of "Boola Boola," Yale's fight song, wafted through the chilly air as the Harvard players, many with heads hung low, slowly walked off their home field.
It shouldn't have ended this way.
It shouldn't have ended this way for the team as a whole. This year's edition of the Crimson had arguably the most potent offense in the 127-year history of Harvard football. Heading into The Game, the Crimson was ranked fourth in the country in total offense, had the tenth best passing offense in the country and led the Ivy League in rushing offense. The 4,679 yards of total offense for the year, a school record, bested the mark of the 1997 team, which won the Ivy title.
Although the offense was stellar this season, the defense certainly pulled its own weight. Before yesterday, the Crimson was ranked second in the League in scoring defense and first in rushing defense. This season, Harvard shut out an opponent for the first time since its 1997 banner season.
In fact, just based on statistics and general team performance, the offensive explosiveness and defensive tenacity will firmly cement the 2000 Crimson as one of the best Harvard football teams of all time.
But why, then, did Harvard end the year with a 5-5 overall record and a 4-3 Ivy record? Why couldn't the deadly offense provide more than one additional Ivy win over last season's team? Why couldn't the defense give Harvard its first winning record in three seasons? Why did we suffer another painful loss to such revoltingly smug and decidedly inferior opponent?
If I knew the answers to any or all of these questions, I would be running the show. But since I'm merely a helpless spectator, I only know one thing for certain.
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