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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Ready to Reverse the Trend

By The CRIMSON Staff, Crimson Staff Writer

The Chicago Cubs have been waiting for a championship for 88 years.

Across town, the White Sox haven't won in almost a century.

The hometown Boston Red Sox raised their last banner in 1918.

And then, there's the Harvard Lampoon.

The semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to

occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine will try to end its drought against the undefeated Crimson softball squad this Sunday, when the two teams continue a series that began in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

The last time the two teams met, The Crimson won, 23 to 2. And the time before that. And the time before that. By 1904, the trend had already

become noticeable.

After yet another lopsided win that year, even The Crimson complained: "The annual victory of the Crimson over the Lampoons took place yesterday as scheduled. This sort of thing is becoming monotonous."

But hope springs eternal, and the new president of the Lampoon, sophomore Steve Hely, says that after decades of humiliation, this could be the year.

"I guarantee a victory," an ebullient Hely boasted to The Crimson earlier

this week.

And the scrappy Lampoon team, according to sources inside the magazine's impregnable Bow Street fortress, has been preparing for the showdown for weeks.

While still tentative, the Lampoon's starting line-up is reported to include Hely on the mound, renowned baserunner Danny "Fingers" Chun at

first and retired Lampoon president Matt "Six-Pack" Warburton as

designated hitter and "enforcer."

Chun, the storied cat burglar, said yesterday that the Lampoon team would triumph despite their disappointing history and the organization's legendary protein-free diet.

"We are so going to take them to school-softball school," Chun told The Crimson. "You absolutely can't handle my mad, mad skills."

The Crimson-Lampoon game dates back to at least 1887, when, according to later histories, Crimson teams "trounced the Lampoon severely at irregular intervals."

This is the first meeting between the two teams in several years. Citing

the excessive workload of producing a magazine five times a year, the

Lampoon previously had declined the daily's invitations.

While the Lampoon has been busy preparing for the game, The Crimson has been tight-lipped with its plans.

After preliminary thrashings of IGP and the Harvard Independent, Crimson manager Alan Wirzbicki says the team is in good shape but won't divulge the lineup for Sunday's showdown.

"The Crimson team has not yet been chosen from the wealth of champion material always to be found on the board," Wirzbicki explained.

The game will be held at noon on Sunday at the Cambridge Commons softball diamond.

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