Alcohol Flows Freely at Tailgate

Four Mather House residents swayed atop a rickety table, raised their cups to the air and pointed to a crude cardboard clock. The inebriated quartet began a rousing countdown of their sixth round of “Crunk Time.” Cold droplets of beer sprayed on their fellow House-mates, who reciprocated by chanting along and then chugging their drinks.

Alcohol flowed freely at the tailgates organized by the House Committees (HoCo) as students celebrated the 125th Harvard-Yale game on Saturday and the 10-0 Harvard victory.

Last month, the Boston Police Department introduced new regulations that would bring Harvard-Yale tailgates in line with the city’s standards for university sporting events.

Alcohol restrictions were less stringent than two years ago when students had to pay for alcoholic beverages that were only available in designated areas. On Saturday, HoCos were permitted to serve wine and beer to 21-year-old students.

The new rules also curtailed the length of the tailgate which began at 10 a.m. but ended two hours later at kickoff. Two years ago, the pre-game celebration continued until half-time.

“In many ways, the tailgate is a lot more important than the Game itself,” said Austin M. Litoff ’09.

The Harvard Beverage Authorization Team distributed green wristbands to students who were of age, but many HoCos did not actively check for such verification.

“I’m really disappointed that Harvard, as a University, tried to shut us down,” said Mather House resident Walter E. Howell ’09, who is also a Crimson sports editor. “But we are rising up. We’re going to get crunked!”

The new rules forbade the distribution of hard alcohol at the tailgate. But, Eliot House’s cardboard cow dispensed vodka, in addition to standard boxed wine, from its udders.

Many students complained that the tailgates were too dispersed and difficult to find.

“It’s sub-par because the House tailgates are so far from the actual game,” said Andrew G. Sadow ’08, a former Currier House resident.

Some Yale students congregated on a tennis court, ate meat kebabs and danced to music from DJ GirlTalk. They were, for the most part, less than impressed by Harvard’s tailgate.

“I will say it’s a little bit more difficult to tailgate here than at Yale,” said Yale senior Patrick F. Dewechter.

With the help of loosely imposed alcohol regulations, the frigid weather did not discourage the revelers from enjoying the annual event.

HoCos each took a slightly different approach to the tailgate beyond beer and wine. While Dunster rallied enthusiasm with muffins and its moose mascot, Pforzheimer spooned out its student-winning chile recipe and Lowell brought a Twister mat.

“The tailgate as a whole sucks, but Dunster is doing a pretty damn good job,” said Dunster House resident Steven J. Schowalter ’09. “We’re free to rage, enjoy ourselves, and belligerate until the morning.”

—Staff Writer Lauren D. Kiel can be reached at

—Staff Writer Esther I. Yi can be reached at