Alums, both recent and not, gather to watch 125th Harvard-Yale Faceoff

Alumni of all ages gathered Saturday to watch the 125th edition of The Game, battling the cold to show their support for an ancient tradition.

“We’ve been going to this for over fifty years,” said Warren M. “Renny” Liddle ’55, as he and his classmates set up their tailgate around 10:30 a.m.. “It’s good to see a good turnout today.”

His classmate, Robert Rittemburg ’55, said he and a group of friends attend all of Harvard’s football games, including the away ones, but that there is something special about the Harvard-Yale contest.

“I enjoy the rivalry—it’s usually closely matched,” he said, adding that the abundance of alumni adds to the experience.

Recent alumni also returned to campus, often with a new outlook.

“I’m way more nostalgic, and a little more appreciative of it,” said Aarti Kapoor ’07, who came from New York for two days to watch The Game.

Alumni said the game has evolved over the years.

“The biggest difference is Harvard has won it more often in recent years,” says Paul E. Zilk ’79, who had recently returned from Paris, at the alumni luncheon held at Gordon Indoor Track and Field. “Every time we win the Ivy championship, it’s exciting.”

Many grads admitted, however, that this year’s new tailgating rules created numerous difficulties.

“I know it’s a function of Cambridge Police, but people are pretty disappointed,” said Kapoor. “The organization here could be a little better.”

Robert S. Blacklow ’55 said The Game also seems to have become rowdier over the years.

“People have less respect for the tradition,” he said. “Now it’s just more of a happening.”

Still, Harvard’s most spirited athletic event continued to draw alumni back to Cambridge.

“I’m always happy to see the spirit and alumni here,” Zilk said. “That’s pretty much why I keep coming back.”