Sibling Rivalries Heat Up at The Game

Students and their Yale siblings tease, challenge one another over The Game

After leaving The Game on Saturday in the fourth quarter “due to cold and general boredom”, James A. Fish ’10 and his sister, Nicole M. Fish, a senior at Yale who was also in the stands, had the following text message exchange:


Nicole: YOU SUCK

Me: Who sucks? Scoreboard what?

Nicole: Dude i don’t care—it was so cold i left”

As the Harvard student body celebrated the win on Saturday, the victory was particularly sweet for the few siblings of Harvard students at Yale. For them, the rivalry is two-fold, and extends beyond an annual football game.

“We actually have a Yale banner hanging up somewhere in the house, and a Harvard pillow somewhere else,” said Fish, whose mother went to Yale and father went to Harvard.

Unable to boast about their school’s football prowess, Yale siblings of Harvard students largely tease them for Harvard’s perceived lack of social life, according to several Harvard students.

In an e-mail Sunday, Fish wrote that his sister retaliated to his text message via a Facebook wall post: “WTF tailgate closing at KICKOFF?!?!”

“Sometimes I kind of see where she’s coming from,” Fish said.

But some Harvard students said they do not agree with their siblings’ assessments of Harvard’s lack of social life.

“I thoroughly disagree,” said Phoebe H. Johnson-Black ’10, whose brother, Harvey A. Johnson-Black, is a freshman at Yale. “Harvey and I had a little debate about this, this morning. I think we have a great time here.”

For their part, Harvard students said that their university’s ranking, location, and Harvard-Yale t-shirts are all superior to Yale’s.

“[Harvard also has the] biggest endowment, which leads to all sorts of great puns,” said Fish.

Despite mutual teasing and criticism, however, students said the rivalry does not run deep.

“My sister probably threatened to disown me at some point, but overall I think she understood,” said Jeremy Patashnik ’12. His sister, Ariel Patashnik, is currently a senior at Yale, and stayed in his dorm room with her friends over the weekend.

Students said they ultimately manage to rise above school and sibling rivalry due to a mutual apathy towards football.

“We both left at half time because we were cold and didn’t care,” said Johnson-Black. Both Fish and Patashnik expressed similar sentiments.

Students also said that the college experience only brought them and their siblings closer together.

“Going to college definitely changes you,” Johnson-Black said of her and her brother Harvey’s relationship. “So I feel like I have a lot in common with him.”