I roll out of bed at 8:45 on game day (you know, The Game), ready to document the event for posterity. First stop: the pancake breakfast in Annenberg to meet up with my fellow game-day warriors. We then head to a sad pregame in a freshman dorm. The theme of the pregame is “Too Many Cooks.” Libations are poured to Smarf, the picaresque anti-hero of the 11 minute video. I’m offered some alcohol. I don’t take it for reasons of journalistic integrity, obviously.
After the group has consumed enough diluted cheap vodka, we venture out to join the river of people crossing the Charles towards the stadium. Humanity, it seems, imitates nature, which imitates water. Unfortunately, humans are a lot denser. We finally arrive at the tailgate at the tennis courts. This. Is. It. The final frontier of new journalism. Pay attention, Bezos.
We take a lap around the courts to drink in the atmosphere. Shockingly, that’s not the only form of drinking that’s going on. It becomes clear that we have stumbled into a den of sin. Disgusted by the debauchery of the tennis courts, we venture over to the club tailgates near the cars. We pass the porta-potties on the way, which only makes us feel a stronger degree of disgust.
Perhaps inspired by the innovative spirit and entrepreneurial drive of the i-Lab, just a stone’s throw from the stadium, a man explores new frontiers of urination by peeing in between two porta-potties as opposed to inside one. Top stuff.
The club and alumni tailgates are similarly debauched. With our puritan sensibilities offended and kick-off time fast approaching, we join the throng of people entering the stadium.
Maybe it was all the journalistic integrity from earlier, but as I walk into the stadium I realize that I could use a little nap, and maybe a trip to the porta-potties. It seems this thought has struck a lot of people by now.
One heroine decides she’s not waiting for Harvard to provide more nap spaces on campus. In a Herculean gesture of immense civil disobedience, she takes napping into her own hands for much of the 1st quarter. A nap-based protest of these proportions hasn’t been seen since “Nap Attack!” took Harvard by storm. I snap a picture for journalism. If you’re reading this President Faust, enough is enough. The students have spoken. In their sleep.
A football crowd is like a pointillist painting (in the world of journalism, we call what I just did a “simile”). When you look at it from far away, it seems coherent: tons of people cheering for a common cause. It’s only when you look at, or in this case, hear, the individual components of the crowd, that it becomes absurd as a whole. If you don’t believe me, take a look at some of the phrases yelled out by the intoxicated fans:
“And, I’m not a hussy by any means.”
– A woman in the row in front of us, describing a chance encounter with a gentleman the previous night.
“You’ll know Taylor Swift is done when when she releases an amazing Christmas album.”
-A burly man holding a “Rolling Rock,” grunting angrily.
“I wish I had gone to a football school.”
– A sad, sad man just before the kickoff. After saying this, he stared down into his PBR, finished it, and let out a tragic sigh.
Overwhelmed, I take a trip to the bathroom. The walls of the men’s room are lined with urinals. As I wait in line I notice four women partway up the line into the men’s room. After a while, one of them turns to a similarly female companion and asks, “Wait…Is this not the women’s bathroom?”
Unbeknownst to many of the drunken fans, a football game was happening at the same time as their brisk outdoor party. On an auditory backdrop of “Fuck Yale!” and “Yale sucks!” the Harvard team pulls off an incredibly close win.
Like our Snapchat filter, much of the day has faded away: the thousands of PBRs, the numbness in our toes, and Yale’s misinformed optimism. What remains is the feeling produced as the students storm the field, gingerly lowering themselves down the stadium walls and then dropping with the grace of a sack of flour: the once-a-year magic of the whole school being pulled together.