Beating the Bulldogs

The Game is a time for the Harvard community to unite against a common foe.

This Saturday, scores of Harvard students will trek nearly 150 miles south for the 134th meeting of the Harvard Crimson and the Yale Bulldogs football teams. Though the Harvard football team is lamentably not playing for a Ivy League championship—having lost to the University of Pennsylvania 23-6 this past weekend and, alas, Yale has already clinched a share of the Ivy League championship—we are as excited for The Game this year as any previous year.

Despite the Crimson’s struggles this year, the experience of the game is equal parts cultural and athletic. In addition to an opportunity to support our peers on the football team, The Game furnishes an opportunity for both Yale and Harvard students to take a deep breath and enjoy a weekend of relaxation, revelries, and communal spirit. Especially at this dire time in the semester—when students can feel mired in a second wave of midterms, deadlines for final projects and papers that are approaching disconcertingly quickly, and the general burnout all too common among Ivy League students—The Game offers an opportunity for students to step back from their duties and enjoy a revelrous weekend.

The benefits of The Game, however, are not only individual but also collective. Harvardians are able to celebrate the rich traditions of Harvard, which are almost palpable in the air at The Game. Moreover, in a year that has been marked by occasionally-acrimonious debates over matters such as the historic sanctions on unrecognized single-gender social organizations, The Game provides an opportunity for Harvardians to put their political differences aside and unite in the face of a common foe. Though the entire experience of The Game can last under 24 hours, we hope that the communal spirit it engenders persists for longer.

Our excitement aside, we also believe that it would be a shame for students’ safety and well-being to be put at risk, and would also most likely preclude their enjoyment of The Game. For this reason, we urge students to enjoy themselves responsibly and to always keep an eye out for their peers. We also understand Yale administrators’ decision to shorten school-sponsored pregame tailgates to two hours and restrict alcohol to a centralized vendor. These modifications will help to ensure students’ safety without establishing inordinate hurdles; indeed, we think that it will be difficult for a student to enjoy The Game if they do not even make it to the Yale Bowl. Though these safety rails will help to encourage healthy habits, ultimately individual students are responsible for their own and each other’s safety, and we urge them to exercise discretion.

Lastly, and most importantly, we look forward to the football team’s performance against Yale. They have already shown their resilience on the road in an upset win against the Columbia Lions, and we believe that they can muster a similar performance at Yale. Although they are exempt from winning the Ivy League championship, they still can deny Yale an outright title.

That’s everything you need to play for.

This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.