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‘Feel Like a Freshman Again’: Students Gear Up for The Game With Harvard-Yale Spirit Week, Merch Decorating

Students are preparing for the 139th rendition of The Game this Saturday.
Students are preparing for the 139th rendition of The Game this Saturday. By Christopher L. Li
By Paton D. Roberts and Sophia C. Scott, Crimson Staff Writers

As the 139th playing of The Game approaches, students across campus are preparing by planning transportation and housing, attending spirit week events, and organizing mixers with Yale students.

While Harvard’s football team has already claimed at least a part of the Ivy League title, Saturday’s matchup will determine whether Yale shares the prize.

This will be the first Harvard-Yale Game hosted in New Haven without pandemic-related restrictions since 2019. In 2021, Yale did not offer Friday night housing to Harvard students, citing Covid-19 concerns.

This year, upperclassmen houses and freshman dorms are paired with Yale’s residential colleges, where students will be able to sleep in the common areas of their sister college.

Harvard offered tickets for shuttles to New Haven on Friday evening and Saturday morning, though the tickets sold out earlier this week. Some students are selling their tickets on house email lists, often asking for the best offer.

Abdul M. Mohammed ’24 described the upcharges for shuttle tickets as a similar situation to last year’s resale market for tickets to the actual Game, which saw some Harvard students resell their free undergraduate tickets for more than $100.

“I remember like last year, closer to the day, the rates were almost two and a half times as much as when they got them for,” he said. “It was kind of crazy — it was terrible.”

Harvard Athletics sold tickets across campus throughout the week, but their campus supply ran out Thursday afternoon. In an email to undergraduates, they advised students without a ticket to purchase one at the Yale Bowl before The Game begins on Saturday.

Students line up to buy Harvard-Yale tickets at Smith Campus Center.
Students line up to buy Harvard-Yale tickets at Smith Campus Center. By Tracy Jiang

Mohammed said this year’s installment of Harvard-Yale will be the first time he attends the historic football game.

“I’ve experienced the culture around the big rivalry for sure. So I’m going to look forward to experiencing that again,” he said.

Meredith E. Blanchard ’26 said while she is excited to see The Game at Yale for the first time, assignments due next week make it difficult for her to fully enjoy the weekend.

“It’s kind of a busy week, so I’m trying to get everything done before The Game — I have a lot of stuff due Monday and Tuesday, so it’s a bit of a damper on the weekend,” she said.

The College Events Board hosted various events to build excitement ahead of The Game, including a “State Fair,” “Ride or DIY,” and the annual “Bulldog Roast.”

Barbara A. Sheehan ’27, who plans to drive to Yale on Friday for her first Harvard football game, said she enjoyed the various festivities this week.

“Some of the events leading up so far have been really fun,” she said. “I was able to make a stuffed duck. It was a lot of fun. It has a fun little Harvard-Yale T-shirt on.”

Ines De La Morena ’23-’24 and Helen D. Eichorn ’23-’25 attended the Bulldog Roast Thursday evening, a tradition hosted by Organismic and Evolutionary Biology lecturer Andrew J. Berry that also features student comics.

Eichorn, an Integrative Biology concentrator, said the comedy show was “funny,” and it was “nice” to hear from Berry, her adviser, in a different setting.

“Yale sucks,” De La Morena added.

Following the roast, students participated in a merch-making event in the Eliot House dining hall organized by the Harvard Undergraduate Arts & Crafts Club. Attendees had the opportunity to customize bucket hats and drink holders with Harvard insignia.

“We’re the last generation pre-Covid because it’s the ’23-ers that took a gap year,” De La Morena said. “So I’m excited to see some people that I started college with and feel like a freshman again before I leave this campus forever.”

—Staff writer Paton D. Roberts can be reached at Follow her on X at @paton_dr.

—Staff writer Sophia C. Scott can be reached at Follow her on X at @ScottSophia_.

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