The conversion made it 22-13, and the 40,280 fans—at least one of whom paid $1,000 to a scalper for a block of eight seats—began to stir. Perhaps the game would, after all, turn out to be worth the price. Up to this point the best game probably had been the scalping. As one Yale student said in New Haven on Wednesday, "I found my turkey for Thanksgiving. He's fat and Old Blue and rich."
Of the tickets available—at $6 each—15,000 were shipped down to Yale, where the majority were doled out at the rate of four per student. "The rest," said Jack Blake, who handles such things at Yale, "went to the alumni—only two per person." He smiled and shook his head. "For three straight days my phone never stopped ringing. They were demanding to know why they ordered six or eight and only got two. This is the first time such a thing ever happened."
Home-team Harvard did things differently. It gave out 9,000 tickets to undergraduates—the highest student ticket demand ever. It filled its alumni orders by starting with the oldest class. When officials got to the class of '49 they ran out of tickets and quit. "I just avoided phone calls," said Ticket Manager Gordon Page, who, if nothing else, helped Harvard set the NCAA record for the team cheered by the largest number of Golden Agers.
And how they cheered when Crim's run cut Yale's lead to nine points in the third quarter. Then a strange thing happened: Yale had scored in 22 straight quarters, but in this one it didn't, primarily because it gave up two more fumbles to Harvard.
"Enough of this nonsense," or some such thing, said Brian Dowling. It is claimed by Yale fans that Dowling once walked from New Haven to Long Island—straight across the Sound. "At most universities the bag is saying God is dead," said a Yale undergraduate. "We think He's wearing No. 10."
Stung, perhaps, by the ending of the scoring streak, Dowling needed just eight plays in the fourth quarter to begin a hew one, rolling five yards around right end himself for the touchdown, his second of the game. He had passed three yards to Calvin Hill and five to Del Marting for the others.
Now Carmen Cozza, the Yale coach, glanced at the scoreboard: Yale 28, Harvard 13, and 10 minutes and 44 seconds to play. Cozza shrugged and waved in Bob Bayless to kick the extra point, which he did. Following Yale's third score Cozza had ordered a two-point conversion, which Dowling had picked up on a pass to Marting.
"After the third touchdown," said Cozza, "I figured two points would put it out of reach. After the fourth one, I figured what difference does it make? There was no way they could come back. No way they could win."
The Cozza Theory of Conversions While Enjoying a 15-Point Lead held up for 10 minutes, which was slightly less than it should have. With Yale rooters waving handkerchiefs and screaming across the field, "You're No. 2," Champi rallied his troops. "When they started waving those white hankies and yelling," said Gatto, "it got to us." Harvard drove downfield, and with 42 seconds left Champi threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Freeman. A Yale penalty gave Harvard two tries at the two-point conversion, and Crim got it the second time on a run. Bedlam! Everyone in New England now screamed, "Onside kick." Everyone, that is, but the Yale thinkers, for out trotted the usual kickoff-return team and up front went the big lumbering blockers. So, of course, Harvard's Bill Kelly wound up with the ball on the Yale 49.
With Champi running for 14 yards and getting 15 more when his face mask was grabbed, Harvard eventually reached the Yale eight. Now there were three seconds left. Champi scrambled back, forward, back, twirled and hurled. Suddenly the afternoon was reduced to a prayer meeting. Does He wear a blue or a crimson tie? The ball sailed, time ran out and Gatto gathered in the pass. Touchdown! Crimson cravat!