finally the Yale grad calmed down and he groaned, and he said there were
certainly times when he wished he were not a Yale man at heart, and this was
one of them. If Yale were anything like those freethinking colleges in the
western hills, like Amherst, where moral turpitude was 'all the rage'—as he put
it—why, it would have been easy to reconstruct the event and lay it on the line
The Boston Globe
that the ball had been recovered from the Harvard end
zone and a Yale touchdown scored.
" 'There are
times when being a Yale man can be a burden,' he went on sorrowfully, 'but that
is as it should be.' "
(according to Fitzgerald) the Yale grad turned and moved off through the gloom
towards the stadium exits. As Fitzgerald watched him go he felt a sudden burst
of pride. The lonely stooped figure suddenly seemed to symbolize the sort of
citizen Yale would prepare him to be: one who would be guided through life's
struggle by moral righteousness. The drama of that realization was such that
Fitzgerald was almost surprised it was not accompanied by strains of music from
the dark reaches of the stadium. "It was a tremendous moment," he says
of his feelings.
might well have been momentary, since at that point Fitzgerald suddenly
realized he was alone in a football uniform on a hostile Massachusetts night,
his teammates long gone. "Lord, it was cold," he remembers. "I beat
on the windows of the Dillon Field House. There was no one in there. The team
buses had pulled out. I walked up into Cambridge. My football cleats made these
big crunching sounds against the pavement. There were quite a few people
celebrating, and the windows of the Harvard dormitories were lit, and I could
see people standing around holding glasses.
"I walked up
to Harvard Square. There's a little place there just off Massachusetts Avenue.
This cat with long hair was playing the bagpipes in the dark and a girl was
beating a tambourine against a tree. I listened to the music. I thought to
myself that it would not be long before I would be inhaling deeply, and through
the brass mouthpiece of a tuba exploding the refrain that now had such meaning
for me, 'Boo-la, Boo-la.' You know, 'We've hope and faith in E-li Yale,' etc.
'Well, a Boo-la, Boo, Boo-la, Boo-la, Boo, Boo-la, Boo, Boo-la, 'oo-la, Boo-la,
The foregoing is
an "inside story" only in the sense of having proceeded from the inside
of Author George Plimpton's head. Mr. Plimpton is, by the way (head and all), a