- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The bandsmen mounted the steps of Widener Library where red flares were lit. Gagnebin adjusted a microphone and introduced Captain Dick Diehl. The crowd was skeptical. Diehl was interrupted with cheers whenever he tried to speak. Gagnebin introduced the rest of the players. The band joined in the cheers for Zissis. Yovicsin said he had once been warned about Harvard indifference. Huge cheer for Harvard indifference. The entire rally took only 15 minutes. "We cut it short because we didn't want a riot," Gagnebin said.
The players filed aboard a Gray Line sightseeing bus to go to a motel in Framingham for the night. There they would see a movie, Sea Chase, which Gagnebin had selected over Ivanhoe and Go for Broke. "Good action film," he said. An undergraduate stopped by the bus, then said, shyly, to a player friend inside, "Get Yale." "You bet," said the player, shrinking into his seat.
Meanwhile, the crowd from the Yard had surged into Harvard Square, stopping outside Hayes Bick. "We want a riot!" someone yelled. There was no riot. Overheard conversation: "You going tomorrow?" "No, I sold my tickets. I got a good price." Cheers when a Negro beatnik with a beret, sunglasses and a goatee climbed up a ladder and waved to the crowd. More cheers when a patrol wagon arrived to take him away. "Who's he?" a reporter asked. "The guy who usually wears a sling," said a bystander. "We want tear gas!" someone cried. There was no tear gas and the police slowly dispersed the crowd.
At Sanders Theatre the Harvard and Yale glee clubs gave a joint concert. The Crimson critic didn't like it: "Certainly a football concert ought not to strive for the heights and depths, but it needn't be spread thin with kitsch [in word for showy rubbish], either." At the Signet Society two Harvard undergraduates read poetry and fiction while a Yale undergraduate read poetry. Harvard won, 2-1.
At 10:30 the Krokodiloes, the Hasty Pudding Club's version of the Whiffenpoofs, threw a party for the Whiffenpoofs in Eliot House. The Kroks and Whiffs, who wore white ties and tails, sang gay college songs. No one talked about The Game. "My roommate has never been to a game," said Al Burns, director of the Kroks, "but he likes the idea of Harvard beating Yale."
Saturday morning. Rainy and cold, At 10 a Santa Claus, carrying a case of beer, lurched down Mount Auburn and entered the side door of the Lampoon building. Inside he joined half a dozen more Santas, all candidates for the magazine. Standing about shouting imprecations at the Santas were editors wearing elf hats.
"Who's going to win The Game?" Jack Winter, a past president of the Lampoon, asked a visitor. " Harvard's favored by 12," said the visitor, "but a wet field helps the underdog." "I'm talking about The Game," said Winter, coldly. By The Game, he meant the Lampoon against The Yale Record in croquet. "Listen," said Winter, "one year we played The Game in the stadium and everybody left afterward. No one stayed to see football." As proof, he displayed an old Lampoon with a photograph showing a player punting before empty seats. "See," he snarled.
An editor named Woody Wickham made sure the Santa Clauses had mallets and beer. One Santa carried a parasol to keep the rain off an editor wearing a velvet jester's suit. When Wickham had finished checking he and the other editors shoved the Santas out the side door. "Let's go, you big Lampoon team!" they shouted.
The Yale Record team, a shabby-looking crew, was waiting in a nearby lot. A Record editor hawked programs of The Game to gawking onlookers. (The program was all about croquet; a small note announced: "Festivities will be followed by a football match between Yale and Harvard universities.") Just before The Game began the Record team started chanting, "Cheat! Cheat! Cheat!" Yale was behind before starting; the Lampoon always wins all games "by the traditional score of 23-2" (except in cross-country when the Lampoon wins "by the traditional score of 2-23").
By 1:20 p.m. the rain had stopped, but the temperature dropped close to freezing and a chilling wind swept over the capacity crowd of 39,000 in Soldiers Field. Down in the Harvard locker room, Yovicsin finished going over strategy. Then, very briefly, he said that everybody in the stands would give almost anything to play. "All right, seniors," he said. "Take over. It's yours." He and the assistant coaches left, leaving the players alone. "I think this is really cool," said Zissis later.