On the field the Harvard band performed "the first Conservative pregame show" in honor of William F. Buckley, Yale '50, by marching backwards. There was an enormous cheer when the public-address announcer reported that President Kennedy had to cancel plans to attend The Game. Everyone sang the national anthem.
The students in Section 33 were noisier than the alumni in Section 29. One out of four girls wore Harvard scarves. Occasionally, there would be a cry of, "Restrain them, Harvard! Impede their forward progress!" Harvard took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter but, right after the touchdown, the wife of an alumnus in Section 29 announced she was bored. A biplane flew overhead trailing a banner: BUY LEAVITT & PEIRCE CAKE TOBACCO MIX.
At half time the Harvard band saluted the Trojan War. The members formed a bow and arrow while they played Ajax, the Foaming Cleanser, and ended up in the shape of a Trojan horse. Then they played I've Got You Under My Skin.
"I wish they'd stop playing those sophisticated show tunes." an alumnus in Section 29 complained. The band swung into Ten Thousand Men of Harvard
. "Now that," said the alumnus, "is more like it."
The Yale cheerleaders tried to rough up a student dressed as John Harvard. He escaped, waving his Pilgrim hat in triumph as he danced back across the field. "The Dartmouth boys were very rude," said an alumnus. "Yes," said a woman, "why when I went to the ladies' room...." A cheer for Harvard's victory in tiddlywinks blotted out her remarks. "God Save the Queen?" the alumnus asked. "I guess they think they're all wild Indi...." Cheer for the Lampoon win in croquet "by the traditional score of 23-2."
In the third quarter the Yale side of the field cheered when Halfback Jack Cirie returned a punt 59 yards for a touchdown. The Harvard side cheered when Yale messed up the conversion. Gloom in Section 8 high above the Yale students where three South Boston Italians had Harvard by 11 points. "We've lost," said a man named Louie.
A Harvard bandsman held up cards for the members to see. They read: MURMUR, ANGRY, BLOOD. On One, VERITAS had been crossed out and TRUTH written underneath. When Zissis came out a bandsman led a special Zissis cheer.
"Give me a Z," he began, spelling out Zissis. "What's it spell?" he asked. "Zissis!" "What's it spell backwards?" "Zissis!" "What's it spell sideways?" "Zissis!"
Harvard scored with six minutes left to take a 14-6 lead. With two minutes to go, Harvard students began waving handkerchiefs. As the teams lined up for the last play, the gun went off. Rick Beizer, a Harvard linebacker and rock-'n'-roll fanatic, spoke first after the historic 1962 game. "Who," he called over to the Yale quarterback, Brian Rapp, "did Oh what a Night?" "The Dells," Rapp shot back. "Hey, I found out who did She's Gone—The Channels."
The Harvard locker room was joyful but not ecstatic. Yovicsin was almost in tears, sort of choked up, accepting greetings from well-wishers, reporters and old players mostly.