SI Vault
Robert H. Boyle
December 17, 1962
The preppies, the wonks and clubbies have their own curious ways of celebrating the weekend when they play The Game with those nasty—and, naturally, inferior—boys from New Haven
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December 17, 1962

The Harvards And The Yales

The preppies, the wonks and clubbies have their own curious ways of celebrating the weekend when they play The Game with those nasty—and, naturally, inferior—boys from New Haven

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Alumni jammed into tents and field houses surrounding the stadium. There were at least 2,000 in Briggs Cage. No one was heard talking about The Game. Conversations ran from, "Jack, you've put on weight," to "That picture looks best in the library, George."

Porcellian threw a party to which ladies were admitted, then held a dinner from which ladies were excluded. The houses gave dances. The Lampoon had a blast. No one talked about The Game. Instead Jack Winter sang a rock-'n'-roll song about baseball players. The lyrics went: "Wayne Belardi...Tommy Umphlett...Don Bollweg."

"Don't go to Pi Eta," Winter warned. "You'll find jocks slobbering over their dates in the corner."

The noisiest party was at the Pi Eta Club. Joe Cronin, president of the American League, was there. His son Corky is a member. The Geary brothers, ex-Harvard hockey players and stars of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team, were there. There was talk Teddy Kennedy would show up. Teddy and the late Joe Kennedy Jr. were members. "Teddy was here last year for Princeton," said Jim Schroeder, the president. Pi Eta has 90 members, 22 of them football players. "This has always been a jock house," Schroeder said. No one was talking about The Game. John Davidson, '53 and a former Pi Eta president, said, " Harvard's whole interest in athletics is a very subtle thing, but it's not as sneered at as most people like to think. It's a little game they play." "Hah-vud," said Frederick Flather III, '54, "is an intellectual institution. It's the pride in something you don't have to boast about. It's a great institution. We're Hah-vud, and Hah-vud is still No. 1 in this country." A famous ex-Harvard athlete spoke up. "Don't use my name, but the spirit could be better." "But then," said Fred Flather, "it wouldn't be Hah-vud."

Sunday morning. Cambridge was still. At noon alumni began leaving town. In the late afternoon Ernie Zissis, Rick Beizer and Mike Foley relaxed in their suite in one of the new towers in Leverett House. Zissis, a junior, had played his last game of football for Harvard. A transfer from West Point, he had lost a year of eligibility. Football was really important at the Point. "Here," said Zissis, "there are so many things to do; there's no need to get fired up about football. It's a good thing. I like it that way."

"The whole thing is to put football in the right perspective," said Foley. "And we come as close here as anybody."

Beizer said that he and Zissis had started a Gentlemen's Corner in the Varsity Club. "Anybody could sit in," he said, "but there was no jock talk." Early in the season, he and Zissis had passed the word to four sophomores to cut out the jock talk. "It was football, football, all the time," Beizer said. "Now these guys are bright. This was in the beginning of the season and it's funny to see how their attitude changed. Ernie and I got them alone and tried to wise them up. We told them to leave football in the locker room, to talk a little Plato and Aristotle."

"I'd hate to walk around the Square and have people point me out and say 'Hey, he plays football,' " Zissis said. "I really would."

"Actually," said Foley, "we're an arrogant team, but with a sort of quiet determinism."

"I'm awfully proud of this place," Zissis said. "I know what it means to me. Well, we all know what it means to us."

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