Annotations: Views of The Game

Writers reflect on Harvard’s annual football tradition

Harvard-Yale’s Third Party

This year’s Game is my first one in Cambridge as a student, and I’ve never looked forward to it more. I have distinct memories of recent games, having attended 14 of them with my father and his Class of ’79 friends since I was four years old. Each iteration has been a little different: from tailgate restrictions to final scores, the Game always changes.

There is only one Game tradition that I will truly miss if it is absent this weekend: the MIT hack. The concept has always amused me—MIT nerds feeling left out by the ceremony of self-importance and athletic exclusivity upriver, and resolving to crash the party. The pranks have been elaborate and crazy interruptions to football games that have not, typically, been of the highest quality—and I’ve appreciated them since I was too young to stay awake through all four quarters of play.

But there hasn’t been a prank in a few years, and I’m beginning to worry about the hack’s future. I understand Boston police cracking down on drinking, but a weather balloon popping out at midfield between plays never hurt anyone. I can guarantee there will be at least one fan at Harvard Stadium this year rooting for something beyond a mere victory over the Elis—awaiting the whimsical, funny gesture that has become a cherished part of my Game.

Alexander R. Konrad ’11, a Crimson editorial writer, is a history concentrator in Quincy House.

The Beautiful and The Game

“Crispness folded down upon New York…bringing November and the three big football games and a great fluttering of furs along Fifth Avenue. It brought, also, a sense of tension to the city, and suppressed excitement.”

Fitzgerald wrote these words about the Manhattan of 1922, but they could just as well apply to The Game tomorrow. As we wrap ourselves in striped scarves and wool coats, trudge home through leaf-coated sidewalks, and watch the mercury dance around the mid-twenties, there’s a simmering sense of anticipation in the air that only a Crimson win can happily resolve.

I have little personal interest in football, and I suspect the same holds for many others; the main thrill comes simply from the scale and circumstance of it all. Many things have changed in the years since the first Game in 1875; the increased mix of nationalities, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds represented in classrooms and stadium stands speaks to the prodigious accomplishments on behalf of diversity over the last century.

For all our differences, though, it’s reassuring to know that there are still things that link us all. The Game is about football, but it is also about tradition, an annual ritual that brings together thousands of students, faculty, and alumni who would never otherwise interact. I’ll see you there.

Jessica A. Sequeira ‘11, a Crimson editorial writer, lives in Winthrop House.

Shortage Shortchanges Students

Yesterday, students who went to pick up their tickets to The Game from the box office were told that all undergraduate tickets had been sold out. Many of those once-free tickets are now up for sale, over House lists or on eBay, with massive markups. People are upset, and they should be.

One of the reasons tailgates are to be shut down at noon this year is so that more people will be enticed to go into the Game. But undergraduates without tickets will, after noon, be left with nowhere to go. Having just tailgated for nothing, these students will be faced with a decision of going back to their rooms or frolicking around the streets of Cambridge. Neither choice supports our football team, school spirit, or students’ general welfare as much as ending up in the stands would.

Furthermore, even though The Game “sells out” every year, the stadium never reaches maximum capacity. As alumni, visitors, and students come to The Game for reasons other than football, many visit end up visiting their seats for only a few minutes. Knowing this, the athletics department should increase the number of tickets sold, especially those for undergraduate students.

The argument that students who waited too long to get a ticket created their own problem is moot: The available supply obviously could not meet demand, and even if everyone went on the same day, some students would be left without a ticket. By increasing the number of tickets available for undergraduates, Harvard will make The Game more enjoyable for everyone, including the football players who deserve to have as many fans cheering them on as possible.

Alix M. Olian ’11, a Crimson editorial writer, is a social studies concentrator in Lowell House.

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