1. Do attend/watch the game.
The Harvard-Yale Game, which dates back to 1875, is one of the oldest and most notable rivalries in the history of college sports. It is also one of the most highly anticipated events of the college year for students from both schools. Regardless of whether or not you’re a sports fan, the weekend of The Game is a weekend for memories. These memories will not be created in a cubicle of Lamont or in the silence of Widener—you will likely be alone and crying in these places if you choose to stay behind. Throw on your Crimson gear, get yourself down to New Haven, and keep these do’s and don’t’s in mind as you prepare and proceed for a legendary weekend.
2. Don’t end up in the infirmary.
You don’t want to be the kid whose friends need to carry you out of the tailgate like a wounded soldier, so drink responsibly. That being said, if you feel like anyone has passed the oh-so-famous “optimal buzz” (shout out to the DAPAs) don’t be afraid to seek help. The amnesty policy at Yale might be a bit fuzzy, but part of being a responsible member of the Harvard community is looking out for your fellow students, and The Game is a time to be on your A game, heightened BACs and all.
3. Don’t expect personal space.
You texted your one friend at Yale to stay over. So did 10 other people. All of us want to secure a six by two ft. piece of floor space ahead of time, but don’t expect an air mattress or even a couch. You’ll be lucky to get a pillow. The more confident among us go in blind with the intention of staying the night with an attractive Yalie (yes, they do exist). Know that even if you make it back to his or her room, there might already be three or four people sharing that bed on Friday night (and not in a sexy way). Be prepared to hurdle sleeping bodies in search of the rare, empty bedroom. Either way, you’re more than likely going to wake up in the stairwell of a random residential College. But hey, at least you’ll have a good story (assuming you can remember it).
4. Do travel in a pack.
Once every two years Harvard upperclassmen revert to their freshman instincts and roam the streets in New Haven like packs of feral dogs. Perhaps some biennial celestial phenomenon wrecks havoc on the primitive parts of our brains, or maybe it’s just the unfamiliar nature of the surroundings, but slowly, inexorably, you and your friends will form into a party-hopping mob. Don’t fight it, the extra body heat will fend off hypothermia and the huddle formation will confuse and disorient would-be assailants. But most importantly, this way you’ll have people to talk to when you inevitably find yourself in the line outside Toad’s Place.
5. Do explore the tailgate.
With increased restrictions at the Game, it’s unclear what this year’s tailgate will look like. Gone are the days of keg stands and beer funneling from the top of a U-Haul. But don’t despair! There will still be plenty to see and do (and eat and drink and smoke). Once you’ve inspected the student tailgate, wander away from the tennis courts and check out some other options. We suggest this little game with your friends: (see bottom).
6. Don’t go too hard to early.
Although Harvard is Division I, we all know that we don’t quite have the ra-ra spirit around sports comparable to that of a PAC-12 type school. When it comes to Daygers (day-ragers for you newbies out there) we lack the experience of our peers at Wisconsin or Florida State. For those with limited experience with day drinking, think of the Harvard-Yale pregame (or really any day drinking for that matter) as a marathon. If you spend the first mile sprinting, you are likely to be walking (or maybe even passed out on the sideline) by mile five. Don’t overestimate your ability to be a “tank.” Nothing is worse than a hungover second half.
7. Don’t sit on the Yale side.
You might be tempted to leave the Crimson side of the field to go say hi to some unfortunate high school pals wearing blue. Don’t. Should you choose to ignore our advice, be prepared for some heavy heckling from our old rivals, and even more heckling from your friends sitting where they’re supposed to sit. Don’t take it personally—Yalies will receive their fair share of mockery if they venture over to the side of the oldest standing college in America.
8. Don’t miss your bus.
This one should go without saying, but every year some poor kid loses track of time and ends up stranded in New Haven. Don’t panic should you become one of those unlucky souls. There will be trains and other buses to Boston. But with Thanksgiving inflating fares and a blossoming headache from a lack of sleep, neither your wallet nor your body will appreciate the mistake.
9. Don’t be a douche.
We get it—it’s a party weekend, there’s a rivalry, and many of you will be consuming a lot of alcohol. The Game is all about building camaraderie with your fellow Cantabridgians. So get rowdy! Make jokes about the crime rate in New Haven. Sing “Ten-Thousand Men of Harvard” at the top of your lungs. And try to keep things in perspective. Even though it’s the Game, it’s still just a game. Every year there are jerks at both schools who take the spirit of competition too far. Don’t pull fire alarms, pick fights, vandalize, break into a secret society, become a copycat “poopetrator,” or any of a million other things that fall under the banner of douchebaggery. We’re always telling the Yalies we’re better than they are. Let’s prove that we are.
A game to play with your friends:
-5 points for acting sober enough to interact with your resident tutor/proctor.
-10 points for convincing a Yalie that you go to Yale (the Harvard sweatshirt is just “ironic.”)
-20 points for scoring the digits of a former 15 Hottest Freshmen.
-50 points for whomever downs a beer with the oldest alum.
-100 points if you can actually send a text telling your friends you did any of these. Seriously, there’s no cell service at The Game, good luck with this one.