Harvard vs Yale: sports or pranks?

My Harvard SWAG

I didn’t really know what to expect as I was heading to my first (American) football game ever. Harvard was about to play Yale at the Harvard Stadium and I was amazed by the hype that had been created around this game between two average college football teams – at least, that is what I was told. Customized SWAG for the game was for sale everywhere, and I have to admit that I wasn’t able to resist this strong marketing campaign – see the SWAG I bought in the picture.

Harvard Stadium

Yale or Harvard will take turns each year to host the game. This year, Harvard Stadium was the venue where 30.000 fans gathered for the game. A lot of them were students, most often coming from the massive tailgate organised in the hours before the game. However, I was amazed by the diversity of the crowd. There were a lot of families with kids in the stadium. Right in front of me, a couple of 70 year olds seemed to be having the time of their lives.

This left me wondering what made this game such a big deal. Turns out, it is a tradition that is standing since November 13, 1875, when the first football game between the schools of Harvard and Yale took place. It seems unclear where the rivalry between both teams come from – it’s most likely linked to the fact that both Yale and Harvard are among the nation’s most prestigious and oldest universities and are only about 140 miles apart.

We Suck – Source: Wikipedia

Over the years, the rivalry has led to some clever pranks. This year, the Harvard Crimson reported on Harvard students selling Tshirts with the very clear message: “No one ever says: I want to go to Yale when I grow up.” My all-time favorite prank was the stunt conceived and coordinated by two Yale students in the Class of 2005. With the help of 20 classmates, disguised as the “Harvard Pep Squad,” the perpetrators handed white and crimson placards to fans in the central area of the Harvard side of the stadium. The group told the crowd that by lifting the placards they would spell “GO HARVARD.” In reality, the placards spelled: “WE SUCK”. Find a video summarizing the event here: http://www.harvardsucks.org/Watch-the-Video/

As for the game itself, Harvard won – of course! I took me two quarters to understand the rules of American football. Moreover, I was astonished by the slow pace of the game. It seems there are more breaks and time-outs than actually playing minutes, turning the 4 * 15 minute game into an almost 4 hour contest. I need more action I guess…

 I’ll just stick to soccer…

Here some more pictures…

One of this year’s pranks…

The Harvard busses are in on it!

Go Harvard!

Cheerleaders… we don’t have those in soccer!

The actual game!


One response to “Harvard vs Yale: sports or pranks?

  1. Great pictures!

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