I’m at home, working on many things this Saturday. To my joy, it turns out that I can watch the football game betwen the source of goodness, Harvard, versus the embodiment of evil known as Yale. Before I go on, I should mention that the preceding link does take you to Yale’s website. I don’t hate Yale at all; it’s just a rival. Just remember that Yale sucks.
Instead of repeating more episodes of WEC WrekCage and North American Hunter, the Versus network has decided to double their per viewer income by showing the contest. I have it on TiVo and will make a semi-live blog today as I work. For those of you who are going to go back and watch the game again, and would like to match the comments to actual times in the game, I’ll include the time that things happened live.
- 12:06 PM Eastern: It’s the 125th time that Yale and Harvard have met for football. In this opening shot, I think Mather House, my undergraduate residence and horrible Brutalist architecture, in the picture. It doesn’t have a cute bell tower.
- 12:11: One fun thing about Ivy League football is that because the players are not as good as minor league football (excuse me, BCS “college” football), random events can occur. For instance, on the opening kickoff, the two Harvard return men run into each other and the ballcarrier falls down at the 4 yard line. The refrain here is that it’s the Ivy League. You’ll see this often.
- 12:20: Harvard drives but has to punt. The punt hits a Yale Bulldog on the back foot and Harvard recovers. It’s the Ivy League. I am embarrassed, however, that the TV shows a shot of a Harvard fan with a profane statement involving Yale for about three seconds. That’s not what a Harvard gentleman should ever say. Besides, one would likely get an STI if one tried that.
- 12:22: From the turnover, Harvard scores the first of what will likely be many touchdowns. The Yale cheerleaders turn quiet. Did you know that George W. Bush was a cheerleader at Andover and Yale? The head football cheerleader, according to the Washington Post. Maybe less confusion about his “manliness” would have meant no stupid war in Iraq, or Mission Accomplished banner, or … who knows?
- 12:26: Showing superior intelligence, as we all know, Harvard surprises Yale with an onside kick. Harvard gets another offensive possession.
- 12:33: The Harvard kicker misses a 33 yard field goal attempt. Harvard Stadium is very close to the Charles River, and the winds can get nasty in November. Playing Ultimate Frisbee in November next to the stadium was often an wind festival. Still, that’s not good.
- 12:48: Harvard throws a short pass, but the receiver fumbles the ball. It flies 11 yards backwards before going out of bounds. It’s the Ivy League.
- 13:01: Yale misses a 19 yard field goal. That was ugly. The wind is just nasty.
- 13:03: The TIAA-CREF student athlete of the game is a real student, Casey Gerald from Yale. He had his Rhodes Scholarship interview yesterday, and made it back in time for the game. This is good. Also, I’m very pleased by the amount of coverage Myron Rolle of Florida State is receiving about his Rhodes finalist interview. At times like these, in my heart, I can pretend that academics matters to the NCAA and college sports folks.
- 13:17: Harvard gets stopped on a third down with about 45 seconds to go, and will have to attempt a field goal. Showing their intelligence, Yale does not call timeout to get another possession after the kick. (This is a bad move, by the way.) That attempt was hideous. The kicker planted far too far forward and hooked it badly. Wind played no role. At the half, the commentator says “it has been exciting, it has been unpredictable.” Of course, it’s the Ivy League. Harvard leads 7-0.
- 13:25: The Harvard Sports commercial is on, the public service bit. Most of these commercials feature an announcer and fast moving pictures. Here, let’s look at who Harvard uses: A Harvard women’s basketball player talking about the 16 over 1, a football player talking about 29-29, and a women’s hockey player about 1989 men’s hockey. Every word is spoken by a student. How innovative. How interesting. Players can speak full sentences. I feel smart. Then, the next commercial has guys about jumping into jeans. There went that.
- 13:31: Yale’s commercial uses a narrator, no real people, and shots of the campus. Showing Harvard superiority is like shooting fish in a barrel, really.
- 13:50: The officials make a mistake and rule a Harvard fumble, even though the quarterback’s knee was down. Yale recovers. It’s just another Yale nefarious technique, to be expected.
- 13:53: Yale does not score after its trick. It then has a 12 yard punt. Justice is restored.
- 14:00: One of the displays refers to the 1894 Harvard-Yale game as the Springfield Massacre. I found this description online. It was brutal, with a broken leg, major concussion, broken collarbone, crushed nose, 2 eye pokes, head injury, and fight. One player wound up in a coma. The article is adapted from The Only Game that Matters, a book on the history of the rivalry. I don’t own a copy, sadly. Hmm.
- 14:18: Some Yale undergraduates show “genius bordering on insanity” by going briefly shirtless on TV. No, this is basically full insanity. And just shirtless is going halfway. Chicago’s Polar Bear Run is the real deal.
- 14:21: Harvard’s kicker manages to make a field goal, leading to a likely insurmountable 10-0 lead for the Crimson.
- 14:38: Yale’s best play is the punt, getting the ball inside the Harvard 1. At this point, it’s 15:03 in real life, as I’ve been pausing. My mom calls me with the final result. I thank her for ruining the surprise. For you, well, we’ll see.
- 14:48: Yale’s best play occurs again, this time a return inside the Harvard 10. On fourth down at the Harvard 4, Yale shows its true intentions by committing a false start penalty. The fourth down pass is incomplete, but the officials call a pass interference penalty on Harvard. This is a correct call, and I’m saddened that the Harvard back would attempt to cheat. Likely it was just accidental. Of course, I’m not as sad as the spectator with profanity on his shirt. With new life, Yale attempts to pass, but there’s a fumble! The quarterback got hammered from behind and drops the ball. Harvard recovers.
- 14:58: Harvard makes a first down, which allows them to run out the clock. The victory formation ends the game. The final score is Forces of Good 10, Forces of Evil 0. So, in this month, Obama wins and Harvard wins. Things are looking up. The hills are alive with the sound of music. Too bad that final score isn’t in real life.
- 14:59: The teams line up for handshakes after the game. According to the commentators, this happens all the time in the Ivy League. The players have respect and class, of course. That fan in the stands is just an anomaly. After the game, fans and players mingle on the field. It’s an orderly storming.
So, that’s that. According to the studio, Yale had only 90 yards of offense. Harvard had 370. The margin was appropriate. More good events, eh?