Happy Mod Monday! Today I’m here to reminisce about the “most wonderful time of the year.” No, I’m not prematurely looking to the holiday season just yet; let’s at least get through Thanksgiving first. Rather, I’m talking about The Game. The game destined to be a 10-peat, but, as with the rest of 2016, a loss prevailed instead; this time, against Yale.
Deemed one of the two Harvard holidays (the other being Housing Day, so stay tuned until March), the Harvard-Yale football game brings flocks of students decked out in gear repping both sides. Amidst the playful slurs of “Yuck Fale” and “Huck Farvard” (I’ll let you decide which one actually makes sense ;) ), Saturday was the day most students could proudly say they attend “Harvard State.” With the tailgate attracting everyone from the class of 2020 to alums from further back than they’d like to admit, it’s well worth the time to recount this annual tradition.
For a second, once Crimson lost to Navy (only in score, never in beauty of color, of course), I thought all of our gloaty, impending social media captions had to be scrapped. But, I remembered something a professor uttered to a friend, “from tragedy comes great art”, so our captions followed suit.
“Now that Hell has frozen over, I guess I’ll ski there too.” – Zabie
"Reunions for the win (never mind the score)." - Cat
"Yale won the game but we won the popular vote." – Annie
"Even though we lost, we'll keep our spirits HY." – Leila
"The Camelbaks were the real MVP #stayHYdrated." - Alana
"We speculated that Yale may have paid the refs, but then we realized they wouldn't have the funds because we're more..." – Me
"Accurate representation of our Harvard-Yale, being elbowed in the face by these results..." – Me, again
For me, the tailgate is all about dancing (elevated surfaces or not) and not losing too many of my friends to the spotty cell service. But some go far harder than others.
From Macklemore level game day attire or re-defining ripped jeans, to some tragic ca(shoe)alties along the way, Harvard’s streak wasn’t the only thing that was lost on Saturday:
I’m thinking about my good friend, Will's, chipped tooth. Always one to be in HY spirits, even after the following ensued:
After having put Will on blast in a groupchat and doing damage control when concerned parties reached out, I sought his permission to post the trauma on an even grander scale. A trooper the day of and on iMessage as I pleaded my case, Will recounted the incident and ensured me that a dentist appointment was already booked for tomorrow. Apparently the following transpired in a conference call between him, his mother, and his dentist:
I literally called him in a panic and was like “My face has to be symmetrical, you DON’T UNDERSTAND! My face is all I have going for me I NEED you to fix this!” and my mom immediately cut in and was like, “NO, you have a great personality and you’re so smart!!” and I was like, “SHUT UP MOM, this is NOT the time!” – Will
I guess teenage angst doesn’t really quit in your twenties.
Other favorite Game Day memories from friends were a little tamer. Shub, fond proponent of dabbing and once toter of a sign that read, “Yale kids wear Crocs.” said his favorite memory “was definitely waking up early for the ESPN college Game Day taping my freshman year!”
Allie and Emmie, prominently featured in photos from the festivities, agreed that “the best memories were storming the field freshmen year and this year's pre-game sunbathing on the turf field.”
But The Game isn’t just for chipped teeth and fostering friendship, it can also be a lucrative business venture according to resident finance mogul, Leila, who shockingly is not concentrating in Economics:
“My favorite memory HAS to be finding an extra ticket on the floor and then selling both my ticket and that one to some guy for $20 once I had already used them to get into The Game. Oh! And promptly using that money for a free meal at Bartley’s post loss.” - Leila
And for all we cherish to remember, there are some things we’d rather forget. Perhaps full views of the “Saybrook Strip” would be one of them, or the brief moment of weakness I had when I questioned transferring to Yale for the sole reason that their band was playing Danza Kuduro… Yeah, let’s agree to forget those ever happened.
All in all, Harvard-Yale is a great time for school spirit, ascorbic wit, beating classic songs to death, and putting the LIT in “elite” (I swear, I was NOT the one to come up with that nor use it in any other context but sarcastically). So keep chanting…
“'Yuck Fale’ – Gandhi.”
“Yale cites Wikipedia.”
“In my country no one’s ever heard of Yale.”
...belting along to annual themes like...
Closer, The Chainsmokers (the song of the summer that just won’t die)
Mr. Brightside, The Killers (had to throw this in as an homage to the dutiful hosts of last year’s AEPI tailgate)
Hotline Bling, Drake (or as Yale seems to sing, “1-800-Harvard-Sucks”)
Caribou Lou, Tech N9ne (I have actually never heard of this song @ Allie, Emmie, & Wes…)
Habits, Tove Lo
Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield
Dancing with Myself, Billy Idol
(Though these two have not been cross-referenced by another source. Given that you apparently can’t trust someone to think back too far into their past game days @Fri.)
…and start the countdown to redemption.