Harvard–Yale football rivalry
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|Harvard–Yale football rivalry|
|Harvard Crimson||Yale Bulldogs|
|First game played||November 13, 1875|
|Played annually since||1897
(Not played 1917-1918 due to World War I; 1943-44 due to World War II)
|Games played||133 (through 2016)|
|Series record||Yale leads, 66–59–8|
|Largest margin of victory||Yale 54, Harvard 0
(November 23, 1957)
|Highest scoring game||Yale 33, Harvard 31
(November 20, 1993)
|Lowest scoring game||Yale 0, Harvard 0
(last time: November 21, 1925)
|Most recent game||Yale 21, Harvard 14
(November 19, 2016)
|Next game||November 18, 2017|
|Current win streak||Yale, 1|
The Harvard–Yale football rivalry is renewed annually with The Game, an American college football contest between the Harvard Crimson football team of Harvard University and the Yale Bulldogs football team of Yale University. The contest concludes the season for both programs, usually the Saturday afternoon before Thanksgiving.
"Harvard and Yale generally duke it out in the academic arena" but geographic proximity, the history of Yale's founding, and social competition between the respective student bodies and alumni contingents animate the athletic rivalry.
- 1 Significance
- 2 Notable contests
- 2.1 1875
- 2.2 1892
- 2.3 1894
- 2.4 1898
- 2.5 1903
- 2.6 1908
- 2.7 1914
- 2.8 1919
- 2.9 1923
- 2.10 1931
- 2.11 1941
- 2.12 1949
- 2.13 1952
- 2.14 1955
- 2.15 1960
- 2.16 1963
- 2.17 1968
- 2.18 1974
- 2.19 1975
- 2.20 1978
- 2.21 1979
- 2.22 1983
- 2.23 1987
- 2.24 1993
- 2.25 1995
- 2.26 2000
- 2.27 2001
- 2.28 2005
- 2.29 2009
- 2.30 2014
- 2.31 2016
- 3 Noteworthy Pranks
- 4 Little Red Flag
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
The football rivalry is among the oldest rivalries in the annals of American sports.
Representatives from those schools and Elihu Root, in place of William Howard Taft who had a previously scheduled appointment, were summoned to the White House October 9, 1905 by POTUS Theodore Roosevelt to discuss reforms to minimize and mitigate violent play and resultant fatalities and injuries associated with football at the turn-of-the-century. Roosevelt sought reform of rules to quell concerns of faculties, the era's Progressives, journalists, and the general public. Walter Camp, Bill Reid, and Arthur T. Hillebrand attended the meeting. Roosevelt's request for reform is credited with saving the sport.
Some participants have been noteworthy:
- Heisman Trophy winners Clinton Frank and Larry Kelly, their teammate and future Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Hersey, their assistant coach Gerald Ford, at present the fourth-longest serving United States Senator in history Ted Kennedy, National Academy of Sciences member Barry Wood, and Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy Award-winner Tommy Lee Jones;
- Heisman Trophy finalists Endicott Peabody, an offensive lineman for Harvard, and Brian Dowling and Rich Diana, offensive backfield players for Yale;
- Fifty-four members of the College Football Hall of Fame, twenty-nine affiliated with Yale and twenty-five affiliated with Harvard, the most recent inductees Dick Jauron, Class of 2015, from Yale, and Pat McInally, Class of 2016, from Harvard;
- Sixteen holders of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup, the Player of the Year award for Ivy League football, eight representing Harvard and eight representing Yale;
- Super Bowl participants Matt Birk, Rich Diana, John Dockery, Gary Fencik, Pat Graham, Calvin Hill, Kenny Hill, Isaiah Kacyvenski, Pat McInally, Chuck Mercein, and John Spagnola.
The Game is central to the Harvard - Yale athletic rivalry. In 2003, Sports Illustrated magazine ("On Campus" edition) rated the Harvard–Yale rivalry as the sixth-best in college athletics, after, in order: Alabama - Auburn, Duke - North Carolina, UCLA - USC, Army - Navy, and Cal - Stanford.
The game, a rugby contest in fact but called football, played November 13 in New Haven, CT at Hamilton Park was won by Harvard. Yale would win ten games and tie once in the series before Harvard defeated Yale a second time.
The game played on November 19 introduced the flying wedge. Harvard unveiled the formation at the beginning of the second half before 21,000 spectators. Lorin F. Deland, an unpaid adviser to the Harvard team and an avid chess player, suggested the tactic. Yale won, 6-0.
The flying wedge was outlawed two years after its introduction.
Mass-momentum plays based on the flying wedge were the rage in the sport. The result was mayhem that eventually prompted intervention in 1905 by Teddy Roosevelt to help reform rules governing play.
In the era before players employed protective equipment of any type, the result of rough play was a given; however, competition between the Yale and Harvard football programs was placed on hiatus, seven players denoted in "dying condition".
Frank Hinkey, future member of the College Football Hall of Fame, has been alleged to have broken the collarbone of a Harvard player following a fair catch. "Accounts vary widely as to what happened in the Harvard - Yale game of 1894," notes author Julie Des Jardins. Violence ensued among fans after the contest in the streets of Springfield.
The Harvard faculty voted by a two-to-one margin to abolish football. Harvard President Charles W. Eliot supported the faculty. Eliot opined, "Football is to academics what bull fighting is to agriculture."
The Harvard Corporation sided, however, with alumni and students who championed the sport. The Harvard Board of Overseers invited Camp to chair an investigative committee to determine the extent of "character-building" as well as "brutality" on college and prep school football fields. Rev. Joseph Twichell, Endicott Peabody and Henry E. Howland were among the committee's members.
Ray Tompkins, a former teammate of Camp, confided during the crisis of '94 that football was too American to be abrogated by any one or more faculty.
Yale and Harvard took a two-year hiatus on the football rivalry. The programs have played annually, excluding the World War I and World War II years, ever since.
November 19 Bill Reid, a fullback who would later coach Harvard and earn election to the College Football Hall of Fame, scored two touchdowns versus Yale. Harvard achieved a rare victory versus Yale, its third in 19 contests. Reid was rewarded with his picture published in Harper's Weekly.
The game played on November 21 was the first hosted at Harvard Stadium. Yale won, 16 - 0.
The game played on November 21 marked the end of a six-game winning streak for Yale. Harvard won, 4-0, on a field goal by...Kennard, a fullback, at Yale Field in Orange, CT. Hamilton Fish III, captain of the 1909 team (and acting captain 1908 when that year's captain was injured), two time All American and member, in 1923, of Walter Camp's All time All American team, was a mainstay at tackle the 1907 - 1909 seasons.
Percy Haughton, Harvard's first professional coach and future member of the College Football Hall of Fame, is understood to had strangled to death a live bulldog during the pregame pep talk. This contest was his first versus Yale. Contemporary research yields that at worse Haughton "strangled" a papier mache bulldog and tied another such creation to the back fender of his automobile.
The game played on November 21 was the inaugural event at the Yale Bowl. William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt were said to be among the spectators, a throng estimated at more than 70,000 but less than 74,000. Harvard won, 36 - 0.
Harvard concluded an undefeated regular season November 22 with a 10 - 3 victory in Boston, Massachusetts. Harvard then won the 1920 East - West Tournament Bowl, now known as the Rose Bowl, versus the Oregon Webfoots, now known as the Oregon Ducks, 10 - 7.
Yale head coach T.A. Dwight Jones, future member of the College Football Hall of Fame, advised before kickoff, "Gentlemen, you are about to play Harvard. You will never do anything else so important for the rest of your lives." Future Yale and Bates College football Head Coach Ducky Pond returned a fumble 67 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Harvard was undefeated. Yale was 3 - 1 - 2. Booth kicked a late fourth quarter field goal, the sole points scored.
The game played November 22 was Harvard senior Endicott Peabody's final performance versus Yale. Peabody started for three straight seasons on the offensive line.
Harvard shut out Yale, 28 - 0, in 1940, and did likewise in 1941, 14 - 0.
Peabody finished sixth in the balloting for the season's Heisman Trophy. The namesake and grandson of the founder of the Groton School for Boys would later serve a term as Governor of Massachusetts.
The November 19 game, won by Yale, 29 - 6, in New Haven, featured the first African-American captain and hometown hero, Levi Jackson. The Yale captain had been a sergeant in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps during World War II before matriculating at Yale.
The game played November 22 was won by Yale, 41-14, in Boston. The box score noted Charley Yeager scored Yale's 40th and 41st points on a pass, a two-point conversion; however, this Yeager was Yale's head football manager, wearing a pristine jersey numbered 99 as he scored, rather than the flying ace and Brigadier general.
The November 19 game was won by Yale, 21 - 7. Ted Kennedy, in jersey numbered 88, caught a pass for a touchdown in the third quarter for Harvard's sole touchdown in New Haven.
Mike Pyle, future Chicago Bears center and NFL All-Pro, captained an undefeated, untied Yale team to the 1960 Ivy League football title and a share of the Lambert Trophy. Yale routed Harvard, 37 - 6, in Boston, November 19. Pyle, who captained the 1963 NFL Championship-winning Bears, lead the first and last untied and undefeated Yale team since 1923.
The game played November 30 was postponed from November 23, 1963, in mourning for assassinated POTUS John F. Kennedy, Harvard College, Class of 1940 and Yale University 1962 honorand and commencement guest speaker.
The game played November 23 was highlighted by the Crimson scoring 16 points in the final 42 seconds to tie a highly touted Bulldog squad. Yale had a 16-game winning streak. Both teams were 8–0. For the first time since 1909 both adversaries were undefeated and untied for the contest. Yale was ranked 16th in a national college football poll. Calvin Hill, later a First Round NFL draft choice by the Dallas Cowboys and Tommy Lee Jones were in uniform. Both were eventual First Team All - Ivy selections, Hill as a running back, Jones as an offensive linemen. The Yale roster included two future Rhodes Scholars, Kurt Schmoke and Tom Neville. The Harvard roster included one future Rhodes Scholar, Paul Saba.
It's been suggested the Yale team became more famous as participants in the incongruous tie than if the team had completed an undefeated, untied season with a Top Twenty ranking.
The outcome inspired The Harvard Crimson to print the logically impossible "Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29" headline. This headline was later used as the title for a 2008 documentary about this Game, directed by Kevin Rafferty.
Soldier Field was the setting November 22 for a Harvard 95-yard late fourth quarter drive that defeated an undefeated and untied Yale team. Senior quarterback - first year starter, eventual All Ivy First Team football selection Milt Holt lead the Harvard offense toward the endzone at the closed end of Soldier Field through a Yale defense that lead the League in many statistical categories. Holt scored on a sweep around left end for Harvard's 20th point. The successful point-after-try was the 21st point. Holt, Pat McInally, Dan Jiggetts, Joe Restic and staff and the Crimson football athletes won, 21 - 16. Harvard and Yale finished season 6 - 1 in the League and share title.
The game played November 22 in New Haven—the outcome elevating Harvard to its first undisputed Ivy League football championship (it had shared titles three other seasons since 1956, the League's first year) -- featured future Chicago Bears teammates Harvard captain Dan Jiggetts and Yale captain Gary Fencik. Fencik helped win Super Bowl XX and a Gold Record with the Bears.
Harvard won, 10 - 7, on a fourth quarter field goal by Mike Lynch with 0:33 on the official time clock.
Future three-time Super Bowl champion Kenny Hill ran well from the I formation, 154 yards on 25 carries, and scored down a sideline on an 18-yard pitchout, and Yale won, 35 - 28, on a near-balmy 68 degree day in Boston, November 18. But Larry Brown, Harvard's senior quarterback, set a Harvard standard for touchdown passes in The Game. Neil Rose, Ryan Fitzpatrick, a future NFL starting quarterback, and Chris Pizzotti would each toss four touchdowns versus Yale in 2001, 2003, and 2007, respectively, matching Brown.
The most memorable pass of the afternoon was tossed by a future participant in Super Bowl XV. Tight end John Spagnola, a future eleven year NFL veteran and participant in Super Bowl XV, lofted a spiral to fellow receiver Bob Krystyniak for a touchdown to conclude a trick play. The extra point provided the 21-point cushion Brown almost wore out with two more touchdown passes.
Harvard upset an undefeated, untied, 13.5 point Las Vegas-favored Yale team, 22 - 7, in New Haven before an estimated crowd of 72,000. Harvard running back Jim Callinan and the offense set the tone with an opening game drive of 74 yards, 64 by the run, on 17 plays. Callinan caught a 23 yard touchdown pass later in the afternoon.
The game played on November 19 marked the 100th time the programs met on the gridiron. Harvard won, 16-7, in New Haven. Yale lead series 54 - 38 - 8.
The game played on November 21 at the Bowl featured conditions similar to the 1967 NFL Championship Game in Green Bay, WI. Game time temps were slightly below zero degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chill temperatures sometimes as low as minus-30 throughout the day. Harvard won, 14 - 10.
Crimson Head Coach Joe Restic guided the team to an 8 -2 overall and 6 - 1 Ivy League records, both bests for Restic. Harvard won the League football title.
November 20 a gameball was presented to Theo Epstein, a Yale Daily News sports section editor. Epstein had penned a column calling for Yale Head Coach Carm Cozza to retire, published the day before the 108th contest in the series. The column appeared to arouse to victory the almost listless and injury-plagued Bulldogs. Harvard, the program playing its last game under Joe Restic, appeared aroused, too. The 33 - 31 outcome is the all - time highest combined score in the series. Both teams had each won one game, and not versus Princeton, in the League entering the contest. Epstein would eventually lead MLB's Boston Red Sox and later the Chicago Cubs to World Series victories, each for the first time in decades.
November 18 in New Haven, Harvard, 1 - 6 in the League, defeated Yale, 22 - 21. Coach Murphy's charges would soon dominate the series. Murphy is an astounding 17 - 6 versus four Yale counterparts, including Carm Cozza, a member of the College Foitball Hall of Fame.
The game played November 18 was the first of Carl Morris's five 11-plus reception efforts for Harvard. Morris caught 13 passes, gaining 142 yards. Yale won, 34 - 24, but Morris started rewriting record books.
Morris, in the vertical game era of football, holds Harvard football receiving records for career receptions (245), single-game receptions (21), single season receptions (90, 2002; 71, 2001; and 60, 2000, the top three all-time single-season tallies); most career yards, (3,488); most yards, season (1, 288, 2002; 943, 2001; and 920, 2000, the top three single-season tallies); career touchdown receptions, (28, tied with Corey Mazza); season touchdown receptions (12, 2001); and most receiving yards in a game, 257.
Morris won the Bushnell Cup, the Ivy League Football Player of the Year Award, in 2000 and 2001.
November 17 Harvard defeated Yale, 35 - 23, in New Haven. The win sealed the Crimson's first perfect season since 1913. George Plimpton, author of Paper Lion and Harvard grad, reported on the scene with "New Haven Notebook: THE GAME, ONCE MORE", published in December 3, 2001 issue of The New Yorker.
Clifton Dawson's 258th carry for the season, a record, delivered to Harvard the triple-overtime victory, 30 - 24, November 19 in New Haven. The contest was the longest ever at the Bowl and in Ivy League football history. Yale led, 21 - 3, in the third quarter.
Dawson is the Crimsom leader in career rushing attempts (958), career rushing yards (4,241), single-season rushing yards (1,302), career rushing touchdowns (60), and single-season rushing touchdowns (20).
The November 21 contest concluded horribly for Tom Williams. The Yale Head Coach nursed a 10 - 0 halftime lead to a 10 - 7 lead late in the fourth quarter. Then Williams, on fourth down and 22 yards to go for a first down from the Yale 26, chose to fake a punt. The attempt netted fifteen yards.
Harvard, 5 - 1 in the League before kickoff, turned the gift of a shortfield into the game winning touchdown.
Conner Hempel completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Fischer with 0:55 remaining in the contest and Harvard defeated Yale 31 - 24 to capture outright the League football title. A Yale victory would had created a three-way tie for the League football title among Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale. Harvard lead 24 - 7 at the end if the third quarter.
ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY originated from Allston. Lee Corso predicted Yale would win. Tyler Varga, who had scored five rushing touchdowns earlier in the season versus Army in a 49 - 43 overtime victory, did gain 127 yards on 30 carries and scored two touchdowns for Yale but Harvard completed the season undefeated and untied.
The game played November 19 in Boston ended two streaks. Harvard was denied a fourth consecutive shared or outright League football title, and Yale ended its nine-game losing streak versus Harvard. Yale won, 21 - 14.
Prior to The Game Handsome Dan II, Yale's bulldog mascot, was kidnapped (allegedly by members of the Harvard Lampoon); then, the morning after a 19–6 upset by Harvard over Yale, after hamburger was smeared on the feet of the statue of John Harvard that sits in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, an image was captured of Handsome Dan licking John Harvard's feet. The photo ran on the front page of papers throughout the country.
Two staffers of the Harvard College paper published and distributed a mock copy of The Yale Daily News, datelined November 22, 1969. Readers were greeted with headlines "Disease Strikes 16 Eli Football Starters; Bulldogs Forced to Forfeit Harvard Game" and "Last Year's Stars Want to Fill in". Female cheerleaders were the alleged source of a std rampaging through the football roster. Yale was in its first semester of coeducation.
The card stunt was well designed, managed and executed. Yale students, costumed as the Harvard pep squad, handed out placards to some 1,800 Harvard partisans. When raised on cue, the cards displayed WE SUCK to applause from Yale students, alumni and fans across the field. Harvard won the game, 35-0.
MIT has a roster of hilarious "Hacks" against supposed haughtiness by Harvard. Both universities are located in Cambridge, MA.
During the second quarter in 1982 at Harvard Stadium, a Harvard score was immediately followed by a huge black weather balloon inflating near midfield. "MIT" was proclaimed in painted letters on the slowly inflating balloon until it exploded, spraying powder over a few square yards of the field. Again in Harvard Stadium, MIT students secretly replaced the "VE-RI-TAS" insignia on the scoreboard with "HU-GE-EGO" in 2006.
Little Red Flag
The Little Red Flag is a Harvard pennant and talisman that since 1884 has been waved by Harvard's "most loyal fan" after each score by Harvard against Yale. The original pennant was made of brick-red and magenta silk with an olive "H" stitched to one side. That pennant was retired to a secret location when Paul Lee assumed the honor of waving a replacement after each score by Harvard.
The tradition began with Frederick Plummer, class of 1888, who attended the Harvard-Yale game 59 times between 1884 and his death in 1948. In 1950, when the flag appeared among the various unassigned items in Plummer's estate, William Bentinck-Smith, then editor of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin, suggested awarding the honor of carrying the flag on game day to the Harvard man in attendance who had seen the largest number of Yale games - and, for the 1951 game, it was awarded to Spencer Borden (class of 1894). The succession of holder has continued with Allen Rice, Richard P. Hallowell, Douglas Hamilton, James Dwinell, Harold Sedgewick, Sam McDonnell, Burdette Johnson, William Markus, Paul Lee, and Dick Bennink.
- List of Harvard–Yale football games
- Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
- Harvard–Yale Regatta
- Harvard-Yale chess match
- The GAME by Numbers, Boston Magazine, November 2016, by line Hannah Flynn
- ''Yale Alumni Magazine'', "Quarrels with Providence", March 2001 - Special Tercentennial Edition, by line Lewis H. Lapham
- Moby Dick, conclusion, chapter XXIV, The Advocate
- [http//www history.com/news/how-teddy-roosevelt-saved]
- Washinton Post, HEARD FOOTBALL MEN, Coaches in Conference with President Roosevelt, WOULD PUT AN END TO BRUTALITY, Believing Radical Gridiron Reform Necessary, Mr. Roosevelt Calls College Athletic Advisors, October 10, 1905, without by line
- The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football, Harper Collins, 2011, John J. Miller
- The Big Scrum, John J. Miller, Harper-Collins, 2011, NY, NY, pg. 128
- Introduction: A Brief History of College Football
- THE GAME: The Yale Harvard Football Rivalry, 1875 - 1983, pgs. 48 - 49, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, Bergin, Thomas, 1984
- The Publishers Weekly, [Nos. 1286 -7] Sept. 26, '96, Volume 50
- Miller, pg. 133
- Walter Camp: Football and the Modern Man, Oxford University Press, pg. 334, 2015
- Memorable Games in Harvard - Yale history, Yale Daily News, November 18, 2011, by line Jacqueline Sahlberg
- The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football, John. J. Miller, Harper-Collins, New York, NY, pg. 99
- New York Times, Harvard - Yale football game story, Nov. 22, 1992, by line Ira Berkow
- Harvard Magazine, September - October 2003, "First and 100", by Craig Lambert and John T. Bethell
- Walter Camp: Football and Modern Man, Oxford University Press, Julie Des Jardins, pgs. 114 - 115
- Walter Camp: Football and The Modern Man, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, 2015, Julie Des Jardins, pg. 122
- THE BIG SCRUM: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football, HarperCollins Publishers, John J. Miller, pg. 187
- "Did a Harvard coach strangle a bulldog to motivate his team to beat Yale?, LA Times, November 2, 2011
- The Game: Yale Bowl Facts and Figures, New Haven Register, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, Sports Staff by line
- New York Herald Tribune November 25, 1923, III, 1
- Washington Post, November 18, 1983, Harvard vs. Yale: 100 Years, by line John Ed Bradley.
- Bergin, pg. 316, Appendix 1. Summary Of The Hundred Games
- Groton School Quarterly, Fall 2012, Groton School, pg. 63
- "Yale University Commencement Speech," New York Times, June 11, 1962, p. 20
- Harvard Beats Yale 29 - 29, Edited by Kevin Rafferty, The Overlook Press, Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc., 2009
- Yale Alumni Magazine, "Harvard Beats Yale 29 - 29", Nov/Dec 2008, by line Charles McGrath
- "Harvard Beats Yale"
- Bergin, Appendix 1. Summary Of The Hundred Games, pg. 338
- THE GAME Program, Nov. 19, Harvard Football News, Harvard University, pg. 68
- Yale Runs Past Harvard, 35 - 28, Harvard Crimson, November 18, 1978, by line John Donley
- The Harvard Crimson, The Shock of 1979, Nov 22, 1980, by line Daniel S. Benjamin
- THE GAME program, Saturday, Nov. 19, Harvard Football News 2016, Harvard University, pg. 70
- THE GAME program, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, Harvard Football News 2016, Harvard University, pg. 73
- "First Eli Bulldog Barked at Opponents In 1890; Second Licked Harvard's Feet, Harvard Crimson, Nov 25, 1950"
- The Game, 30 Years Ago, The Harvard Crimson, November 22, 2004, by line The Crimson Archives
- Sahlberg, Yale Daily News, November 18, 2011
- "MIT 'Hacks' at Harvard-Yale Games"
- Harvard Magazine, September - October 2003
- Boston Globe, November 18, 2012, No signs of tradition flagging at annual Harvard - Yale game, by line Kevin Cullen
- Bergin, Thomas G.The Game: The Harvard-Yale Football Rivalry, 1875–1983, by (Yale University Press, 1984)
- Corbett, Bernard M., and Paul Simpson. The Only Game That Matters (Crown, 2004; ISBN 1-4000-5068-5) is a year-by-year history of The Game; Corbett is Harvard's radio play-by-play announcer.
- Miller, John J., "The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football", Harper-Collins Publishers, New York, NY ISBN 978-0-06-174450-1
- Smith, Ronald A., ed. Big-Time Football at Harvard, 1905, (University of Illinois Press, 1994; ISBN 0-252-02047-2) is Harvard head coach Bill Reid's daily diary of the 1905 college football season.
- Smith, Ronald A. Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big Time College Athletics (1988)