Tailgaters dumping H-Y for Princeton

Saybrook College students can look forward to a special treat at this Saturday’s Yale-Princeton tailgate. The college will serve a roasted pig — weighing over 100 pounds — in honor of the game, which may draw more Yale fans than the Harvard-Yale game this year.

At least one of the residential college Student Activities Committees will not be throwing a tailgate in Cambridge this season, and a number of colleges will focus instead on the Yale-Princeton tailgate in New Haven, student representatives said. Several traditional tailgate hosts will also abstain from the Harvard festivities in favor of the tailgate this weekend. Students said Harvard’s new alcohol restrictions, the few spots reserved for Yale-sponsored tailgates and the lack of college-subsidized transportation have contributed to their disinterest in The Game this year.

A Trumbull student celebrates at a football came. This year, many students expect to attend the Princeton game instead of the Harvard-Yale game.
Ed Stein
A Trumbull student celebrates at a football came. This year, many students expect to attend the Princeton game instead of the Harvard-Yale game.

Silliman SAC President Jeff Sun ’08 said the college decided to forfeit its tailgate spot in Cambridge because of Harvard’s restrictive rules. Sun said he thinks more Yalies will attend the Princeton game because of the high cost of travel to Harvard.

“It’s more accessible to Yale students because it’s at home,” Sun said. “We won’t have to deal with Harvard and all the restrictions they’re putting on.”

Silliman is not the only community that has shown little interest in tailgating at The Game. While tailgating places are reserved for the 12 residential colleges, other groups must apply for the eight remaining slots, and the Yale College Council received no submissions by the Nov. 5 deadline. The deadline has been extended to Nov. 12, but YCC Secretary Zach Marks ’09 said the Council has still received only one completed application from a group of School of Management students. A number of students have inquired about tailgate spots, however, and the YCC expects to see the number of applicants increase, he said.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon — which usually holds a tailgate at Harvard-Yale and all home games — will not throw one at Harvard this year, said Dave Kemp ’08, the fraternity’s president.

Director of Sports Publicity Steve Conn said the Athletics Department is expecting a large turnout at the Yale Bowl this weekend. He said he thinks Yale students are excited about this game because if Yale wins, it will at least share the Ivy League title.

“The Yale-Princeton game has not meant much for a long time,” Conn said. “Harvard has traditionally been the big season finale.”

Conn said the home tailgating rules introduced last year are still in effect. Drinking games or related paraphernalia will not be allowed in the tailgating area, and the parties must be shut down after halftime.

Some Princeton students expressed similar enthusiasm about the Yale-Princeton match-up.

Cindy Hong, a Princeton sophomore, said many Princetonians are excited for the opportunity to win their own League title. Princeton traditionally throws a bonfire party in years when it defeats both Harvard and Yale — a feat it has not accomplished since 1994. Princeton beat Harvard, 31-28, on Oct. 21.

While many students said they think Harvard’s new tailgating restrictions will deter Elis from heading up north, others said the traditional rivalry between Yale and Harvard will still make The Game more important to most Elis than the Princeton contest.

Justin Bellamy ’09, who does not plan to attend the Princeton game, said he thinks Harvard-Yale will still be crucial to Yalies for historical reasons.

Yale’s wide receiver Ashley Wright ’07 said he and his teammates are excited about Yale’s last home game and appreciate Yalies’ support for the team.

“I’m glad that many people will show up for the last home game,” Wright said. “We always love a big crowd and having everybody behind us.”

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