BLOWOUT AT THE BOWL

Updated Sunday. At least the Bulldogs don’t have school on Monday.

In the most hyped edition of The Game since 1968, Harvard defeated Yale 37-6 on Saturday, putting an end to the Elis’ quest for their first perfect season in half a century.

Harvard and Yale face off in last year’s Game. The Crimson ended the Eli's perfect season Saturday in a 37-6 blowout at the Yale Bowl.
Matt Lucas
Harvard and Yale face off in last year’s Game. The Crimson ended the Eli's perfect season Saturday in a 37-6 blowout at the Yale Bowl.

Yale came in as the heavy favorite, looking to go undefeated for the first time since 1960. But Harvard left with an Ivy League championship and its largest margin of victory in 15 years.

The 124th edition of The Game – which featured two undefeated teams seeking to secure the Ivy League championship – failed to live up to expectations, as the Bulldogs came up short in virtually every way possible. The Bulldogs, who came in riding their first 9-0 start since 1960, were dominated by the Cantabs on both sides of the ball, disappointing one half of a record crowd of over 57,000 – the largest recorded since 1989.

The Yale faithful started filling up the Yale Bowl near the end of the first quarter. But for many fans, the fun and excitement of The Game may have peaked at the tailgate festivities beforehand – a large majority of the crowd was streaming out by the beginning of the fourth quarter, after Harvard had pushed its lead to 37-0.

All-America candidate tailback Mike McLeod ’09 turned in his most unimpressive performance of the season, recording only 50 yards on 20 carries for an uncharacteristically low 2.5 yards-per-carry average. McLeod’s performance was emblematic of the Bulldog offense as a whole, as Yale barely recorded 100 yards of total offense.

Despite a talented roster full of players likely to win All-Ivy distinction, the Bulldogs were thoroughly outplayed by their archrivals the Crimson.

The 37-6 blowout has to be at least partly attributed to poor in-game adjustments by the Yale coaching staff. Head coach Jack Siedlecki had difficulty adjusting to the Crimson’s offensive or defensive game plans.

“We had a horrible day,” Siedlecki said. “We got outplayed, got outcoached, whatever. It was a tough day.”

Things went badly for the Bulldogs from the very beginning. On the first drive, Harvard came out of the gate attacking, relying on a scramble drill to exploit the Yale cover two defense. Less than a minute into the game, Crimson quarterback Chris Pizzotti found wideout Matt Luft behind the Yale secondary for a 40-yard touchdown.

The drive set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Cantabs quickly realized the Elis could not stop their passing attack.

At the end of the first quarter, Pizzotti again found Luft for a 33-yard touchdown. The Elis just did not have an answer to the slippery wide receiver, who ended the half with 142 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Before the beginning of the third quarter, the Crimson had already recorded 299 total yards of offense and converted seven of 12 third downs. Harvard boasted a six-minute advantage in time of possession.

The Bulldog offense seemed impotent by comparison. The potent Eli rushing attack was stuffed by a swarming Harvard defense that consistently dominated the line of scrimmage.

The Bulldogs had moderate success on the ground in the first quarter, picking up 45 yards on 11 rushes, but they could not sustain a drive. Yale did not get past its own 40-yard line until late in the second quarter and did not reach the red zone once all day.

“I’m not sure what it was,” McLeod said. “I thought we did a great job running the ball in the first quarter – moving people off the ball, getting yards. We weren’t converting on third down – that was the problem.”

The game seemed to spiral out of control in the second quarter. After the Crimson drove the length of the field using a combination of screens and draws to stretch their lead to 20-0, the Bulldogs could not even punt without the Cantabs’ getting into their backfield.

Punter Tom Mante ’10 was forced to pull down the ball and run with it after a bad snap and Harvard penetration made it impossible to get the punt off. Mante was stopped on the Yale 15-yard line, and Pizzotti threw his third touchdown pass on the next play, giving the Crimson a 27-0 lead before many Yale fans had left the tailgate.

Facing such a huge early deficit, the Elis had to rely on the Ivy League’s worst passing attack to try to get themselves back into the game. The Bulldog passing offense lived up to its reputation, as quarterback Matt Polhemus ’08 completed as many passes to the Harvard secondary as he did to the Bulldog wide receivers, finishing the half one for seven for 20 yards with a sack and an interception.

By the end of the game, Polhemus had only connected on three of 22 passes for 43 yards. The Elis gave up more yards through penalties – drawing six flags for 50 yards – than they picked up through the air.

“We just really had no answers offensively,” Siedlecki said. “They seemed to be in our backfield every play, whether we were running or throwing. Obviously, it got us completely out of our style of play. I don’t know how many plays our defense played, but they were out there all day. I’m not a big believer in the snowball thing, but today it really seemed like it.”

McLeod and the Eli offensive line did nothing to help Polhemus out. The junior tailback carried seven times for zero yards in the second quarter and was largely ineffective the whole game. McLeod was pulled out before the beginning of the fourth quarter.

“It hurts,” McLeod said of his broken toe. “It limits me. I say I was probably about 60 or 70 percent.”

The offense stalled without McLeod. The Elis only picked up 50 total yards in the second half, and the outcome was never in doubt.

The Cantabs added 10 more points to stretch their lead to 37-0, and the only thing preventing the first shutout in The Game since 1966 was a punt return for a touchdown by Gio Christodoulou ’11 in the closing minutes of the game, which gave the few remaining Yale fans something to cheer about.

The Crimson may have turned in a dominating performance, but it is debatable whether they were 31 points better than the most talented Yale team in recent memory. At a post-game press conference, Harvard coach Tim Murphy said he expected to win, but not in such dominating fashion.

The Bulldogs came out flat, could not make any meaningful in-game adjustments and faltered when they were forced to throw the ball for the first time this season.

The Cantabs exploited the one-dimensional Yale offense – the Bulldogs rushed 34 times and only threw 22 passes, despite being behind the entire game – and cruised to an easy 37-6 victory.

In what promises to be one of the most painful offseasons in Yale football history, the Bulldogs will try to pick up the pieces of their once promising season and figure out exactly how things went so wrong.

“We had a great year, and I told the seniors I’m proud of them for what they’ve accomplished over the past two years,” Seidlecki said. “They’re going to be proud of themselves. I know they’re really down today – rightfully so, it was a tough day for all of us. But these guys have won a lot of football games, and they’ve done a lot for this football program.”

The Bulldogs will begin next season looking for their first outright Ivy League title since 1980 and their second victory over Harvard in their last eight tries.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Siedlacki is absolutely awful. The only reason he wasnt fired is that we won last year. McCleod is the only reason Siedlacki isn't in the unemployment line right now. He is the worst thing to happen to Yale footbally in over a century.

  • Anonymous

    This was a disaster of a game. Harvard filled the Box, challenged our QB to make a throw and he obviously couldn't.

    On defense, Yale was shredded by a good Harvard past offense.

    Where the hell was our coaching?

    Fire the head coach.

  • Anonymous

    Pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    Siedlecki should have been fired a few years ago. His inability to adjust to other teams and to beat Harvard is pathetic. His play calling lacks creativity, which is why our team lost today. Harvard could stack nine men in the box because they knew Polhemus could not throw the ball and would not throw the ball. So, McLeod had no chance from the start. Its unfortunate that Tom Beckett and the rest of the athletic department are so apathetic and cowadly that they can't ever fire a Yale coach. Tim Taylor won two league champtionship in three decades of coaching hockey and had a .400 winning mark. Yet he coached for 27 seasons. Our basketball and football teams have underachieved but since each coach won an Ivy League championship early on in their Yale careers it appears they are now tenured for life. This would not stand at any other school. Its time for Beckett to take a stand and FIRE SIEDLECKI!!!

  • Anonymous

    Yale was undefeated prior to today, so obviously the coach did something right.

  • Anonymous

    In our politically correct society, coaches get fired if someone on their team becomes disfavored by public opinion and the media (e.g., the Duke Lacrosse coach firing), not because their team does not win.

  • Anonymous

    I've seen most all of the Yale games this year and that didn't look at all like the Yale team on the field today. We were outcoached and out played in what has to have been one of the worst performances ever by a Yale eleven. By the middle of the second quarter the offence was dragging itself out of the huddle and the defensive line is still trying to get a rush on the Harvard quarterback.
    Teams lose games, and rivalries like Yale-Harvard are always hard to predict. But, this was the worst prepared Yale team I've seen in forty-five years. Either we are vastly inferior to Harvard in talent, which may be the case, or someone needs to take a careful look at our coaching staff.
    This was a real stinker.

  • Anonymous

    Embarrassing.

    Siedlecki needs to be fired. Now.

    Again, he never makes any adjustments, continuing to rely on the same set offense that we began the season with, and just assuming that our guys would physically manhandle the Crimson. That didn't happen.

    He should have put Fodor in to replace Polhemus after the first drive of the third quarter, when we were already down by 27, just to at least give the appearance of not having given up during the middle of the second quarter. Again, that didn't happen.

    Our defense was picked apart the entire game the same way Princeton picked it apart during the second half of the game which we lost last year by blowing a 14 point lead. Our pass coverage is absolutely horrible, and has been for at least four years--they give up the same pass plays in the same spots on the field as they did four years ago.

    Siedlecki can never win a game when he is forced to somehow outwit the opposing coach. If Yale can't physically manhandle the opposition, we are effectively screwed.

    No excuse for the way we played today. It was clear from the absolute get-go that our guys weren't playing with any emotion whatsoever, and just going through the motions.

    Beckett should do us all a favor and just fire Siedlecki.

  • Anonymous

    Game was a tremendous disappointment indeed. Painful as hell to watch, even on television in Winter Park, Florida. Great season, resoundingly unsatisfying conclusion.

    FYI, with respect to the "first shutout" since 1966, I would like the record to note that we shut Harvard out, 35-0, at The Bowl in 1973. Presumably, you meant "shutout by Harvard."

    Brian Clarke, '74

  • Anonymous

    I know next to nothing about football, nor do I normally care for it, but even I could tell there were some terrible shots called.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are or will be Yale grads. Today's team will be Yale grads. I'm a Harvard grad. Siedlecki is a Union grad. I saw most of the first half and the first score of the second half. I also saw Siedlecki's pre-game interview, which seemed a little haughty. I agree with the comment about inability to adjust. You thumped us last year by keying on our star running back, Dawson. This year, we did the same to your star and turned the tables. Sometimes a star is a liability. At the very least, you need to fake it to the star a lot and give it to/hit other players until the defense loses focus on the star. It takes patience and a very clever guy to get his team back in to a blowout. I don't think Seidlecki is a clever guy. So, by all means, offer him a multi-year contract.
    M. Moore H'79

  • Anonymous

    Fire Sidelecki, its absolutely ridiculous what occured today, I am ashamed of wearing blue. To fight and lose valiantly is one thing, but to not even put up a fight is pathetic. Sidelecki (and Becket) are to blame

  • Anonymous

    Yale Football!! You go 9-1, loose to Harvard and you want the coaches head! Get a life!

  • Anonymous

    It was certainly the most humiliating, one-sided lost to Harvard I recall in the last 25 years. Nothing worked. This coach cannot seem to figure out how to beat Harvard (they have won six of the last seven). I think he should step aside and allow some new leadership to take Yale football forward.

  • Anonymous

    There go the donations.

  • Anonymous

    Yale is in a unique but cumbersome position. Both Harvard and Princeton consider us as their only arch rivals. But Yale has two arch rivals. It's extremely difficult for football players to get "up" in consecutive games. Princeton and Harvard don't have to face an arch rival (or a Big-3 rival) two weeks in a row. But Yale does, and it often shows. It takes a lot out of Yale to have to face two opponents who are sky high twice within eight days.

    This season Yale was bent on beating Princeton and avenging last year's disaster. But beating Princeton came at a price and it was not surprising the team was so flat against Harvard.

    Last year the situation and the outcome were reversed. Yale's goal was to avenge the triple overtime loss to Harvard the year before, which it did. But not until after Yale had let down against Princeotn the week before and blew it in the second half.

    The schedule always works in Yale's disfavor. Harvard was fully charged. Yale, with the pressure of an undefeated season and not being able to maintain the intensity it had to play at against Princeton, could not match Harvard's passion.

    The big difference in The Game today was not talent or coaching, but emotion. It wasn't the first time that happened. Unfortunately, the way the schedules are drawn, it won't be the last.

    --Joel Alderman, 1951

  • Anonymous

    We were robbed. They cheated. Harvard paid off the refs. My semester is ruined!

  • Anonymous

    Your headline should obviously be "Yale Beats Harvard, 6-37."

  • Anonymous

    I was at the game, and you could tell within the first 3 plays Yale was not adjusting. The Harvard QB kept throwing it to the same spot, so there should have been an immediate adjustment. But they kepy letting them do it all game. And you could sort of see the weakness here from last week's Princeton game, where Yale's D seemed highly suspect. Harvard's game plan clearly was to capitalize on the height advantage of their two wide outs; you have to beat that by pressuring the QB and blitzing and stunting. But people are right here, there was simply no adjustment. And the offensve play calling was, well, offensive. No draws, no screens, no creativity, no imagination. I think the teams are pretty evenly matched physically, but the coaches just didn't give the kids a chance to win. That's not right.

  • Anonymous

    I have gone to almost every game this season, and that was a team I could not recognize, on the field yesterday. It was nothing short of humiliating. I had brought 7 friends from NYC to the Game, having bragged to them at how good we are. I was literally speechless. I had sat in the driving wind and rain at Columbia and home against Brown till the final seconds of the game, and I left the stadium after Polhemus's interception early in the 3rd quarter because I just couldn't take it anymore.

    I don't know whether Sieldecki should be fired or not, but I have never been so embarassed to be a Yale fan. NOTHING WORKED. That pass that we nearly intercepted, only to drop it back into the hands of the intended Harvard receiver, symbolized the day.

    -Y '01

  • Anonymous

    The 1968 edition will forever be known as the Tie.
    I nominate the 2007 edition be forever known as the Shame.

  • Anonymous

    personally, i think the whole thing is more funny than embarassing. well, it *should must needs to be hafta be* embarassing for the football team, but then funny for everyone else.

    without being too unkind about it and rubbing salt into the gaping wound left by harvard, the yale football team- like most jocks, most especially football players on any college campus in america- walk around like they own the place, like theyre kings. they make the most noise in the dining hall hovered over plates and plates of pasta and chicken, they get drunk and rowdy at toads or on high street (or elm or whalley or park or…you get the deal…) and they take up the whole sidewalk (oh wait, cant really blame them for that, prolly genetics but then again it could be all those protein shakes so i guess they could do something bout that…).

    anyhow, my point is yale football players are kinda high on themselves. and again, all prolly most jocks, most football players are. and you know what? ok. kudos to you guys and your 9-0 record.

    but then, when you get clinically dismantled, when you get soo owned that youre re-sold, then bought back, then put on ebay that!s how owned you were!?by another team whos prolly just as arrogant as you cept, um, you know, they can play football better, like waaay better?

    wow. you should re think your m.o.

    with love,

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it was a painful game to watch. But, c'mon, we were 9 - 1 this season. We won more games than anyone in the league. Something went right all year - talent, play calling, coaching. Until yesterday - have some perspective.

  • Anonymous

    Donations ? well u can still garnish a buck by a sympathy routine.This was just a case of getting too far ahead of yourselves,looking forward to post game celebrations, ego.keeping a team focused is the coach's job
    Can he exact curfews on a group of student's "playing" football? how much scouting was done on Harvarrd ? how different were the schedules ? etc. not to fret,there's always next year

  • Anonymous

    Joel: Of course! The reason why the Crimson won is b/c they practically had a bye week last week while Yale has to play two "traditional" rivals in a row. (Wasn't attendance at the Y-P this year something like 14K? Some big game!) Meanwhile, Harvard has been playing first Penn (usually the league power) and then Yale the whole decade, and having a fair amount of success doing it… The elis got whipped, just deal with it.

  • Anonymous

    If indeed our problem is that we have trouble "getting up" for a game against Harvard after a game against Princeton, that is ridiculous. What has happened to Yalies that we now consider ourselves to have TWO archrivals, Harvard AND Princeton? There is a reason that the Yale Harvard game has been and will always be "The Game" -- capital T, capital G. We have one rival, and it is that safety-school community college in Cambridge. Princeton hasn't mattered, doesn't matter, and shouldn't matter.

  • Anonymous

    I followed the game online via ESPN's College Scoreboard and could not believe that the game was 37 zip and then 37/6. I had read an article in the NYT earlier in the day about this Harvard FB player who is also a highly regarded tenor/future opera singer, and they showed them in the locker room singing …. and I was "praying" (though I'm an atheist) that Yale would not have to hear them singing that horrible "Ten Thousand Men of Harvard" song they sang in the video clip on the NYT website yesterday. I think now it was a portent of things to come. They chose to do an article on Harvard …. in the first instance, and I was ticked about that.

  • Anonymous

    Not only was the GAME disaster for Yale, it was also a bitter experience for many fans because of the lack of any plan to control traffic and parking. Hundreds of travelers spent over an hour on Central Avenue, found the parking lots filled and were subjected to outrageous fees of $40 to park on lawns.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, what is Princeton?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with negative comments expressed above. Further, given Harvard's (average) D line weight advantage, why not send M'Cleod around end, why not a reverse or double reverse (was there one?). Was there preparation to defend against H's. receivers in crossing patterns? I also agree re difficulty of being 'up' in intensity for two successive weeks - but that's also the coach's job. Fire Seidlecki or put him on unannounced probation: given championship talent, win the champ. next year or leave Yale.

  • Anonymous

    the excuse of being 9-1 on the season is weak. While we did win nine games, most of the ivy league this year was trash. Even Princeton had one of its worst teams in years. The comments here that mention that we won those games because we could just manhandle the other team are correct. We were unable to push Harvard around and without a coach who can actually call plays when the original plan fails, we were doomed. In an interview with ESPN, Siedlecki himself said that the rest of the season does not matter. Only The Game truly matters and that is how the team's success will be measured. So, by his own measure, he has been an utter failure. Its time for some new blood and some actual brains on the sideline. Perhaps a former Yale player. HIRE DICK JAURON!

  • Anonymous

    It doesn't matter that we were 9-1 this season. The only game that matters is The Game and we blew it. Embarrassing.

  • Anonymous

    Siedlecki's inability to win The Game is obviously disastrous. Not only is it the only game that most people care about (Princeton is definitely not a big rival, and it's hard to get excited about beating Lehigh or Dartmouth), but it also often has title ramifications, as it did this year. Especially as long as the Ivy League persists in its idiotic policy of not participating in the 1-AA playoffs, The Game is the game that matters. Murphy has been able to handle it. Siedlecki has not. Time for a change.

  • Anonymous

    As a Harvard alum, I congratulate the Yale team on its fine season. This year's version of The Game turned out to be One of Those Days for them, aggravated by the injury to Mike McLeod and woefully unimaginative play-calling by the coaching staff. The Yale players cannot be blamed for becoming dispirited; the mulish approach of their coaches brought them down.

  • Anonymous

    The previous comments/arguments about Yale playing Princeton the week before The Game are of no substance when you realize that Harvard plays Penn every year the week before. How can a Yale team be that flat and lifeless for the Harvard game??

  • Anonymous

    To those of you bashing the players, believe me when I say that no one was more personally devastated by the outcome of the game than the players themselves. BMOC or not, they understand what The Game is all about…. It is a disappointing end to an otherwise terrific season. Show that your mother taught you a thing or two and stop your b*tching and thank the players for a fun ride.

  • Anonymous

    In the game that really matters yale was not prepared, was outplayed, and out coached. This coach is one=dimentional and was clealry in over his head against Harvard. He is WELL overdue to be fired, and not just him. Beckett needs to go as well.

  • Anonymous

    The presentation at half-time featuring donors to the Yale Bowl renovation was in extremely poor taste. What ever happened to tact and discretion? I realize they all gave money (kudos to them), but was it really necessary to traipse them onto the field in front of a captive audience and then spend the next five to ten minutes reading off their names over the PA system? The message was clear---donate money and you too can stand in front of 60k people basking in self-adulation. Bart Giamatti, a man of principle and refinement, must have been rolling in his grave! Harvard showed its class by just taking care of business and blowing out an ill-prepared and extremely over-rated Yale team. As for Yale's coaching staff, they should start brushing up their resumes.

  • Anonymous

    "Defeat is one thing, disgrace is another" -- Winston Churchill

    The problem with Yale's athletic department is that there is little accountability. They waited far too long to replace the head hockey coach and they are repeating this mistake with the football program.

  • Anonymous

    I attended the Blue Leadership Ball at Payne Whitney Friday evening where the AD, Tom Beckett, was awarded a George H.W. Bush Leadership Award for his service to Yale athletics. In his remarks upon receiving this tribute he said, "I will never let you down." While he has been an effective booster for Yale athletics in many ways, I think Mr. Beckett has let Yale football down by permitting Siedlecki to continue after so many defeats to Harvard. Sure the team was undefeated this year going into the game, but many would argue that record was garnered against a very weak Ivy league. How can an undefeated team have a quarterback that cannot throw the football---a sign of mediocrity. The fact is Siedlecki's record has been very mediocre, not at all in keeping with Yale's proud tradition. Mr Beckett, and the Yale President, need to give this program a higher priority at Yale. I would also argue that athletics at yale, and within the Ivy league, should pursue a reform strategy and raise the calibre of key Yale sports by allowing a limted number of atheltic scholarships, to be matched by scholarships for excellence in otherr academic fields. The decline in qualoity of Yale athletics has gone too far. Just like our infrastructure, Yale athletics need new investments and rebuilding. Let's start by bringing in a new AD and football coach with the type of Division I experience who can get the job done.

  • Anonymous

    How do you fire a coach who has gone 17-3 over the last two seasons? I'm not a big fan of Siedlecki but get real. 9-1 teams shouldn't need to apologize for anything, however disappointing the results of the last game (and it sure was disappointing). Bravo to the Yale football players - they had a great season, notwithstanding its ending.

    The people who planned the endless halftime presentation honoring donors for the Bowl renovation do owe some apologies, on the other hand. Even when The Game is terrible, you can usually count on some entertainment from the Bands, but not this year.

    And worse, the plans for getting 35,000 cars into the lots was a disaster. Yale used to handle this many cars more efficiently but it involves opening multiple entrances to the lots, not funneling all the cars through one or two entrances. It wasn't an issue of bad execution (the police I encountered were good natured and doing a fine job) but poor planning. It won't be relevant for two more years (if then), but please develop a better plan.

  • Anonymous

    I wish I didn't know what it felt like to have my hopes dashed into blue obscurity…

    A few days before the game, my younger brother (still in high school) asked me which would be preferable: beating every team except Harvard, or only beating Harvard. It's unfortunate that his question had to be answered in such a visceral way.

    Y'all might have broken my little freshman heart, but I will never be embarrassed or ashamed to wear Eli Blue. We are not better than Harvard because we beat them at football (sometimes). We are better than Harvard for an incredibly long list of reasons that every Eli should innately understand! I will go to my grave a defiant Yalie, proud of my university, my fellow students, and yes, my team, even if we never beat Harvard in my four years at New Haven.

    Less "Goodnight Poor Harvard", more "Neath the Elms".

  • Anonymous

    The major problem, it seems to me, is that Harvard is simply better than us at this point, and in almost every way. I'm not sure at this point why football should be any different.

  • Anonymous

    The parking was awful (is anyone in charge?). The "official" AYA tailgate stunk (can't Yale afford better than just hotdogs, water and coffee?). And the half-time event honoring Yale Bowl donors was embarrasing and in extremely poor taste. Oh, and "the blowout" was some of the worse football I have ever seen anywhere. By the start of the second half, I was tired of apologizing to my guests. This will be my last HY game (or Yale event for that matter) for quite some time. Saybrook College Alum, Class of '87

  • Anonymous

    One day after Harvard demolished Yale, another team from Massachusetts, the New England Patriots, blew out Buffalo in the NFL.
    Buffalo happens to be coached by Dick Jauron, who had turned down the job at his alma mater before Siedlecki got it. Unrelated, of course, but a sad coincidence.

  • Anonymous

    One of the more absurd yet telling things about this blow-out was the big strapping guy who tried to wrestle the Harvard flag from a bunch of Harvard female cheerleaders. They proceeded to beat him up before the NH police finally led him away to safety.
    Sports, not just football, at Yale are a disaster. Did anyone notice ( or care about) the 4 zip soccer loss to Harvard which is now enroute to the NCAA's? FYI 4-0 in soccer is like 37-6 in Football.
    And I agree about the tastelessness of dragging up the contributors at half time. Fortunately nature called at that time and I missed most of it.
    Disgruntled alum.

  • Anonymous

    For the love of God, with all that donor money, can't Yale afford a better PA system in the Bowl? You couldn't hear a damn word of what was going on. That in itself is embarassing. Get a better scoreboard, too, how about a nice Jumotron (Columbia has one!) And the parking/traffic situation has never been so bad, took me nearly an hour from I-95 to tailgates.

    Oh, and the game was utterly miserable and humiliating. We were lucky to be 9-0 with a one-dimensional offense and a QB who can't throw. Fire Siedlecki.

    Y01

  • Anonymous

    Classic example of bad coaching: why did our huge, bonecrushing fullback, Joe Fuccillo, get ONE CARRY all season (and that was because Polhemus decided to give him the ball, not the coach's idea). So many short yard situations when it seemed an obvious choice to give to Fuccillo, which would also have thrown off the defense, but that probably never occured to Siedlecki, who is obsessed with running McLeod on every play.

    -an angry Yalie

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Polehmus is terrible. And yes, Siedlecki is an utter disaster. But a lot of the blame rests with the Yale players, who simply did not show up to play. They were, without any exaggeration, more focused before the Game on partying Saturday night than they were on playing football Saturday morning.

    Let's hope they have more humility and respect for Tim Murphy and his players in the years to come, so nothing like this ever happens again. Yale fans have every right to be angry. The excruciatingly awful performance of the players makes them fair game for criticism.

  • Anonymous

    Bad coaching, parking chaos, a lousy AYA reception and an embarrasing half-time show featuring self aggrandizing alums! An unmitigated disaster. Yale, '85

  • Anonymous

    Hey Coach! Ever heard of "hubris"? No more press interviews until the job is done. And if you can't get the job done, then get a new one.

  • Anonymous

    No more of "the game" for me! I can understand coming up short, but not even showing up to play is a total disgrace. I don't care what their record was, they didn't show up to play football. Maybe there wasn't a curfew the night before? Maybe increasing the class size will help? For now, I am tired of watching Yale always lose to Harvard. The alums have to SPEAK UP or this legacy of losing will continue.

  • Anonymous

    The alumni donors who stood on the field at half time are a perfect of example that money doesn't buy class.
    Trumbull College Alum, Class of 1984

  • Anonymous

    Dear AYA,
    Take a lesson from the Yale Club of Boston. Their tailgate reception was a huge hit last year in Cambridge (maybe because the AYA was not involved??). And from now on please hand out paper bags before the game so we can put them over our heads after "the game".

  • Anonymous

    To the anonymous poster commenting on the Yale football players and their behavior off the field:

    Please come introduce yourself to the team after thanksgiving break. Don't hide behind the internet.

    The Yale players will be glad to have a nice chat with you. If you are brave enough to stand up to your comments, they might not beat the living sh&t out of you.

    Get back in your dark closet. We don't need your negativity on this campus.

  • Anonymous

    The author of this piece talks about the coaching staff's "failure to make adjustments" blah blah blah

    Hate to tell you this, but a team prepares all week, position by position, to react to the other team's scheme - offense or defense. It is, if there are any music majors among you, learned muscle responses. You don't tell a linebacker, for instance, whom you have instructed all week to react to somebody's - the offside guard, maybe - first move in a certain way, and then, at halftime, say, no, key on the other guard - doesn't work that way. This idea of halftime adjustments wasn't true forty years ago (my era of playing football AGAINST Yale, and it isn't now)

  • Anonymous

    A really tough, in fact brutal, day for the Yale Faithful. I was watching the warmups and turned to my brother and said "they look flat". The shame of it is not in losing to Harvard. The shame is not playing with any kind of intensity, emotion or creativity. This is the third end to an Undefeated Season I have personally witnessed - the first being my senior year.

    Seems to me like a perfect storm. Yale had been struggling to win the past couple of games, and Harvard had been coming together, especially in the second halfs. McLeod, the key to the offense, was at far less than 100%. Harvard was ready to play, and we weren't. After the first series, the snowball just rolled down the hill, gathering momentum. The kick returns were the only highlight for the Yale fans. Tough day.

    For the Record - we have ruined MANY Harvard seasons, just not the undefeated ones. They have that on us in the last 40 years.

    JKB = Yale '75.

  • Anonymous

    ANONYMOUS (who posted a comment at 12:49pm on November 19, 2007) suggested that the Ivy league schools ought to start awarded "a limited number" of athletic scholarships.

    ANONYMOUS lives in a world other than mine. High school seniors believe correctly that prowess at some sport or another is the key to admission to the Big Three (you wanna go to Cornell or Brown - have at it) Last Wednesday I spent an hour (well, maybe not that long, but it seemed so) listening to a father whose son will not get into Yale, but whose classmate, who is inferior in everything but the ability to pull an oar, will. So - that's life in the big city, as I was taught (in Cambridge) many years ago.

    Believe me, the football loss hurts - but at Stanford and California the alums spend millions (I'm not exaggerating) on the football teams. Hundreds of millions (no exaggeration) will be spent on a new stadium at Cal. A hundred million has been spent on a new stadium at Stanford. Is that what you want? If it is, it only confirms my opinion of Yale (after all, the Twig only went to one of our trade schools)

    Harvard College grad

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Coach Siedlecki could work for the West Haven Police after he's fired. Why? They both always seem to have the same losing game plan. The football fiasco has been well commented on. The parking fiasco is a disgrace. Every year, every car, whether north or southbound on 34 is funneled down to two lanes? This is ridiculous as there are all kinds of alternate entrances to various lots. In our case, the game was ruined for many by the two hour waste of time in traffic, followed by the three hour waste of time in the Bowl. How about a little urgency? How about a little creativity…on everyone's part.

    Livingston Miller '68

  • Anonymous

    Hey all you complainers -- next time, maybe you shouldn't take Route 34 or Whalley. There are many "back streets" you can take to the Bowl. Ever hear of Arch Street? Ever hear of Google Maps? Oh, and if you park in the neighborhood, on the street, like everyone else who lives in New Haven, you don't even have to pay for parking. And you get to walk by million-dollar homes in Westville on your way back to your car. Imagine that! What a bunch of fools.

  • Anonymous

    To the 'bunch of fools' comment with respect to parking, if the 'fools' did reallocate themselves as you suggest, you can be sure the 'back streets' of New Haven and West Haven would become incredibly congested, the street parking would be filled early on and the lots, with the same limited entrances would still fill up at a glacial pace. The point isn't whether fans couldn't have become more knowledgeable and avoided some delays for themselves (of course that is right), the point is that when someone is planning an event for 70,000 people arriving in 30,000 plus cars, the vast majority of whom do not live in and around New Haven and therefore don't know as much as you evidently do, it is incumbent on those planning the event to give some thought to mitigating the problem, whether that involves opening more entrances to the lots, posting access and alternate parking recommendations on the web site or placing temporary signs that suggest alternate routes.
    Another element of the problem is that The Game started at noon, compressing the period in which people needed to arrive. That early start time relates to sundown this time of year and the fact that the college overtime rules can lead to extended play (as those of us there two years ago well know). If Yale installed lights at the Bowl, it could start at a more reasonable hour. Not sure what issues that might cause, however, not least cost and the opinions of the West Haven neighbors.

  • Anonymous

    The very successful renovation of the Bowl merits our expressions of appreciation to Carm Cozza and those responsible. It provided an artistic background for Harvard game, and must have been impressive to those who first saw it that day.

    Now if the university could only devote the same kind of resources and effort it expended in bringing this project to fruition by elevating the play of the teams that it puts on display within the Bowl, it would be a complete success. It may already be beyond redemption, but more uninspired and lethargic performances as the one displayed against Harvard could make the physical renovations academic.

    The Bowl would become just be a nice place to visit for sightseeing and picture taking in the spring and summer, but not on football Saturdays, when it would be too painful to view the proceedings taking place. It would become our White Elephant.

    The Bowl has been saved as a structure. Next, and equally important, the purpose for which it was intended, quality Yale football, must be saved.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, a lot of anger and disappointment over "The Beating". And the parking, and the traffic, and the halftime production. Me, I'd like to add in the PA announcer as a bellowing idiot. He makes the late Bob Chatfield sound like Mickey Mouse -(remember when Dick Galiette, not knowing his mike was open, spouted -they've got to do something about that guy!! (Chatfield)
    I only saw one poster above who nibbled at the real issue; Harvard's superior athletes and depth. Add in Murphy's c+ strategy (don't need much better when you've got 1A quality players) and you have an annual recipe for disaster. Siedlecki may not be the world's best, but when you are using good athletes instead of superior ones, you'll lose to Harvard most of the time. That was as good a Harvard team as I've seen in 68 years, and Yale's defense was totally unprepared (as it has been for several years in the secondary) and athletically unable to cope with Luft and Mazza and Pizzotti ( the latter of whom will return next year as a 5th year redshirt). You simply cannot "lose" a player in a scramble drill as Yale did with Luft, twice. Firing Siedlecki is not the answer; tie the tin cans to Beckett and Levin and admissions for holding up such a mediocre standard for Yale athletics - "we want to be in a position to compete for the first tier of the league..that's realistic…" quote Mr. Beckett to a Yale Herald interviewer a few years back. Well, there's your answer - mediocre standards; mediocre results…..Ricks

  • Anonymous

    Ricks- you are an idiot.

    Have you seen any of the other games this year?

    This was one of the most talented Yale secondaries in years. They had shut down several top passing offenses. One game does not diminish their 9 game successes.

    And that Harvard team was solid with a good gameplan but in 2004 they were 10-0 with Fitzpatrick and Dawson.

    It was ONE GAME! On another day I think Yale would have performed much better, possibly even winning.

  • Anonymous

    "That was one of the most talented Yale secondaries in years. They had shut down several top passing offenses"

    No it wasn't. Our secondary coverage against the pass was our achilles heel throughout the season. They were great against the run, but pretty shoddy against the pass.

    It didn't help that Harvard's top two wideouts had a couple of inches on all of our secondary.

    On the final play of the Yale-Penn triple overtime thriller, Penn's wideout had clear body position on our corner. Had the pass been thrown a little more accurately by the Penn QB, they could have easily tied up the game and possibly won by converting the two point conversion.

    We got lucky by playing Brown in the remnants of Tropical Storm Noel, which created a less than ideal environment for Brown's spread passing attack. The speed of their top wideout, Paul Raymond, was negated by his failure to get a decent foot plant on the Yale Bowl field. Even then, Brown very nearly beat us--on several occasions, their wideouts were a step or two behind our corners, and would have easily scored if not for either a poor pass or a hand lucky enough to get in the way.

    Even certain players on the team have admitted that they tend to do rather poorly when facing a dedicated passing attack.
    It was hardly one of the most talented Yale secondaries in years.

  • Anonymous

    you're an idiot

    it was our achilles heel- LAST YEAR!

    This year we had 3 all-ivy players in the secondary!

    They dominated every game except Harvard. 9 wins is a lot more than we've had in years- making this secondary and defense one of the best we have had in years. We were #1 in the country until Harvard!!!

    Every opposing coach and player sang the praises of our defense- even Harvard's.

    It was just one bad day.

  • Anonymous

    "We perceive our awesome dominance over (almost) all else, but humbly recognize the existence of One above us. Thus is life; how good things get is never how good we would wish them to be. This is what gives us our humanity, what makes moderately sized blobs of flesh and blood such as ourselves so fascinating. It's the tragedy of human existence, and the sooner we can appreciate it, in Yale and in ourselves, the better off we will be. And if not, we can always look down on Princeton."

    http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/11934

  • Anonymous

    despite their anger and disappointment, reading these comments has been a lot more fun than watching The Game.

    One hopes that Yale's leaders read these too; it's not the end of the Yale world by any means, but it's not a good thing either to invite 57,000 people to your place, charge them $30 admission, and then subject them to a travel/traffic nightmare, an embarrassing athletic performance, a tasteless half time show, and a dysfunctional PA system. Maybe with this coach the football team can't be fixed but the other things could be.

    And about the game itself - why were Harvard's receivers often wide open? why were there no plays to fall back on if McCloud couldn't run? Conspicuously missing in the comments: a)any explanation for this fiasco from the coach or players and b) any defense by the football players of the much criticized coach.