Nine hospitalized at The Game

Despite stricter regulations announced prior to Saturday’s tailgate, the number of alcohol-related hospitalizations at this weekend’s Harvard-Yale festivities increased dramatically from when The Game was last held in Boston.

Nine people were transported to the hospital on Saturday for alcohol-related reasons, a spokesman for the Harvard University Police Department, Steven Catalano, said Monday. In 2006, two students were removed from the tailgate for alcohol poisoning, though only one was taken to the hospital, Harvard officials said at the time.

Both totals, however, pale in comparison to the 30 students who were hospitalized for alcohol-related reasons at the Harvard-Yale game in 2004. That rash of hospitalizations spurred increased tailgate restrictions at each of the past two editions of The Game in Boston.

But despite regulations this weekend that, on paper, were stricter than ever before, students said it was easier to obtain alcohol at Saturday’s tailgate — or at least smuggle it in — than it was two years ago. In other words, stricter rules did not translate to stricter enforcement.

In 2006, the only way for students to get alcohol at the tailgate was by purchasing it from Harvard bartenders. This year, Yale’s residential colleges and Harvard’s houses were allowed to serve alcohol to students who had a wristband indicating they were over 21.

Many colleges and houses seemed to ignore the wristbands, however, and served alcohol to everyone at the tailgate, according to students who attended. Still, Catalano said HUPD and the Boston Police made only one arrest for a minor being in possession of alcohol.

According to this year’s tailgate rules, which were sent out by Harvard Campus Life Fellow Jason McCoy, better known to Cantabs as the school’s “fun czar,” individual students were not allowed to bring alcohol into the tailgate. But students entering the tailgate were not searched as they were in previous years. Many students brought their own alcohol to the pre-Game festivities without any interference from police; they sipped from flasks and water bottles before, during and after the tailgate.

Other rules were not strictly enforced, either.

This year, colleges were prohibited from bringing in outside caterers for their tailgates. Courtney Pannell ’11, who ran the Morse College tailgate, said no one tried to stop her when she brought in caterers to The Game. (Pannell is a staff reporter for the News.)

In addition to alcohol related-incidents, Catalone said there was one mutual assault and battery incident between a student and an individual not affiliated with either Harvard or Yale. One student was also stopped for public urination, he said.

At last year’s Game in New Haven, Yale University Police Department officers issued only six infractions. None involved alcohol, and none of them were issued to people enrolled at or affiliated with the University.

Stay tuned to for exclusive online coverage throughout the week. The News will resume regular publication on Dec. 1.


  • Y11

    Was anyone hospitalized at last year's Game or previous ones at Yale?

  • Anonymous

    That shouldn't really be a surprise. Not only was it freezing cold, but when people can't drink openly and relaxed, they cram it into a short timespan, overdo it, and get sick. I don't know why Harvard hasn't figures that out yet.

  • y07

    I can't believe people even bothered to drink that much. Harvard killed the tailgate this year. Killed it dead.

  • Yale67

    Anyone who can be offended by the Yale Precision Marching Band shouln't be in charge of them.

  • Hieronymus

    Tom is a generally reasonable guy: he'll calm down. It must be wearing, though, to work with such juveniles, the supposed creme de la creme of youthful academia.

    Hang in there Duff!

  • Football Parent

    I agree with football fan but have endured YPMD a few years longer as a player parent.

    I have also attended many college football games for years. As for irreverent bands, I consider Rice U. as best. They're endlessly clever with extensive props and scripts where fans look forward to their performances. YPMD has had one tired script - bash Bush. I saw the Harvard show as surprisingly original.

    It's remarkable that insulting an alumnus and U.S. President is acceptable but insulting your football rival isn't. But I simply add that to the long list of Yale double-standards when in comes to how they treat conservatives.

    Mark this as a prediction: Bashing the president will now be off limits for YPMD but will be reversed when a Republican returns to the office.

  • T.R

    Suspended "For Ever?" or until next football season? The bands "humor" was tired during the Nixon Administration. I guess they went for profanity since Political Topics will be off base until the end of the Obama Administration. Did the band realize the Berlin Wall has come down or would a cardboard cutout of Cuba or North Korea offended to many of the proffessors.

    Another Question. How many of the members of the YPB acctually play a musical instrument?

  • alum03

    As an alum who was unable to attend The Game, I, too, would be interested in more information about what was so shocking that it would elicit this response from Mr. Duffy. I cannot imagine Yale athletics without the YPMB, and I hope that this issue can be resolved quickly and the band restored to its rightful place in the stands.

    Eli Football Fan: Humor, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I hope that you can respect that for many sons and daughters of Eli, the YPMB is a beloved institution. Plus, if hahvahd's reputation can survive THEIR wretched excuse for a band, I'm pretty sure Yale will be okay!

  • boolaboola89

    I hope that the situation will be resolved as soon as possible, so that the YPMB can take the field once more (or at least play at basketball and hockey games). Eli Football Fan, you should probably note that, regardless of what occurred afterwards, the Yale halftime show was much more witty and intelligent than anything Harvard could come up with. In other words, perhaps you should have stayed in Cambridge.

  • Rich Higgins

    The fact that Mr. Duffy once taught at the Auburn Correctional Center is not lost on trying to understand his objections to YPMB's antics. Yale halftimes have always been a genuine mix of fun and stupidity - going back to the 1950's. Saturday was certainly no different. Yet total suspension from campus activities is not the answer. duffy would have done better to have ensured his presence prior to the halftime performace and inspect the props. Crying now is a bit late - and to be truthful, not a soul at the Stadium could even read what he deemed as offeinsive.

  • Jordy

    If the Yale crowd could have gotten at him after the game, Siedlecki would have been #10.

  • @2

    yes lets blame harvard for idiot students getting too drunk during the Game.

    Really, C'mon?

  • y09

    well yes, let's blame Harvard and their refusal to recognize that college kids are going to get drunk at tailgates and football games no matter what - and at Harvard, the way people do it is to binge unsafely before they even get there.

    Harvard's restrictions just encourage binge drinking, which is why people only get hospitalized at their tailgates and not ours.

  • angryatheydn

    why do you guys have to expose them for failing to enforce rules? clearly it allowed everyone to have a good time… it would be better if you just turned a blind eye.

    but of course, you have to sensationalize everything. thanks a lot.

  • alum '01

    I'm a huge Yale football fan, but I have to agree that the YPMB is a bit of an embarassment. I love their enthusiasm, but it would be nice if they could be a little more precision and a little less scatter (Princeton, Penn, and Harvard's bands seem to have found a better balance). Having people who don't play instruments but just dance around on the field is pretty foolish. And the uniforms look very unkempt. I am envious of Harvard's big red flag with an 'H,' which the players run out on the field behind. Why can't we have something similar? I guess that's more a cheerleading thing. However, YPMB should definitely keep up the witty halftime humor, it's great!