For some Yalies, split allegiances

Come Saturday, Sarah Robinson SOM ’11 will proudly don a shirt marked “Yarvard” and will cheer for the “Crimdogs.”

A 2003 Harvard graduate, Robinson, like many other graduate and professional school students who formerly attended Yale’s archrival, said she feels little conflict between her alma mater and current home. But when The Game rolls around, she finds herself at odds with most of her classmates.

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YDN
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“I’m feeling very conflicted about The Game,” Robinson said. “I’m getting a lot of sh– for it.”

Still, while during the year graduate students are united as Yalies, The Game brings out a dark — or, at least, crimson — side in some students.

The tailgate is where loyalties really show, 10 students said, as some Yale graduate students split off from their friends, slip on a Harvard shirt and raise glasses with fellow former Cantabs.

“It’s a little bit more obvious that you’re a traitor,” Robinson sighed, admitting that she will be cheering for Harvard this year.

Some graduate students embrace their dual identities. Mridula Raman LAW ’12, a Harvard graduate, said a fellow law student, Jessica Schumer LAW ’10, is coordinating the production of a Harvard College/Yale Law T-shirt to display the split allegiance of a large number of law students.

Many of these graduate students find that The Game provides a convenient excuse for reunions and revelry. Stephanie Lee LAW ’12, a Harvard graduate who worked for two years in New York City after graduating from college, said that around the time of The Game, she often runs into former classmates en route to New Haven or Boston.

Harvard graduates Edouard Coakley GRD ’13, Brian Distelberg GRD ’12 and Lee all said friends from college will join them in New Haven this weekend. Coakley’s seven Cantab visitors pose a welcome housing challenge in his small room in the Hall of Graduate Studies, he said. He and Distelberg said they look forward to seeing friends more than the competition itself.

Still, only four of the 10 graduate students interviewed said they plan to attend the football game. Raman said Ivy League football is not up to her standards, so she will stay on campus instead of attending The Game.

“I’m an actual fan of football, so I don’t really watch [The Game],” she said.

Others said the football game itself is not the main attraction.

“I think by the time the tailgates are over, you’re just too drunk to remember,” Lee said.

Helen Curry GRD ’12, a Harvard graduate now earning her PhD in History, said she also won’t attend The Game. Gesturing to some of her fellow students in Blue Dog Café on Monday, she said graduate students in a highly-selective program like history are more concerned with academics than with the famed football rivalry.

Still, Curry said she fondly remembers her undergraduate days, when friends painted themselves in crimson war paint.

“People’s alignment is going to be with their undergrad school,” she said.

While Harvard graduates like Raman and Chris Miller GRD ’15 expressed their loyalty and Robinson confidently predicted a Harvard victory, both Raman and Robinson conceded that Yale wins when it comes to both tailgates and pranks.

Though Lee recalled the Harvard band’s mock execution of bulldog during a past halftime show, she said the “We Suck” coup of 2004 — in which Yalies tricked Harvard fans into holding up signs that collectively spelled the insult — ranks high in the esteem of graduate students, many whom attended Harvard at the time.

Still, Robinson said she plans to spend the first half of the football game on the Yale side and the second half on the Harvard side. Having just begun graduate school this fall, she justified her favor for Harvard by saying: “Two months doesn’t compare to four years.”

“Maybe as time passes, my loyalties will balance out,” Robinson said.

For more Harvard-Yale coverage, visit yaledailynews.com/thegame.

Comments

  • Recent Alum

    Only someone who attended Harvard for college and Yale for grad/professional school would be so conflicted. Any Yale grad at HLS or HBS would think it is a no brainer to keep rooting for Yale.

  • u for real? we dont want you

    i didnt even finish reading this thing.

    ur kidding right? u either love yale or ur stupid. no one who is cool would ever go to yale undergrad and think applying to harvard, for anything, would be an “ok” life choice. i think i just threw up in my mouth.

    OF COURSE harvard undergrads are applying to yale to make up for not getting in when they applied in HS. ok its whatever. but dont mess. ur either on our team now or not.

    as far as im concerned, and im not alone when i say this, if you’re even wearing underwear that says yarvard crimdogs (gross) in new haven on saturday you’ll be lucky to not get tripped or beat up.

    not that i care, cuz they suck, but that lame school in boston prolly feels the same.

    dont be annoying basically. if u go here, now, then ur a bulldog. if u dont understand this, then you are a “crimson,” and we dont want u wearing our sick gear anyways. end of story.

  • Yale ’06

    I currently go to HBS, and one of my former roommates is in a Harvard PhD program.
    There is absolutely no question that we’ll be on the Yale side of the game.

  • Y10

    I would like to invite all Harvard graduates to fully embrace Yale.

    Come on, we’ve known all along that Harvard is the unequivocally lame member of the rivalry; the “number 2,” if you will. Harvard grads in YLS or YBS have an amazing opportunity. Now they have a semi-legitimate claim to our greatness.

    I think the real story here is that Harvard undergraduates really don’t have the opportunity to root for Yale, which is just kind of sad.

  • o-deuce

    u for real: i loled

  • Yale ’01

    #1 = truth. i wore my “harvard sucks” tshirt every friday before the game while at HLS.

  • number1

    @1

    Your comment is the be all and end all of this.

  • Yale 09

    “Helen Curry GRD ’12, a Harvard graduate now earning her PhD in History… Gesturing to some of her fellow students in Blue Dog Café on Monday, she said graduate students in a highly-selective program like history are more concerned with academics than with the famed football rivalry.”

    This is the sort of nauseating pretension and arrogance that Yalies have been drinking in protest of since 1875.

  • Yale Undergrad, Harvard Grad

    uhhhhh, I think you should have def interviewed some Yale undergrads that are now at Harvard grad schools. Everyone–and I mean everyone–I know at Harvard now that went to Yale totally loves Yale more and would never cheer for Harvard at The Game. AND, who is this girl in the history department talking about being interested in academics more than sports. She is a big nerd that obviously went to Harvard undergrad–The Game is about friends, girl. That one day off from going to the libs and go see some friends.

  • Yale 04

    If you are in graduate school at Yale, you are not a Yalie. Anyone who had such a terrible time in college that their allegiance doesn’t automatically lie with their college team, cannot make up for it in graduate school. The truly pathetic are not those who went to Harvard undergrad and cheer for their alma mater, but rather those who think that taking classes at any of the graduate schools at Yalie qualifies them to wear our colors and cheer for Yale.

  • Harvard Sucks

    Harvard Sucks, and Yale 04- so do you! I went to Harvard for college and had a miserable time. I LOVE Yale as a grad student. And considering the amount of time I’ve spent here and the wonderful people that I’ve met here, it’s a no-brainer who I would cheer for if I had any inclination to watch a football game, which I don’t. Haha.

  • Recent Alum #2

    I’m a current law student at HLS and a recent Yale alumnus. I’ve gotten some flack for sporting my Yale paraphernalia (jacket, hats, etc.), but I think it’s quite obvious that one’s loyalty should rest with the undergraduate institution. Plus, law school just isn’t as much plain fun as my “bright college years” :)

  • confused.

    WHY is this on the front page?!?!? this is not NEWS!!!!!

  • Eli Football Alum

    “Raman said Ivy League football is not up to her standards, so she will stay on campus instead of attending The Game.”

    Give me a break. Of course you choose to publish the person who bashes Ivy League football but whose view doesn’t really advance the point of the article. And it’s not like she went to a “football school” like Florida; she’s never attended anything but Ivy League schools. Why does the YDN choose to propogate the myth that Ivy League football is a joke, especially the week of the Game? Nobody who has actually stepped onto a varsity field in front of thousands would share that view. Maybe you should interview one of them.

  • Alum ’04, Current Grad

    Yale ’04, you couldn’t be more wrong. I went to Yale as an undergrad, and I’m here now as a grad–and let me tell you, there are plenty of my fellow grads who are going to the game dressed in blue to cheer for Yale. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that–for heaven’s sake, most of them will be at Yale for many more years than the undergrads! Don’t be such a silly purist: boola.

  • #15

    Hey #14 – It is a fact that Ivy League football is a joke. Don’t take it personally. If you were good enough to play for Florida, USC or Texas, you would have gone to those schools.

  • D ’07, YGS ’13

    What’s ‘The Game’?

  • #14

    #16 – And be stuck in the semi-pro world of big time 1-A football, where being a student is a distant second to the gridiron, no thanks. Actually, myself and several teammates turned down 1-A. You won’t see Tim Tebow playing in the Ivy League to be sure, but I can assure you that the competition is real – more than evidenced by the Ivy League players who have or currently play in the NFL. Ivy League football should be celebrated – as a vestige of the days of true “student athletes” – not denigrated by people who believe that sitting in a stadium or (more likely) in front of a TV qualifies them as experts in the field. Give it a chance. Come out to the Bowl on Saturday.

  • Undergrad

    Grad students, please support Yale. Obviously if you went to Harvard, then maybe you will support the evil empire, but if you went to another college, it is expected that you will back Yale — the forces of good — in the game. Going to Yale grad school DOES make you a Yalie.

  • Really now?

    Was this seriously the lead story?

  • Yale ’08

    “Helen Curry GRD ’12, a Harvard graduate now earning her PhD in History… Gesturing to some of her fellow students in Blue Dog Café on Monday, she said graduate students in a highly-selective program like history are more concerned with academics than with the famed football rivalry.”

    Spoken like a true Harvard student.

    Anyone who trumps the importance of a healthy social life for “highly selective” academics is only fit to hold the crimson flag. Get a life! EVERY PhD program at Yale is highly selective. In the grand scheme of things, you aren’t that important!

  • YALE

    i agree with #4 for the most part. but i would extend the invitation to support yale to all harvard students, grads and undergrads alike. they can always hope to attend yale one day in some capacity, or, if rejected (as nearly all will be), at least donate some money to yale. if they have any.

  • y07, hls10

    #1’s got it completely right. I have always dressed Blue from head to toe for the game and hung out with the yale tailgaters. It’s sort of nuts to me that H undergrads/Y graduate students would THINK about rooting for Y. College must REALLY have sucked for them.

  • HUB alum

    I AM A YALE GRAD STUDENT AND A HARVARD UNDERGRAD AND I WOULD NEVER CHEER FOR YALE (even though I admit that it has treated me well in my few months here)

    THEY SHOULD HAVE INTERVIEWED MEEEE

  • harvard ’09

    what’s a tailgate?

  • Y ’09

    Number 1 is the only comment that matters. Period.

    And if any Yale grad student wonders whether he or she should cheer for Yale, the answer is YES! We welcome anyone who comes to the light…grad and professional school Yalies are “full” Yalies in my book–boola boola!

  • @ 24

    Finally! Someone honest about their allegiance.

  • yale ’09

    hey #24, nice try but yale doesn’t accept grad students unless they’ve actually completed their undergrad.

  • yalie

    The truly pathetic are not those who went to Harvard undergrad and cheer for their alma mater, but rather those who think that taking classes at any of the graduate schools at Yalie qualifies them to wear our colors and cheer for Yale.
    ————————

    What a prick. Are you sure you don’t go to Harvard?

  • yalie

    yalies are undergrads