The 1968 Harvard-Yale game has become a legend and Kevin Rafferty, a Harvard alumnus and Yale parent, brings that legend to life in his latest film, “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29.” The day after its premieres, Rafferty took the time to talk with the News.
QWhy did you make the film?
AIt was an unforgettable memory for me and I think my daughter Madeleine [Rafferty ‘10] getting into Yale had something to do with giving me the idea for this movie.
QMost of your films in the past have been more political; why the change?
AWell it’s true, in the past I’ve made movies about things I’ve disapproved of. Making this movie was a total opposite kind of thing. It was the celebration of something wonderful for me. I drove 15,000 miles around the country interviewing every one of these football players and I just had so much fun doing it and being with these guys.
QWhat was it like to be at that legendary game in 1968?
AIt was transcendental. It was almost hallucinogenic. One of my friends was sitting with me and started doing the math and said, “You know, there’s a mathematical possibility for Harvard to tie this game in 42 seconds.” And he said if they did it, he was going to run out of the stadium naked. Everyone has a memory of this game. Whether they were there, heard it on the radio, saw it on television or heard about it, everyone wants a piece of this game.
QYou come from a family of Yalies. Why did you decide to go to Harvard?
AMy father and grandfather both played football for Yale. I wanted to get away from that legacy syndrome. I did it because I could.