Just for the record, Yale has emerged victorious from The Game 14 more times than Harvard.
But that doesn’t sway Harvard College graduates who now attend Yale from rooting for their alma mater. Nor do Elis who have continued their education in Cambridge decide to change their loyalty towards the Cantabs. When it comes down to it between Crimson and Blue, alumni tend to choose the color they wore first.
Meredith Hughes ’05, who now studies astronomy at Harvard, said there was no question which side she would support.
“I think Yale is a much more awesome place than Harvard,” she said.
She added that she hardly feels like a Harvard student, partly because people tend to feel a stronger connection to the school where they did their undergraduate degree. Of six people interviewed, all agreed that undergraduate education tends to be especially formative.
Dee Barkett LAW ’10, who graduated Harvard College in 2003, said that she will be rooting for the Cantabs because she feels more of an affinity for her alma mater than for her professional school. Furthermore, her boyfriend played football for Harvard as an undergraduate.
“I think it would be unwise on my part to switch allegiances at this point,” she said, “even if I were so inclined.”
Graduate students tend to feel separated from the rivalry and view this weekend as being less about football than about catching up with old friends. Barkett said that it’s generally only football players that take the outcome of The Game to heart.
Jon Finer LAW ’09, a 1999 Harvard graduate, agreed that few care deeply about a win or a loss.
Finer added that The Game’s importance is as an example of quintessential college spirit — the kind that involves tailgating, dressing up in school colors and face painting — that isn’t often seen at Harvard and Yale. He enjoys the opportunity to get out in the cold, drink beer and have fun with friends.
“It’s the one opportunity that people at schools like these have to pretend like this happens every weekend,” he said.
Though graduate students tied to both schools have little opinion on the matter, they said that people make a point of asking them for whom they will root. Many felt peer pressure to remain on the “right” side of the field. Barkett said that her friends were happy for her when she got into Yale Law School, but that they immediately asked her what would happen come Game time.
“They told me, ‘Don’t be a traitor,’ ” she said.