It came and went almost too fast to really understand.
No, I’m not talking about the finale of “Dancing with the Stars.” I’m also not going to pretend I have anywhere near the pop culture knowledge of John Song, so I’m just going to cut to the chase.
I’m talking about The Game.
This year’s Game has been one of the most covered “Games” in history despite everyone’s previous expectations. Thanks in large part to what is now being called “The Call,” (just be glad it wasn’t branded “-gate” status), everyone has had time to weigh in with whatever full- or half-brained opinions they have formed with whatever extensive or tiny amount of football strategy knowledge they possess.
I, however, am choosing to diplomatically sidestep this issue by saying that it really doesn’t matter anymore. The Game is over. What matters now is how we remember this event that was so meaningful for so many people.
Harvard-Yale, which always holds special significance as possibly the only time when Ivy League football is in the spotlight, had an even bigger meaning for me this year.
The Game was my first last of my senior year.
Yes, people, my first last. Seniors, y’all know what I’m talkin’ about. Every event, every holiday, every tiny part of senior year suddenly becomes filled with this pseudo-meaningful importance as though life will not go on after Yale. We think that making a point of acknowledging each of these moments will enhance our memories of senior year, but instead they inevitably add to the growing anxiety about life after “The Bubble.”
Now, I don’t want this to be a sappy piece about how sad it is to contemplate leaving Yale. Sentiments about that actually run along the lines of usually pretty freakin’ scared, sometimes excited and always left wondering.
Instead, I want to treat my last Game, my first last of the year, in the style of Gerry’s funeral in “P.S. I Love You.” I want to celebrate this event with small “shots” (non-whiskey in this case) from the day of The Game that made it one of my favorite memories of the year to date.
1. The tailgate: The tailgate is a Yale tradition like none other, to which I have already attributed an entire column. This year’s was especially crazy. A look back at the pictures shows nothing but wall-to-wall bodies, Solo cups abounding, and food and drinks flowing. Personal favorites included the softball team as Yale-cape wearing, Captain Underpants-esque face-painted superheroes and the class of circa 1999. If you missed anything, see the Fox Sports special, “Geeks Gone Wild.”
2. Yale alumni: As a senior, it’s always a treat when the classes of the last three years come back to visit Yale. The interesting part is gauging just how many love their jobs and how many wish they were back here. Either way, it’s always a fun time catching up and reliving The Game’s past. Next year, it will be our turn. … Weird!
3. Harvard visitors: I know I will probably catch a lot of flack for this, but I have some great Harvard friends. Over the years, cultivating these rivalry-friendships has been one of my favorite parts of the Ivy League experience. Nights spent watching “300” and trying to decide the debate of whether Yale or Harvard is the Sparta (obviously Yale) will never be forgotten.
4. The actual Game: This might be the part, unfortunately, that usually the least amount of people will be able to relate to. This year, though, the Bowl was absolutely packed! I’ll admit that I didn’t get to The Game until after halftime, thereby missing all of Yale’s scoring (we scored our 10 points in the first quarter.) However, what I lacked in face time, I made up for in vocalizing. Lucky enough to sneak our way to the first row on the 50-yard line, my friends and I nearly lost our voices this year, through the ups and the downs, and lived to tell about it.
5. Post-Game sprint: This was a new tradition, or rather a one-time event, which capped off my first last Game as an undergraduate. Two of my closest friends and I made our way down to the field after The Game ended. Despite the obvious sentiment, it was a time to really cherish the first last. (I’m a huge sap, I know.) Regardless, we were looking for a way to really solidify this experience into memory. Answer: 100-yard dash! End zone to end zone. With a touchdown dance to boot.
There you have it. The Game wrap-up with only minimal mention of Call-gate (just doesn’t have the same ring, I guess). I hope my first last was as memorable for you as it was for me.
Tracy Timm is a senior in Pierson College.