We may not win The Game, but we’ve never lost The Tailgate.
For those of you who have never traveled to the Harvard Stadium, set low expectations for everything associated with our Ivy counterparts — their level of attractiveness, their drinking prowess and especially their tailgating skills.
One would think Harvard would have tried to adopt some of our antics over the years, but I’m convinced that they’re genetically incapable. I hope most of you have taken part in a Yale tailgate, but in case you haven’t, let me paint a picture:
It’s like a fuzzy, warm fantasyland. At every turn, someone is urging you to take a juicy piece of meat in your mouth, offering you a nibble of cookie, or pouring a fountain of Boone’s Farm into your awaiting cup. Everyone is dressed in costume, because in the land of the Yalegate, you can be whomever you want to be. Ballerina? Check. Antoine Dodson? Check. A pilgrim? Sure.
God shines down on this land, so it’s always warm and sunny. Policemen are angels that are more frequently found taking pictures of inebriated groups of friends than stealing cans (RIP Four Loko) and bottles from students’ grips. Booze is the ultimate truth serum, so Yale tailgates are truly the embodiment of “Lux et Veritas.”
Now picture a cold, hard, dry, crumbling biscuit. This is Harvard.
You’re going to freeze (though the Weather Channel suggests you may not get frostbite, as we did two years ago) and everything will be done in an effort to keep you somber and sober. The biscuit that is Harvard will not satisfy your cravings and will only try to fill your belly with carbs, not libations. Take note — you’ve been warned.
Your friends at the Yale College Council recognize this struggle and are going to try to make the situation less painful this year, or at least make it so we can all suffer together. There will be one central Yale tailgate in the tennis court area, where you can find beer, wine and BBQ steak tips. But no kegs or liquor are allowed anywhere near the stadium — Harvard’s rules. Harvard is providing a DJ, but I can’t promise that he/she will play “Whip My Hair” or “Teach Me How to Dougie.”
So what’s a Yalie to do when stuck on Cantab turf? Here are Coco’s recommendations:
1) A flask — this is really a MUST. They’ll probably pat you down and take it away from you before you enter the stadium, so don’t take a flask that you would hate to surrender. Fill this flask with something that makes you happy and reminds you of home and/or Yale. I’ve elected to fill mine with moonshine from Kings County Distillery in NYC. It’s made by a southerner and a Yalie, so it reminds me of both.
2) A seat cushion. Harvard wanted their stadium to look and feel like the Coliseum, so they made the seats so hard that you think you’re a peasant in ancient Rome. Bring a cushion to help stave off the inevitable numbness — at least until half time.
3) One of those cool “Harvard Sucks” pouch hats. I don’t have one yet, but they’re so nifty!
4) “Harvard Sucks” sunglasses — Because Harvard does suck, and the money goes to good causes.
4) School spirit — If we win, I want to perch myself atop the goalpost and sing “Boola Boola” for hours. I hope you’ll join me.