For complete coverage of The Game, visit the News’ Harvard-Yale 2014 landing page.
As football players, we’re often asked what The Game means to us, and this tricky question has yet to elicit an easy answer. It is difficult to capture the meaning of The Game — a storied rivalry, a culmination of four years of hard work, a lone mark on the time line of the great Yale Football tradition — the list goes on and on. But in our eyes, it’s so much more. It’s a celebration of the friendships built at Yale.
On a personal level, The Game marks the end of a chapter of our lives that brought the two of us very close together. We will miss the road trips, the meals, the daily training to perfect our craft, and of course, the battle on the gridiron alongside one another. We’ll remember every single one of the forty games we played together and all of the heartbreaks and all of the triumphs. Our relationship, first fostered on the field, has challenged us not just to be better football players, but also to be better students, participants in college life and feared patrons of the sushi buffet line.
The Game is also the last time that this particular band of brothers takes the field together — a unit of 105 men from all parts of the country, with distinct backgrounds, playing drastically different roles on and off the field in pursuit of a common goal. While this team may seem too massive and unwieldy to become a cohesive unit, certain moments throughout our playing careers will remind us of our special bond. With our overtime victory against Army we cemented our mark in Yale’s storied football tradition. Other moments, seemingly more mundane, hold just as much meaning for us. We’ll always remember our time in the training room, telling stories on road trips and showing up mildly dehydrated to Sunday morning lifts. We share these memories with all our teammates, from freshmen whom we have only known for a few months to football alumni who graduated years ago.
The Game, unlike any other weekend, is an opportunity for the community at large to join our celebration. All Yale supporters will be much more than fans cheering on the football team. The thousands of students trekking to Boston will not only cheer for a victory, but they’ll also be celebrating a successful fall of hard work, friendship and growth with the other Yalies wearing blue. The alumni will gather in Cambridge not only to relive and renew the bonds formed during their time at Yale, but also to see Yale’s tradition of friendship thrive in today’s students. We are tremendously honored to play a role in facilitating such a wonderful weekend of joy and celebration for the Yale family.
Thanks for coming out to The Game on Saturday. It was never our dream to play football in front of a throng of cheering fans, let alone ESPN College GameDay. But it will sure be fun. We hope you don’t hear our names during the game, as that would mean we’ve committed a penalty. But if you must find us, we’ll be the guys trying to make just enough space for our running backs to squeeze into the end zone. And when they do, the touchdown celebration will be for the entire Yale community. The Game makes us proud to be Bulldogs.