Nine. The number of innings in a baseball game. The number of quarterbacks the Cleveland Browns are projected to start next season. The number of girls that have rejected me this week. The second-highest number the Yalies can count to seeing as we only have 10 fingers and all — math is hard, huh? But most importantly, nine is the length in games of Harvard’s win streak against the Bulldogs.
Can we take a second to think about just how hard it is to lose nine games in a row? There comes a point when it seems like the Bulldogs are just trying to be bad. It’s like they’re doing it on purpose. Like in 2009, when Yale attempted a fake punt on fourth and 22 in the fourth quarter. They went on to lose, 14–10.
Yale is not only losing, but losing badly. Including the 2009 matchup, only three of its nine losses were by a score or less. As for the other six? Harvard won by a combined score of 198–63. That’s a 135-point differential, almost as many points as Columbia has scored all season.
It makes sense, though. Harvard is — to put it bluntly — better. Listen, I understand all the arguments. Sure, Yale has a prettier campus. Academically, the schools are almost indistinguishable. But there’s a reason why Harvard is the poster child of the Ivy League. Go anywhere in the country and ask what someone thinks the best school is. Everyone knows about Harvard. It’s synonymous with “prestige.” To see what the country thinks of Yale, just look up “Duke vs. Yale” on Huffington Post.
What do you call an attractive guy on Yale’s campus? A tourist. Harvard students, on the other hand, look like supermodels. Think Rashida Jones, Matt Damon, Elle Woods. To be fair, though, there is something that every Harvard student has in common with the Bulldogs: we all got into Yale.
Yale truly is Harvard’s ugly younger sibling. Everyone knows about Harvard students’ accomplishments. Harvard can lay claim to the best presidents and the creator of the world’s most-used website. The Crimson alumni list includes lead characters on objectively the world’s best television series, “The Office.” Hell, even the Unabomber went to Harvard. Who has ever come out of Yale? All they’ve produced are the Bush family and Theo Epstein ’95. Guess what, Theo? I could also break The Curse if I had the second highest payroll in baseball.
The bright side for Bulldog fans is that Harvard’s chances of winning this game are just about the same as Hillary’s LAW ’73 chances of becoming president were pre-election. And if, by some miracle, Yale pulls this game out like Trump did the presidency, the world will again be in utter shock. Or at least Harvard students will be. The jury is still out on how much we’ll complain if we lose this one, though.
Historically, there’s almost no competition between the two programs. Harvard has had more players selected in the National Football League Draft. Since 1986, Yale has won the Ivy League title three times. Harvard has as many conference championships in the last three years. We can even lay claim to the New York Jets’ starting quarterback. Pretty neat, huh?
I’m sure the Bulldogs are hungry. As they should be; it’s a wonder those malformed monsters can even eat with those short snouts. Like I said earlier, it’s tough to lose nine games. A 10th is even more difficult. My high school football team just broke three different nine-game losing streaks to teams this year. So if this year in football and politics is indicative of anything, the underdog has a shot.
But let’s be honest. Yale currently has the most points allowed in the Ivy League and the third-fewest points scored. The team is 2–7. Its point differential is negative 143, and the games haven’t been that close.
So Yalies, get prepared. You will, yet again, finish behind Harvard. The game this weekend is going to be about as exciting as watching election night coverage on CNN. Words of advice to any Yale students reading this: take advantage of the tailgate. Maybe you won’t remember the beatdown that’s inevitably going to occur this weekend.
Gant Player is a columnist for The Harvard Crimson. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .