Yale Daily News

Dear Elis,

I know all about what it means to go to Yale.

I’m the baby of my family, saddled with the weight of my bigger, more successful and more famous older brothers’ accomplishments. I got it in high school (“oh, you’re Justin’s brother”) and even a little bit here at Harvard (“hey, I know Dylan!”). All throughout high school, I wished that I could forge an identity independent of my brothers. So, I feel you. It’s hard to be looking up all the time, knowing that to all your peers you’re never going to be as big, as successful, as famous, as respected, as those who were smart enough to get into that school 130 miles to the northeast. Yet, you can’t escape these shadows, because you’re inextricably tied because of some self-perpetuated rivalry that’s not even a rivalry when, frankly, it’s pretty one-sided.

Let’s take a look at some media outlets’ rankings of universities. QS has Harvard third and…Yale, 17th. U.S. News? Harvard first and Yale all the way at 12th. Forbes? Harvard, first again, and Yale eighth. I could continue, but they all say the same thing. So, instead of poring over some abstract, subjective rankings (where, by the way, our football team grades higher than yours), let’s talk about people who have actually been to our schools. Let’s see… Harvard has produced seven American presidents, and Yale merely five. Three current senators went to Yale, which you think is impressive until you realize that six attended Harvard. We boast 12 Fortune 500 CEOs, dwarfing your five. Thirty-eight Nobel Prize winners were associated with Harvard at the time they won the award… Yale, a paltry nine. That’s fewer than Columbia and Stanford, and the same as Cornell. I could continue, but I don’t want to beat a dead horse… ahem, bulldog. It’s almost getting to the point where you’re not just the little brother, you’re being straight-up sonned.

One stain on your institution, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (yikes, glad we don’t have to claim him), once said, “I like beer.” Perhaps that was born out of attending college in New Haven, Conn., where fun goes to die. After all, what else is there to do in New Haven besides drinking your jealousy away? I looked on a map of your city for Chinatown and was confused as to why I couldn’t find it. Then I realized, while Harvard students like me can survive the winter by going and exploring cultural neighborhoods like Chinatown and Boston’s North End, you have, well, nothing. By the way, we have good pizza too — don’t try me with that. To adapt a quote from Joakim Noah, “I never heard anybody say, ‘I’m going to New Haven on vacation.’” If anyone did, it was probably some stressed-out 17-year old who decided to explore their backup plan because they were worried they couldn’t get into Harvard.

When I was growing up, my parents always told me not to compare myself against the best. They said that I should just be proud of myself for being who I am, and honestly, you guys have a lot to be proud of. You go to the second-best college — in the state of Connecticut (shoutout to Central Connecticut State). Where did we go wrong that 4,703 sets of parents neglected to teach their current Yalies the same lesson?

Alas, like bulldogs, you’re stubborn (and honestly, kind of ugly). So, since you’re so insistent on pretending you can match us, let’s talk about football. We boast the winningest team in Ivy League matchups since conference play began in 1956. We have six players in the current NFL, which is five more than you do. This century, we’ve won eight Ivy League championships. You? Just three. Since 2001, we’ve won 76.6 percent of our games, the fourth-best rate in Division I. The three ahead of us? Let’s just say Yale isn’t one of them.. In that span, we’ve had just one losing season. You’ve had five.

Look, I get it. Being the little brother is frustrating. My brothers did better than I did in school. They’re taller, more athletic, stronger, funnier, and they had more friends. They left bigger shoes for me to fill. I felt a lot of pressure to live up to the standards of those who were, in most ways, better than me.

But at the end of the day, my brothers and I can bond over one thing. For all the undeniable anxiety and frustration that I put myself through, there is one silver lining.

At least none of us had to go to Yale.

Griffin Wong | Staff Writer, The Crimson | griffin.wong@thecrimson.com.

Dear Crimson, 

I understand how great it must feel to be listed ahead of Yale alphabetically; I can barely contain my excitement with our dominance over York College of Pennsylvania. I know this little win is what lets you sleep at night, but you just have to know that there are other ways of measuring which school is better. 

We’re all smart here, so let’s start out with some statistics. This weekend is the 137th iteration of The Game, and so far, Yale is leading 68–60–2. Remember in 1957 when the Elis won 54–0? Neither did I, but Wikipedia remembers. 

Since The Game became an official Ivy League competition in 1956, Yale has won 27 times. Do you know what other noted team has won 27 times? That’s right, the Yankees. For those of you who do not know, the Yankees are the best team in baseball history with their 27 World Series wins. They are from New York, wear blue and their logo features a Y. Their rivals, the Red Sox — obligatory ew — are from Boston, wear red and their logo features a pair of dirty, smelly socks.

I know of a liberal arts school in Connecticut that lies in the New York metropolitan area and has a logo that is a blue Y. Its rival also happens to be red, dirty, smelly and from Boston. 

I am sure you have heard of Handsome Dan. You know, that slobbery, loveable little bulldog who has been the face of Yale since 1889. Dan was the pet of one of our football players, and the team loved him so much that he was raised to the podium of the first college mascot ever. Schools and teams across the country loved Dan so much that now the bulldog is the most popular high school and college mascot. Handsome Dan is a living being who we personally know, respect and admire for his professional commitment to our cause.

Now. Crimson. What is a crimson? Are you too good to say your color is red? Is it to establish dominance over noted safety school Corn-L? Yale has its own proprietary color too, but we are not known as the “Yale Blues.”  

“But we have John Harvard!” 

You mean a person dresses in a costume to look like another person? Is that supposed to instill fear in your opponents? Sure, bulldogs are not the biggest of breeds but they were bred to fight bulls, which I think is pretty badass.

I had the distinct displeasure of driving up to Cambridge last month to watch the Head of the Charles Regatta. My friends and I spent the afternoon in Boston watching the boats go by. After our lightweights finished first, we crossed the river and infiltrated your home.

We witnessed block after block of red brick buildings on your “campus.” How are we supposed to tell your residential colleges — sorry, I mean houses — from your libraries or classroom buildings? They all look the exact same. Yale has some brick, but we also have … not brick. 

Before we headed home, we passed Harvard Stadium. The concrete monstrosity only seats 30,000 people — less than half of the Yale Bowl’s capacity. Was the incomplete bowl layout a ploy to make it look like you have a full house, even though your student body is too busy studying to ever have fun?  

What a relief it was to find out The Game would be hosted by Yale for two competitions in a row — probably the one good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Remember the 2019 Game? You know, where we came back from behind and won in double overtime? I do not think we are ever going to let that one go. 

Sure, it was just one game. But you know what? I do not slip in where I go to school in every conversation. I do not go to the quintessential stick-in-the-mud legacy school. That is why it is such a big deal to beat the obvious supervillain. If we are the underdogs, then we are exactly who audiences root for. The underdog always wins. Even when they do not win the battle, they win over the hearts.

Go, run along with your tail between your legs after we beat you again this weekend. Scurry back to the second best school in your suburb so you can get to class on Monday. 

Simply put: your veritas sucks if you ain’t got that lux.

Go Blue, 

The Yale Daily News

Note: Your editorial to the Yale Daily News is 776 words long. This piece is 777.

Melanie Heller | Sports Editor | melanie.heller@yale.edu