Tag Archive: Rivalry

  1. FOOTBALL: Yale set to host The Game in fall 2021

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    If Ivy League athletic competition can occur in fall 2021, the 137th edition of the Yale-Harvard football game is set to occur in New Haven.

    In 2019, the Bulldogs hosted The Game at the Yale Bowl, capturing a dramatic double-overtime victory over the Crimson in front of 44,989 fans. This November, Harvard would have hosted the 2020 installment of the rivalry on Nov. 21 in Boston. But with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a stop to fall-semester competition in the Ancient Eight, both teams and their respective fan bases are set to meet back in New Haven for the second consecutive time in fall 2021.

    “We’re going to be following our 2021 schedule,” Yale football head coach Tony Reno told the News. “I just think from a big picture standpoint, and from the perspective of all eight teams in the conference, if you’re going to change the league scheduling, it would create a lot of inequity in home and away games. So for the athletic directors to just reset it and aim for what the original 2021 fall season would have looked like makes much more sense.”

    Mike Gambardella, Yale’s associate athletic director for strategic communications, also confirmed to the News that the Bulldogs are set to host The Game in fall 2021. Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris and Harvard’s Associate Director of Athletics Tim Williamson did not respond to the News’ requests for comment.

    The Ivy League Council of Presidents announced the cancellation of fall-semester intercollegiate athletic competition in early July, and the conference has not yet released an update on the status of competition after Jan. 1, 2021. The July decision left open the possibility that “fall sport competition would be feasible in the spring,” promising a decision “at a later date.”

    Marisa Peryer, Staff Photographer

    According to Reno, the football team has mainly focused on preparing for fall 2021 this past semester.

    “We’ve really just pressed the reset button because we would have finished our season next week,” Reno said. “So hopefully, in December, we’ll be back on track to play football in 2021.”

    Last November, the Bulldogs’ dramatic 50–43 win over Harvard capped a 9–1 season and secured the Bulldogs an Ivy League championship. Quarterback Kurt Rawlings ’20 led the Elis with 417 passing yards and 101 yards on the ground in a game that lasted four hours and 36 minutes, delayed by halftime protesters and two overtimes.

    Yale wide receiver Mason Tipton ’24, who hauled in a crucial touchdown for the Bulldogs with 1:10 remaining in the fourth quarter during last year’s edition of The Game, expressed excitement about being able to play in New Haven again next fall.

    “I’m not complaining,” Tipton said. “The atmosphere at the Yale–Harvard game was pretty dope. So I’ll take it, I’ll take that again.”

    Lukas Flippo, Photo Editor

    Although fall-semester play has been canceled, Yale student-athletes enrolled in residence have been able to engage in limited training for most of the fall. Phase I weight training has given enrolled players the opportunity to get into the weight room in order to regain any strength that was lost during quarantine.

    Punter Jack Bosman ’24, who is on a leave of absence, said there are weekly meetings for remote players to receive updates on Yale’s training and the University’s COVID-19 situation. He said the team breaks out into their position groups on Zoom, where unenrolled or off-campus students can discuss footage taken of the players enrolled. Bosman said he thinks a spring 2021 football season is unlikely.

    “I don’t really see us playing in the spring because it would make it really difficult for future seasons,” Bosman said. “Then at some point you’d have to have a back-to-back season, which wouldn’t really make much sense for injuries and postseason surgeries.”

    Bosman believes that starting when the players get back from winter break, the team will begin preparing like they would for a normal fall season. He thinks the coaches will have them in a regimen that is pretty much identical to other years’ postseason plans.

    Although the future of athletic competition remains uncertain, Tipton is certain the group will be ready for next season, regardless of when it begins.

    “I know the team,” Tipton said. “Whether we play in the spring or we play in the fall, everybody on the team will be ready when it comes. The guys have definitely taken advantage of the time we’ve gotten off.”

    After 136 meetings with Harvard, Yale leads the series, 68–60–8.

    Jared Fel contributed reporting.

    Kaitlin Flores | kaitlin.flores@yale.edu

  2. Both Alike in Dignity

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    This evening, a shuttle bus will depart Cambridge, Mass. for New Haven. Brian Krentz will be one of the eager freshmen awaiting their first Harvard-Yale Game. But, Krentz has had an understanding of the Harvard-Yale rivalry for a little longer. In New Haven, his cousin will be waiting for him: Yale freshman, Claire Williamson ’17.

    The two of them are one of many pairs who will find themselves split along the sidelines when we come together for the game on Saturday. For many, this is a chance to poke fun at the other school in person, instead of from afar. But how does this ridicule affect divided friends and family?

    Krentz and Williamson, who grew up an hour from each other in Chicago, are from a line of Harvard and Yale graduates. Five of the family members attended Yale as undergraduates, and three attended Harvard. Competition was a natural part of growing up, even if it was mostly “honest family fun,” as Williamson insists.

    Williamson has it easy. Both of her parents went to Yale. But no matter The Game’s final score, Krentz will have to deal with one disappointed parent, as he surely did when he decided to go to Harvard.

    “I know my dad is very proud about his Yale undergraduate experience and so he is always stirring up Yale pride at home and at the reunion,” he said. “He will actually be rooting for Yale from Chicago this year while my mom is rooting for Harvard.”

    Is it awkward? Apparently not for them, but upon discovering the two cousins would be attending college at the same time, the rest of their family started to play up the contested history between Harvard and Yale.

    Williamson pointed out that, “from tennis to capture the flag,” she and her cousin were always reminded of their supposed competition.

    “Our family is very competitive and our aunts and uncles were eager to use the Harvard-Yale situation to try and create rivalry between us.” Krentz said, but added that it didn’t quite work.

    The two have remained close despite their affiliation with rival schools and, while they may wear different colors at family reunions, both agreed their friendship will ultimately come first.

    * * *

    Some Harvard-Yale friendships don’t contain the familial tie that Krentz and Williamson have. Some have formed since the beginning of college, and some even have found The Game as a facilitator for long-lasting friendships.

    Julia Biedry, a sophomore at Harvard, met some Yale friends this summer, and they seem to have been able to put their differences aside. Biedry partook in a Harvard Summer Session in Greece. Yale students were on the program, and Biedry sees The Game as a time for everyone to catch up.

    “Our program became a big family, and we’re all planning on meeting up at The Game for our first reunion,” she said.

    Biedry also spoke of a budding romance that emerged during the program, something akin to “Romeo and Juliet.” But the hands of fate seem to be in this couple’s favor, for now, as they will also have a chance to see each other because of The Game.

    But her trip down isn’t just about personal friendships. Her a cappella group, The Veritones, will be performing with Out of The Blue on Friday evening, as part of a “relatively new tradition” she said.

    Along with numerous other performers on campus, she’ll be seeing Yale through the eyes of students who lead a similar life in a different location. Both groups perform songs from the same genres, but Biedry said this was a chance to see how her “sister group” operates on a different campus.

    “We loved performing and mixing with OOTB, and we’re all really excited for this year, especially those of us who haven’t had a Game at Yale yet,” she said.

    * * *

    The banter between Harvard and Yale students will never run completely dry. The array of wit donning this year’s Game shirts speak of how much Yale enjoys mocking its foresworn enemy. And it appears that this mocking is also a feature of the friendships that span between the Harvard and Yale campuses.

    Will Viederman ’17 from Amherst, Mass., fondly talks about one of his good childhood friends. They met through their parents, and grew up with the closeness that comes from being “the same age in a family group.” But after regular family meet-ups, the pair parted ways when Viederman came to Yale, and his friend went to Harvard.

    “My parents met at his parents’ wedding. He was born a month before me, and now we are blood enemies,” Viederman said.

    Despite the jokes, Viederman is clearly reveling in the irony of friends split into rival schools. But he’s planning to leave the majority of the jibes to the experts.

    “I’ll try and get in a few digs, but I’m going to leave the clever puns and jokes to the people designing The Game T-shirts,” he said.

    So, even though most of Yale will also don these shirts and mock our age-old rival, maybe it’s OK to find a friend at Harvard. After all, these kids need someone to console them when they realize Yale is superior.