Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
March 6, 2009 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. At Harvard Stadium on November 23, 1968, the Yale and Harvard football teams met in their annual The Game, with both teams going into the game undefeated for the first time since 1909. Heavily-favored Yale was ranked #16 and was on a 16-game winning streak. Yale was leading 29-13 with 3:34 to play and had the ball. What could possibly go wrong?

Harvard recovered a fumble on their 14, then scored a touchdown with a 2-point conversion, recovered an onside kick, scored another touchdown as the clock ran out, and scored another 2-point conversion. Footage of the game. Recap. What I learned at the Harvard-Yale Game [clearly not paragraphs].

Even though it ended in a tie, the Yale players took it as a devastating loss, and Harvard took it as a win. The Harvard Crimson's banner headline was "Harvard Beats Yale 29-29." Who came up with the headline?

Backup quarterback Frank Champi led the Harvard comeback. Tommy Lee Jones was a Harvard offensive guard (Al Gore was his roommate). Yale quarterback Brian Dowling inspired "B.D." in Doonesbury. Yale tailback Calvin Hill was the 1969 NFL Rookie of the Year, beating O.J. Simpson. Yale teammate Bob Levin dated Vassar undergraduate named Meryl Streep. James Fallows worked on the Harvard Crimson.

Kevin Rafferty, who directed Atomic Cafe, has a new documentary about the game. New York Times Q&A and NPR Fresh Air with Rafferty.
posted by kirkaracha (15 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
posted by jock@law at 3:00 PM on March 6, 2009

"H1-10, Y49: Champi run around left end to Yale 35, tackled by Mike Bouscaren. 15-yard face mask penalty on Bouscaren to the 20. 32 seconds remaining."
Ha, of course! That clears it up!
Ahemm... "King's rook to E7. The muted nightingale flies at midnight towards the East! The package will not be arriving undamaged."
posted by PontifexPrimus at 3:01 PM on March 6, 2009 [4 favorites]

If I may help, PontifexPrimus:

Harvard, 1st down, 10 yards to go (for a new set of downs). Ball is at the Yale 49. Champi runs the ball for 14 yards, to the Yale 35, where he is tacked by Mike Bouscaren. However, Bouscaren tackled Champi by means of holding onto his face mask, which is a penalty that moves the ball by 15 yards from where the play ended (the point of tackle). Hence, the ball ends up at the Yale 20, with 32 seconds left to play.

The wind blows from the south today. Spring is early, but it is still cold before dawn.

Hope that helps.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:13 PM on March 6, 2009 [3 favorites]

The best moment of the entire Harvard-Yale rivalry is shown here.
posted by educatedslacker at 3:20 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just going to point out that in the prank educatedslacker points to, the Yalies took advantage of alumni, who wouldn't be able to recognize whether the pranksters were on their own side or not. Had they tried this in the student section (where it really would have been a coup) it likely would have failed.

Also, no one noticed it during the Game.

This is still the best H-Y prank ever.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:29 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Fight fiercely, Harvard.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:30 PM on March 6, 2009

You'd think that an Ivy League supporter wouldn't stutter so much...
posted by clearly at 3:59 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Fight fiercely, Harvard.
Fight, fight, fight.
Impress them with our prowess, do.
posted by Zonker at 4:01 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is without a doubt the worst prank of the Y-H rivalry. (Only click if you are/were a Harvard student).
posted by educatedslacker at 5:04 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Very drole, Slacker. I nonetheless prefer this more recent one.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:16 PM on March 6, 2009

That educatedslacker fellow sure is one funny dood.
posted by basicchannel at 5:17 PM on March 6, 2009

I say! That was quite the donnybrook!
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:13 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

I love the headline, and the article about trying to find out who wrote it.
posted by ErWenn at 8:42 PM on March 6, 2009

The Harvard-Yale rivalry would actually be funny if both schools hadn't been competing valiantly for so many years to see which one of them can be worst academically.

I mean, it's just so hard to pick the winner in that rivalry.
posted by koeselitz at 11:26 PM on March 6, 2009

Our local film festival had three showings of the movie last week. At the one I attended, Bill Kelly (who recovered the fumble) spoke after the movie. It's not the most compelling documentary I've ever seen, but it was fun, and the ending is stranger than fiction. Harvard was mostly getting their butts kicked. At 3:35 left in the game it looked like a rout.

Some of the interviewees are notable. I don't know what was up with Tommy Lee Jones. He was either stoned or deeply introspective or took the whole thing way too seriously. And Mike Bouscaren was nicely cast as 'The Asshole'.

posted by MtDewd at 1:05 PM on March 31, 2009

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