The Game

The annual Harvard-Yale football game — known to students and alumni simply as The Game — has been played since 1875 and alternates each year between Harvard Stadium and the Yale Bowl. The Game is famous for its always-waning-but-never-quite-dead tradition of genteel tailgating, nowadays conducted alongside college parties more squarely within the “Animal House” tradition.

What we still call Ivy League clothing is rarely seen on the campuses of these premier Ivy League schools. Today’s Harvard and Yale students attend The Game in nondescript jeans, sweatshirts and fleece — or shorts and t-shirts if they want to signal that dressing for the weather is beneath them. But in the heyday of the Ivy League Look, as this 1962 Sports Illustrated article explains, The Game enabled Cambridge and New Haven clothiers to scout out sartorial trends and keep track of their rivals:

Whenever it is played at Harvard, as it was November 24 last, representatives of the New Haven tailoring establishments—J. Press, Fenn-Feinstein, Chipp, Arthur Rosenberg, et al.—entrain for Cambridge to render biennial obeisance and to see what the young gentlemen are wearing. The tailors themselves wear velour Alpine hats, double-breasted, tweed topcoats and blue oxford shirts to offset their sallow complexions. By custom they do not speak to one another, and, upon arrival, each goes his separate way. Following tradition, Paul Press descends into the basement of J. Press, where he stands his Cambridge branch employees to a buffet luncheon of cream soda and hot pastrami imported from New Haven.

This year’s Game will be played on November 21 at Yale and marks a return for Mory’s, the New Haven dining club that appeared headed for oblivion a few years ago. The Yale Herald reports that Mory’s will have a tent at The Game, serving brunch, drinks, nostalgia, and hope for the future.

Pictured are photos of The 1960 Game from the LIFE archives. — TALIESIN

Taliesin, who works in the federal government, holds a master’s degree from Harvard, where he was always amazed at how badly his fellow students dressed, though how impressive they were in most other respects. He has never been to New Haven.

9 Comments on "The Game"

  1. “Fight fiercely, Harvard, fight, fight ,fight ; impress them with your prowess, do” Tom Lehrer

  2. Of course UNC-Dook basketball is a far more important sporting event, in the greater cosmic scheme of things, but I’m glad that at least one of the 3685 sports channels is showing “The Game” this Saturday.

    Okay, coin is being flipped, annnnd…..Go Yale (Bulldogs, right?)

  3. And by cosmic, you mean for the unwashed masses? I’ll be sure to flip between that and Nascar, and make sure not to drip any of my Big Gulp on myself 😉

  4. Oh, come now, Clayton old bean, I’m sure you’ll find a way to stain your BB with your BG :>

  5. Harvard 14, Yale 10.

  6. What was Yale’s head coach thinking on that fourth and long at the end of the game??

  7. “The Game” is only to be used when talking about The Ohio State University vs University of Michigan.

  8. Ohio State vs. Michigan has only been played since 1897. Jonnie-come-lately.

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