My First time at “The Game”

The Yale Bowl

Two weekends ago, I attended my first Harvard-Yale Football Game. I am a regular attendee of Yale Football games because a few of my closest guy friends are on the team. Despite my loyal fan status, I’ve never actually gotten to go to The Game. The Swim Team always travels to a meet at Ohio State the same weekend as the Harvard Yale match-up. (OSU would sometimes stream The Game on a giant screen at the swim meet – rubbing even more salt in the wound). This year, however, it was finally time for me to make an appearance.

I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone says “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” – and they were definitely right – it was basically 36 hours of straight fun.

The weekend started Friday night, as friends and alumni came in from New York and Boston, and other places. I went to a comedy show, my roommates and my weekend guests arrived, and we danced the night away….all into the next morning, which was an early wake-up call. We got up around 7 am and the true football festivities began.

I went to a Brunch hosted by one of my friends from the class of 2020 and then headed over to the Swim Team House (which is ~home~ to many of my amazing memories and friendships). It was so fun seeing old friends and Yale Alumni – and because of Covid, I got to see people I hadn’t seen in years. After hanging out here, it was time to venture to the Yale Bowl.

We first stopped at the tailgates outside of the Yale Bowl, where some of my friend’s parents had set-ups of drinks and food and fun. The cars stretched on for miles; everyone and their mother seemed to be tailgating. Upon entering the stadium, it was overwhelming – I had never seen it so crowded! It was almost impossible to find people because there was no cellphone service, and it was so packed. Against all odds, I found some of my best friends in the sea of people, and we took our seats. We bopped around and chatted with other Yalies. I got to watch my friend JJ score an important touchdown.

With my friend Elizabeth at The Game!

The result of The Game – a narrow loss – was not the outcome I had hoped to witness, but it was a joyous experience nevertheless. One of my favorite parts was walking back to campus - hundreds and hundreds of students decided to ditch the shuttle buses and walk the two miles back to campus - and seeing this massive yet cohesive pack of Yalies as the sun began to set was something I’ll never forget.

I loaded up on Mexican food with a few friends and headed back home. But, it wasn’t time to sleep yet! I recouped, took a shower, and was back on the town. I met some friends to go out and we danced to great music (from which I had to force myself to leave because I had to catch a flight the next day for Thanksgiving.

All in all, I had such a great time at my first Game. Definitely one for the books. I feel so lucky to be a part of Yale and its exciting traditions. I’m already looking forward to heading up to enemy territory for next year’s showdown!