The craze and buzz created by the annual Harvard-Yale Game is crazy! From the daunting T-shirt designs spawning themes such as “Harvard: The Anti-social Network”, to the thousands of Vuvuzelas that found themselves on both Yale and Harvard campuses, the enthusiasm was palpable. The Game had drawn enemy lines, and wearing Blue on crimson campus was pretty much a death sentence. All right, you’ve caught me there - I’m exaggerating… But it was pretty intense!
Drunk on the euphoria of my long-anticipated weeklong break, I had stayed up late getting to know my Harvard hosts (They had set their hostilities aside for our 3-hour conversation). We hence all got up late on the morning of the game and found that the Game had already started. I rushed through my toiletries and started calling fellow Yalies, eager to know where exactly they were in the stadium so I could join them in cheering for my beloved school. But none of them were answering their phones! The sheer noise of the stadium had drowned any attempts at cellular communication.
So I unwillingly joined my Harvard hosts on their side of the pitch, and to my delight, Yale was winning! I sat down a little meek, but with a huge smile on my face because my Bulldogs were demolishing the Harvard football team. And just when I thought I couldn’t get any happier, we scored a touchdown! And even though I do not know much about American football, I knew that 7 extra points were great for a team. I took a look at the Crimson-themed hoodies that everyone besides me was wearing and decided that it was more than worth it to risk my life just so I could support my team. I started a loud “Let’s Go Yale” chant. I shouted the words as hard as I could, and even though only the few around me could hear me, I felt immense pleasure and pride for Yale.
We went on to lose the Game by a mere 7 points, much to the satisfaction of the gloating faces around me. But I left with much more than an aching heart at our 4th failed attempt to beat Harvard at football. I left with the realization of how much I truly love Yale, and of how much of a home it has become for me. After just 3 months, I was willing to risk my life (again, hyperbole…) for the self-satisfaction that came with supporting my home team. I had set aside the fact that I didn’t understand American football, and just cheered for Yale. And that’s something that one touchdown cannot take away from me.