Saturday, November 22, 2008

Evidence That God Not Only Exists, He Went to Princeton

There are leaves left to be raked and the first snow can't be too far away, so out into the yard I went this morning.

And back into the house I came five minutes later. Forget it. Not only is it well below freezing, but a brisk (weather euphemism for "life-threatening") wind is blowing the leaves around my neighborhood faster than any person or persons could rake them up.

Silly me. It had slipped my mind that today is The Game. When Harvard meets Yale on the playing field of honor, wind meets chill on the playing field of hypothermia.

It was my distinct pleasure to cover many a Game (all others are parvenu wannabes) during my sportswriting career, a pleasure tempered by extraordinary physical discomfort. There were exceptions, I suppose. In 2003 I distinctly remember it being a nice, 60ish degree day in New Haven. But my memories of this storied rivalry generally center on being unable to feel my toes by the third quarter, and feet by the fourth.

NEVER have I been so cold as at several Harvard-Yales. There was the time I listened to the entire second half on my car radio. There was the time a breeze originating somewhere near Henry Hudson's unmarked grave blew my notes across the Yale Bowl and onto the Old Blue class of ought-something, and not this set of oughts, either. The management of these two storied institutions of higher learning aren't about to waste those trillion-dollar endowments on frills like press box heating. Yale's press box doesn't have windows. If you're cold, you sissy writers should've thought to bring a hip flask, like Granny Rice always did.

At least the seats in the box weren't made of concrete. That pleasure will be reserved for many of the fans in Harvard Stadium this afternoon. So, readers, if you can't reach your broker, lawyer, or doctor on the phone Monday morning, don't fret. They're at home, thawing out. Or they're on another line, angling for the season tickets of the members of the class of ought-something (not these oughts), who didn't quite make it to the final whistle.


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