Its tailgate may feature a few more candelabras and tablecloths than your average college football rivalry game, but make no mistake: after 129 games that have included football’s first known onside kick (1881), the first U.S. sporting event to draw a crowd of more than 80,000 (1920), one of the greatest pranks in the history of college sports (2004) and a 29-29 “win” (1968), the Harvard-Yale game will always be among college football’s most heated rivalries.
Yale leads the all-time series 65-56-8, but Harvard has beaten the Bulldogs six straight times, the second-longest streak in the history of “The Game.” The Crimson needs to make it seven to keep hopes alive for an Ivy League title.
This year’s game will be played in New Haven, Conn., the 600th played at the 99-year-old Yale Bowl, which inspired the name of the Rose Bowl, which in turn lent its name to college bowl games and some game called the Super Bowl.
Here’s the aforementioned prank, pulled in 2004 at Harvard when a few Yale students outwitted their Crimson counterparts.
No matter what happens today, it can’t possibly top the 1968 matchup, which prompted the classic headline “Harvard beats Yale, 29-29” (remembered in a documentary that features Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep).
Here’s a helpful tour of the Yale campus: