Saturday marked the final game of the Ivy League football season, which meant it was time for the 138th edition of “The Game” between Yale and Harvard. One of the sport’s oldest rivalries was chippy before it began and it ended on a hilarious note.
Entering this year’s matchup, the Bulldogs led the series 68-61-8. It dates back to their first meeting with the Crimson on November 13, 1875.
Both schools typically duke it out in the academic arena, but because of their history — and the fact that the Ivy League doesn’t participate in postseason play — “The Game” means more than every other. In addition, it serves as the final collegiate game for the graduating seniors.
When all of the factors are combined, it creates a chippy, highly-contested battle year-in and year-out.
2022 was no different. A Yale player had to be pulled away from the sideline by the officiating crew after he stood in the way of the Harvard team taking the field for warmups. As he did, multiple Crimson players gave him a bump or clipped him with their shoulder.
Once things got underway, Yale jumped out to a 10-7 lead at halftime and never looked back. Although Harvard held the Bulldogs to just three field goals in the second half, it couldn’t overcome the deficit and only scored again in the fourth quarter to trim Yale’s lead to five.
Despite the Crimson’s offensive ineptitude — their quarterback threw three interceptions through the first 59 minutes — they had a chance to win in the final minute. Harvard had 1st-and-10 just short of midfield with 32 seconds left and no timeouts.
Scoring a touchdown was not impossible, but it was not likely.
What happened next made it impossible. Senior Charlie Dean took the snap and looked to throw deep.
Instead, he was swallowed up in the backfield by the Yale defense and was spun around like a rag doll. While being flung to the turf, he swung his arm back across his body and launched the ball into the air.
The Bulldogs came down with an interception to win the game and the Ivy League title.
Losing to a rival is brutal. Doing so on a no-look, Frisbee-style prayer that ended in the fourth interception of the day is downright demoralizing.