The Game

Category Student Voices


Denzel Class of '24
Authored on November 21, 2023


In the storied world of college football rivalries, few matchups carry the weight and history of the annual Harvard-Yale game, now referenced as “The Game.”

This clash between Ivy League powerhouses transcends the boundaries of the football field, drawing in students, faculty, alumni, and fans alike from all over the country. 

One of the defining characteristics of the rivalry is the rotation between host venues, alternating between the historic Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the iconic Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut. This constant rotation adds an extra layer of anticipating, as each school’s home crowd get the chance to host the spectacle every other year – not only deepening the sense of competitiveness but also fostering a unique feeling of camaraderie and school pride among the student bodies who eagerly await the opportunity to defend their home territory.

Harvard University Band performing at Harvard-Yale.

The means by which students will travel in order to attend The Game will vary person to person. Some people prefer to take school-provided shuttles to avoid having to worry about planning or spending money on transportation. Others will often drive friends and themselves to The Game in order to participate in the various parties and events that occur the night before the match. All of these serve to foster a sense of unity among the students and create lasting memories of the journey to witness the gridiron clash.

What makes the Harvard-Yale game so special? It’s more than just a football match; it’s an embodiment of tradition, pride, and the shared history of these prestigious institutions. The roots of this rivalry stretch back to 1875, and over the years, it has grown into a cultural phenomenon that extends far beyond the football field. The bragging rights associated with a victory in the Harvard-Yale matchup are not easily forgotten, and students eagerly anticipate the chance to witness their alma mater emerge triumphant in the heated competition.

Photo Credit: Dylan Goodman

However, no college football game is complete without the time-honored and sacred tradition of tailgating, and The Game is no exception. Tailgate parties become vibrant hubs of activity, transforming the parking lots surrounding the stadiums into lively pre-game celebrations. The aroma of grilling food, sounds of laughter and music, and the sea of school colors create a festive atmosphere as students, alumni, and fans alike come together to revel in the game day experience. These tailgates are not just about pre-game rituals, they’re an integral part of the social fabric that makes The Game a truly immersive experience.

Harvard-Yale is more than a mere sporting event, it’s a living testament to the history and passionate competition of the Ivy League. In an ever-changing world, The Game stands as a beacon of continuity, reminding us of the enduring power of collegiate rivalries.


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Denzel Class of '24

Hey everyone! My name is Denzel and I’m a current junior from Boston, Massachusetts who is living in Currier House. By the time you’re reading this, I’ve already declared myself as a Mechanical Engineering concentrator with a secondary in Astronomy and am neck deep in psets and projects.