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It's been 50 years since Harvard beat Yale 29-29. Anybody remember?

Discussion in 'College Sports' started by jaytftwofive, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. jaytftwofive

    jaytftwofive lurker

    It was Nov. 23rd, 1968. Yale was ranked in the top 20, but the Crimson were undefeated also. I listened to most of the last quarter on radio in my driveway in Fall River. My Dad brought out this portable radio and he my friend and I listened to it. I think it may have been Don Gillis doing play by play. I wasn't a big Harvard fan but they were a local team so we cheered for them. (I was more of a Brown fan....Oh and Notre Dame and B.C. where my Dad went) The ending was so crazy we were shocked. 16 points in 42 seconds. When Pete Varney caught the extra point from Frank Champee I leaped from the driveway onto the grass. I know it was a tie but don't say that to Yale fans, LOL. Anyway it is still my favorite college football game to this day. Even more then the Irish upsetting Miami in October of 1988. The late Beano Cook listed this game in a 1995 video as one of the 10 greatest college games of all time.
    #1 jaytftwofive, Nov 19, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  2. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    My dad was Harvard '46 and we had seasons tickets.

    With 3 minutes or so to go I had to go to the bathroom. I was told that was not going to happen, thank goodness.
  3. Dick Drago

    Dick Drago Member SoSH Member

    My Dad was at that game, and made the mistake of leaving early. As he was about to step out of the stadium he heard a roar from the crowd, and returned.

    Another great one was 1974, I was only 7 but still remember the heroics of Milt Holt and Pat McInalley.
  4. bankshot1

    bankshot1 Member SoSH Member

    My dad, H'40 and I attended the game, seated round the 40 yard-line, closer to the closed end of the bowl, under the columnade. Expectations for a Harvard win were modest as Yale was a great team, nationally ranked, and for 48 minutes they dominated a game but over-matched Harvard team But those last 2 minutes of improbable football, and a more improbable "victory" might have been the most exciting 2 minutes, I've ever seen in my football viewing decades. As Varney caught the "winning" conversion, the place exploded, people were laughing, crying, yellling, it was nuts. SDS radicals were hugging Daughters of the American Revolution .

    And then Harvard Band started playing the school's victory song "10,000 Men of Harvard" and there was a huge sing-a-long.

    It was surreal.

    And awesome.

    LSS, about 25 years later, I saw Tommy Lee Jones, (movie-star, Al Gore's roomate and lineman on that team) in a Manhattan retail store, and I said to him, "Mr Jones, thank you" And he gave me a WTF do you want look, and asked warily, "Why?" And I responded, "Harvard beats Yale 29-29" and he immediately broke into a huge smile became very friendly, and we chatted for several minutes about the game. We shook hands, with him saying "thank you, (Rich ) for taking me back all those years".
    #4 bankshot1, Nov 19, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  5. Mugsy's Jock

    Mugsy's Jock Longtime Member Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    My dad was at the game (I mean The Game) too. He went every year with the friend Ed and their wives. My dad was from a working class Jewish neighborhood in Providence, while Ed was from a family of Irish-American pols, but they were buddies who went to grade school, high school, Harvard and then Harvard Law together and remained tight friends to the end.

    I was only seven in 1968, but I remember when my dad came home from Cambridge, and my mom shaking her head over how my dad and Ed were so thrilled they were kissing each other at the end of the game. My dad wasn’t much of a drinker and Ed was a teetotaler, but they were pretty lit that day at Harvard Stadium.

    As it turns out, Ed’s son and I have become good friends too. While Dave is a year ahead of me, we also went to the same Providence high school as our dads and Harvard too where we lived through a fire door from each other. And we go to The Game every year with about 40 of our Winthrop House pals.

    This year at Fenway, I told Dave we needed to recreate the moment and got a photo of me planting one on him in the fourth quarter. Sadly Ed is gone now so he wasn’t able to see the picture...but my folks did and were moved (and maybe a little horrified).
  6. Humphrey

    Humphrey Member SoSH Member

    Ken Coleman was on the radio.

    Don Gillis did the telecast on Channel 5 Boston (probably not the same call letters as today as there have been a bunch of switches). Because of the then-NCAA rule limiting how many times a school could be on TV in a given season, the game was not network-broadcast,even regionally. The telecast was on Sunday morning, the day after. Might have been one of the most watched day-after replays ever.
  7. jaytftwofive

    jaytftwofive lurker

    There was an ESPN or HBO special about it. I saw it in January of 2012. Funniest part was the 2 Harvard players from the midwest telling the story of Frank Champee calling the plays........"fahty faw awn faw. Forty four on four, lol. They looked at each other like...what the heck did he just say? He was from Everett. I didn't know till that special that he was a backup also.
  8. jaytftwofive

    jaytftwofive lurker

    Thanks, I knew it was one of them.
  9. Humphrey

    Humphrey Member SoSH Member

    I watched something too around that time, might have been the same thing. What I remember was the players recalling that in 1968 "hands teams" were not part of a team's standard preparation, or at least not Yale's. The recovery was a lot easier than it should have been. Also, right before Harvard mounted it's big comeback Yale called a time out with the clock running for no apparent reason at all. That ended up leaving probably 30 seconds more on the clock which, considering Harvard scored as time ran out, proved critical.
  10. runnels3

    runnels3 lurker

    Probably most of you know about this dvd but for those who don't it is absolutely must-see.

    "Harvard Beats Yale 29-29." A film by Kevin Rafferty (amazon not allowing the link here)

    Very well produced, directed, and game dissected. Great interviews and lots of clips with Don Gillis doing play by play.

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