Perfection, Perfection, Perfection!!!!
How often can someone say that about anything, let alone a football team?
But in the cold and windy chill of a late November Saturday afternoon, the Harvard Crimson, in the 131st playing of “The Game,” did just that, capturing its perfect season (10-0) with a heart stopping performance against its arch-rival the Bulldogs of Yale that will resonate for the ages.
It was Harvard’s eighth consecutive victory against the Elis, and 13 in the last 14 against its rival.
Maybe Yale alum John Kerry should try and negotiate a cease-fire!! OUCH!! As someone who was amongst the sell-out crowd, I can attest, that when the Sons of Ted Kennedy took a 24-7 lead, “The Game,” appeared well in hand.
But these kids from New Haven are a resilient bunch.
The Bulldogs stormed all the way back to tie, and with 55 seconds left, Crimson QB Conner Hempel, who is tougher than a $5 steak, lofted a beautifully thrown 35-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Fisher which ultimately proved to be the game winner.
It was truly a classic football game, which Hempel aptly summarized; “This game makes my career.”
The victory gave Crimson Coach Tim Murphy his third undefeated season of his 21-year tenure, and his eight Ivy League Title. “You’ve think you have seen it all, and you haven’t,” said Murphy. “A truly amazing performance by our kids, sheer willpower.”
The Harvard students stormed the field surrounding the coach and his players, capturing them in sort of an artificial turf crimson-globe of football perfection.
As I made my way under the stadium toward the exit gate, I watched as Yale’s rangy blond headed QB, Morgan Roberts, make his way toward the visitor’s portable locker room, stopping every few feet ashe was hugged by the Yale students.
The look of disappointment, could only be best captured by Norman Rockwell. It is such a contrast to the cesspool that exists in Tallahassee, Florida with the Florida State program.
The appearance of ESPN’s “College Game Day” added to the festivities of “The Game,” with our favorite sign reading; “We want ‘Bama, – In Chess!”
Perfect, just like Harvard.
In another location across the River, the Engineers of MIT (10-0) also continued on its unblemished magic carpet ride as the “Mensa” club members went up to Bangor, Maine and in an overtime thriller, defeated the Eagles of Husson College; 27-20 to win its Division 3 Playoff opener.
The “Pythagoreans,” the New England Football Conference champs amazing story continues, when they play powerhouse 4th ranked Wesley College of Delaware on November 29. Congrats to them!!!
Continuing on in the “Old Friend’s Department,” it was another good day for Tim Murphy’s best pal, and former Silver Lake High School teammate, Dartmouth’s Buddy Teevens, whose Big Green knocked off Princeton 41-10 to finish with its best record (8-2, 6-1); since the Bill Clinton was chasing Monica around the Oval Office, 1997.
Good for good guy – Buddy. Well deserved!!
On the Good Bye trail: The employment of Brady Hoke and his inept guidance of once mighty “Meeechhigan” (5-6) will mercifully come to a conclusion next week, when the Maize and Blue travels to Columbus to take on the mighty Bucks of Ohio State, in a game, that like death and taxes, will be most assuredly be won by Ohio State.
But there are a couple of other towns where its coach should be looking over his shoulder.
We’ll start in Lincoln, Nebraska where Bo Pelini’s Cornhuskers (8-3) have once again underachieved.
Since taking over 7 years ago, there were promises of conference championships, and BCS appearances, but behind all the bluster was a lot of desultory performances culminating in yesterday’s 28-24 loss to the Gophers of Minnesota.
But the biggest disappointment/shocker took place in Winston Salem, North Carolina where the Hokies of Virginia Tech (5-6) lost in double overtime to a now 3- win squad from Wake Forest 6-3!! YIKES!!!
That’s right, in this era of flag football, in which the scores reach pinball numbers, this game ended in a 0-0 regulation tie. The last time that happened W still occupied the White House – 2005.
The bloom has been off “Beamer Ball” for years, and the Hokies, who need to win its last game against its rival Virginia to continue its streak of 21 consecutive bowl invites, won’t fire its legendary coach, but it’s time for Frank to call it a Hall of Fame day!!
In Miami, the heat is starting to increase on the U’s head man AL Golden, saddled with five losses (6-5) in a very mediocre league (ACC), and the scrutiny on whether the ‘fair haired” boy is the answer to turn around the Canes will intensify.
On the other end of the coaching spectrum we give you exhibits 1 and 1a, and 1b of jobs who are deserving of Coach of the Year votes:
Jerry Kill of Minnesota, whose victory over the aforementioned Cornhuskers ended the Gophers 20-game road losing streak against top 25 opponents, has done a job for the ages, while Gary Pinkel of Mizzou, otherwise known as the “Little Engine That Could,” is one victory away from going to his second consecutive SEC Championship Game – Amazing.
But maybe the best resurrection is taking place in Fayetteville, where Bret Bielema’s Hogs of Arkansas had its second consecutive shutout victory; 30-0 over Ole Miss, making the Sons of Frank Broyles bowl eligible for the first time in 3 seasons, and securing consecutive shutouts for the first time since joining the SEC in 1992. WOW!!!
Finally, there are no moral victories, but Steve Addazio and his BC Eagles did a phenomenal job in taking the number one team in the land, the much despised Seminoles of Florida State, winners of 27 in a row, to a sweat inducing 20-17 escape on its home turf in Tallahassee.
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our recap Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk