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Subject: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
YALE OL
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Date Posted: 22:59:33 07/03/17 Mon

I know things are a little slow as we await the new season so I thought I try and create some discussion. I was talking with a novice fan and asked if they were interested in going to "THE GAME" in Nov. They asked if it was in New Haven this year and I said 'yes" I mentioned how I do enjoy watching the game at Harvard despite being a Yale fan due to the intimate setting and the large crowd at Harvard Stadium. They asked if I thought if the Y/H rivalry could ever die out? I was stumped and I am thinking of this in terms of actual attendance of the game. I think Y/H will always be natural competitors but in regards to "new blood" coming out to the game over the next 50 years, hmmm?
1. currently the bowl never sells out for the game.
2. will the new generation and young people continue to appreciate the tradition of this storied rivalry?
I am not so sure. There seems to be many more things in society today to hold a person's interest and in someways I think all of the wonderful technology today impedes people to get out physically and enjoy certain activities that were common place years ago.

are there still diehard fans out there that will will try and share this wonderful game with their children? Will the tradition of attending the game be carried on? I know I am trying.

what do you guys think? where do you see the attendance going? Thanks in advance for your response and Happy 4th!!

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Replies:
[> Subject: Old Rivalries Never Die, They Just Simply Fade Away


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 10:17:53 07/04/17 Tue

The fact that the rivalry has survived a nine game winning steak by Harvard is a testament to ithe rivalries strong roots in the nations's zeitgeist. In fact, it's actually getting stronger considering there were Yale-Harvard games in the 90' s that drew in the 20-30k's in New Haven. I consider the 90's the nadir of Ivy League Football, certainly of Yale Football.

That said sports attendance in general is in decline due to various factors, some of which you already mentioned. There are serious headwinds to maintaining attendance over 50,000, most notably an aging fan base and easier options to watch the game at home.

In order to preserve this storied tradition it is up to all of us passionate fans to get to The Game and drag as many people along with us. I bought six people with me to last years' game and they all had a great time. 5 of the 6 had never been to a Yale-Harvard game before. Four were Millenials. That's how we keep it going. Otherwise like old generals it will fade away.

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[> [> Subject: What was wrong with the 1990s?


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 11:31:24 07/04/17 Tue


Just because Harvard and Yale were weak doesn't mean that the rest of the league wasn't having fun.

I mean, the 1980s had The Streak.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: What was wrong with the 1990s?


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 11:51:28 07/04/17 Tue

Seems to me the Ivy League was in in decline for the entire decade in terms of national interest and player recruitment. That's when the FCS downgrade really began to take its toll. Since 2000 those trends started to reverse, thanks to deregulated financial aid. 90's Ivy League football was closer to Division III in quality than FBS football. Today it is closer to FBS quality than Division III.

The diversity of today's teams vs the teams of the 90's tells they story. The 90's teams were for the most part lily white. It looked like prep school football. Today's squads draw from all over the country, and with greatly increased financial aid, from all economic demographics. This increased talent pool makes for higher quality football.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: What was wrong with the 1990s?


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 12:44:15 07/04/17 Tue

The 80's had signiture wins, like Yale beating Air Force and Navy, Harvard beating Army and Penn beating Navy. I can't think of any significant out of conference signature win in the 90's, except maybe Yale beating UConn in 94.

In terms of the 80's loss to division 3, are your referring to basketball or football? The only loss I know is Princeton losing in basketball to a D3 school. I think it was Oberlin.

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[> [> [> Subject: Except that


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 12:35:41 07/04/17 Tue


By the 1990s, the Ivy teams got the hang of the AI. Not so in the 1980s when teams took a dive when they implemented their full AI allotment (Dartmouth, Yale, Columbia and eventually Penn).

As for D-III, the 1980s actually saw the Ivy lose to a D-III team. Even without know which team got that dishonor, most would be able to take a guess who the culprit was. While we certainly had weak teams in the 1990s, we didn't have any national punchlines the way the 1980s did.

I won't dispute that the talent level has risen in the past 10 years or so. All you have to do is look at the number of Ivy players in NFL camps to confirm that.

But, IMHO, if you're talking about the nadir of Ivy football, the 1980s should be tops on your list. Not unrelated, there is zero dispute that the 1980s were the nadir for Ivy basketball.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Except that


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 13:11:35 07/04/17 Tue

The 80's had signiture wins, like Yale beating Air Force and Navy, Harvard beating Army and Penn beating Navy. I can't think of any significant out of conference signature win in the 90's, except maybe Yale beating UConn in 94.

In terms of the 80's loss to division 3, are your referring to basketball or football? The only loss I know is Princeton losing in basketball to a D3 school. I think it was Oberlin.
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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Football


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 16:24:21 07/04/17 Tue


http://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/02/sports/college-football-columbia-up-by-14-at-halftime-is-beaten-again.html?mcubz=0

The 1980s also featured games against powerhouses such as Morgan State and Merchant Marine. Happily, those were victories.

:)

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Football


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 18:50:54 07/04/17 Tue

Let's hope Penn beats Ohio Dominican so we don't have a repeat of that embarrassment.

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[> Subject: With the game on TV every year


Author:
bulldog10jw
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Date Posted: 10:39:29 07/04/17 Tue

Does that cut into attendance? Yale-Harvard has pretty much, with a couple of exceptions, been televised every year this century.

Does that hurt attendance, but help interest? Or are the only people watching Y and H alums who can't attend.

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[> [> Subject: Re: With the game on TV every year


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 11:24:14 07/04/17 Tue

There's no easy answer to that question Bulldog. I'm in favor of casting the broadest media net as possible to showcase Ivy Leaugue football. I hope the contract with NBC Sports will be renewed. Whether it adds or detracts from fans in the seats I don't know. I suspect the latter. Even if it detracts from attendance it's worth it as it advances alumni giving and player recruitment.

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[> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Bill
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Date Posted: 10:55:36 07/04/17 Tue

There is nothing like experiencing the tailgate, the walk, the band, the energy of the crowd. The whole experience. Nothing like it. Yes, we lost nine games straight; but, damn it was fun winning last year, especially with less than a 10% chance. I am hoping this is the beginning of the tides turning. I like the energy of this team.

Technology takes the place of convenience, not experience. Millenials are all about experiencing life. Hyping the experience will keep the tradition alive.

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[> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
YALE OL
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Date Posted: 11:54:12 07/04/17 Tue

Great Stuff guys! Son of Eli and Bill I really like your take on things. I agree, there is nothing being at THE GAME! I love New Haven and Boston is always a beautiful city to visit in the fall. such a fun outing, great food, this past years game was amazing. I like rubbing elbows with interesting people and even seeing some classic ivy style clothing! Really nothing like it and hoping to share and pass on my passion and enthusiasm for this special day

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[> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
al's wingman
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Date Posted: 14:12:30 07/06/17 Thu

I have not lived on the east coast in nearly 30 years so I don't know the vibe nowadays but back in the 70s and 80s the game seemed to carry importance beyond the rivalry, It was an event. Even in New York where we ordinarily could care less about new england sporting events, we knew Harvard vs Yale was huge. Especially so since we had nothing comparable in the way of college rivalries except maybe Lou Carnaseca's St John's basketball vs Georgetown.

Is that vibe still there? People and especially young people these days who might ordinarily want to go to a sporting event seem to have many other distractions and would be just as content finding a live stream to casually pay attention on their terms.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Observer
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Date Posted: 15:00:57 07/06/17 Thu

Harvard having beaten Yale for nine years in a row - and for most of this century - certainly resulted in, shall we say, a "decline in enthusiasm" among Yalies. But a few of them (even on this site) seem to have perked up after the 21-14 win in 2016, with some Elis so jolly that you never guess their team finished 3-7. So it looks like the Harvard-Yale game still counts in many quarters.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Memphis Bill
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Date Posted: 21:44:31 07/06/17 Thu

To answer the question, I would hedge and say, "barring class action lawyers wrecking the sport at all levels, yes, I think the H-Y game will continue."

That The Game has continued to attract a following--a sellout in Boston and about 50,000 fans in New Haven--despite Yale's sorry performance over the past 15 years tells me that it's future is secure. I buy at least a dozen tickets for me and my 60-something friends (none of whom were involved in sports at Yale).

Let's face it, the event has more to do with tens of thousands of HY grads affirming their place at the top of the East Coast pecking order than anything that goes on in the Bowl or Stadium (I know that sounds snobby, but it's true).

I am confident that, were Yale to return to its old perch near the top of the League, and an Ivy title were at stake on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, there would be more than 60k in the Bowl.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 21:54:14 07/06/17 Thu

Last time Yale- Harvard drew over 60k was 1989. Since they couldn't draw that in 2007 I doubt they ever will again.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 22:11:54 07/06/17 Thu

I checked and actually the attendance in 1989 was 59,263. So the last time The Game drew over 60,000 was 1983, when the attendance was 70,600.

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[> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Bulldogs1234
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Date Posted: 00:25:25 07/07/17 Fri

As a young alum, I can say The Game won't die.

It's a mini-reunion of sorts for the people that do come the game itself, and the Harvard rivalry evokes some enthusiasm.

However, to fill up the seats, you need more than just alumni interested in watching. Yale graduates only around 1200 per year, a substantial number of whom can't tell the defense apart from the offense. Every major program such as Duke and Syracuse have significant local "townie" followings, people who follow the program even if they aren't actually affiliated.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 00:42:16 07/07/17 Fri

If the Ivy League wants to grow local fan support good places to start would be participating in the FCS playoffs, scheduling the occasional FBS opponent and going to an 11 game schedule. An insular league is not appealing to unaffiliated local sports fans.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Bill
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Date Posted: 08:54:19 07/07/17 Fri

True, but it won't happen. Unfortunately.

I would settle for better coverage, better marketing, better social media, better You tube. HYPE

Have events such as a mini concert, contests, giveaways. Cast a larger net of experiences. Not everyone is a sports fan. Do more rivalry contests pitting Yale vs. Harvard. I don't know, have drone races. Create an event where more people want to experience. Make it a "must not miss" experience.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Memphis Bill
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Date Posted: 09:38:41 07/07/17 Fri

Think that posters make some good points, but here are some others to ponder: As per my point that HY is a big reunion of tens of thousands of people who have much invested in their schools' brands, and The Game becomes a platform from which to engage in a form of boasting, the comment about small alumni fan bases is somewhat msleading. H and Y are large universities with six-figure alumni bodies, Yale probably has 50,000 alums living in Boston-D.C. corridor, Harvard twice that, there are plenty of bodies to fill the Bowl, even without much town support. I know of many folks with Yale grad degrees who come to see the Harvard game when it's in NH. Attendance at the one championship showdown game in the Bowl of the past twenty (thirty?) years, the 2007 blowout by Harvard, was attended by 57,248 according to NY Times report. That game had party buses coming up from Manhattan sponsored by the big banks. I am sure that had the revelers not figured out in the first five or ten minutes that the contest was going to be a blowout, the walk in sales would have pushed attendance over 60k. There were, it was estimated, close to 80,000 in the parking lots and the Bowl that day. I know for a fact that the New Haven fire department was concerned that standing room sales on the track around the top of the Bowl would push attendance to 70k, an amount the Bowl is no longer designed to hold.

In sum, if Yale can get back to Cozza-era levels of achievement in the League, I am confident that we shall see a sellout of the Yale Bowl, and The Game will continue as one of the premier sporting events in New England.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 14:48:58 07/07/17 Fri

That's a good point. The 2007 game was over by the end of the first half. That goes down in my book as the worse loss in Yale football history. A total embarrassment for a 9-0 team to suffer at home. It was so one sided it looked like Harvard had stolen Yale's playbook.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
John Harvard
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Date Posted: 11:06:00 07/07/17 Fri

Aside from The Game, the Rivalry continues in other sports as well. Hockey, Basketball and Crew certainly count HY as among perennial title contenders.

ILDN and other television coverage is absolutely having a negative effect on attendance. The concept that increased coverage can sustain the Rivalry may be true, but other than The Game or a scenario such as the basketball playoff at the Palestra in 2015 (NOT 2017), don't expect it to be reflected in the stands.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Old Blue
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Date Posted: 14:27:26 07/07/17 Fri

Gentlemen; may i dare say for the record the two most recent crowds over 700000 in the bowl were 73000 in 1981 and 70000 in 1983 where i was in attendance. This would be hard to achieve now the official seating capacity is 61446. largest crowd vs the cadets 80000 in 1923 i was not in attendance.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Could the Y/H rivalry ever die out?


Author:
Memphis Bill
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Date Posted: 15:04:49 07/07/17 Fri

To augment Old Blue's report, let me say that I was present in the Bowl for the 1964 Princeton game, attendance 64,000, and the 1970 Dartmouth game (60,000), back in the happy days when the rivalry with the Johnnies was not the only high-profile challenge on the Bulldog's plate. Those two ancient rivals (as well as Cornell) were games that always drew well in New Haven, right up to the time of the proliferation of TV football offerings on Saturday afternoons. However, it took real malice aforethought to cripple such competitive and interesting matchups to the point that exists today, when even a Princeton game has a hard time drawing more than 20,000 to what the NY Times used to call "the immense blue oval."

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Princeton-Yale 2006


Author:
bulldog10jw
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Date Posted: 17:00:52 07/07/17 Fri

43k in attendance.

It can happen if both teams are good which doesn't seem to happen often.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Princeton-Yale 2006


Author:
Memphis Bill
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Date Posted: 17:15:58 07/07/17 Fri

Agree that this could happen, and the series could revive. One of the all-time great college football rivalries. The Yale streak 1967-80, and having very anti-football Presidents in the persons of Giamatti and Bowen, reduced a red letter date on many alums' calendars to a humdrum, ordinary game. What a pity!

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Princeton-Yale 2006


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 21:16:16 07/07/17 Fri

Yes, the long Yale streak negatively impacted the Y-P rivalry, which is why it was doubly a relief that the Bulldogs beat the Crimson last year. A long losing streak does not help a rivalry.

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[> Subject: ILDN impact on fan base outside the Eastern region


Author:
IvySportsJunkie
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Date Posted: 18:32:57 07/07/17 Fri

I agree with John Harvard's assessment that ILDN may be having a negative impact on attendance, especially in unfavorable weather conditions. Yet, I also think that ILDN may generate a profound long-term benefit for our sports fans' interest and passion for the alumni who happen to live outside the core eastern corridor. I define this "Eastern Corridor" area as New England, NY, PA, DE, MD and DC, which represents about 50% of Ivy alumni living in the US. Using the example of Yale alumni, I determined that approximately 50% of Yale alumni living in the US reside outside this eastern corridor. For these alumni living outside the eastern corridor who are sports fans, ILDN can make a very significant difference. You can watch almost all the football, basketball games and good percentage of hockey games and other sports for that matter. You get to know the team players firsthand from watching numerous of the team's games. Previously, you only were able to casually follow your team's scores in the papers with virtually no team coverage other than from alumni news sources or college athletic websites.

For those of us living remotely, you are lucky to attend one Ivy game a year (or two in the case of basketball). When you do fly back to attend an Ivy game, your enjoyment is much greater since you feel you actually know the teams well. For my alumni friends who are parents of Ivy student athletes, ILDN is even more of a game changer for them. This even allows for small groups of alumni to occasionally get together to watch the major games as if you were still back east.

While ILDN may not help with attendance, it can make a significant difference in our fan base's knowledge of the teams, along with helping increase our national presence in sports.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Harvard vs. Yale Rivalry


Author:
Sprint66
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Date Posted: 20:02:11 07/07/17 Fri

The Game is a great tradition and I hope the two schools can keep it going strong. I am sure a school like Cornell would love the revenue boast this game could provide to our athletic department. For many years Cornell vs. Penn was a huge source of revenue for both schools, but then it died out in the 60's and 70's era. The rivalry re-ignited in the 80's and 90's but then again sputtered out. For the life of me I can't understand why Ivy League AD's don't do more to boast attendance and revenue for football and basketball??? It's just common sense, but then again I am just a local alum and sports fan. Oh well.....

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