Ivy League Game Parallels Politics

Die-hard Harvard fans might point out another exception. In 1968, the year Nixon was elected to his first presidential term, Harvard and Yale tied 29-29. But many Harvard fans still call that game a win because the Crimson scored 16 points in the final 42 seconds to clinch the tie.

Spotlight on This Year’s Game

Traditionally, the presidential election has been held two to three weeks prior to The Game. But this year, the two events overlap as the legal wrangling and ballout recounting continue in Florida.

Yale is the defending league champion, having clinched the title last year when Joe Walland threw for school records of 437 yards on 42 completions and 67 attempts against Harvard.

Harvard, meanwhile, lost a chance to play for the Ivy title last week when the Crimson missed a 33-yard, last-second field goal and lost to the University of Pennsylvania 36-35.

The Ivy League foes were playing for second place in the conference, while Bush and Gore are competing for first place in national politics.

Before the game, the players, at least, were focusing on the rivalry in Cambridge, not the one that’s playing out in Florida.

“The locker room discussions don’t get very political,” said Harvard long-snapper Brian Sponheimer, a government major and Gore supporter who grew up near the Yale campus in New Haven, Conn. “It’s been more talk on the other side of the river,” where the classrooms are.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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