Blog: Premature Withdrawal

Burt Ross

No, my loyal reader, this column has nothing to do with taking your money out of a certificate of deposit before it matures, nor does it have anything to do with a supposed form of birth control. This is a community newspaper, so get your mind out of the gutter.

Rather this column has everything to do with my attending a Harvard-Yale football game back on November 23, 1968. Both teams were undefeated, but the Yale bulldogs were favored to beat the Harvard Crimson (Tommy Lee Jones played offensive guard for Harvard). The game was rather one-sided and with 42 seconds to go, Yale was winning 29 to 13. I turned to my date and said, “Let’s get out of here and beat the traffic.”

So we left the stadium and as we did, the sellout crowd continued to roar and roar and roar. No, they were not cheering my exit. They were apparently excited about something Harvard was doing, but since I was in the parking lot virtually alone, I could only assume that Harvard had scored a touchdown. 

I decided to turn on the radio just as the crowd erupted in a second wave of hysteria. Harvard had in fact not only scored a touchdown, but then a two point conversion and had miraculously gotten the ball again. What I heard on the radio was nothing short of extraordinary—with only a few seconds to go Harvard scored a second touchdown and again executed the two point conversion to tie and end the game 29-29!

Harvard had scored 16 points In less than a minute leaving Yale and me somewhat out of it—in my case, literally.  The game has been hailed as the greatest comeback in the history of college football and was made into a 2008 documentary called “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29.”

I guess I can honestly say it was the greatest football game I almost saw.