The Only Game That Matters: The Harvard/Yale Rivalry

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9781400050697: The Only Game That Matters: The Harvard/Yale Rivalry

For hundreds of thousands of alumni and fans, the annual clash between Harvard and Yale inspires a sense of nostalgia and pride unequaled anywhere in sports. For much of the year, Ivy League football is overshadowed by powerhouse programs such as USC and Oklahoma. But not on the third Saturday of November, when all eyes turn to New England for the legendary battle between the Crimson and the Blue.

The Only Game That Matters takes readers through an entire Ivy League season, interweaving the modern-day Harvard/Yale experience with great stories of classic games past. As Corbett and Simpson trace this venerable battle from its inception, the anatomy of a rivalry emerges. Culminating in a typically thrilling version of The Game, The Only Game That Matters explores what makes this 130-year-old rivalry so revered, so beloved, and so pivotal in college football history.

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From the Inside Flap:

As Harvard graduate Roger Angell once said, "The Game picks us up each November and holds us for two hours and...all of us, homeward bound, sense that we are different yet still the same. It is magic."

For hundreds of thousands of alumni and fans, the annual clash between Harvard and Yale inspires a sense of nostalgia and pride unequaled anywhere in sports. For much of the year Ivy League football is overshadowed by powerhouse programs such as Miami and Michigan. But not on the third Saturday of November, when all eyes turn to New England for the legendary battle between the Crimson and the Blue. In The Only Game That Matters, Bernard M. Corbett and Paul Simpson explore what makes this iconic rivalry so revered, so beloved, and so pivotal in college football history.

Known simply as "The Game," this tradition-soaked Ivy League feud began in 1875, and it has been leading the evolution of college football ever since. Although the Ivy League hasn't had a national champion in decades, The Game still stands alone in the college football pantheon. It is a living history, its roots reaching back to a time when young men took to the field for the sake of competition, not for a chance at a million-dollar pro contract. The Game, then and now, features the true student athlete.

Of course, it also features bloody brawls, ingenious pranks, and breathtaking comebacks. The Only Game That Matters recounts the 2002 season through the eyes of players and coaches, interweaving the modern-day experience with great stories of classic games past. By tracing this venerable competition from its inception—looking at such legendary games as 1894's Bloodbath in Hampden Park and Harvard's 29–29 "win" in 1968 and such influential coaches as Yale's Walter Camp, the father of football as we know it—the anatomy of a rivalry emerges. Culminating in the thrilling 2002 contest, The Only Game That Matters illuminates the unique place this storied feud occupies in today's sports world. To the game of football, to the spirit of rivalry, to the Crimson and Blue faithful, The Game is the only game that matters.

"In this book about the remarkable football rivalry between Harvard and Yale, Bernard M. Corbett and Paul Simpson capture the unique intensity of this famous game, as felt by the teams who go all out on each play, and by the families and the alumni in the stands who live and die by each touchdown."
—From the Foreword by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Harvard '56

"The Only Game That Matters does a great job of explaining why Yale/Harvard is The Game – one that does matter, and should matter more. It is a shining example of what college football and amateur sports should be."
—From the Foreword by Governor George E. Pataki, Yale '67

"Harvard is playing Yale in football again and again in The Game, and you're part of the crowd with Bernard M. Corbett and Paul Simpson's wonderful look at this great rivalry. Stand next to a Kennedy on one side, a Bush on the other, and watch The Only Game That Matters unfold through the years. By the end you'll feel like a successful alum. Great stuff!"
—Leigh Montville, author of Ted Williams and At the Altar of Speed

"In 1894, Harvard president Charles Eliot claimed football was ‘unfit for colleges,' and condemned the game as ‘more brutalizing than prizefighting, cockfighting, or bullfighting.' Happily, his view didn't prevail over the long run, or else we'd not have The Only Game That Matters."
—Bill Littlefield, Yale '70, author of Fall Classics and host of NPR's "Only a Game"

"To understand Ohio State/Michigan, Florida/Florida State, and USC/UCLA, you need to understand Harvard/Yale. The Only Game That Matters is a great place to start."
—Lee Corso, college football analyst, ESPN

"I was delighted at how the pages of The Only Game That Matters evoked the sense of competition and camaraderie that marks these great events, for they are about much more than just a football score. This book is a joy to read for anyone who appreciates the real values of college football."
—Jack Ford, Yale '72, news anchor and correspondent

"Regardless of who wins or loses the games, the stories revealed in The Only Game That Matters about the people who play in them are well worth hearing, whether you are a graduate of the schools, a football fan, or merely someone interested in the human condition."
—John Feinstein, bestselling author of A Civil War, The Last Amateurs, and Caddy for Life

About the Author:

Bernard M. Corbett has been the play-by-play announcer for Harvard University football for eight years and is the author of several books on the subject of Boston-area sports. Paul Simpson has written articles for The Boston Globe and Hockey magazine. Both authors live in Boston.

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Bernard M. Corbett; Paul Simpson
Published by Three Rivers Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 1400050693 ISBN 13: 9781400050697
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Book Description Three Rivers Press, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1400050693

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