Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
Harvard Athletic Achievements
Hall of Fame
Remembering Harvard Athletics
The pleasure of their company…Upperclassmen showed the way, brought home the trophy. November 1975, standing on the sidelines in the Yale Bowl, 65,000 proper fans screaming … “C’mon Lynchie put it through,” oh, but that wind is blowing hard… up and through, never a doubt… Ivy League Champions! Down at Brown, never liked them Brownies… on TV with ABC, Jiggetts walks out for the coin toss… here comes some 5’7 pencil-neck in brown, man vs. boy – they never had a chance. Newhouse behind me in the huddle, taking the signals… he’s a hitter. Kurzweil in the training room, no knees at all, popcorn in there… game time comes he answers the bell every time. Kubacki, tall and smart, dumps it left, right, deep out… carves ‘em up. Joyce… linebackers are best and he’s one of the best linebackers… with legs like tree trunks but fast and strong… last play of the game at Dartmouth, I get blindsided out of the play, the Greenie is around my end, he’s going to score and we’re going to lose – Tommy nails him on the one, saves the game, saves my butt… that’s teamwork. Emper, intense, fearless… those Dartmouths again, big Harvard lead down the drain, they throw it long, the guy is open, like way open dammit, there? Never give up! Kaye… defensive tackle right next to me then… right next to me now. Andy Puopolo, a joy of a man… playing hacky sack with the ball before practice… let’s have a field goal kicking contest… let’s have some fun… we did.
the class of ’78 walked through Soldiers Field gate freshman year not knowing much, but we would learn. Maybe it wasn’t Ohio State but it sure wasn’t high school. Savage, his name but not him: a rock, quiet, and immovable… the Yalies’ Stone Phillips tosses it up and there’s Russ going the other way with it, 70 yards, touchdown, off to TV land pretty boy Stone… I jump on Russ in the end zone, he’s smiling the biggest damn smile. Halas, capable, confident, a leader… safety was the right name. Jason, one of those linebackers again, next in the line of stoppers… the best. Captain Kaseta… memories of defensive tackles, of mud and sweat, of fighting head to head… those guys kept the blockers off me, I got my name in the paper thank you very much. Sigillito… Doherty… Coolidge… never liked running backs but these were our guys, let the other team worry about the crushing lead blocks, the knee in the ear, better them than me. Malone… a team player… What? Leave show business now? Never.
And they came after too, underclassmen who walked through the gate and stepped up. Brown… no notice at all with Davenport hurt… a reliever, now the starter, Hall of Famer. McDevitt… not big but big enough, at middle guard. Beling… c’mon soph you’re in charge now – they couldn’t block him. Sablock… tight end across the middle open all day long, get it to him.
And thank you to the guys who played behind me… Billy O’Neill, Pat Brady, Al MacMurray, Dan Binning… it’s a close thing who plays and who doesn’t… they ran special teams, pulled for the starters, waited their turn. Indeed a close thing… won the starting job on a hero play in an intrasquad scrimmage, a play where I didn’t have a clue… quarterback drops back, do I rush? Yeah (two steps forward) No, I drop back (six steps back) No, rush you moron (three steps forward) I’m in the middle of a screen play, intercept for a TD, look like a genius in the films… go figure.
Coach Restic put it all together… a gentleman, a professional, a teacher. Coach O’Neill, defensive coordinator… don’t tell me about any Multiflex, defense wins all ballgames, that’s a fact. Coach Nahijian… I’ll always be a clamcake and proud of it. Coach Clemens… that 91 was 20 and so wise… sorry, I should have listened better.
Harvard. The stadium, the band, Winthrop House (three-year Strauss Cup champs I might add), classes, classmates, profs… ‘Til the last white line is past.