Nov. 2, 2007
This is a big game tomorrow. Do not underestimate Brown and its 3-4 record. I have been covering Yale Football since 2000, and have yet to see the Bulldogs beat the Bears in the Bowl - conversely, I have seen Yale take care of Brown a few times up in Providence in that span, so it has oddly been a visitor-dominated series. (In fact, the last time Yale beat Brown in New Haven, Carm Cozza was on the sidelines, not in the broadcast booth.)
Yale-Brown has become one of those smashmouth "I don't like you" type affairs, for both teams. I will never forget interviewing the late Ryan LoProto '02 during the week leading up to the 2001 Yale-Brown game. My first question to him was generic, something along the lines of "What are your thoughts on Yale-Brown?" His response was typically direct: "I hate Brown". The interview proceeded to get more interesting from there. Dick Galiette had allowed me to interview a player in the pre-game show on WELI broadcasts that season, with the understanding that the interview would be kept to two minutes, tops. My interview with Ryan clocked in at over six minutes. When I told this to Dick, he gave me one of his classic looks. But before he could get too upset, I simply said, "Dick, just listen to it, and tell me what you want to cut, and I will." Dick listened, smiled the whole time, and at the end said, "Keep the whole thing. We'll air it." I still remember the way Dick introduced it on the air... "Ronnie Vaccaro caught up with Ryan LoProto...who is always good for a word or two..."
Dick himself was always good for a word or two, and that game, though Yale would lose, was one of the best I have ever heard him call. Why? Two words. Ralph Plumb. Then a freshman wide receiver from Portsmouth, RI, he made his first career start that day against Brown - who had not exactly made best friends while recruiting him. And early in the game, quarterback TJ Hyland called Plumb's number - and Dick Galiette's call was amazing: "Ralph Plumb! The freshman from Rhode Island! Who Brown recruited so heavily, but decided to go to YALE INSTEAD! Gets his first varsity reception AND the touchdown!"
Interestingly enough, I think the best game I ever heard Dick Galiette call was Yale at Brown, 2002. Jeff Mroz threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner to Plumb - this time performing huge in his own backyard - with 1:46 left on the clock in a 31-27 Yale win.
So... Yale/Brown tomorrow... it never lacks for intensity or excitement.
Jerry Kristafer kicks off tomorrow's coverage on News/Talk 960 WELI-AM and online at 960WELI.com at 11:30 am with the tailgate broadcast... Kickoff is at 12:30. The broadcast will feature an interview with former Bulldog captain Rory Hennessey at halftime.
Ron Vaccaro '04 is the voice of Yale Football on News/Talk 960 WELI-AM.