Nov. 17, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The 2008 pre-season Ivy League football media poll listed Yale (6-3, 4-2 Ivy) and 19th ranked Harvard (8-1, 5-1) tied for first place back on Aug. 10. Few argued with the prediction after the Bulldogs and Crimson played for the league title on the last day of 2007. The results of the voting have yet to be condemned, though Brown and even Penn could have something to say about it. With second-place Yale, on its three-game win streak, heading to first-place Harvard this Saturday, the 125th playing of The Game is the 25th time this venerable rivalry has a bearing on the Ivy championship. Saturday's noon kickoff can be seen live on Versus (cable, DirecTV 608, Dish Network 151) and heard live on WELI-AM 960 (960weli.com) and WYBC-AM 1340 (wybc.com).
UP FOR GRABS
For the first time in 52 seasons of Ivy League history, four teams could end up sharing the football championship. Harvard is tied for first with Brown (6-3, 5-1) while Yale and Penn (6-3, 4-2) are tied for second. Brown hosts Columbia (2-7, 2-4) while the Quakers head to Cornell (4-5, 2-4). Here's what can happen.
1. If Yale wins and Brown falls, the Elis, Crimson and Bears would be tied for first. Penn could share the crown with a win.
2. If Harvard and Brown win, both schools share the title at 6-1. Yale could share second if Penn loses.
3. If Yale and Brown win, the Bears have the outright title.
4. If Harvard wins and Brown goes down, the Cantabs have the outright championship.
Harvard, ranked 19th in The Sports Network FCS Poll, leads the Ivy League in scoring (29.33) and goes up against a Yale defense that leads the FCS in scoring defense (10.56). The Bulldog offense is 3rd in the Ivy in scoring (21.89) and takes on a Crimson defense that ranks 3rd in point prevention (19.78). Yale received three votes in the TSN poll.
TAIL OF THE SCALE
The Yale offensive line (285 average) has a 31-pound edge on the defensive front of the Crimson (254), while Harvard's OL (286) is 36 pounds heavier on average than the Bulldog DL (248). The battle of veteran fronts features only one lineman, sophomore Harvard OG Brent Osborne, who is younger than a junior.
JV GAME SET FOR 1 PM IN STADIUM
The Yale and Harvard junior varsity squads will square off at 1 p.m. on Friday at Harvard Stadium.
SPECIAL YALE RADIO SHOW
WELI will commemorate the 125th renewal of The Game with an expanded one-hour pregame show. The coverage - which begins at 11 am - will feature interviews with alumni and give fans an inside look at all the festivities of the weekend leading up to kickoff.
The Bulldogs lead the Crimson 65-51-8 heading into the 125th meeting but Harvard has won six of the last seven. Yale is 28-23-5 at Cambridge, 30-27-3 at home and 7-1-0 at neutral sites. There have been 54 shutouts since the first meeting in 1875, and the Elis are 28-19-7 in those contests. The Blue has outscored the Crimson 1,675 to 1,515. Yale is 11-12-1 against the Cantabs when The Game has league title implications.
LAST YEAR AT THE BOWL
Harvard applied the clamps to the Yale offense and raced to a 37-6 win in a battle of ranked league unbeatens. The Bulldogs, held to their lowest rushing total in 24 games, got their only points from an 87-yard punt return by Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.). The Crimson, who had 25 of the game's 31 first downs, denied Yale a perfect season while holding the home team to 109 yards of total offense before 57,248 fans. Harvard QB Chris Pizzotti completed 27 of 41 passes for 316 yards and four TDs.
BULLDOGS BLANK TIGERS
Yale, which has not allowed a Princeton TD the last two meetings, earned its first shutout of the Tigers since 1937 with a 14-0 victory last Saturday in the rain at the Bowl. The Bulldogs turned a fumble recovery by senior SS Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.) and a interception by his brother, senior LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.), into both scores. Sophomore WR Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) caught both of sophomore QB Brook Hart's (State College, Pa.) TD passes, from five and 12 yards, in the first half and then left the rest to the Yale defense which limited Princeton to 153 total yards and just 23 minutes of possession time. It was the Elis' first shutout since a 13-0 win over Dartmouth in 2005.
CRIMSON EDGE QUAKERS
Senior DB Ryan Barnes, the national defensive player of the week, picked off three passes, including one in the end zone in the final seconds, as Harvard held on for a 24-21 win at Penn last week. The Quakers held the ball for almost 40 minutes and had to come back from a 17-0 deficit to put a scare into the visitors. QB Chris Pizzotti was 16-of-23 for 156 yards with a pair of TD passes in guiding the Crimson to its 16th win in its last 19 games.
Yale led the FCS in scoring defense with a 13.7 mark in 2007 and the Bulldogs currently top the nation with a 10.6 average. The Blue allowed 17 TDs last fall and have given up just 10 in 2008. The 2007 Bulldogs had the lowest average for a Yale team since Ivy League schools went from nine to 10 games in 1986. The lowest average in modern times is 8.5 (77 pts, 9 gp) by the 1976 squad. Holy Cross scored the most (28) against Yale this fall in a double-OT Bulldog win. Joel E. Smilow '54 Associate Head Coach of Football and defensive coordinator Rick Flanders' gang has not allowed anyone to reach the end zone since Columbia scored on a QB keeper at 1:15 of the third quarter on Nov. 8. Opponents have three TDs over the last six games.
The Yale defense has accounted for four of Yale's 23 TDs this fall. Senior LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) has an 86-yard fumble return and a 32-yard interception return. Junior CB Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) took a pick to the house against Dartmouth while sophomore CB Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) went the distance on an interception against Georgetown.
Yale has given up three points over the last two games, something that has not been done by the Blue since the 1974 (2 points over 2 games, 5 over 3 games) squad shut down Brown, Columbia and Cornell on consecutive Saturdays. The Bulldogs completed their 2008 home schedule by giving up just 54 points in five games, the best since the 1981 squad surrendered 50 points in six games at the Bowl. The 1974 and 1981 teams won all but one game each and were Ivy champions.
Yale's 19 interceptions lead the Ivy League, while the its 266 return yards approach a school record. The Eli standard for return yards in a season is 327 (31 ints) by the 1946 squad.
MARGIN TURNING OVER
The Blue is fourth in the FCS and first in the league with a 1.56 turnover margin. Grambling leads the nation with a 1.80 mark.
Yale, which has registered six sacks over the last three games, has 20 this year and leads the Ivy with 2.2 per game.
45 YEARS AGO
The assassination of John F. Kennedy (Harvard '40) exactly 45 years ago this Saturday (Nov. 22, 1963) caused a major quandary for Yale and Harvard officials who were preparing for a Nov. 23 season finale at New Haven. Schools around the country waited to see if Yale and Harvard would postpone before they made their decisions. The Game was moved to Nov. 30 and Yale won 20-6 to conclude John Pont's first season as head coach. His top assistant that season was Carmen Cozza, who became head coach two years later and went on to win 179 games over 32 seasons.
GERALD FINALIST FOR RHODES
Senior CB Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas) was recently named a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship and will have an interview in Houston on Nov. 21, the night before The Game. He needs to get a flight to Boston that night so he can make Saturday's game. Yale is working on a plan to get Gerald back in time. The political science major with a 3.70 GPA and 34 other Elis will be playing their last collegiate games that day. The last Yale football Rhodes recipient was Nate Herring in 2006. Gerald, a Gates Scholar, is also a finalist for the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame's Draddy Award and has already been named a 2008 NFF Scholar-Athlete. The winner of the Draddy is to be announced on Dec. 9 in New York City. The NFF has asked him to represent the 15 finalists on the dinner program with his reflections about the game. In addition, he is a finalist for the ARA Sportsmanship Award that will be handed out later this month, was recently named CoSIDA Academic All-District and has already been admitted to Harvard Business School (MBA) for 2010. Gerald also received the 2008 Levi Jackson (former Yale captain) Scholarship for character, intellect, achievement and leadership. He has joked about not having an interception, but notched his first career pick (29 starts) at Brown two weeks ago. He has 19 total tackles this fall.
Sophomore WR Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) does not lead the team in receptions but he tops all Yale players with five TD catches and 374 yards (on 26 receptions). He is the only Bulldog with two TD snares in a game, having done that against Georgetown and Princeton. Junior HB John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.) has a team-high 42 catches.
The Bulldogs don't forget who bit or kicked them. In its last four losses, where the Elis have allowed 30 or more points, Yale has come back to defeat the same opponents the following season by an average margin of 12 points. Harvard won by 31 last year. However, the last two losses to Harvard by more than 30 points (45-7 in 1982, 35-3 in 2004) were followed by close Crimson wins.
MCLEOD COMPLETES BOWL RUN IN STYLE
Senior TB Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.) has just one game left in his assault on the school and league record books. He saved his best day of 2008 for his final home game. McLeod, who ran for seven Yale first downs, averaged 4.5 per carry with 138 total yards in the win over Princeton. That was his 22nd game over 100 yards rushing. His three TDs against Columbia are the most in a game by an Ivy player this fall. McLeod, who already has the most rushing attempts (1,042) in league history, owns every major Yale rushing record.
CAREER YARDS for Ivy Players
4,841 (1) Clifton Dawson, Harvard 2003-06
4,715 (2) Ed Marinaro, Cornell 1969-71
4,657 (3) Chad Levitt, Cornell 1993-96
4,492 (4) Nick Hartigan, Brown 2002-05
4,452 (5) Mike McLeod, YALE 2005-Pres.
CAREER TDs for Ivy Players
60 (1) Clifton Dawson, Harvard 2003-06
54 (2) Mike McLeod, YALE 2005-Pres.
BALSAM GROWING ON ELIS
Peter Balsam (Orland Park, Ill.), a QB on the junior varsity team last year, made a name for himself by blocking a punt and making a big catch against Columbia. His name became more prominent at Brown with a career-best five catches for 181 yards (8th most by a Bulldog) and a 78-yard, game-clinching TD reception (5th longest at Yale). He added three more grabs in the rain against Princeton and has 10 this fall. The last time a Bulldog blocked a punt he was wearing the No. 15 Balsam has this fall. Junior RB Jordan Farrell (Orland Park, Ill.), who is also from the Chicago area but has not played in 2008 because of injury, blocked a Lehigh punt in 2006. Farrell and Balsam went to grade school together but were rivals in high school.
Junior P/PK Tom Mante (Westford, Mass.), a two-time Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week, did not get to attempt a FG on the muddy field last week, but he did punt five times for a 41.2 average. Yale has not had a starting P/PK combination since Mike Murawyczk in 1998. Mante is 8-for-11 on field goals and has a 41.2 punting average with 22 kicks inside the 20 this fall.
HART TO HART
Sophomore QB Brook Hart (State College, Pa.) has made the transformation from an unknown to one of the best passers in the Ivy League. He jumped over a few in pre-season camp to battle for the starting job and surprised many by earning shared time behind center for the opener. His 64.3 completion percentage for 2008 would be a school record, but his last three outings are what got him there. He is 50-for-80 (.625) for 562 yards and three TDs during Yale's current three-game win streak. Hart had a career-best 22-for-32 day at Brown with 292 yards and one score, a 78-yard play (5th longest at Yale) that clinched the win. The 292 yards are the most by a Yale sophomore QB since Jeff Mroz had 306 against Columbia in 2002. His three TD passes against Georgetown are a career-best. Hart's brother, Brady '09, is a Bulldog starter at DE who knocked down three passes at Brown and had five solo tackles against Princeton.
RICE IS KEY INGREDIENT
Junior CB Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) missed most of the Brown game and all of last week's with an injury and is likely a game-time decision for this week. He is tied for the team and league lead with four interceptions in 2008 and has six in his career. Rice, who may be the largest (6-2, 225) CB in the game, ended his streak of 24 consecutive starts. Rice has a special connection to The Game and teammate John Pagliaro. Rice's father, Lou, was a SS for Harvard who went up against Pagliaro's dad, John Sr., Yale's two-time Ivy MVP and RB legend. Rice and Pagliaro played against each other twice. The 1975 game at Yale went to Ivy champion Harvard (10-7), while Yale won (21-7) the 1976 contest and the league title.
Senior DT Kyle Hawari (Plano, Texas), a 2008 CoSIDA Academic All-District pick, leads the Ivy with three forced fumbles and is second with seven sacks. He led the Blue with 6-1-7 against Princeton... Yale has had the edge in time of possession four times in nine games this fall. Its most was 36:45 last week against the Tigers... Fordham's Xavier Martin (28-109) is the only runner this year to go triple digits on the Yale defense... Two teams have gone over 400 yards of total offense against Yale in 2008, Fordham (435) and Holy Cross (431)... Yale allowed two rushing TDs once (Cornell) and more than one passing TD once (Holy Cross, 3)... The Ivy title has been shared 17 times with three (1966, 1969, 1982) three-way ties... Mike McLeod's 37 consecutive starts are a current team-high. LB Bobby Abare, CB Casey Gerald and P/PK Tom Mante (he became starting PK in 2008) each have 29... The Elis scored on their first series against Princeton. It was the third (Georgetown, Dartmouth) time this season that happened and Yale has won each of those games. The Blue has not scored on its first series on the road in 2008.... Harvard offensive coordinator Joel Lamb spent nine seasons (1997-2005) as Yale's QB coach before returning to his alma mater.
Jack Siedlecki (70-48 at Yale), the Joel E. Smilow `54 Head Coach of Football and the 2007 New England Coach of the Year, is in his 21st season as a college head coach. He is 4-7 against Harvard. Tim Murphy, the Thomas Stevenson Family Coach for Harvard Football, is 128-97-1 in his 22nd year as a collegiate head coach. He is 96-52 and 9-5 against the Bulldogs in his 15th year on the banks of the Charles River. Murphy began his Harvard career with three straight wins before losing the next three in Siedlecki's second, third and fourth seasons.
SIEDLECKI ON THE PRINCETON GAME
"For the second week in a row the game really went the way we wanted it to go. We didn't have any turnovers. They had two that we converted into touchdowns. We dominated the clock. In the second half we had the ball for 21 minutes and really didn't give them many opportunities. They were 80-90 yards away every time they got the football. We didn't feel they had the capability to drive the whole field against us and score. We never gave them a short field. I feel we played a complete game: we ran the ball well, Brook Hart made some plays when he had to in the passing game, and our defense threw a shutout."
MEMORABLE Y-H MOMENTS
The Yale-Harvard series has seen its share of last-second wins, comebacks, outstanding performances, firsts and freaky plays. Here are some of the most memorable meetings:
1881: Yale tries the first on-side kick ever in football during a scoreless game (Yale was declared winner for fewer safety TDs)
1946: Elis overcome a 14-0 Harvard lead to win 27-14
1952: Yale student manager Charlie Yeager catches a conversion pass in a 41-14 Eli win at Cambridge
1968: QB Frank Champi completes a TD pass and a conversion play with no time left as Harvard gains a 29-29 draw at Cambridge and shares the Ivy crown with Yale
1972: Yale overcame a 17-0 first half deficit to win 28-17
1974: QB Milt Holt scored on a 1-yard run with 0:15 left in a 21-16 victory that gave Harvard a share of the Ivy title with Yale
1975: Mike Lynch's 26-yard FG with 0:33 left gave Crimson a 10-7 win and sole possession of the Ivy title
1995: Crimson Eion Hu scored from 2 yards out with :29 left in a 22-21 win
1999: WR Eric Johnson (21-244) scoops up a QB Joe Walland (42-67, 437) pass with :29 left to send Yale to a 24-21 win and an Ivy title
2005: Clifton Dawson ended the longest game in Ivy history in the 3rd OT with a two-yard run to give Harvard a 30-24 win at the Bowl
IVY TITLES AND WORLD SERIES
Harvard's last two Ivy titles and unbeaten league campaigns were in 2004 and 2007, the same years their professional baseball neighbors at Fenway Park won the World Series. Maybe the Bulldogs should be happy the Red Sox did not make the 2008 Series. The Crimson has won 12 Ivy titles compared to 14 for Yale. Dartmouth has the most with 16.
Three Yale senior starters were named to the 2008 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District team and could become academic All-Americans after the next voting process. CB Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas), DT Kyle Hawari (Plano, Texas) and FB Shebby Swett (Bow, NH) were named to the District I University Division first team.
ALSO ANCIENT EIGHT BESTS
Sophomore CB Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) has the longest interception return in the Ivy League this fall with a 60-yarder for a score against Georgetown. Senior LB Bobby Abare's (Acton, Mass.) 86-yard fumble return at Fordham is also a league best. Senior DT Joe Hathaway's (Clifton Park, NJ) three sacks against Georgetown are also a league high for 2008.
LB Bobby Abare (captain) and SS Larry Abare, both in the class of 2009, make Yale one of three Division I teams with twins starting together on defense. The Acton, Mass., fraternal twins, who were both three-sport captains at Acton-Boxboro High School, led their football team to a 50-1 mark and four state titles before coming to New Haven. Rutgers (CBs Jason and Devin McCourty) and Eastern Washington (LB Zach and S Matt Johnson) are the other two schools with twins starting on defense. Bobby (49-19-68) and Larry (44-20-64), who has another year of eligibility with a 2007 medical hardship, have combined for 132 tackles this fall. The brothers have combined to go 77-13 in high school and college combined.
ABARE ALL-TIME GREAT
Senior LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) has more career interceptions (10) than any LB in the history Yale football and more TDs (4) than any Eli defensive player in the modern era. His three interception returns for TD are also an all-time program best. Abare returned a fumble at Fordham 86 yards for a TD and picked off a Holy Cross for another score this fall. He has been Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week as well as Yale's Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Game twice (Holy Cross, Fordham) this fall. Abare, a candidate for the 2008 Buchannan Award for the top defensive player in FCS, is a two-time first-team all-league pick who was honorable mention All-America last fall. He leads the team in tackles this fall. Abare has also been a great promotion for Yale football off the field. He and Harvard captain Matt Curtis threw out first pitches on Sept. 2 at Fenway Park before a Red Sox game to promote the The Game.
The Yale Football class of 2009, playing its last game this Saturday, is the largest group of seniors Jack Siedlecki has ever had. Considering that Yale had 30 spots for recruits when this class arrived, this is an impressive number. Here's how you quantify the impact of this class.
5 players with brothers who play or played at Yale
7 four-time varsity lettermen
8 starters on 2006 Ivy title team
10 changed positions since freshman year
12 All-Ivy selections (first, second-team, honorable mention)
16 states represented on the roster
21 listed on the Yale (2-deep) depth chart
27 victories (matches class of '08, most since 1982)
384 points scored
1,101 total tackles
7,261 yards responsible for
HAYNES GETS NFF AWARD
Freshman LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.), who sees action on the Yale special teams, is one of five college football players selected by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame as a 2008 High School Scholar-Athlete. Haynes and the other honorees will be acknowledged on Dec. 9 in Manhattan at an NFF luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria. He is the West Region representative from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, Calif.
ATYPICAL COACHING BACKGROUND
Student assistant coach Vedant Seeam '10, who is from the tiny island off Africa called Mauritius, did not know what football was before he came to New Haven. Seeam, a member of the Mauritian National Badminton Team, was introduced to the gridiron by a suitemate his freshman year. He currently assists the defensive line by helping with practice drills, film breakdown and game day evaluations with Duane Brooks.
IT STARTED HERE
The Game is responsible for a number of original events: Yale performed the first on-side kick against Harvard in 1881; the Blue's flying wedge was first seen in the 1892 contest; the first game in the Bowl was the 1914 meeting; the first crowd at an American sporting event over 80,000 was the 1920 game at the Bowl; and the first triple OT Ivy game happened in 2005 at Yale.
Yale has lost three games by a combined seven points, including the last two losses by two points each. The Blue had not lost a game by two points since a 26-24 decision against Brown in 1983.
GOLDEN STATE OF YALE
Members of the 2008 Yale team come from 24 different states and the District of Columbia. California has the most with 12 while Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and Ohio each have nine.
When the Elis come back to the Bowl next fall, they will have the new Kenney Family Field Center in place. The construction that has occurred this fall around the press box and halftime room was the start of the building named after the Yale football playing Kenney brothers and organized by Jerome P. Kenney '63. The center will include team meeting rooms, an alumni room with views of the field and a rooftop terrace.
Coming soon to the Bowl area is the Jensen Plaza, the grand entrance to the venue that will have names of every student-athlete who suited up for the gridiron Bulldogs. Named after Irving '54, Colin '57, Erik '63 and Mark Jensen '67, is designed to be the grand entrance to the Bowl and will serve as the perfect place for fans to congregate prior to games
BULLDOGS LOVE BOWL
Since opening the national historic landmark in 1914, the Blue has gone 362-189-21 (571 games) at home. Since formal Ivy play began in 1956, the Elis are 122-76-3 vs. Ancient Eight foes at home.
IVY FOOTBALL ASSOCATION TO HONOR PHILLIPS
Former Yale QB Stone Phillips `77, who gained fame as an award-winning TV journalist on NBC's Dateline, will be honored by the Ivy Football Association at its Jan. 22 New York City dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. This will be the fifth such event. Each school has one honoree. Kurt Schmoke `71 (2001) was Yale's first honoree followed by Ken Wolfe `61 (2003), Charles Johnson `54 (2005) and Jerry Kenney `63 (2007).
Only 11 players are allowed on both sides of the line of scrimmage, but the Bulldogs list a dozen starters on offense. That's because Yale does not always begin games in the same scheme. The Elis either start with H-Back John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.), who leads the team with 40 grabs, or FB Shebby Swett (Bow, N.H.), but both are considered "starters" on the depth chart.
YALE ON YES
The Bulldogs had three straight Ivy League contests broadcast live on the YES Network as part of a package called Yale on YES. The YES games were Oct. 25 (Penn at Yale), Nov. 1 (Columbia at Yale) and Nov. 8 (Yale at Brown) and the Elis won two of them.
VERSUS HAS IVY
This is the first year the Ivy League has an agreement with VERSUS for a football TV package. VERSUS (73 million homes) is televising five Ancient Eight games as the Ivy League Game of the Week, Presented by TIAA-CREF. This is the first time since the early 1990s that Ivy football has been packaged together nationally. The Yale-Princeton game and this week's 125th playing of The Game finish off the 2008 package. Versus also airs Pac-10, Big-12 and Mountain West games.
STILL LEAD THE NATION
Yale has not won a national football title since 1927, but the Bulldogs still have more championships (26) than any other school in the country. Notre Dame is second with 11 national titles. In addition, the Elis were the first football team of any kind to win 800 games but have since been overtaken by Michigan.
IT'S JUST PRACTICE
The normal practice week is from Tuesday through Friday, 4:15 to 6:15. (Friday times could be altered on travel days). Practice is held on the fields behind the baseball stadium (Yale Field) and inside the outdoor track. Inclement weather could bring the team inside to either Coxe Cage or the Lanman Center. It is best to email Steve Conn (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange a meeting at least a day before you would like to speak with a player or coach.
There are three sets of brothers on the Yale roster including two-deep members LB Bobby and SS Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.) and DE Brady and QB Brook Hart (State College, Pa.). DE Jack and DB Marcus Wallace (Germantown, Wisc.) are also on the roster.
GALIETTE MEDIA LUNCHEON
This Tuesday at noon, Yale head coach Jack Siedlecki will be joined by senior twins Bobby and Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.). The Galiette Luncheon interviews can be seen live on Don Boyle's sportingnewsct.com. Yale's weekly media luncheon was named after legendary play-by-play announcer Dick Galiette, who called Yale Football for 33 seasons until his death in 2005 and will be inducted into the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame this December.
FATHER OF FOOTBALL
For the 10th straight season, the Walter Camp Football Foundation honors Yale's game MVP as the Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game. This award is handed out every game. Walter Camp (class of 1880), the father of American football, captained two Yale teams and coached five others. He compiled a 67-2-0 record and won three national titles as coach.
Here are the 2008 recipients.
Pos- Name (Hometown) Game Stats
WR- Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) Gtown 4-136, 2 TDs
SS- Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.) Cornell 12 tackles
LB- Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) Holy Cross 9 solos, 2 int
RB- Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.) Dartmouth 135 yards, TD
LB- Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) Fordham 10-5-15, 2 scks, FR TD
CB- Paul Rice (Cleveland Hts., Ohio) Penn 5-1-6, 25-yd int return
RB-Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.) Columbia 23-85 rush, 3 TDs, 3-25 rec
QB-Brook Hart (State College, Pa.) Brown 22-32, 292
RB-Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.) Princeton 31-138
MEN OF YALE
The men who play football at Yale are an impressive group. Here are some facts and figures to support that.
74 captained their high school football teams
56 captained other high school sports
52 were members of National Honor Society
19 were National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes
5 were senior class valedictorians
4 were senior class salutatorians
Yale and the U.S. Presidency have been linked for the last 19 years. Four of the last six -- including the last three -- U.S. presidents attended Yale either as undergraduates or for graduate school, and a few former Yale football players currently work in the White House. The current Bulldogs are comprised of 49 percent republicans and 31 percent democrats while the rest have other affiliations. Senior CB Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas) was voted by his teammates as the Bulldog most likely to become U.S. President. Gerald has joked that his selection came because of his great handshake.
FAN BUS TO THE GAME
If you are interested in being part of the fan bus heading to Boston for The Game, here are some details. The bus departs the Ray Tompkins House at 8 a.m. on Nov. 22 and departs from Boston one hour after the game ends. The cost is $80 per person and includes food and a game ticket. If you only want transportation to the game, the cost is $20. To make a reservation contact Nadine Logan at 203.432.1434.
LOOKING FOR ROSEY
Twenty-five years ago this week Roosevelt Thompson '84 was running the Yale scout team in preparation for The Game, a 16-7 Harvard win. This fall, Thompson is the focus of a PBS documentary called Looking for Rosey. Thompson was an academic meteor while at Yale. He was named a Truman Scholar sophomore year, elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year and then concluded his academic achievements by winning the Rhodes Scholarship in 1984. Thompson was killed in a car accident the spring of his senior year. Arkansas PBS is partnering with Thompson's classmate Slade Mead and Candee Productions in filming the. Among the list of people the filmmakers interviewed were Carm Cozza, former captains Pat Ruwe '83 and Tom Giella '84 and former U.S. President (former Arkansas Governor) Bill Clinton '73L. Thompson's portrait hangs in the Calhoun College Library, there is a plaque and tree dedicated to him in the Calhoun courtyard and the old Yale varsity weight room was named after him by his teammates in 1984. The university awards the Roosevelt Thompson Prize at commencement to that graduating senior who has done the most while at Yale in community service. The documentary will be previewed next May at Yale at what would have been Roosevelt's 25th reunion. To see a trailer, go to www.lookingforrosey.org.
The film "Harvard beats Yale 29-29", which is about the famous 1968 Game, opens at Criterion Cinemas on Nov. 19 and will have a special 7:15 p.m. showing Nov. 21 at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge. Kevin Rafferty (Harvard '70), whose father and grandfather played football at Yale and whose daughter currently attends the New Haven school, had a big hit at the most recent Toronto Film Festival.
ELIS ON ELI
NEWS/TALK 960 WELI will broadcast all 10 Yale football games this fall on 960-AM and online at 960WELI.com. Ron Vaccaro '04, who was part of NBC's Olympic coverage this past summer, is in his third year as play-by-play announcer. Yale football coaching legend Carm Cozza, a 2003 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, is in his 11th season as color commentator. WELI's George DeMaio begins home game coverage from the Bowl with a half-hour tailgate party broadcast that includes Vaccaro and Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn.
WYBC ALSO AIRS
WYBC (1340-AM) also covers each game and has a 30-minute pre-game show. Bob Heussler, WYBC's Director of Football Radio Broadcasts, and Anthony Brooks, the station's sports coordinator, lead a talented group of Yale student broadcasters who can also be heard on wybc.com. WYBC also broadcasts Yale Sports Monday from 8-8:30pm, a show that wraps up each Yale football game and includes interviews with Jack Siedlecki, Yale's Joel E. Smilow `54 Head Coach of Football. The show is hosted by Anthony Brooks, Sam Purdy `10 and Alex Jenson `09.
Designed to keep Yale Athletics fans and alumni informed and entertained, the voice of the Elis, Ron Vaccaro `04 hosts a series of netcasts available via Apple iTunesU. This series will feature season previews, event coverage, and commentary from coaches, players, and analysts, while also taking the fan inside special events such as the Blue Leadership Ball. You can download from iTunesU at yalebulldogs.com (see Yale Athletics Netcasts on right side of front page). New this year are video netcasts which are taped at Mory's and available for viewing each week at yalebulldogs.com.
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director