The Game? Which game?

The Ohio State v. Michigan game was this past weekend.  Although I am from Ohio, I had no idea that the name of this rivalry was called “The Game.”   This caught me off guard because my undergraduate’s rivalry game is also coined as “The Game.”   After learning this, I did my research on Wikipedia and discovered that the OSU v. Michigan and Yale v. Harvard are the only two football games that use the moniker “The Game.”

Since I have been able to take part in the weekend celebrations for both games, I decided it’d be interesting to examine the similarities and differences between the two different rivalries.

Harvard v YaleThe Game

  • Early morning wake-up for tailgating.  Themed tailgates.
  • Not important to wear school colors.  Classic tailgate look: polo shirt, faded jeans, Ray-Ban Wayfarers and a blazer.
  • Everyone attends the game whether it is home or away.
  • Student ID is free admission.  Game rarely sells out.  Yale Bowl seats 70,870.
  • Recently lopsided series.  Yale has won only once since the year 2000… but they hold the all time series record 65-53-8.
  • Little animosity between schools.  Joint Harvard- Yale tailgates.   Students offer to “host” the away team’s fans if people are looking for housing.
  • Both sides follow the scores to the other rivalry games while tailgating.
  • Alumni from all over the country return for The Game since it is the main Fall reunion.
  • Win or lose it is always a good time.

OSU v MichiganThe Game” (note: I have never experienced a home OSU v. Michigan game)

  • Early morning tailgate.  Real tailgates: burgers, beer, cornhole, football.
  • Traditions: Mirror Lake jump – Absolutely insane event on Friday night.  Students jump into Mirror Lake despite freezing temperatures and ridiculously high ammonia levels.
  • Wear school colors: preferably jerseys – specifically a James Laurinatis jersey.
  • Not as many people travel to the away games.  No student housing provided by the home team.
  • Student IDs are not free admission to the game.  Games are always sold out.  Tickets actually have a resale value.
  • Recently lopsided series.  Michigan has won only once since the year 2000… but they hold the all time series record 57-43-6.
  • No joint tailgates.  The two schools hate each other – don’t wear Scarlet and Gray in Ann Arbor.
  • People actually watch the game.  The tailgate is simply a buildup to the game.
  • You better win to have a good day… or even a good year.

This year’s result:  Yale loses, OSU wins…  I’ll take it.