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Berry Nostalgic

Saturday, September 22, 2007

By: Andrew Berry, Harvard Football Defensive Back

As an 18 year-old freshman entering a 369-year-old institution, it seemed to me that Harvard was just that: old. The traditional architecture of the freshmen dorms displayed the proud history of the university. Even while spending time in the newly renovated football facilities I was reminded that I attended the country's oldest establishment of higher learning. Looking up from the stadium turf at the 1910 national championship banner, I could not imagine what football must have been like before the term "blitz" entered the sport's vernacular.

In the football offices nameless pictures and decades-old artifacts decorated the walls behind the newly purchased television. Black and white photographs of Harvard Stadium showed thousands of fans, decked out in suits and ties, even filling the open end of the horseshoe-shaped stadium during a game against an opponent other than Yale. Relics of past Harvard football lore matched my empty stare through the glass showcases that furnished the interior of the players' lounge. I was told that all this was part of the "rich history" of Harvard football -- a history of which I seemed to have no part.

Two years and 20 games later I am not so naive to dismiss these artifacts of Harvard football as outdated football furnishings. Each photograph or piece of memorabilia captures a moment that was special to the school and program. This year the Brown game will be another one of those singular moments. Even before this year, the Brown game always had special meaning to me. I will always remember my first Brown game, but not for the typical reasons. Yes, Brown was my first collegiate home game, my first Ivy League competition and my coach's 100th career victory, but I remember it most for the 38-yard touchdown pass that sailed over my head and gave our opponents the advantage in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. More humorously, this year I no longer have to remember Brown games as having been the cause of Harvard's first double overtime contest.

For more of Andrew's blog posting, please check out The Quad at the New York Times.