The Harvard-Yale Football Game, By the Numbers

On November 19, Harvard and Yale battle for gridiron glory on Crimson turf.
harvard yale football game 1908 new haven

Even a century ago, Harvard and Yale were facing off, as evidenced by this photo from a 1908 game in New Haven. / Images via Harvard.edu (Seal); Yale University (Seal); Fox (Mr. Burns); Pach Brothers, 935 Broadway, New York, New York (Handsome Dan); Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division (Stadium)

Harvard and Yale generally duke it out in the academic arena, but once a year they take the competition to the football field. The annual matchup has become so legendary that “the Game,” as it’s known, has leapt over the schools’ ivied walls and into pop culture. For proof, look no further than The Simpsons, which casts villain Mr. Burns as a pennant-waving Yalie. (It’s worth noting that the show’s writing roster has included legions of Harvard Lampoon alums.) With the Crimson riding high after nine consecutive victories against Yale, the 133-game tradition comes to Harvard Stadium this month.

12:30 p.m., November 19

Kickoff time for this year’s game.

mr burns

The Ivy League Showdown on TV

22 16
Number of Harvard references on The Simpsons. Number of Yale references on The Simpsons.

17%

Percentage of Simpsons writers educated at Harvard.


harvard yale money

$2,738,301 $3,224,275
Dollars spent on Harvard football in 2014. Dollars spent on Yale football in 2014.

harvard yale football game by the numbers seals

59 65
Number of Harvard wins Number of Yale wins
42 35
Harvard’s number of varsity sports teams. Yale’s number of varsity sports teams.
8 0
Number of Harvard athletes currently in the NFL. Number of Yale athletes currently in the NFL.
394 191
Number of Ivy League championships won by Harvard since 1956. Number of Ivy League championships won by Yale since 1956.

$5 million

Cost of 2006–2007 Harvard Stadium renovation project.

handsome dan yale

“Handsome Dan”

Name of Yale’s mascot.


Notable Rivalry Moments

1875

The first Harvard-Yale football game, known as “the Game,” is held in New Haven, Connecticut.

1894

After the “Springfield Massacre,” during which seven players were carried off the field in “dying condition,” the Game ceases.

1897

The Game starts back up.

1968

Harvard ties Yale 29–29.

1982

MIT steals the show with its weather balloon prank.

2004

Yale tricks Harvard fans into holding up signs that read, “We suck.”

2005

Harvard wins the first triple-overtime game in Ivy League history, 30–24.


Hannah Flynn Hannah Flynn, Editorial Intern at Boston Magazine hflynn@bostonmagazine.com