For most people up at Hanover this weekend, the action on the football field was serene compared to the alumni parties before the game and frat-happy students afterwards.
Undaunted by colder-than-expected weather, Harvard and Dartmouth mixed it up over cocktails and barbecues as they tailgated in a Memorial Field parking lot. Tailgating, an Ivy League tradition, gives one the rare opportunity to see someone's successful grandfather ('30) getting shit-faced on martinis blended on the trunk of a Mercedes 450 SL.
Warmer than their beaver coats could ever make them, alumni then joined thousands of thirsty students at the stadium gate in devising schemes to deceive the guards charged with the impossible task of keeping alcohol out of Memorial Field.
By halftime high spirits permitted enough chicanery to liven up a rather dull football game, and give the busy Hanover police another headache. A particularly noisy section of Cantabrigians, sitting close to the field at the 50 yard line, bribed and cajoled a staggering Leverett House sophomore into doing an unrehearsed dance routine with the Dartmouth band at midfield. He tried it a second time, only to be decked by a wayward tuba.
If dorm parties weren't enough to keep Harvard students occupied after the Big Green finally fumbled the game away, they could always celebrate in the Dartmouth class reunion tents.
"Hi, my dad graduated '53, played defensive tackle and was the number two ground gainer his senior year," an enterprising son of Harvard told the bartender while he sipped a gratis whiskey sour.
Those Harvardians who stayed over Saturday night found the atmosphere on Dartmouth's fraternity row more like an Italian street festival than a stuffy Ivy League club.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Phi Delta Alpha, Sigma Nu, Kappa Kappa Epsilon...they all seemed the same by midnight when the frats overflowed into the street, making one big party, an orgy of clashing bands rowdy frat guys and tipsy visitors. Somehow that Ivy League aura had vanished. This was a mammoth beer blast to rival any Big Ten post-game show. And that was after a losing effort on the gridiron.
Bands and Taps
There are only two types of Dartmouth frats--those with bands and those without bands. The half-dozen with bands had been packed out and closed their doors by 10:00 p.m., while those without tapped refreshments to an endless stream of partiers.
From the inside, they all looked pretty much the same save an occasional starspangled ping-pong table or the number of initials carved in the woodwork. Most had barren living rooms upstairs and basements with long dark-wood bars, ping-pong tables, and bench-lined, graffiti decorated walls.
The Rabbit Died
Traveling along fraternity row...three frat men wrestling on a beer-soaked basement floor...a Harvard man discussing ICBMs and Mutually Assured Destruction with a Skidmore freshman...frat men playing ping-pong for beers while scores watched...three Harvard and two Smith students forced to sleep in a Volkswagen Rabbit...and of course an exuberant Harvard football manager waltzing through the streets of Hanover at 1 a.m. with a purloined hat.
The few tweed jackets and English pipes stuck out like sore thumbs as the Dartmouthians and affiliated imports made it clear that this night, if no other, belonged to the proletariat.