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Calling All Bulldogs! A Guide to Yale’s Football Culture

There are few things better than summer days, maybe summer nights. As the days roll on, remnants of summer heat begin to break, and the leaves begin to change, one particular group of New Haveners are gearing up and preparing for battle. We mean the Yale Bulldogs, of course. Hear ye, hear ye, football season is back!

The mighty cage that holds the historic university’s mighty Bulldogs, the Yale Bowl Stadium, holds an extensive history of its own. The first-ever stadium to defy formulaic stadium setups of yore, the stadium’s bowl-like structure ensured, for the first time, that every spectator would have a good seat. Without the Yale Bowl, there would be no Rose Bowl, and so on. The stadium was designed to resemble a Roman amphitheater, setting the tone for the university’s powerful football dynasty. The father of American football, Walter Camp, attended Yale University, leaving behind a collegiate athletic legacy (plus a few football-loving children). 

While the Bulldogs rest, the Yale Bowl doesn’t. In addition to the country’s football elite, the Yale Bowl has hosted the likes of Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead for stirring and historic performances. Though, depending on who you ask, no performance is quite as exciting as “The Game.” 

The phrase that draws lines on the turf and builds alliances in the stands, “The Game,” refers to the decades-old rivalry between two mighty universities, Yale and Harvard. What began over 140 years ago in 1875 is now a long-standing rivalry. One of the most anticipated days in collegiate football, “The Game” brings fan power and friendly competition to one of the Ivy League’s biggest rivalries. 

This year, “The Game” will be held at the Yale Bowl on November 18, calling more than 70,000 collegiate football fans home. Should our Bulldogs bring home a win, the all-time series score will sit at 70-61, with Yale leading. A historic rivalry taking place on equally historic ground, “The Game” is the game of the season, and the Bulldogs are sure to bring home yet another victory. 

If you can’t make it to the Bowl, fear not. Downtown New Haven has many sports bars and venues to kick back, enjoy a beer, and watch the game. Try, for example, The Trinity Bar & Restaurant, BAR, or Rudy’s Bar

Best of luck to you, Harvard. We will undoubtedly end our night with the Bulldogs chanting, “Goodnight, poor Hahvahd, Hahvahd, good night!”