Some rivalries in sports are so historic that the locals simply refer to the matchup as “The Game.” The annual Harvard/Yale football game is the original example of this. The Game has been played annually since 1875.
For this iteration, The Game was held at Harvard Stadium in Boston. The Crimson came in undefeated, and Yale had only one loss. The winner would be crowned the champion of The Ivy League. In addition, The Game hosted ESPN’s College Gameday, adding pressure to the players on both teams.
This year, I was tasked with spending the whole day shooting the pageantry and atmosphere that surrounded the matchup for Harvard University. For the 12:30 PM kickoff, I arrived at the stadium at 5:30 AM in order to shoot the setup for College Gameday, as well as to capture the sunrise over the historic Harvard Stadium.
The sun rises prior to “The Game,” the yearly college football matchup between Harvard and Yale at Harvard Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch/Harvard University)
College Gameday is known for having fans with witty signs in the background of the set. As the fans began to arrive around 7 AM, I looked around for some of the best pro-Harvard (and anti-Yale) posters, as well as just general photos of Harvard fans:
After a long morning, the game was finally about to begin. I spent some time shooting the action on the field before the game:
After kickoff, I ignored the action on the field for about the first three quarters. Instead, I walked around the stadium looking for the most passionate fans in the stands:
The score was pretty close as the end of the game approached. Eventually, with just a bit of time left on the clock, Harvard scored a game-winning touchdown off of a beautiful pass to the sideline I was luckily covering:
As time expired, the fans rushed the field to mob the players:
After escaping the fans, the players went to their locker room for a private trophy ceremony and celebrations:
Thanks to Harvard University Athletics for allowing me to shoot this great assignment, and for the incredible access they afforded me! More of my photos, as well as photos from Harvard’s other photographers can be seen on their website, here: http://gocrimson.com/sports/fball/2014-15/photos/0020/index