Harvard Crimson Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Division I FCS

Head Coach: Tim Murphy

Team Mascot: John Harvard

Year Opened: 1903

Capacity: 30323

City / State: Boston / Massachusetts

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

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The Game

Rival Team: Yale Bulldogs

The rivalry between Harvard and Yale is the third most played rivalry in Division I college football and is one of the best rivalries in college sports. Sports Illustrated named the rivalry the sixth-best in college sports and no matter what the sport or contest there are always bragging rights on the line between the two Ivy League schools. Harvard and Yale flat out hate each other, and it's no different on the gridiron. The Bulldogs hold a 66-59-8 lead in the rivalry, but you won’t want to miss it when the Crimson take on Yale.

Harvard Crimson vs Penn Quakers

Rival Team: Penn Quakers

The Harvard-Penn rivalry dates back to 1881, and it’s always one of the best games of the season. The two teams are usually two of the best teams in the Ivy League with the Crimson and Quakers winning 29 of the last 34 Ivy League Championships. Watch the Crimson try to extend their 48-37-2 lead in the all-time series when Penn comes to Harvard Stadium.

Harvard Crimson vs Princeton Tigers

Rival Team: Princeton Tigers

Harvard-Princeton is part of the Big Three academic, athletic, and social rivalry between Harvard, Princeton, and Yale and is a must-see for any alumni or student from either school. The rivalry on the gridiron began in 1877, and since then the Tigers have taken a 55-47-7 lead in the all-time series, but the Crimson won the most recent meeting 23-20. Don’t miss it when the Crimson take on the Tigers as you’ll be in for a good one.

Harvard Crimson Tailgate Guide


Typically tailgating at Harvard starts two hours before kickoff and is somewhat relaxed compared to what you’ll see at most schools. At your average Crimson game, you’ll see alumni having a few drinks with former classmates and enjoying some grilled food. However, if you want to experience an all out tailgate party at Harvard, then make sure to tailgate before The Game.

Tailgaters get an extra hour to tailgate when Yale comes to town, and The Game is one of the biggest days of the year meaning alumni from all over come out to cheer on the Crimson. You’ll experience a much more lively atmosphere when attending a Harvard-Yale game, so if you can only attend one game a season, then make sure it’s The Game.

The students love to go especially hard for The Game, and there is nothing better than seeing the Crimson take on their archrivals Yale, making a Harvard-Yale game tailgate an unforgettable experience.


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Stadium Architecture

Harvard Stadium is the first vertical structure to feature reinforced concrete and is quite the sight to behold for any fan. The stadium features some unique architecture and is quite cool to see, so take a moment before the game to take it all in.

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Where to tailgate

Harvard Crimson Stadium Guide

In Game

If you’re a big college football fan, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to catch a game at historic Harvard Stadium. Harvard Stadium not only was the first stadium to feature reinforced concrete it also played a large part in shaping the game as it is today. In the early 1900s, football was almost outlawed due to its dangerous nature before uniform rules were established. During the drafting of the rules, it was proposed that the width of the field be expanded to give players more room. Harvard had just built Harvard Stadium and as a result, could not accommodate a larger field, so instead the committee decided to legalize the forward pass and standardize the field dimensions to those of Harvard Stadium.

In addition to the history, you’ll also enjoy the pageantry on display when attending a Crimson game. Harvard-Yale games are especially full of traditions making every visit by the Bulldogs a must-see. If you can only attend one Harvard game a year, then make sure it’s The Game between Harvard and Yale.

Finally, enjoy cheering on the Crimson with fellow Harvard fans. While it may not look like it at first glance, the Crimson have plenty of diehard fans who love to come out and cheer on their team. The diehards at Harvard are just like those anywhere and love to talk ball, so don’t hesitate to start up a conversation with your neighbor.

You’ll have an excellent time taking in a game at historic Harvard Stadium, so plan your trip to see the Crimson play today.

Things to check out

Dedication Plaque and 50th Anniversary Plaque

Take some time before the game to see the dedication plaque and 50th anniversary plaque. Both plaques are fun to check out for any Harvard or college football fans, so don’t miss them during your visit to Harvard Stadium.

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Little Red Flag

Keep an eye out for the Little Red Flag when attending The Game. The flag is waved by Harvard’s “most loyal fan” after each score against Yale and is a must-see part of any Harvard-Yale game.

Harvard-Yale Pranks

If attending a Harvard-Yale game, then look out and enjoy any pranks that may take place during the game. The two schools have a long history of pranking each other over the years, and nearby MIT has even gotten into the action over the years as well.

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Marching Band

The marching band is a big part of any Harvard football game as they provide the majority of the atmosphere at Harvard Stadium. The band plays a variety of school songs and pop songs, so enjoy their performance during the game.

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Student Section

No one gets behind the Crimson like the student section. No matter what the score, the student section will be on their feet and cheering on the team making them one of the best parts of any Crimson game.

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Cheer and Dance Squads

Don’t miss the performances of the Harvard cheer and dance squads during your trip to Harvard Stadium. The spirit squads put on impressive routines and will keep you entertained during stoppages in play, so make sure to enjoy the show.

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Fight Songs

  1. Ten Thousand Men of Harvard

    Illegitimum non carborundum;
    Domine salvum fac.
    Illegitimum non Carborundum;
    Domine salvum fac.
    Gaudeamus igitur!
    Veritas non sequitur?
    Illegitimum non carborundum — ipso facto!

    Ten thousand men of Harvard want vict’ry today,
    For they know that o’er old Eli
    Fair Harvard holds sway.
    So then we’ll conquer old Eli’s men,
    And when the game ends, we’ll sing again:
    Ten thousand men of Harvard gained vict’ry today!

  2. Harvardiana

    With Crimson in triumph flashing
    ‘Mid the strains of victory,
    Poor Eli’s hopes we are dashing
    Into blue obscurity.
    Resistless our team sweeps goalward
    With the fury of the blast;
    We’ll fight for the name of Harvard
    ‘Til the last white line is passed.
    Harvard! Harvard! Harvard!

  3. Veritas

    We say hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
    There’s never an Eli can teach us to play!
    Harvard! Harvard! Harvard!
    See how the bleachers blue turn pale with fright;
    Send a cheer across to bleach ’em nice and white!
    Oh, look at the way we smash and rip ’em through
    While the blue bulldog howls “Boo-la, boo-la, boo!”
    Let out your voices now so loud and hale,
    ‘Tis a fun’ral ode we sing to Eli Yale.
    Oh, give us a yell ‘Hi! Hi!’ for Harvard,
    For the Crimson today!

  4. Score

    No hope for Eli,
    Here’s where we score!
    Come twist the bulldog’s tail;
    We’ll win once more,
    For Harvard’s back at New Haven;
    Hark to their mournful wail.
    It might be worse, boys, call up a hearse
    For poor old yale!

  5. Soldiers Field

    O’er the stands of flaming Crimson
    Harvard banners fly.
    Cheer on cheer like volleyed thunder
    Echo to the sky.
    See the Crimson tide is turning,
    Gaining more and more,
    Then fight! fight! fight! for we win tonight
    Old Harvard forevermore.

  6. Gridiron King

    Then hit the line for Harvard,
    For Harvard wins today!
    We will show the sons of Eli
    That the Crimson still holds sway.
    Sweep down the field again,
    Victory or die!
    And we’ll give the grand old cheer boys,
    When the Harvard team goes by.

  7. Yo-Ho

    Yo ho! The good ship Harvard
    Is goalward bound again;
    All the crew are at the halyards,
    Here’s a hail for Johnny Harvard’s men!
    Bright Crimson at the forepeak
    Rides high above the foam.
    While we sweep through the deep blue,
    Harvard strikes home!

  8. Onward Crimson

    Onward Crimson, staunch defenders
    Of the emblem we hold dear,
    Marching dauntless through the gauntlets
    While the Elis quake with fear!
    Stay the course now, might Crimson,
    For the glory and the pride!
    Undefeated, foes retreated,
    Harvard’s vict’ry sanctified.

  9. Fair Harvard

    Fair Harvard! we join in thy jubilant throng,
    And with blessings surrender thee o’er
    By these festival rites, from the age that is past,
    To the age that is waiting before.
    O Relic and type of our ancestors’ worth,
    That hast long kept their memory warm,
    First flow’r of their wilderness! Star of their night!
    Calm rising through change and through storm.

  10. RAD

    Oh Radcliffe, our alma mater
    We sing your glories to the sun
    We are your grateful daughters
    Our voices raised as one
    You gave us joys and wisdom
    To set our goals and values true
    Radcliffe, our alma mater
    We pledge our loyalty to you.

  11. Fight Fiercely Harvard

    Fight fiercely, Harvard!
    Fight, fight, fight!
    Demonstrate to them our skill.
    Albeit they possess the might,
    Nonetheless we have the will.
    How we shall celebrate our victory?
    We shall invite the whole team
    Up for tea! How jolly!
    Hurl that spheroid down the field
    And fight! Fight! Fight!

Harvard Crimson Bars & Restaurants

  1. Silhouette Lounge

    Souris Saloon Silhouette Lounge

    The Silhouette is a no-frills laid-back local watering hole that serves amazing cold brew.

    200 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134, USA

    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  2. Lulu’s Allston


    Charming eatery with midcentury-modern decor specializing in comfort foods with a unique twist.

    421 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02134, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  3. Brick & Mortar

    Brick and Mortar

    Mixologists star at this hidden cocktail joint with an array of creative drinks in a sleek space.

    567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. The Phoenix Landing


    Part sports pub, part dance club, this multitasker offers modern Irish pub grub, DJs & trivia night.

    512 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$

  5. Green Street


    Warm, welcoming neighborhood bar & grill specializing in upmarket comfort food & craft cocktails.

    280 Green St, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  6. The Cellar

    The Cellar

    Cozy gastropub offering seasonal New American small plates & mains, plus classic cocktails & wine.

    991 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  7. The Plough and Stars


    With its warm cozy atmosphere and great music scene, The Plough has become a staple of the Cambridge community.

    912 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  8. Charlie’s Kitchen

    Fried chicken Mrs Winners Chicken Biscuits

    Bare-bones local institution for late-night burgers & beers, plus a year-round beer garden.

    10 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  9. Grafton Street Pub & Grill

    Grafton Street Pub and Grill

    Stylish yet relaxed gastropub serving upscale comfort food, cocktails & a robust craft brew list.

    1230 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  10. Shay’s Pub & Wine Bar

    Shays Pub and Wine Bar

    Longtime garden-level pub serving Tex-Mex, sandwiches, plus beer & wine in cozy digs with a patio.

    58 Jfk St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  11. Alive & Kicking Lobsters


    This spartan fresh-seafood counter with outdoor seating is known for its lobster sandwiches.

    269 Putnam Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  12. Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage

    Jack Browns Beer Burger Joint The Bear Brew Pub Homestead Restaurant

    Harvard Square institution & student favorite for burgers, fries, frappes & kitschy decor.

    1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  13. Park

    Park restaurant

    Unfussy American fare & creative cocktails star at this eatery & bar in a living room-like setting.

    59 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  14. Russell House Tavern

    Russell House Tavern

    Upscale New American fare, craft cocktails & microbrews are on offer at this chic gathering spot.

    14 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  15. Grendel’s Den Restaurant & Bar


    Staple pub that's popular with students for beer selection, happy-hour bar bites & a patio.

    89 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  16. The Breakfast Club


    The Breakfast Club brings about the feel of home with a fresh, east coast feel.

    270 Western Ave, Allston, MA 02134, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  17. The Sinclair

    This gastropub & music venue features New American fare and live acts, with an open kitchen & patio.

    52 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$