FOOTBALL fanatics, take note: Jan. 1 will bring back special memories, as recounted in Harvard magazine:
"New Year's Day marks the 75th anniversary of Harvard's only Rose Bowl appearance. The Crimson gridders of 1919, coached by Robert T. Fisher '12 and starring all-American back Eddie Casey '19, had gone unbeaten in nine regular-season games, scoring 222 points and giving up only 19. After a 10-10 draw with Princeton, they'd finished triumphantly with a 10-3 defeat of Yale. An invitation from the Tournament of Roses arrived a week later.
"Over faculty opposition, Harvard's athletic committee accepted the bid. To escape frigid weather, team members worked out at Commonwealth Armory for a fortnight. On Dec. 20 they defied superstition and left from track 13, South Station, in a private car pulled by train No. 13, 'The Wolverine.' They reached Pasadena the day after Christmas. . .
"The fun-loving scholar-athletes and their coaches had a wonderful time in the West. They swapped their derbies for ten-gallon hats worn by ranch hands in Reno, were feted by Harvard alumni in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and cavorted with actor-impresario Douglas Fairbanks at his Hollywood compound.
"On New Year's morning they viewed the Parade of Roses as guests of the Pasadena Elks Club. That afternoon a full house of 32,000 viewed the third Rose Bowl match-up of a top Pacific Coast team with an Eastern contender. Brown and Penn, the East's first representatives, had come and gone without scoring a point.
"Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin sat on the Harvard bench as team mascots. Oregon drew first blood with a second-period field goal, but Harvard quickly struck back. . .
"A second Oregon field goal cut the margin to 7-6. . . . The warm day was certainly taking its toll but [Coach] Fisher's men held the Ducks scoreless thereafter. When time ran out, Harvard was inside Oregon's one-yard line, poised for a second touchdown. . . .
"The victory gave Harvard a national championship, for the seventh and final time. The Crimson's first bowl appearance was also fated to be its last. Three years later the presidents of Harvard, Princeton and Yale signed an agreement prohibiting post-season play."