Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Game 2013: Stadium, Team Needs Work

Westville.  The Ivy League college of Harvard came to visit this year, to play The Game at the Yale Bowl.  This year, everything seemed slightly more under control than the last time the teams played on Yale turf, back in 2011.

With temperatures in the mid-40's all day, and abundant sunshine, it was quintessential weather for the Autumn football classic. Tailgating was still very popular this year, and there were entire sections of the stadium that were unoccupied by spectators.

Noted, though, was the apparent disrepair which seemed quite blatant throughout much of the stadium's interior.  While the outside of the Yale Bowl had been renovated in 2007, including improvements to the press box and a new scoreboard, there were many signs that much of the stadium's interior could use some serious refreshing.  Paint was peeling from planks of wood, many of which were dry-rotting from being in the sun for decades. And beneath, there were problems with cement simply crumbling at many of its edges.

So far this century, Yale has won The Game twice (2000, 2006).  It might be worth considering taking more pride in the stadium itself.  Even though the Yale Endowment took a big hit, back in 2009, the value is still a number with more zeroes than necessary to replace some wood and fix some cement.  The Yale Bowl has a fairly important history in New Haven, especially to local residents of the neighborhood of Westville.  Kids who grew up in the neighborhood recall the ambient sounds of crowds cheering in the background, audible from their backyards, blocks away. And on any of the innumerable days when games are not played in the stadium, local neighborhood kids might be seen simply playing games of their own, to an empty crowd, in a giant building built for a very specific purpose; one of the highlights of living in such a quaint, eccentric, and unique neighborhood.