A group of Yale students strip tradition caused a delay in today's edition of "The Game," the Bulldogs' 133rd meeting with Harvard.
A dozen male Yale students at the game stripped completely naked at the end of the third quarter. Usually, Yale students strip down to their underwear at this time during Yale games, but occasionally seniors will go fully nude at The Game. Today, a large group of those students were right up front. The game was reportedly held up as officials dealt with them.
The tradition is named for Saybrook College, one of Yale's 12 residential colleges. A Yale Daily News post from 2002 explains the origins of the...interesting tradition.
Neither rain, nor snow, nor the harsh New England weather can prevent another nude Yale tradition. For decades, the Saybrook Strip has entertained and shocked fans of Ivy League football. It began in the 1970s, when a single Saybrook student mooned the opposing fans at the Harvard-Yale game. The next year, some of his friends joined him. In the decades since these intrepid acts of anti-Harvard (or anti-clothing) rebellion, the Saybrook Strip has become a fixture at every Yale football game.
With two minutes left in the third quarter, a cry of, “Shoes,” rises from the fans underneath the Saybrook flag. As the third quarter winds to a close, the cry grows feverish as Saybrook students spin their shoes in the air in anticipation. Finally, with a cry of, “Bif, bop, bam, bip. We are Saybrook, watch us strip,” the strip is on.
On the field, the clothed Bulldog football players picked up a massive upset win at Harvard, knocking off the hated rival 21-14. It is Yale's first win in The Game in 10 years, and prevents Harvard from claiming a fourth straight Ivy League title. There'll be plenty of celebrating in New Haven tonight.