Yale Harvard football history

How a Group of Yale Students Used ‘The Game’ To Prank Harvard in the Best Way Possible

yale prank duoHarvard vs. Yale. “The Game.” One of the oldest, most storied rivalries in college football history will play out its latest chapter in Cambridge this weekend. And for the first time ever, ESPN’s College Gameday will be on hand to showcase Ivy League fandom and the creative, irreverent tailgater signs for a nationwide audience.

With all eyes on Harvard Stadium, the pressure is on for Harvard to showcase its talents — not just athletically on the field, but creatively in their sign-making. As far as the game goes, Harvard is favored by 12. But no matter how clever Harvard’s signs may be, they will never top the prank Yale pulled off 10 years ago, when Yale students disguised as the “Harvard Pep Squad” got 1, 800 Harvard fans to hold up pieces of construction paper spelling out “WE SUCK.”

harvard shirtThanks to an exhaustive oral history published today on Business Insider, we now have an inside look at how two Yale students, Mike Kai and David Aulicino, conceptualized and executed one of the best pranks in college football history. Below are five of the most interesting facts about the prank, but the entire BI article is worth reading.

1. Kai and Aulicino tried the prank in 2003 and failed.

“The Game” was held at Yale in 2003, making it easier for the duo to sneak into the stadium and leave construction paper under seats in the Harvard cheering section. However, someone called in a bomb threat, leading campus police to search the stadium.

“Once the bomb threat came in, they wanted to search everyone in the stadium, and there were very few people there. They saw us with all of the construction paper, ” Aulicino said. Caught in the act, and without a believable explanation for what they were doing, the would-be Yale pranksters had to abandon their plan.

you're not from Harvard2. Their “Harvard Pep Squad” disguises were backed up by fake Harvard IDs

Kai and Aulicino knew pulling the prank off at Harvard would be much tougher, so they attended a Harvard-Cornell game and took detailed photos of Harvard Stadium to estimate how many pieces of construction paper they’d need. They also enlisted the help of 20 or so freshman, decked out in “Harvard Pep Squad” t-shirts, crimson face paint, and equipped with Harvard IDs in case a Harvard official’s suspicion was aroused.

In an from two years ago, Kai described how nervous the duo were.

“Dave and I planned every detail we could imagine and went through every possible scenario. It was like preparing for battle, really. Stacking all those papers the night before, double-checking everything, coordinating meetup points, he wrote.

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