by Charles A. Monagan
Nov 14, 2011
09:48 AMOn Connecticut
Tough Choice at Yale
Let college football fans in other states worry about things like child-abuse scandals (Penn State), key players getting shot and missing the rest of the season (Illinois) or fans who poison the historic oak trees on the campus of their hated rivals and now must go on trial (Alabama).
We in Connecticut are right now mildly abuzz with problem that resides on a somewhat loftier plane: whether Yale quarterback Patrick Witt should attend his finalist interview Saturday for a Rhodes Scholarship or play in The Game on the same day against Harvard.
Actually, Witt has already made his decision known. He will play in the game and let the Rhodes ride. We may make whatever we wish of his choice, but the old Yale coach T.A.D. Jones would have been proud. He's the one who famously told his team before the 1916 game, "Gentlemen, you are now going to play football against Harvard. Never again in your whole life will you do anything so important."
Considering the decisions I had to make during my senior year in college (Almaden or Gallo), I both do and don't envy Witt his. On the Rhodes side, the candidates have been winnowed down from over 1,000 to more like 128, with the 32 U.S. scholars to be selected as the results of the interview process. Witt is Yale's all-time passing leader and a History major with a nearly perfect GPA. Not a lock for a Rhodes, but not bad. On the football side, this is his last crack against Harvard, which has lately dominated the series. The Crimson is once against the leader in the Ivy League. A Yale win would be a significant upset.
Witt was not allowed to entertain both dreams, so, as he put it, his loyalty to his teammates won out. We wish him well on Saturday. In fact, we wish him a win.Tough Choice at Yale