The Yale Law Journal

Yale Law Journal Football Brings Home Fifth Bluebook Victory, Eighth Win Against Harvard

Caroline Van Zile
17 Apr 2011
Yale Law Journal Flag Football recently capped off a banner year. Having soundly trounced Harvard in the fall--a 49-to-21 crushing defeat--Yale trekked up to Cambridge yet again this spring to challenge not only Harvard, but also Penn and Columbia in the Bluebook Invitational Tournament. Yale's crew, according to custom, claimed victory in every single game. Yale maintained both its perfect record at the Invitational, which the YLJ crew has won every year since it began in 2007, and its now eight-year winning streak against Harvard during the Harvard-Yale weekend. 

The story of this year's Bluebook Invitational involves Yale's team braving some rather icy conditions. Still, spirits were high the morning of this year's Bluebook Invitational, despite sub-30 temperatures and even worse winds on the Cambridge fields.
The first two games were relatively unremarkable.  Yale opened the three-game tournament against Penn - although close at times, the game was never really in question, and Yale ultimately prevailed 21-7.  Next up was Columbia, and Yale's defense held strong: the final score was 14-0. Two up, two down.
Meanwhile, Harvard had also amassed a 2-0 record, including an overtime nail-biter against Penn. Thus, Yale found itself in a de facto championship game of the unbeatens.  Harvard was hungry, but hunger is no substitute for talent.  Yale's offense put up its highest total of the day, and the defense held strong, despite giving up a couple of long scores.  The final score was 28-21, though that total included a garbage-time touchdown for Harvard.  Just like that, history repeated itself, and the BB Invitational trophy returned to its proper home.
Some individual highlights:
  • Steph Turner's would-be interception.  Steph made a fantastic play on the ball and an interception seemed inevitable - until teammate Brad Tennis tried to snatch the ball away for himself.  It fell to the ground in the scuffle, and Brad earned himself some affectionate ridicule from the sidelines.
  • Mr. Tennis, however, redeemed himself on the day, completely shutting down one side of the field with his corner play.  He may have been upset not to have notched an interception, but his sure-handed tackling prevented opponents from making big plays. He was, without a doubt, invaluable to the defense. 
  • Mike Aikins.  Widely discussed as an MVP candidate, the seemingly undersized Mr. Aikins consistently pressured the quarterback and registered a handful of sacks in the three games.  His day, however, was best summed up in one play, when he burst through the offensive line and headed straight for the quarterback - and ran right through the poor guy, throwing him to the ground.  This is not allowed in flag football.  The following conversation ensued:
    • COACH: "Dude, what were you thinking?"
    • MIKE (shrugs shoulders): "I forgot we were playing flag football."
    • COACH: "Huh."
  • The offensive and defensive lines - anchored by Cameron Kistler, Eric Fish, Kevin Kiley, and Will Moon. Whether protecting or containing, the lines were superb all day.  
  • Gabrielle and Sophie.  Whether batting down balls, winning the support of the refs, or catching thirty yard passes fifteen yards out of bounds, Gabrille and Sophie have done it all for the past two years, and yesterday was no exception.
  • Will Clayton.  Will has been the heart and soul of YLJ football for the last year.  In making one of his two interceptions on the day, he may have defied physics and briefly flown (although that may have just been the spectators' hearts).
  • Every other team's complete inability to adjust to our center screens. Jarrod Shobe ran for about 200 yards and two scores before being touched by an opponent. 


These stories are but the tip of the iceberg of greatness (Eli Best, Celia Choy, Betsy Cooper, Caroline Van Zile, and Pat Moroney all made significant and unforgettable contributions) and do not include the highlights of an amazing game in the fall. Needless to say, it has been a phenomenal year in Yale Law Journal football, and the Volume 121 team looks forward to embarrassing Harvard Law Review for the ninth year in a row this upcoming fall.