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Yale Students Perform Prank of the Century, Almost
Juice News Daily ^
| November 29, 2004
| Landon Howell
Posted on 11/29/2004 3:21:11 PM PST by MississippiMasterpiece
In a rivalry that is 121st old, students at Yale Uiversity successfully pulled off the most impressive prank in the history of rival pranks.
The students faked being members of the "Harvard Pep Squad," passing out pieces of paper to the Harvard side of the stadium.
These Harvard fans were told that the pieces of paper would join together to spell "GO HARVARD." Little did they know, when held up at just the right moment, the pieces actually spelled "WE SUCK."
While this was not an original idea, it was still a great feat in and of itself. The prank was reminiscent of the Great Rose Bowl Hoax on January 2, 1961.
TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Connecticut; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: harvard; prank; yale
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posted on 11/29/2004 3:24:17 PM PST
posted on 11/29/2004 3:26:34 PM PST
If true, that's magnificent.
posted on 11/29/2004 3:27:33 PM PST
(freepo ergo sum)
posted on 11/29/2004 3:28:00 PM PST
(This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
You got to give it to them!
That is a prank that will live forever.
Wonder what the topper will be???
posted on 11/29/2004 3:29:20 PM PST
( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
They should do that to O.U. They suck. Everyone says so, except OU of course LOL
posted on 11/29/2004 3:29:42 PM PST
(If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.)
Stories like this warm the cockles of my heart.
posted on 11/29/2004 3:30:36 PM PST
(Christlich leben selig sterben ist das beste das wir erben.)
posted on 11/29/2004 3:31:02 PM PST
(freepo ergo sum)
posted on 11/29/2004 3:31:53 PM PST
Just TOO funny.........love it. Clever, didn't cause any damage or hurt anyone, not filthy (only "questionable" language).........gotta love it. :)
What was the great Rose Bowl hoax about?
posted on 11/29/2004 3:32:39 PM PST
posted on 11/29/2004 3:33:51 PM PST
posted on 11/29/2004 3:38:00 PM PST
(If liberals must lie to advance their agenda, why is liberalism good for me?)
posted on 11/29/2004 3:39:07 PM PST
The Great Rose Bowl Hoax
January 2, 1961: a capacity crowd filled the Rose Bowl stadium to watch the Minnesota Golden Gophers take on the Washington Huskies in the New Year's Day game (played that year on January 2 because the 1st fell on a Sunday). Millions more watched around the nation, crowded in front of tv sets in living rooms, restaurants, and bars.
NBC was providing live coverage of the game. At the end of the first half the Huskies led 17 to 0, and everyone settled in to watch the half-time show for which the Washington marching band had prepared an elaborate flip-card routine. Sets of variously colored flip cards and instructions had been left on a block of seats in the section of the stadium where the Washington students were seated. When the students heard the signal from Washington's cheerleaders, they were each supposed to hold up the appropriate flip card (as designated by the instruction sheet) over their head. In this way a gigantic image would be formed visible to the rest of the stadium, as well as to those viewing at home. The Washington band planned on displaying a series of fifteen flip-card images in total.
The flip-card show got off to a well-coordinated start. Everything went smoothly, and the crowd marvelled at the colorful images forming, as if by magic, at the command of the cheerleaders. It wasn't until the 12th image that things began to go a little wrong. This image was supposed to depict a husky, Washington's mascot. But instead a creature appeared that had buck teeth and round ears. It looked almost like a beaver.
The next image was even worse. The word 'HUSKIES' was supposed to unfurl from left to right. But for some reason the word was reversed, so that it now read 'SEIKSUH'.
These strange glitches rattled the Washington cheerleaders. They wondered if they might have made some careless mistakes when designing the complex stunt. But there was nothing for them to do about it now except continue on, and so they gave the signal for the next image.
What happened next has lived on in popular memory long after the rest of the 1961 Rose Bowl has been forgotten. It was one of those classic moments when a prank comes together instantly, perfectly, and dramatically.
The word 'CALTECH' appeared, held aloft by hundreds of Washington students. The name towered above the field in bold, black letters and was broadcast out to millions of viewers nationwide.
Students from the University of Washington show their support for Caltech
For a few seconds the stadium was plunged into a baffled silence. Everyone knew what Caltech was. It was that little Pasadena technical college down the road from the Rose Bowl stadium. What no one could figure out was what its name was doing in the middle of Washington's flip-card show. Throughout the United States, a million minds simultaneously struggled to comprehend this enigma.
In fact, only a handful of people watching the game understood the full significance of what had just happened, and these were the Caltech students who had labored for the past month to secretly alter Washington's flip-card show.
The idea for the prank had arisen out of the indignation that a group of Caltech students (who would come to be known as the "Fiendish Fourteen") felt at Caltech's lack of representation at the Rose Bowl's famous New Year's Day game. After all, the Rose Bowl stadium was right in Caltech's backyard, and the Caltech team often played there. But every year the technical college, despite its many merits, was entirely ignored in the hype building up to the game. This group of students decided to rectify the situation. They determined to make sure that Caltech got some recognition at the upcoming game, and Washington's flip-card show seemed to be the perfect vehicle for achieving their goal.
Pulling off the prank required obtaining a detailed knowledge of how Washington's flip-card system worked. This knowledge was acquired simply by asking Washington's head cheerleader to explain it to them. Of course, the cheerleader was under the impression that he was explaining the system to a curious reporter from a local Los Angeles high school. What he didn't know was that the reporter was actually a Caltech student in disguise.
What the Fiendish Fourteen discovered was that to alter the show it would simply be necessary to change what was written on the instruction sheets that would be left on the seatsall 2,232 of themblocked off for the Washington fans. This was a daunting task, but the Fiendish Fourteen were up to it.
They staked out the hotel where the Washington cheerleaders were staying. When the cheerleaders were away they broke into their rooms and removed a single instruction sheet. This they took to a printer and had him print up 2,232 exact duplicates. A moment of panic occurred when it was realized that the new sheets looked conspicuously less worn than the old ones. But it was decided that since the sheets would be replaced en masse, this lack of aging might not be noticed.
Then each sheet had to be individually marked up by hand according to Caltech's new master plan, so that the seat numbers and card designations would be correct. This was done all in one marathon session on New Year's Eve at Lloyd House, the home of the Fiendish Fourteen. When the task was done, three students were dispatched back to the hotel of the Washington cheerleaders to switch the old sheets with the new, altered ones. The cheerleaders, as was known beforehand, were away from their rooms visiting Disneyland. The switch completed successfully, the Fiendish Fourteen sat back and nervously waited for their scheme to come to fruition.
Luck was on their side, and all the elements of the plan came together better than they had imagined possible. The first eleven images of the flip-card show had been left basically unaltered, to allay suspicion. The first real alteration occurred with the 12th image, which had been changed from a husky to a beaver, Caltech's mascot. This change was subtle enough that it escaped the attention of most of the game's audience. The 13th image had been flipped so that it read 'SEIKSUH' instead of 'HUSKIES'. The Fiendish Fourteen knew that viewers would chalk this up to simple error. But these changes were a mere build-up to the 14th image, the unveiling of 'CALTECH' itself.
At the moment when Caltech's name unfurled across the stadium, NBC's cameras were focused directly on the flip-card show, providing the best possible vantage point for viewers across the nation to watch the ensuing drama. Washington's band, upon seeing the gigantic rogue name leering down at them from the stands, immediately stopped playing, and silence descended on the stadium. Even the television announcers were momentarily speechless. For a few seconds this silent tension enveloped the entire stadium. Finally the significance of what had just happened began to sink in, and then the laughter began.
Infuriated, the Washington band marched off the field, refusing to give the signal for the 15th, and final, image (which unbeknownst to them had been left unaltered). Gradually the laughter died down and the game continued. The Washington team managed to maintain its lead during the second half but didn't score any more points. The final score was 17-7.
To this day the Great Rose Bowl Hoax, as it was soon dubbed, remains one of the best known college pranks ever perpetrated. The Museum of Hoaxes concurs with the judgement of Neil Steinberg, author of the classic study of college pranks If At All Possible Involve a Cow: The Book of College Pranks
, that "few college pranks can be said to be more grandly conceived, carefully planned, flawlessly executed, and publicly dramatic" than the Rose Bowl Hoax.
It was the sheer public spectacle of the prank that set it apartthat it was staged not just at a college football game, but at the nationally televised Rose Bowl, probably the most famous annual college football game of all. Added to this was the universal admiration at the skill with which the prank was pulled off.
The success of the Rose Bowl Hoax threw down the gauntlet for future generations of Caltech students. In 1984 a group of them rose to the challenge when they managed to hack into the Rose Bowl stadium's electronic scoreboard system and began posting rogue messages during that years New Year's Day game. While technically more sophisticated than the first Rose Bowl hoax, this second hoax lacked the sheer shock value that the first one achieved.
For all these reasons, the Great Rose Bowl Hoax deservedly earns top place in the Museum's list of the Top Ten College Pranks ever.
posted on 11/29/2004 3:40:28 PM PST
by So Cal Rocket
(Proud Member: Internet Pajama Wearers for Truth)
Reminds me of the prank several years ago during the half time of a Rice vs. Texas A&M football game. The Rice band (or about 60% of them) marched onto the field in a Texas A&M logo formation -- a large "T" with a smaller "A" and "M" on either side. The Aggies went wild with applause. Then the rest of the Rice band marched on the field, adding an "E" to each side of the original formation. The applause stopped.
"They should do that to O.U. They suck. Everyone says so, except OU of course LOL"
The scoreboards would dis-agree with you. For a team that 'sucks' they're sure doing well in the standings. I'm no great football fan-atic of my Alma Matter, but your remark was way off.
It doesn't help by using "LOL" to try and soften it either.... and I'm less than happy that you made me defend them.
posted on 11/29/2004 3:47:57 PM PST
(It will not be safe to vote Democrat for a long, long, time...)
Geez, the century is only 4 years old.
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