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Features

First-hand recollections

First-hand recollections

September-October 2003

Harvard University Sports Information

Herman "Gunny" Gundlach '35, Harvard's oldest living football captain

"It was just a thrill to walk out in that stadium. You felt like you were going to war. Just before the Yale game, our coach, Eddie Casey, liked to tell the team, 'This is the most important hour you'll ever have in your life.' On March 23, 1945, when we crossed the Rhine, I remember thinking, 'Eddie, you were wrong. This is a much more important hour.'"

Harvard University Sports Information

Dick Clasby '54, star running back

"The biggest thrill I ever had in sports didn't count. Against Dartmouth in 1952, I caught a kickoff five yards deep in the end zone and ran it back for a touchdown. There was a clipping penalty 20 or 30 yards behind me and it was called back. But it was an awesome feeling--everyone in the crowd stood up in unison. I ran up the left side of the field and my feet didn't touch the ground; I was elevated by the crowd standing up, a marvelous feeling. After the game I said, 'They can take away the points, but they will never take away the thrill.'"

Harvard University Sports Information

Eion Hu '97, record-breaking running back

"It's easily the best stadium in the Ivy League—players from other schools tell me that. It's what you picture Ivy football to be, but you don't have it in the other stadiums. One lasting memory was my last game, senior year, against Yale. When I passed the 3,000-yard [career] rushing mark, they stopped the game and announced it. Then, while we were in the huddle, a teammate told me, 'Hey, look up!' I saw all the fans clapping, and my parents had brought a huge banner that said, EION, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES. It was the happiest and saddest moment, because I knew I would never play another game in the Stadium."

Harvard University Sports Information

John Dockery '66, Harvard and New York Jets defensive back and network sports broadcaster

"In a rainstorm against Cornell, my life began and ended with the 104-yard run—my only claim to fame. [Dockery intercepted a pass four yards deep in the end zone and ran it back for a touchdown.] It's something that rivals our [New York Jets] Super Bowl win against the Colts. It felt like slow motion, slogging along in the wet mud. There was a bevy of characters chasing me, also in slow motion. I can still see the route, from the closed end to the open end of the Stadium, veering from the Harvard side to the Cornell side. Blurry kinds of memories—colors moving past you, atmospheric details like Renoir. Magic happens how many times in your life?"