April 5, 2010

For God, for Country and for Yale Football with Ron Vaccaro ‘04

Thermometers in New Haven are registering numbers three touchdowns north of the current presidential approval rating, and that means it’s time for spring football practice to get underway. 

This is the first in a regular series of features, both written and video, I’ll be contributing to Yalebulldogs.com. While many will focus on the 2010 Bulldogs, an equally strong goal for this space is to highlight the tradition of Yale Football.

All too often, the word “tradition” triggers images of leather helmets and the days before the forward pass. That’s a part of it, to be sure, but the Yale Football tradition I speak of extends to this day. Everyone who wears the uniform – be it in 1960 or in 2010 – is a part of the history of Yale Football, their stories intertwined.

Last season, Hall of Fame Coach Carm Cozza and I hosted 11 former Yale players as “3rd quarter (and one second quarter) guest analysts” on our WELI broadcasts of Yale Football. In short, it was a blast, as the appearances were equal parts learning and laughing, always a winning combination. But to my earlier point about tradition being a living entity that is constantly being enhanced, this was not “just” Carm’s former players yucking it up with their old coach. We had visits from players who pre-dated Carm and four athletes who graduated while the most recent Yalie was in the White House. Our range of class years spanned from 1961-2008, and we had athletes who played in every decade since the 1950s.

So it is in that spirit I present the following montage – call it the “Pride of Yale Football” – as a thank you to those who joined us in the booth, and as something I trust old and new blues alike will enjoy.

Ron Vaccaro ’04 is the Voice of Yale Football and has been a full-time staffer at NBC Sports & Olympics since his graduation in 2004. Comments and suggestions for future pieces can be e-mailed to him directly at yalevoice@gmail.com