Michael Radway and his late father, Larry.
Michael Radway (right) and his late father, Larry (left.)

My late father, Harvard Class of 1940, had four degrees from Harvard (a BA, two MAs, and a PhD) and taught at Dartmouth College. My maternal grandfather, older brother, and older sister also all went to Harvard. When I applied to college in 1972, I was tired of being "Larry's son," "Bob's brother," or "Carol's brother." I was determined to be my own man and create my own identity.  So my teenage rebellion was to apply to, be accepted by, and attend Yale. 

My father met my mother when he was a PhD student at Harvard, and being extremely talented, my mother hand painted a crimson tie for my father that depicted a football field with a "H" goalpost on one end and a "Y" goalpost on the other. A little foot was kicking a little football that broke the "Y" goalpost in two. My father wore it every year, the day of The Game.

Radway at the Game wearing his famous tie
Radway proudly wearing his hand painted tie at The Game some time in the late 1980s. 

Fast forward a quarter of a century to my junior year at Yale (the fall of 1975). My parents came down to New Haven for The Game and my mother presented me with my own version of The Game tie — a blue tie in which a little foot is kicking a little football and breaking the "H" goalpost in two. We managed to get seats on or very close to the 50 yard line. Regrettably, Yale lost that year.

It was also the day that the woman who is now my wife met my parents for the first time as we ran into her on our way out of The Game. We were not yet dating at the time. Her first words to us were, "Didn't that game just eat sh... ," an auspicious way to meet your future in-laws. Fortunately, my father was both literally and figuratively in high spirits and had no memory of the encounter when we later started dating. And the following year, my senior year, my tie performed its magic when Yale did beat Harvard and tied with Brown for the Ivy League title.

I've worn that tie almost every year since on Game day.