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The "Blues"

All undergraduates who represent their universities in sporting contests are known as Blues. They are described as "having been awarded their Blue" and to signalize the fact they wear blue jackets called blazers, light blue for Cambridge and dark blue for Oxford. Journalists frequently refer to Cambridge crews and teams as "the Light Blues" and Oxford players as "the Dark Blues". The Boat Race arouses, however, a far wider interest among the masses than other contests between Light and Dark Blues. The Boat Race is a London festival. By what strange process the thousands of Londoners who watch it decide whether to support Oxford or Cambridge or, as they invariably say, whether to "be" Oxford or Cambridge must remain forever a mystery. It is curious that the Boat Race is the one and only occasion when the existence of the two older Universities makes itself known to ordinary folk.

(Pattern of England by С. E. Eckersley and L. С. B. Seaman)

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