MEMORIES OF THE GAME AND OF THE MEN BEHIND THE BALL
WILLIAM H. EDWARDS PRINCETON 1900
WITH INTRODUCTION BY WALTER CAMP YALE 1880
MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY NEW YORK 1916
Copyright, 1916, By MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY NEW YORK
Dedicated to John P. Poe, Jr. Princeton '95
HONORED AND BELOVED BY HOSTS OF FRIENDS, HE REPRESENTED THE HIGHEST IDEALS OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL, NOT ONLY IN LIFE, BUT IN HIS DEATH UPON THE BATTLEFIELD IN FRANCE.
AS I THINK OF HIM, THE STIRRING LINES OF HENRY NEWBOLDT COME TO ME AS A FITTING EULOGY:
There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night— Ten to make and the match to win— A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned-coat Or the selfish hope of a season's fame, But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote, "Play up! play up! and play the game!"
The sand of the desert is sodden red— Red with the wreck of a square that broke, The gatling jammed and the Colonel dead And the Regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed its banks, And England's far, and honor a name— But the voice of a school boy rallies the ranks, "Play up! play up! and play the game!"
This is the word that year by year While in her place the school is set Every one of the sons must hear, And none that hears it dares forget.
Thus they all with a joyful mind— Bear their life like a torch in flame— And failing, fling to the host behind, "Play up! play up! and play the game!"
I value more highly than any other athletic gift I have ever received, the Princeton football championship banner that hangs on my wall. It was given to me by a friend who sent three boys to Princeton. It is a duplicate of the one that hangs in the trophy room of the gymnasium there.
How often have I gazed longingly at the names of my loyal team-mates inscribed upon it. Many times have I run over in my mind the part that each one played on the memorable occasion when that banner was won. Memories cluster about that token that are dear and sacred to me.
I see before me not only the faces of my team, but the faces of men of other years and other universities who have contributed so much to the great game of football. I recall the preparatory school days and the part that football played in our school and college careers. Again I see the athletic fields and the dressing rooms. I hear the earnest pleading of the coaches.
I see the teams run out upon the field and hear the cheering throng. The coin is tossed in the air. The shrill blast of the referee's whistle signals the game to start. The ball is kicked off, and the contest is on.
The thousands of spectators watch breathlessly. For the time the whole world is forgotten, except for the issue being fought out there before them.
But we are not dressed in football suits nowadays. We are on the side lines. We have a different part to play. Years have compelled a change. In spirit, however, we are still "in the game."
It is to share these memories with all true lovers of football and to pay a tribute to the heroes of the gridiron who are no longer with us that I have undertaken this volume. Let us together retrace the days in which we lived: days of preparation, days of victory, and days of defeat. Let us also look into the faces of some of the football heroes of years ago, and recall the achievements that made them famous. And let us recall, too, the men of the years just past who have so nobly upheld the traditions of the American game of football, and helped to place it on its present high plane.
William H. Edwards.
They say that no man ever made a successful football player who was lacking in any quality of imagination. If this be true, and time and again has it been proved, then there is no more fitting dedication to a book dealing with the gridiron heroes of the past than to a man like Johnny Poe. For football is the abandon of body and mind to the obsession of the spirit that knows no obstacle, counts no danger and for the time being is dull and callous to physical pain or exhaustion. It is a something that makes one see visions as Johnny saw them!
There is no sport in the world that brings out unselfishness as does this great gridiron game of ours. Every fall, second and scrub teams throughout the country sacrifice themselves only to let others enter the promised land of victory. It is a strange thing but one almost never hears any real football player criticise another's making the team, either his own or an All America. Although the player in this sport appreciates the loyal support of the thousands on the stands, every man realizes that his checks on the Bank of Cheers can never be cashed unless there is a deposit of hard work and practice. Perhaps all this in an indistinct and indefinite way explains why football players, the country over, understand each other and that when the game is attacked for any reason they stand shoulder to shoulder in defence of what they know down in the bottom of their hearts has such an influence on character building. And there is no one better fitted to tell the story of this and of the gridiron heroes than Big Bill Edwards, known not only as a player but far and wide as one of the best officials that ever handled the game. "A square deal and no roughing" was his motto, and every one realized it and accepted every decision unquestioningly. His association with players in so many angles has given him a particular insight into the sport and has enabled him to tell this story as no one else could.
And what names to conjure with! The whistle blows and a shadowy host springs into action before one's misty eyes—Alex Moffat, the star of kickers, Hector Cowan, Heffelfinger, Gordon Brown, Ma Newell, Truxton Hare, Glass, Neil Snow and Shevlin, giants of linemen. But I must stop before I trespass upon what Bill Edwards will do better. Here's to them all—forty years of heroes!
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Hillebrand, Cochran, Edwards Frontispiece
Walter Camp, Yale's Captain '78-'79
The Old Fifth Avenue Send-Off 1
Old Yale Heroes—Lee McClung's Team 5
We Beat Andover 11
Lafayette's Great Team 24
House in Disorder 30
Hit Your Man Low 32
The Old Faithfuls 39
Jim Rodgers' Team 45
Cochran Was Game to the End 48
On to New Haven—All Dressed Up and Ready to Go 54
Hillebrand's Last Charge 60
Al Sharpe's Goal 64
Touching the Match to Victory 67
Alex Moffat and His Team 82
Old Penn Heroes 100
Pa Corbin's Team 108
Breakers Ahead—Phil King in the Old Days 125
Lookout, Princeton! 130
Barrett on One of His Famous Dashes; Exeter-Andover Game, 1915 142
Bill Hollenback Coming at You 147
"The Next Day the Picture Was Gone"—Jim Cooney Making a Hole for Dana Kafer 158
Johnny Poe, Football Player and Soldier 181
Northcroft Kicking the Field Goal Anticipated by the Navy and Feared by the Army 200
Cadets and Middies Entering the Field 224
Two Aces—Bill Morley and Harold Weeks 251
Vic Kennard's Kick 255
Sam White's Run 261
King, of Harvard, Making a Run; Mahan Putting Black on His Head 268
Princeton's 1899 Team 272
"Nothing Got by John DeWitt" 277
John DeWitt About to Pick Up the Ball 280
The Ever Reliable Brickley—A Football Thoroughbred—Tack Hardwick 284
The Poe Family 296
Just Boys 298
Hobey Baker, Walter Camp, Jr., Snake Ames, Jr. 303
The Elect 310
How It Hurts to Lose 337
Cornell's Great Team—1915 344
One Scene Never Photographed in Football 349
Harvard, 1915 354
The Greatest Indian of Them All 357
Learning the Charge 363
Billy Bull Advising with Captain Talbot 367
Michigan's Famous 1901 Team 370
Columbia Back in the Game, 1915 381
Close to a Thriller. Erwin of Pennsylvania Scoring Against Cornell 386
Crash of Conflict. When Charge Meets Charge 407
Ainsworth, Yale's Terror in an Uphill Game 416
Two to One He Gets Away—Brickley Being Tackled by Wilson and Avery 422
Snapping the Ball with Lewis. "Two Inseparables"—Frank Hinkey and the Ball 428
Marshall Newell 434
McClung, Referee, Shevlin and Hogan 450
I.—PREP. SCHOOL DAYS. 1-17
My First Glimpse of a Varsity Team—The Yale Eleven of 1891—Lee McClung—Vance McCormick—Heffelfinger—Sanford—Impressions made upon a Boy—St. John's Military School—Lawrenceville—Making the Team—Andover and Hill School Games.
II.—FRESHMAN YEAR. 18-29
The Freedom of Freshman Year is Attractive—Catching the Spirit of the Place—Searching for Football Material—The Cannon Rush—Early Training with Jack McMasters—Tie Game with Lafayette at Easton—Humiliation of being taken out of a Game—Cornell Game—Joe Beacham's Fair Admirer in the Bleachers—Bill Church's Threat Carried Out—Garry Cochran's Victories against Harvard and Yale.
III.—ELBOW TO ELBOW 30-41
Dressing for Practice—Out upon the Field—Tackling—After Practice, Back to the Dressing-room—How a Player Finds Himself—The Training Table—Team Mates—A Surprise for John DeWitt's Team.
IV.—MISTAKES IN THE GAME. 42-53
If We could only Correct Mistakes We All Made—Defeats might be Turned into Victory—The Fellow that let Athletics be the Big Thing in His College Life—The '97 Defeat—No Recognition of Old Schoolmates—My Opponent was Charlie Chadwick—Jim Rodgers the Yale Captain—The Cochran-De Saulles Compact—Cochran Injured—His Last Game—Ad Kelly's Great Work—Mistakes Caused Sadness—Cornell Defeating Princeton at Ithaca in 1899—No Outstretched Hands at Princeton for our Homecoming.
V.—MY LAST GAME 54-67
A Desire to Make the Last Game the Best—On to New Haven—Optimism—The Start of the Game—Bosey Reiter's Touchdown—Yale Scores on a Block Kick—Al Sharpe's Goal from the Field—Score 10 to 6, Yale Leading—Arthur Poe's Goal from the Field—Princeton Victory—The Joy of Winning—The Reception at Princeton.
VI.—HEROES OF THE PAST—EARLY DAYS 68-92
Treasured Memory of Those who have Gone Before—Where are the Old-time Heroes?—Walter Camp—F. R. Vernon—Camp as a Captain—Chummy Eaton—John Harding—Eugene Baker—Fred Remington—Theodore McNair—Alexander Moffat—Wyllys Terry—Memories of John C. Bell.
VII.—GEORGE WOODRUFF'S STORY 93-101
His Entrance to Yale—Making the Team—Recollections of the Men he Played With and Against—The Lamar Run—Pennsylvania Experiences.
VIII.—ANECDOTES AND RECOLLECTIONS 102-124
Old-time Signals—Fun with Bert Hansen—Sport Donnelly—Billy Rhodes and Gill—Victorious Days at Yale—Corbin's 1888 Team—Pa Corbin's Speech when his Team was Banqueted—Mr. and Mrs. Walter Camp, Head Coaches of the Yale Football Team in 1888—Cowan the Great—Story of His Football Days—He was Disqualified by Wyllys Terry—Tribute to Heffelfinger—Going Back with John Cranston.
IX.—THE NINETIES AND AFTER 125-163
The Day Sanford Made the Yale Team—Parke Davis—Sanford and Yost Obstructing the Traffic—Phil King—The Old Flying Wedges—Pop Gailey—Charlie Young—An Evening with Jim Rodgers—Vance McCormick and Denny O'Neil—Dartmouth and Some of Her Men—Dave Fultz—Christy Mathewson at Bucknell—Jack Munn Tells of Buffalo Bill—Booth Tells of his Western Experiences—Harry Kersburg—Heff Herring at Merton College—Carl Flanders—Bill Horr.
X.—COLLEGE TRADITIONS AND SPIRIT 164-180
College Life in America is Rich in Traditions—The Value of College Spirit—Each College Has its Own Traditions—Alumni Parade—School Master and Boy—Victory must never Overshadow Honor—Constructive Criticism of the Alumni—Mass Meeting Enthusiasm—Horse Edwards, Princeton '89—Job E. Hedges.
XI.—JOHNNY POE'S OWN STORY 181-193
Private W. Faulkner, a Comrade in the Black Watch, Tells of Poe's Death—Johnny's Last Words—Paul MacWhelan Gives London Impressions of Poe's Death—Anecdotes that Johnny Poe Wrote While in Nevada.
XII.—ARMY AND NAVY 194-225
Character and Training of West Point and Annapolis Players—Experience of the Visitor Watching the Drill of Battalion—Annapolis Recollections and Football Traditions at Naval Academy—Old Players—A Trip de Luxe to West Point—West Point Recollections—Harmon Graves—The Way They Have in the Army—The Army and Navy Game.
XIII.—HARD LUCK IN THE GAME 226-246
In Football, as it is in Life, We have no Use for a Quitter—Football a Game for the Man who Has Nerve—Many a Small Man has Made a Big Man look Ridiculous—Morris Ely Game Though Handicapped—Val Flood's Recollections—Andy Smith—Vonabalde Gammon of Georgia.
XIV.—BRINGING HOME THE BACON 247-285
Billy Bull's Recollections of Yale Games—The Day Columbia Beat Yale—Dressing Room Scene where Doxology Was Sung—Account by Richard Harding Davis—Introducing Vic Kennard of Harvard Fame—Opportunist Extraordinary—His Experience with Mr. E. H. Coy—Charlie Barrett, of Cornell—Eddie Hart of Princeton—Sam White—Joe Duff—Side Line Thoughts of Doctor W. A. Brooks and Evert Jansen Wendell—New Haven Wreck—Eddie Mahan talking—His Opinion of Frank Glick—George Chadwick of Yale—Arthur Poe—Story of his Run and of his Kick—John DeWitt's Story—Tichenor, of Georgia—"Bobbing Up and Down" Story—Charlie Brickley.
XV.—THE BLOODY ANGLE 286-295
Going Back to the Rough Days—Princeton vs. Harvard Fall of '87 at Jarvis Field—Luther Price's Experiences in the Game—Cowan's Disqualification by Wyllys Terry—The Umpire—Walter Camp was Referee—Holden Carried Off the Field—Bob Church's Valor.
XVI.—THE FAMILY IN FOOTBALL 296-305
Football Men in Two Distinct Classes—Those who are Made into Players by the Coaches and Those who are Born with the Football Instinct—The Poes, Camps, Winters, Ames, Drapers, Riggs, Youngs, Withingtons, etc.
XVII.—OUR GOOD OLD TRAINERS 306-336
Our Good Old Trainers—Jack McMasters—"Dear Old Jim Robinson"—Mike Murphy the Dean of Trainers—"The Old Mike"—A Chat with Pooch Donovan—Keene Fitzpatrick and his Experiences—Mike Sweeney—Jack Moakley—There is much Humor in Johnny Mack—Huggins of Brown—Harry Tuthill—Doctor W. M. Conant, Harvard '79, First Doctor in Charge of any team.
Frank Morse, of Princeton on the Spirit in Defeat—Tom Shevlin's Story—Nightmares of W. C. Rhodes—A Yale Nightmare—Sam Morse—Jim Hogan—The Cornell Game of 1915 is Eddie Mahan's Nightmare—Jack De Saulles' Nightmare.
XIX.—MEN WHO COACHED 349-382
No coaches in the Old Days—Personality Counts in Coaching—Football is Fickle—Haughton at Harvard at the Psychological Moment—Old Harvard Coaches—Al Sharpe—Glenn Warner—The Indians—Billy Bull in the Game—Sanford, the Unique—Making of Chadwick—W. R. Tichenor, Emergency Coach of the South—Auburn Recollections—Listening to Yost—Reggie Brown—Jimmy Knox—Harvard Scouts—Dartmouth Holds a Unique Position in College Football—Ed Hall, the father of Dartmouth Football—Myron E. Witham, Captain of the Dartmouth Team—Walter McCornack—Eddie Holt's Coaching—Harry Kersburg's Harvard Coaching Recollections—Making Two Star Players from the Football Discards—Vic Kennard and Rex Ver Wiebe—John H. Rush—Tad Jones—T. N. Metcalf—Tom Thorp—Bob Folwell—At Pennsylvania.
XX.—UMPIRE AND REFEREE 383-406
"Why Did He Give That Penalty?"—Emotions of an Official—John Bell's Recollections as an Official—In the Old Days One Official Handled the Entire Game—Dashiell's Reminiscences—Matthew McClung—Conversation with John L. Sullivan—My Own Personal Experiences—Evarts Wrenn at Work—Dan Hurley—Bill Crowell—Phil Draper's Ideas—Wyllys Terry's Official Recollections—Explanation of the Cowan Disqualification—Pa Corbin—Joe Pendleton—Refereeing with Nate Tufts—Okeson.
XXI.—CRASH OF CONFLICT 407-433
The First Five Minutes of Play—A Good Start usually means a Good Ending—Bracelet in the Game—Lueder and Blondy Wallace—"I've Got You Buffaloed"—Tom Shevlin remarked: "Mike, This Isn't Football—It's War"—Bemus Pierce: "Now Keep your Eyes Open and Find out who it Was"—"If You Won't be Beat, You Can't be Beat," said Johnny Poe—Rinehart Tells how he Tried to Get even with Sam Boyle—Barkie Donald and Bemus Pierce—The Yale-Harvard Game at Springfield '94—Result; No Game for Nine Years—Frank Hinkey and Wrightington's Broken Collar-bone—Joe Beacham's Paragon—Sandy Hunt—Bill Hollenback.
XXII.—LEST WE FORGET 434-460
Marshall Newell—Gordon Brown—James J. Hogan—Thomas J. Shevlin—Francis H. Burr—Neil Snow—Billy Bannard—Harry Hooper—Richard Harding Davis—McClung.
Hail and Farewell—The Old Game and the New Compared—Exclusively Collegiate Sport—Isaac H. Bromley, Yale '53, Sums up the Spirit of College Life and Sport!
PREP. SCHOOL DAYS
To every man there comes a moment that marks the turning point of his career. For me it was a certain Saturday morning in the autumn of 1891. As I look back upon it, across the years, I feel something of the same thrill that stirred my boyish blood that day and opened a door through which I looked into a new world.
I had just come to the city, a country boy, from my home in Lisle, N. Y., to attend the Horace Mann School. As I walked across Madison Square, I glanced toward the old Fifth Avenue Hotel, where my eyes fell upon the scene depicted in the accompanying picture. Almost before I was aware of it my curiosity led me to mingle with the crowd surging in and out of the hotel, and I learned by questioning the bystanders that it was the headquarters of the Yale team, which that afternoon was to play Princeton at the Polo Grounds. The players were about to leave the hotel for the field, and I hurried inside to catch a glimpse of them.
The air was charged with enthusiasm, and I soon caught the infection—although it was all new to me then—of the vital power of college spirit which later so completely dominated my life. I recall with vividness how I lingered and waited for something to happen. Men were standing in groups, and all eyes were centered upon the heroes of the team. Every one was talking football. Some of the names heard then have never been forgotten by me. There was the giant Heffelfinger whom every one seemed anxious to meet. I was told that he was the crack Yale guard. I looked at him, and, then and there, I joined the hero worshippers.
I also remember Lee McClung, the Yale captain, who seemed to realize the responsibilities that rested upon his shoulders. There was an air of restraint upon him. In later years he became Treasurer of the United States and his signature was upon the country's currency. My most vivid recollection of him will be, however, as he stood there that day in the corridor of the famous old hotel, on the day of a great football conflict with Princeton. Then Sanford was pointed out to me, the Yale center-rush. I recall his eagerness to get out to the "bus" and to be on his way to the field. When the starting signal was given by the captain, Sanford's huge form was in the front rank of the crowd that poured out upon the sidewalk.
The whole scene was intensely thrilling to me, and I did not leave until the last player had entered the "bus" and it drove off. Crowds of Yale men and spectators gave the players cheer after cheer as they rolled away. The flags with which the "bus" was decorated waved in the breeze, and I watched them with indescribable fascination until they were out of sight. The noise made by the Yale students I learned afterwards was college cheering, and college cheers once heard by a boy are never forgotten.
Many in that throng were going to the game. I could not go, but the scene that I had just witnessed gave me an inspiration. It stirred something within me, and down deep in my soul there was born a desire to go to college.
I made my way directly to the Y. M. C. A. gymnasium, then at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Twenty-third Street. Athletics had for me a greater attraction than ever before, and from that day I applied myself with increased enthusiasm to the work of the gymnasium.
The following autumn I entered St. John's Military Academy at Manlius, N. Y., a short distance from my old home. I was only seventeen years of age and weighed 217 pounds.
Former Adjutant General William Verbeck—then Colonel Verbeck—was Head Master. Before I was fairly settled in my room, the Colonel had drafted me as a candidate for the football team. I wanted to try for the team, and was as eager to make it as he evidently was to have me make it. But I did not have any football togs, and the supply at the school did not contain any large enough.
So I had to have some built for me. The day they arrived, much to my disappointment, I found the trousers were made of white canvas. Their newness was appalling and I pictured myself in them with feelings of dismay. I robbed them of their whiteness that night by mopping up a lot of mud with them behind the gymnasium. When they had dried—by morning—they looked like a pair of real football trousers.
George Redington of Yale was our football coach. He was full of contagious fire. Redington seemed interested in me and gave me much individual coaching. Colonel Verbeck matched him in love of the game. He not only believed in athletics, but he played at end on the second team, and it was pretty difficult for the boys to get the best of him. They made an unusual effort to put the Colonel out of the plays, but, try as hard as they might, he generally came out on top. The result was a decided increase in the spirit of the game.
We had one of the best preparatory school teams in that locality, but owing to our distance from the larger preparatory schools, we were forced to play Syracuse, Hobart, Hamilton, Rochester, Colgate, and Cazenovia Seminary—all of whom we defeated. We also played against the Syracuse Athletic Association, whose team was composed of professional athletes as well as former college players. Bert Hanson, who had been a great center at Yale, was one of this team.
Recalling the men who played on our St. John's team, I am confident that if all of them had gone to college, most of them would have made the Varsity. In fact, some did.
It was decided that I should go to Lawrenceville School, en route to Princeton. It was on the trip from Trenton to Lawrenceville, in the big stage coach loaded with boys, I got my first dose of homesickness. The prospect of new surroundings made me yearn for St. John's.
The "blue hour" of boyhood, however, is a brief one. I was soon engaged in conversation with a little fellow who was sitting beside me and who began discussing the ever-popular subject of football. He was very inquisitive and wanted to know if I had ever played the game, and if I was going to try for the team.
He told me about the great game Lawrenceville played with the Princeton Varsity the year before, when Lawrenceville scored six points before Princeton realized what they were really up against. He fascinated me by his graphic description. There was a glowing account of the playing of Garry Cochran, the great captain of the Lawrenceville team, who had just graduated and gone to Princeton, together with Sport Armstrong, the giant tackle.
These men were sure to live in Lawrenceville's history if for nothing else than the part they had played in that notable game, although Princeton rallied and won 8 to 6. It was not long before I learned that my newly-made friend was Billy McGibbon, a member of the Lawrenceville baseball team.
"Just wait until you see Charlie de Saulles and Billy Dibble play behind the line," he went on; and from that moment I began to be a part of the new life, the threshold of which I was crossing. Strangely enough the memory of getting settled in my new quarters faded with the eventful moment when the call for candidates came, and I went out with the rest of the boys to try for the team.
Competition was keen and many candidates offered themselves. I was placed on the scrub team. One of my first attempts for supremacy was in the early part of the season when I was placed as right guard of the scrub against Perry Wentz, an old star player of the school and absolutely sure of his position. I recall how on several occasions the first team could not gain as much distance through the second as the men desired, and Wentz, who later on distinguished himself on the Varsity at Princeton and still later as a crack player on Pennsylvania, seemed to have trouble in opening up my position.
Max Rutter, the Lawrenceville captain, with the directness that usually characterizes such officers, called this fact to Wentz's attention. Wentz, who probably felt naturally his pride of football fame, became quite angry at Rutter's remark that he was being outplayed. He took off his nose-guard, threw it on the ground and left the field.
Rutter moved me over to the first team in Wentz's place. That night there was a general upset on the team which was settled amicably, however, and the next day Wentz continued playing in his old place. The position of guard was given to me on the other side of the line, George Cadwalader being moved out to the position of tackle. This was the same Cadwalader who subsequently went to Yale and made a great name for himself on the gridiron, in spite of the fact that he remained at New Haven but one year.
It was here at Lawrenceville that this great player made his reputation as a goal kicker, a fame that was enhanced during his football days at Yale. Max Rutter, the captain of the Lawrenceville team, went to Williams and played on the Varsity, eventually becoming captain there also. Ned Moffat, nephew of Princeton's great Alex Moffat, played end rush.
About this time I began to realize that Billy McGibbon had given me a correct line on Charlie de Saulles and Billy Dibble. These two players worked wonderfully well together, and were an effective scoring machine with the assistance of Doc MacNider and Dave Davis.
During these days at Lawrenceville Owen Johnson gathered the material for those interesting stories in which he used his old schoolmates for the characters. The thin disguise of Doc Macnooder does not, however, conceal Doc MacNider from his old schoolboy friends. The same is true of the slightly changed names of Garry Cochran, Turk Righter, Charlie de Saulles and Billy Dibble.
Charlie de Saulles, after graduation, went to Yale and continued his wonderful, spectacular career on the gridiron. We will spend an afternoon with him on the Yale field later.
Billy Dibble went to Williams and played a marvelous game until he was injured, early in his freshman year. It was during those days that I met Garry Cochran, Sport Armstrong and other Princeton coaches for the first time. They used to come over to assist in coaching our team. Our regular coaches at Lawrenceville were Walter B. Street, who had been a famous football star years before at Williams, and William J. George, renowned in Princeton's football history as a center-rush. I cannot praise the work of these men too highly. They were thoroughbreds in every sense of the word.
It was one of the old traditions of Lawrenceville football to have a game every year with Pennington Seminary. What man is there who attended either school who does not recall the spirit of those old-time contests?
The Hill School was another of our football rivals. The trip to Pottstown, Pa., was an event eagerly looked forward to—so also was the Hill School's return game at Lawrenceville. The rivalry between the two schools was keen.
Everything possible was done at the Hill School to make our visit a pleasant one. The score of 28 to 0, by which Lawrenceville won the game that year, made it especially pleasant.
As I recall that trip, two men stand out in my memory. One was John Meigs, the Head Master. The other was Mike Sweeney, the Trainer and Athletic Director. They were the two central figures of Hill School traditions.
Interest in football was emphasized at that time by the approaching game with Andover at Lawrenceville. This was the first time that these two teams had ever played. Andover was probably more renowned in football annals than any school Lawrenceville had played up to this time. The Lawrenceville coaches realized that the game would be a strenuous one. After a conference, the two coaches decided that it would be wise to see Andover play at Andover the week before we were to play them. Accordingly, Mr. George went to Andover, and when he returned, he gathered the team around him in one of the recitation halls and described carefully the offense and defense of our coming opponents. He also demonstrated with checkers what each man did in every play and placed emphasis on the work of Eddie Holt, who was acting captain of the Andover team. To represent Holt's giant build he placed one checker on top of another, saying, as I remember, with great seriousness:
"This topped checker represents Holt. He must be taken care of, and it will require two Lawrenceville men to stop him on every play. I am certain of this for Holt was a marvel last Saturday."
During the week we drilled secretly and most earnestly in anticipation of defeating Andover. The game attracted an unusually large number of spectators. Lawrenceville made it a gala day for its alumni, and all the old Andover and Lawrenceville boys who could get there witnessed the game.
When the Andover team ran out upon the field we were all anxious to see how big Holt loomed up. He certainly was a giant and towered high above the other members of his team. Soon the whistle blew, and the trouble was on. In memory now I can see Billy Dibble circling Andover's end for twenty-five yards, scoring a touchdown amid tremendous excitement.
This all transpired during the first minute and a half of play. Emerson once said, "We live by moments," and the first minute and a half of that game must stand out as one of the eventful periods in the life of every man who recalls that day of play. No grown-up schoolboy can fail to appreciate the scene or miss the wave of boyish enthusiasm that rolled over the field at this unlooked for beginning of a memorable game between schoolboys.
This wonderful start of the Lawrenceville team was a goading spur to its opponents. Johnnie Barnes, an ex-Lawrenceville boy, now quarterback on the Andover team, seemed fairly inspired as he urged his team on. Eddie Holt was called upon time and again. He was making strong advances, aided by French, Hine and Porter. Together they worked out a touchdown. But Lawrenceville rallied and for the rest of the game their teamwork was masterly. Bat Geer, who was later a Princeton Varsity player, Charlie de Saulles and Billy Dibble, each scored touchdowns, making three altogether for their school.
Thus Lawrenceville, with the score 20 to 6, stepped forth into a new era and entered the larger football world where she was to remain and increase her heroic accomplishments in after years.
It is needless to say that the night following this victory was a crowning one in our preparatory football experiences. Bonfires were lighted, speeches were the order of the hour, and members of the team were the guests of honor at a banquet in the Upper House. There was no rowdy "revelry by night" to spoil the memory of the occasion. It was just one simple, fine and fitting celebration of a wholesome school victory on the field of football.
LAST YEAR AT LAWRENCEVILLE
It was up to Billy Dibble, the new captain, to bring about another championship. We were to play Andover a return game there. Captain Dibble was left with but three of last year's team as a foundation to build on. Dibble's team made a wonderful record. He was a splendid example for the team to follow, and his playing, his enthusiasm, and earnest efforts contributed much toward the winning of the Andover, Princeton freshmen and Hill School games. There appeared at Lawrenceville a new coach who assisted Street and George. He was none other than the famous Princeton halfback, Douglas Ward, whose record as an honored man in the classroom as well as on the football field was well known to all of us, and had stood out among college athletes as a wonderful example. He was very modest. I recall that some one once asked him how he made the only touchdown against Yale in the '93 game. His reply was: "Oh, somebody just pushed me over."
Fresh in my memory is the wonderful trip that we boys made to Andover. We were proud of the fact that the Colonial Express was especially ordered to stop at Trenton for us, and as we took our seats in the Pullman car, we realized that our long looked for expedition had really begun.
We had a great deal of fun on the trip to Boston. Good old George Cadwalader was the center of most of the jokes. His 215 pounds added to the discomfort of a pair of pointed patent leather shoes, which were far too small for him. As soon as he was settled in the train he removed them and dozed off to sleep. Turk Righter and some of the other fun makers tied the shoe strings together, and hung them out of the window where they blew noisily against the window pane.
When we arrived in Jersey City it was a treat for us to see our train put aboard the ferry boat of the N. Y., N. H. & H. R. R., and, as we sailed down the bay, up the East River and under the Brooklyn Bridge to the New Haven docks, it all seemed very big and wonderful.
When the train stopped at New Haven, we were met by the Yale-Lawrenceville men, who wished us the best of luck; some of them making the trip with us to Boston. When we arrived in Andover the next day I had the satisfaction of seeing my brother and cousin, who were at that time attending Andover Academy.
The hospitality that was accorded the Andover team, while at Lawrenceville the year before, was repaid in royal fashion. We had ample time to view the grounds and buildings and grow keen in anticipation and interest in the afternoon's contest.
When the whistle blew, we were there for business. My personal opponent was a fellow named Hillebrand, who besides being a football player was Andover's star pitcher. Later on we became the best of friends and side partners on the Princeton team, and often spoke of our first meeting when we played against each other. Hillebrand was one of the greatest athletes Andover ever turned out. Lawrenceville defeated Andover in one of the hardest and most exciting of all Prep. School contests, one that was uncertain from beginning to end.
Billy Dibble played the star game of the day and after eight minutes he scored a touchdown. Cadwalader booted the ball over the goal and the score was 6 to 0. The Lawrenceville backfield, made up of Powell, Dave Davis, Cap Kafer and Dibble, worked wonderfully well. Kafer did some excellent punting against his remarkable opponent Barker, who seemed to be as expert as he.
The efficient work of Hillebrand and of Chadwell, the colored end-rush, stands out pre-eminently. The latter player developed into one of the best end-rushes that ever played at Williams. Goodwin, Barker and Greenway contributed much to Andover's good play. Jim Greenway is one of the famous Greenway boys whose athletic history at Yale is a matter of record. A few minutes later the Andover crowd were aroused by Goodwin making the longest run of the game—fifty-five yards, scoring Andover's first touchdown, and making the score 6 to 6.
There was great speculation as to which team would win the game, but Billy Dibble, aided by the wonderful interference on the part of Babe Eddie, who afterward played end on the Yale team, and Emerson, who, had he gone to college, would have been a wonder, made a touchdown. George Cadwalader with his sure right foot made the score 12 to 6. Enthusiasm was at its height. Andover rooters were calling upon their team to tie the score. A touchdown and goal would mean a tie. The Andover team seemed to answer their call, for soon Goodwin scored a touchdown, making the score 12 to 10, and Butterfield, Andover's right halfback, was put to the test amidst great excitement. The ball went just to the side of the goal post, and Lawrenceville had won 12 to 10. Great is the thrill of a victory won on an opponent's field!
That night after dinner, as I was sitting in my brother's room, with some of his Andover friends, there was a yell from outside, and a loud knock on the door. In walked a big fellow wearing a blue sweater. Through his open coat one could observe the big white letter "A." It proved to be none other than Doc Hillebrand. Without one word of comment he walked over to where I was sitting and said: "Edwards, what was the score of the game to-day?" I could not get the idea at all. I said: "Why, you ought to know." He replied: "12 to 10," and turning on his heel, left the room. This caused a good deal of amusement, but it was soon explained that Hillebrand was being initiated into a secret society and that this was one of the initiation stunts.
It was a wonderfully happy trip back to Lawrenceville. The spirit ran high. It was then that Turk Righter wrote the well known Lawrenceville verse which we sang again and again:
Cap kicked, Barker kicked Cap he got the best of it They both kicked together But Cap kicked very hard Bill ran, Dave ran Then Andover lost her grip She also lost her championship Sis, boom ah!
As we were about two miles outside of Lawrenceville, we saw a mass of light in the roadway, and when we heard the boys yelling at the top of their voices, we realized that the school was having a torch-light procession and coming to welcome us. Great is that recollection! They took the horses off and dragged the stage back to Lawrenceville and in and about the campus. It was not long before the whole school was singing the song of success that Turk Righter had written.
A big celebration followed. We did not break training because we had still another game to play. When Lawrenceville had beaten the Hill School 20 to 0, many of us realized that we had played our last game for Lawrenceville. George Cadwalader was shortly afterward elected Captain for the coming year. It was at this time that Lawrenceville was overjoyed to learn that Garry Cochran, a sophomore at Princeton, had been elected captain of the Princeton varsity. This recalled former Lawrenceville boys, Pop Warren and Doggie Trenchard, who had played at Lawrenceville, gone to Princeton and had become varsity captains there. Snake Ames also prepared at Lawrenceville.
I might incidentally state that we stayed at Lawrenceville until June to get our diplomas, realizing that there were many able fellows to continue the successful traditions of Lawrenceville football, George Mattis, Howard Richards, Jack de Saulles, Cliff Bucknam, John De Witt, Bummie Ritter, Dana Kafer, John Dana, Charlie Dudley, Heff Herring, Charlie Raymond, Biglow, the Waller brothers and others.
I believe that every man who has had the privilege of going to college will agree with me that as a freshman lands in a college town, he is a very happy and interested individual. The newness of things and his freedom are very attractive. He comes to college fresh from his school day experiences ready to conform himself to the traditions and customs of the new school, his college choice.
The world will never again look quite so big to a boy as it did then. Entering as boys do, in the fall of the year, the uppermost thing in mind, outside of the classroom, is football. Sometimes it is the uppermost thought in the classroom. What kind of a Varsity football team are we going to have? This is the question heard on all sides.
Every bit of available football material is eagerly sought by the coaches. I recall so well my freshman year at Princeton, how Garry Cochran, captain of the football team, went about the college with Johnny Poe, looking over the undergraduates and watching the incoming trains for football possibilities. If a fellow looked as though he might have good material to work upon, he was asked to report at the Varsity field the next day.
All athletic interests are focused on the gridiron. The young undergraduate who has no likelihood of making the team, fills himself with facts about the individuals who are trying to win a place. He starts out to be a loyal rooter, realizing that next to being a player, the natural thing is to attend practice and cheer the team in their work; he becomes interested in the individual progress each candidate is making. In this way, the members of the team know that they have the support of the college, and this makes them play harder. This builds up college spirit.
Every college has its own freshman and sophomore traditions; one at Princeton is, that shortly after college opens there must be a rush about the cannon, between the freshman and sophomore classes. All those who have witnessed this sight, know that it is a vital part of Princeton undergraduate life. On that night in my freshman year, great care was taken by Cochran that none of the incoming football material engaged in the rush. No chances were taken of injuring a good football prospect among either freshmen or sophomores. Eddie Holt, Bert Wheeler, Arthur Poe, Doc Hillebrand, Bummie Booth and I were in the front ranks of the class of 1900, stationed back of Witherspoon Hall ready to make the rush upon the sophomores, who were huddled together guarding the cannon. Cochran and his coterie of coachers ran out as we were approaching the cannon and forced us out of the contest. He ordered us to stand on the outside of the surging crowd. There we were allowed to do a little "close work," but we were not permitted to get into the heat of the fray. Cochran knew all of us because we were among those who had been called to college before the opening to enter preliminary training. Every football player who has had the experience of being summoned ahead of time will understand my feeling. I was very happy when I received from Cochran, during the summer before I entered Princeton, a letter inviting me to report for football practice two weeks before college opened. When I arrived at Princeton on the appointed day, I found the candidates for the team at the training quarters.
At that time freshmen were not barred from varsity teams.
There was a reunion of friends from Lawrenceville and other schools. There was Doc Hillebrand, against whom I had played in the Andover game the year before. Eddie Holt loomed up and I recalled him as the big fellow who played on the Andover team against Lawrenceville two years before. He had gone from Andover to Harvard and had played on the Harvard team the year before, and had decided to leave Harvard and enter Princeton.
There were Lew Palmer, Bummie Booth, Arthur Poe, Bert Wheeler, Eddie Burke and many others whom I grew to know well later on.
Trainer Jack McMasters was on the job and put us through some very severe preliminary training. It was warm in New Jersey early in September, and often in the middle of practice Jack would occasionally play the hose on us. It did not take us long to learn that varsity football training was much more strenuous than that of the preparatory school. The vigorous programme, prepared, especially for me, convinced me that McMasters and the coaches had decided that my 224 pounds were too much weight. Jack and I used to meet at the field house four mornings each week. He would array me in thick woolen things, and top them off with a couple of sweaters, so that I felt as big as a house. He would then take me out for an excursion of eight miles across country, running and walking. Sometimes other candidates kept us company, but only Jack and I survived.
On these trips, I would lose anywhere from five to six pounds. I got accustomed to this jaunt and its discomforts after a while, but there was one thing that always aggravated me. While Jack made me suffer, he indulged himself. He would stop at a favorite spring of his, kneel down and take a refreshing drink, right before my very eyes, and then, although my throat was parched, he would bar me even from wetting my tongue. He was decidedly unsociable, but from a training standpoint, he was entirely "on to his job."
As both captain and trainer soon found that I was being overworked, I had some "let up" of this strenuous system. The extra work in addition to the regular afternoon practice, made my days pretty severe going and when night came I was not troubled with insomnia.
It was during this time that Biffy Lea, one of Princeton's greatest tackles, was slowly but surely making a wonderful tackle out of Doc Hillebrand. Bert Wheeler was making rapid strides to attain the position of halfback. They were the only two freshmen who made the team that year. I was one of those that failed.
We were soon in shape for the first try-out of the season; preliminary training was over, and the team was ready for its first game. We won the Rutgers game 44 to 0 and after we defeated the Navy, we went to play Lafayette at Easton. I had as my opponent in the Lafayette game, Rinehart. I shall never forget this game. I was playing left guard alongside of Jarvie Geer, who was a substitute for Bill Church, who had been injured in practice the week before and could not play. Just before the first half was over, Lafayette feinted on a kick, and instead of Bray, that star Lafayette fullback, boosting the ball, Barclay shot through the line between Geer and myself for thirty yards. There was my down-fall. Rinehart had taken care of me beautifully, and finally, Net Poe saved the day by making a beautiful tackle of Barclay, who was fast approaching the Princeton goal line. There was no score made, but the fact that Barclay had made the distance through me, made me feel mighty mean. I recall Cochran during the intermission, when he said: "Holt; you take Edwards' place at left-guard."
The battle between those giants during the second half was a sight worth seeing and an incident recalled by all those who witnessed the game.
Neither side scored and it was a hard-fought struggle.
One day, one play, often ruins a man's chances. I had played as a regular in the first three games of the season. I was being tried out and had been found wanting. I had proved a disappointment, and I knew Cochran knew it and I knew the whole college would know it, but I made up my mind to give the very best I had in me, and hoped to square myself later and make the team. I knew what it was to be humiliated, taken out of a game, and to realize that I had not stood the test. I began to reason it out—maybe I was carried away with the fact of having played on the varsity team—maybe I did not give my best. Anyway I learned much that day. It was my first big lesson of failure in football. That failure and its meaning lived with me.
I have always had great respect for Rinehart, and his great team mates. Walbridge and Barclay were a great team in themselves, backed up by Bray at fullback. It was this same team that, later in the fall, beat Pennsylvania, without the services of Captain Walbridge, who had been injured.
It was not long after this that Princeton played Cornell at Princeton. I recall the day I first saw Joe Beacham, that popular son of Cornell, who afterwards coached West Point. He is now in the regular army, stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was captain of the Cornell team in '96. He had on his team the famous players, Dan Reed, on whom Cornell counts much in these years to assist Al Sharpe in the coaching; Tom Fennel, Taussig and Freeborn. With these stars assisting, Cornell could do nothing with Princeton's great team and the score 37 to 0 tells the tale.
I was not playing in this game, but recall the following incident. Joe Beacham was making a flying run through the Princeton team. A very pretty girl covered with furs, wearing the red and white of Cornell, was enthusiastically yelling at the top of her voice "Go it, Joe! go it, Joe!" much to the delight and admiration of the Princeton undergraduates near her. Since then Joe has told me that it was his sister. Maybe it was, but as Joe was rushing onward, with Dan Reed and Tom Fennel interfering wonderfully for him, and urged on by his fond admirer in the grandstand, his progress was rudely halted by the huge form of Edwin Crowdis which appeared like a cloud on the horizon and projected itself before the oncoming scoring machine of Cornell. When they met, great was the crash, for Crowdis spilled the player, ball and all. This was the time, the place, and the girl; and it meant that Edwin Crowdis had made the Princeton Varsity team.
I realized it at the moment, and although I knew that it would probably put me in the substitute ranks for the rest of the season, I was wild with joy to see Edwin develop at this particular moment, and perform his great play. His day had come, his was the reward, and Joe Beacham had been laid low. As for the girl, she subsided abruptly, and is said to have remarked, as Crowdis smashed the Cornell machine: "Well, I never did like a fat man anyway!"
One day in a practice game, against the scrub, this year, Garry Cochran, who was standing on the side lines resting from the result of an injury, became so frantic over the poor showing of the varsity, pulled off his sweater and jumped into the game in spite of the trainers' earnest entreaty not to. He tried to instill a new spirit into the game. It was one of those terrible Monday practice games, of which every football player knows. The varsity could not make any substantial gains against the second team, which was unusually strong that year, as most of the varsity substitutes were playing. How frantic Bill Church was! He was playing tackle alongside of Edwin Crowdis, against whom I was playing. My chances of making the Varsity were getting slimmer. Very few practice days were left before the men would be selected for the final game. I was making the last earnest stand. The varsity line men were not opening up the scrub line as easily as they desired, and we were all stopping up the offensive play of the Varsity. I was going through very low and tackling Crowdis around the legs, trying to carry him back into the play. Church was very angry at my doing this, and told Crowdis to hit me, if I did it again, but Edwin was a good-natured, clean player; in fact, I doubt if he ever rough played any man. Finally, after several plays, Church said, "If you don't hit him, I will," and he sure made good his threat, for on the next play, when I was at the bottom of the heap in the scrimmage, Church handed me one of those stiff "Bill Church blows," emphasizing the tribute with his leather thumb protector. There was a lively mixup and the scrub and Varsity had an open fight. All was soon forgotten, but I still "wear an ear," the lobe of which is a constant reminder of Bill Church's spirited play. Nothing ever stood in Church's way; he was a hard player, and a powerful tackle.
Slowly but surely, Cochran's great team was perfecting itself into a machine. The victory against Harvard at Cambridge was the team's worthy reward for faithful service and attention given to the details of the game.
As a reward for service rendered, the second team with the Varsity substitutes were taken on the trip, and as we saw the great Princeton team winning, every man was happy and proud of the joy and knowledge of giving something material towards their winning. Sore legs, injuries and mistakes were at such a time forgotten. All that was felt was the keen sense of satisfaction that comes to men who have helped in the construction.
Billie Bannard, aided by superb interference of Fred Smith, was able to make himself the hero of that game by a forty-five yard run. Bill Church the great tackle broke through the Harvard line and blocked Brown's kick, and the ever-watchful end-rush, Howard Brokaw, fell on the ball for a touchdown. Cochran had been injured and removed from the game, but he was frantic with joy as he walked up and down the Princeton side lines, urging further touchdowns.
A happy crowd of Princetonians wended their way back to Princeton to put the finishing touches on the team before the Yale game. Those of you who recall that '96 game in New York will remember that 6 to 0 in favor of Yale was the score, at the end of the first five minutes. Jim Rodgers had blocked Johnnie Baird's punt and Bass, the alert end-rush, had pounced on the ball and was over for a touchdown in a moment. Great groans went up from the Princeton grandstand. Could it be that this great acknowledged champion team of Princeton was conceited, over-trained and about to be defeated? Certainly not, for there arose such a demonstration of team spirit and play as one seldom sees. On the next kick-off Johnnie Baird caught the ball, and when he was about to be tackled—in fact, was lying on the ground—he passed the ball to Fred Smith, that great all-round Princeton athlete, who made the most spectacular run of the day. Who will ever forget the wonderful line plunging of Ad Kelly, the brilliant end running of Bill Bannard and the great part all the other men of the team contributed towards Princeton's success, and the score grew and grew by touchdown after touchdown, until some one recalled that in this game, the team would say, "Well, we won't give any signals; we'll just try a play through Captain Murphy." Maybe this was the play that put Murphy out of the game. He played against Bill Church, and that was enough exercise for any one man to encounter in one afternoon. As Fred Murphy left the field everyone realized that it was only his poor physical condition that caused him to give up the game. Yale men recall, with great pride, how the year before Murphy had put it all over Bill Church. During that game, however, Church's physical condition was not what it should have been, and these two giant tackles never had a chance to play against each other when they were both in prime condition. Both these men were All American calibre.
Johnny Baird, Ad Kelly, Bannard, all made touchdowns and the two successful freshmen who had made the team, Hillebrand and Wheeler, both registered touchdowns against Yale. As the Yale team left the field, they felt the sting of defeat, but there were men who were to have revenge at New Haven the next year against Princeton, among whom were Chadwick, Rodgers and Chamberlain. They were eager enough to get back at us and the next year they surely did. But this was our year for victory and celebration, and laurels were bestowed upon the victors. Garry Cochran and his loyal team-mates were the lions of the day and hour.
ELBOW TO ELBOW
"I wonder where my shoes are?" "Who's got my trousers on?" "I wonder if the tailor mended my jersey?" "What has become of my head-gear?" "I wonder if the cobbler has put new cleats on my shoes?" "Somebody must have my stockings on—these are too small." "What has become of my ankle brace—can't seem to find it anywhere? I just laid it down here a minute ago. I think that freshman pinched my sweater."
All of which is directed to no one in particular, and the Trainer, who sits far off in a corner, blowing up a football for the afternoon practice, smiles as the players are fishing for their clothes. Just then the Captain, who has dressed earlier than the rest, and has had two or three of the players out on the field for kicking practice, breaks in upon the scene with the remark:
"Don't you fellows all know you're late? You ought to be dressed long before this." Then follows the big scramble and soon everybody is out on the field.
The Trainer is busy keeping his eye open for any man who is being handled too strenuously in the practice. Quick starts are practiced, individual training is indulged in. Kicking and receiving punts play an important part in the preliminary work.
At Williams one afternoon, Fred Daly, former Yale Captain and coach at Williams, in trying forward passes instructed his ends to catch them at every angle and height. One man continually fumbled his attempt, just as he thought he had it sure. He was a new man to Daly, and the latter called out to him:
"What is your name?" Back came the reply, which almost broke up the football practice for the day: "Ketchum is my name."
Falling on the ball is one of the fundamentals in football. It is the ground work that every player must learn. Frank Hinkey, that great Yale Captain and player, was an artist in performing this fundamental. Playing so wonderfully well the end-rush position, his alertness in falling on the ball often meant much distance for Yale. He had wonderful judgment in deciding whether to fall on the ball or pick it up.
One of the most important things in football is knowing how to tackle properly. Some men take to it naturally and others only learn after hard, strenuous practice.
In the old days men were taught to tackle by what is known as "live tackling." I recall especially that earnest coach, Johnny Poe, whose main object in football coaching was to see that the men tackled hard and sure.
Poe, without any padding on at all, would let the men dive into him running at full speed, and the men would throw him in a way that seemed as though it would maim him for life. Some of the men weighed a hundred pounds more than he did, but he would get up and, with a smile, say:
"Come on men, hit me harder; knock me out next time."
After the first two weeks of the season, Johnny Poe was a complete mass of black and blue marks; and yet how wonderful and how self sacrificing he was in his eagerness to make the Princeton players good tacklers.
But there are few men like Johnny Poe, who are willing to sacrifice their own bodies for the instruction of others; and the next best method, and one which does not injure the players so much, is tackling the "dummy."
As we look at this picture of Howard Henry of Princeton tackling the "dummy," we all remember when we were back in the game trying our very best to put our shoulder into our opponent's knees and "hit him hard, throw him, and hold him." Henry always got his man.
But the thrill of the game is not in tackling the dummy. The joy comes in a game, when a man is coming through the line, or making a long run, and you throw yourself at his knees, and get your tackle; then up and ready for another.
I recall an experience I had at Princeton one year. When I went to the Club House to get my uniform, which I wanted to wear in coaching, I asked Keene Fitzpatrick, the Trainer, where my suit was. He said:
"It's hanging outside."
I went outside of the dressing room but could see no suit anywhere. He came out wearing a broad smile.
"No," he said, "it isn't out here, it's out there hanging in the air. We made a dummy out of it."
And there before me I saw my old uniform stuffed with sawdust. I looked at myself—in suspense.
After the men have been given the other preliminary work they are taken to the charging board. The one shown here is used at Yale. It teaches the men quick starting and the use of their hands. It trains them to keep their eyes on the ball and impresses them with the fact that if they start before the ball is put in play, a penalty will follow. A fast charging line has its great value, and every coach is keen to have the forwards move fast to clear the way.
Then after the individual coaching is over, the team runs through signals, and the practice is on. Before very long the head coach announces that practice is over, and the trainer yells:
"Everybody in on the jump," and you soon find yourself back in the dressing room.
It does not take you long to get your clothes off and ready for the bath. How well some of you will recall that after a hard practice you were content to sit and rest awhile on the bench in the dressing-room. It may be that, in removing your clothes, you favored an injured knee, looked at a sprained ankle, or helped some fellow off with his jersey.
What is finer, after a hard day's practice, than to stand beneath a warm shower and gradually let the water grow cold? Everything is lovely until some rascal in the bunch throws a cold sponge on you and slaps you across the back, or turns the cold water on, when you only want hot.
Then comes the dry-off and the rub-down, which seems to soothe all your bruises. This picture of Pete Balliet standing on the end of a bench, while Jack McMasters massages an injured knee may recall to many a football player the day when the trainer was his best friend. From his wonderful physique it is easy to believe that Balliet must have been the great center-rush whom the heroes of years ago tell about.
Harry Brown, that great Princeton end-rush, is on the other end of the bench, being taken care of by Bill Buss, a jovial old colored attendant, who was for so many years a rubber at Princeton.
I know men who never enthuse over football, but just play from a sense of college loyalty, and a fear of censure should they not play; who are sorry that they were ever big or showed any football ability. College sentiment will not allow a football man to remain idle.
I knew a man in college, who, on his way to the football field, said:
"Oh, how I hate to drag my body down to the Varsity field to-day to have it battered and bruised!"
One does not always enthuse over the hard drudgery of practice. Those that witness only the final games of the year, little realize the gruesome task of preparedness. Every football player will acknowledge that some day he has had these thoughts himself.
But suddenly the day comes when this discouraged player sees a light. Perhaps he has developed a hidden power, or it may be that he has broken through and made a clean tackle behind the line; perhaps he has made a good run and received a compliment from the coach. It may be that his side partner has given him a word of encouragement, which may have instilled into him a new spirit, and, as a result, he has turned out to be a real football player. He then forgets all the bruises and all the hard knocks.
How true it is that in one play, or in a practice game, or in a contest against an opposing college, a player has found himself. Do you players of football remember the day you made the team, the day your chance came and you took advantage of it? At such a time a player shows great possibilities. He is told by the captain to report at the training house for the Varsity signals. Who that has experienced the thrill of that moment can ever forget it?
He earns his seat at the Varsity table. He is now on the Varsity squad. He goes on, determined to play a better game, and realizes he must hold his place at the training table by hard, conscientious work.
One is not unmindful of the traditions that are centered about the board where so many heroes of the past have sat. You have a keen realization of the fact that you are filling the seat of men who have gone before you, and that you must make good, as they made good. Their spirit lives.
The training table is a great school for team spirit. To have a successful team, any coach will tell you, there must be a brotherly feeling among the members of the team. The men must chum together on and off the field. Team work on the field is made much easier if there is team work off the field.
I never hear the expression "team mates" used but I recall a certain Princeton team, the captain of which was endowed with a wonderful power of leadership. There was nothing the men would not do for him. Every man on the team regarded him as a big brother. Yet there was one man on the squad who seemed inclined to be alone. He had little to say, and when his work was over on the field he always went silently away to his room. He did not mingle with the other players in the club house after dinner, and there did not seem to be much warmth in him.
Garry Cochran, the captain, took some of us into his confidence, and we made it our business to draw this fellow out of his shell. It was not long before we found that he was an entirely different sort of a person from what he had seemed to be.
In a short time, the fellow who was unconsciously retarding good fellowship among the members of the team was no longer a silent negative individual, but was soon urging us on in a get-together spirit.
It will be impossible to relate all the good times had at a college training table. I think that every football man will agree with me that we now have a great deal of sympathy for the trainer, whereas in the old days we roasted him when it seemed that dinner would never be ready.
How the hungry mob awaited the signal!
"The flag is down," as old Jim Robinson would say, and Arthur Poe would yell:
"Fellows, the hash is ready."
Then the hungry crowd would scramble in for the big event of the day. There awaited them all the delicacies of a trainer's menu; the food that made touchdowns. If the service was slow, the good-natured trainer was all at fault, and he too joined in the spirit of their criticism. If the steak was especially tender, they would say it was tough. There was much juggling of the portions distributed. Fred Daly recalls the first week that he and Johnnie Kilpatrick were at the Yale training table. Kil called for some chocolate, and Johnnie Mack, the trainer, yelled back:
"What do you think this is, anyway, a hospital?"
That started something for awhile in the way of jollying. Daly recalls another incident, that happened often at Yale one year. It is about Bill Goebel, who certainly could put the food away. After disposing of about twelve plates of ice cream, which he had begged, borrowed or stolen, he called one of the innocent waiters over to him and asked in a gentle voice: "Say, George, what is the dessert for to-night?"
Then there comes the good-natured "joshing" of the fellow who has made a fine play during the practice, or in the game of the day. One or two of the fun makers rush around, put their hands on him and hold him tight for fear he will not be able to contain himself on account of his success of the day. This sort of jollification makes the fellow who has made a bad play forget what he might have done, and he too becomes buoyant amidst the good fellowship about him.
We all realize what a modest individual the trainer is. If in a reminiscent mood to change the subject from football to himself, he tells his "ever-on-to-him" admirers some of his achievements in the old days there is immediately evidence of preparedness among the players, as the following salute is given—with fists beating on the table in unison—
"One, two, three! Oh, what a gosh darn lie!"
But deep in every man's heart, is the keen realization of the trainer's value, and his eager effort for their success. His athletic achievements and his record are well known, and appreciated by all. He is the pulse of the team.
The scrub team at Princeton during my last year was captained by Pop Jones, who was a martyr to the game. He was thoroughly reliable, and the spirit he instilled into his team mates helped to make our year a successful one. This picture will recall the long roll of silent heroes in the game, whose joy seemed to be in giving; men who worked their hearts out to see the Varsity improve; men who never got the great rewards that come to the Varsity players, but received only the thrill of doing something constructive. Their reward is in the victories of others, for every man knows that it is a great scrub that makes a great varsity. If, as you gaze at this picture of the scrub team, it stirs your memory of the fellows who used to play against you, and, if, in your heart you pay them a silent tribute, you will be giving them only their just due. To the uncrowned heroes, who found no fame, the men whose hearts were strong, but whose ambitions for a place on the Varsity were never realized, we take off our hats.
The fiercest knocks that John DeWitt's team ever had at Princeton were in practice against the scrub. It was in this year, on the last day of practice, that the undergraduates marched in a body down the field, singing and cheering, led by a band of music. Preliminary practice being over, the scrub team retired to the Varsity field house, to await the signal for the exhibition practice to be given on the Varsity field before the undergraduates. A surprise had been promised.
While the Varsity team was awaiting the arrival of the scrub team, it was officially announced that the Yale team would soon arrive upon the field, and shortly after this, the scrub team appeared with white "Y's" sewed on the front of their jerseys. The scrub players took the Yale players' names, just as they were to play against Princeton on the coming Saturday. There was much fun and enthusiasm, when the assumed Hogan would be asked to gain through Cooney, or Bloomer would make a run, and the make-believe Foster Rockwell would urge the pseudo Yale team on to victory.
John DeWitt had more than one encounter that afternoon with Captain Rafferty of Yale. After the practice ended all the players gathered around the dummy, which had been very helpful in tackling practice. This had been saturated with kerosene awaiting the final event of the day. John DeWitt touched it off with a match, and the white "Y" which illuminated the chest of the dummy was soon enveloped in flames. A college tradition had been lived up to again, and when the team returned victorious from New Haven that year, John DeWitt and his loyal team mates never forgot those men and the events that helped to make victory possible.
MISTAKES IN THE GAME
Many a football player who reads this book will admit that there arises in all of us a keen desire to go back into the game. It is not so much a desire just to play in the game for the mere sake of playing as to remedy the mistakes we all know we made in the past.
In our football recollections, the defeats we have experienced stand out the most vividly. Sometimes they live on as nightmares through the years. As we review the old days we realize that we did not always give our best. If we could but go back and correct our faults many a defeat might be turned into a victory.
We reflect that if we had trained a little harder, if we had been more sincere in our work, paid better attention to the advice given us by the men who knew, if we had mastered our positions better, it would have been a different story on many occasions when defeat was our portion.
But that is now all behind us. The games are over. The scores will always stand. Others have taken our places. We have had our day and opportunity. In the words of Longfellow,
"The world belongs to those who come the last."
Our records will remain as we left them on the gridiron. Many a man is recalled in football circles as the one who lost his temper in the big games and caused his team to suffer by his being ruled out of the game. Men say, "Why, that is the fellow who muffed a punt at a critical moment," or recall him as the one who "fumbled the ball," when, if he had held it, the team would have been saved from defeat.
You recall the man who gave the signals with poor judgment. Maybe you are thinking of the man who missed a great tackle or allowed a man to get through the line and block a kick. Perhaps a mistaken signal in the game caused the loss of a first down, maybe defeat—who knows?
Through our recollection of the things we should have done but failed to do for one reason or another, our defeats rise before us more vividly now than our victories.
There is only one day to make good and that is the day of the game. The next day is too late.
Then there is the ever-present recollection of the fellow who let athletics be the big thing in his college life. He did not make good in the classroom. He was unfair to himself. He failed to realize that athletics was only a part of his college life, that it should have been an aid to better endeavor in his studies.
He may have earned his college letter or received a championship gold football. And now that he is out in the world he longs for the college degree that he has forfeited.
His regrets are the deeper when he realizes that if he had given his best and been square with his college and himself, his presence might have meant further victories for his team. This is not confined to any one college. It is true of all of them and probably always will be true, although it is encouraging to note that there is a higher standard of scholarship attained on the average by college athletes to-day than a decade or so ago.
I wish I could impress this lesson indelibly upon the mind of every young football enthusiast—that athletics should go hand in hand with college duties. After all it is the same spirit of team work instilled into him on the football field that should inspire him in the classroom, where his teacher becomes virtually his coach.
When I was at Princeton, we beat Yale three years out of the four, but the defeat of 1897 at New Haven stands out most vividly of all in my memory. And it is not so much what Yale did as what Princeton did not do that haunts me.
One day in practice in 1897, Sport Armstrong, conceded to be one of the greatest guards playing, was severely injured in a scrimmage. It was found that his neck and head had become twisted and for days he lay at death's door on his bed in the Varsity Club House. After a long serious illness he got well, but never strong enough to play again. I took his place.
Nearly all of the star players of the '96 Princeton championship team were in the lineup. It was Cochran's last year and my first year on the Varsity. Our team was heralded as a three-to-one winner. We had beaten Dartmouth 30 to 0 and won a great 57 to 0 victory over Lafayette. Yale had a good, strong team that had not yet found itself. But there were several of us Princeton players who knew from old association in prep. school the calibre of some of the men we were facing.
Cochran and I have often recalled together that silent reunion with our old team-mates of Lawrenceville. There in front of us on the Yale team were Charlie de Saulles, George Cadwalader and Charlie Dudley. We had not seen them since we all left prep. school, they to go to New Haven and we to Princeton.
When the teams lined up for combat there were no greetings of one old schoolmate to another. It was not the time nor place for exchange of amenities. As some one has since remarked, "The town was full of strangers."
The fact that Dudley was wearing one Lawrenceville stocking only urged us on to play harder.
My opponent on the Yale team was Charlie Chadwick, Yale's strong man. Foster Sanford tells elsewhere in this book how he prepared him for the Harvard game the week before and for this game with Princeton. Our coaches had made, as they thought, a study of Chadwick's temperament and had instructed me accordingly. I delivered their message in the form of a straight arm blow. The compliment was returned immediately by Chadwick, and the scrap was on. Dashiell, the umpire, was upon us in a moment. I had visions of being ruled out of the game and disgraced.
"You men are playing like schoolboys and ought to be ruled out of the game," Dashiell exclaimed, but he decided to give us another chance.
Chadwick played like a demon and I realized before the game had progressed very far that I had been coached wrong, for instead of weakening his courage my attack seemed to nerve him. He played a very wide, defensive guard and it was almost impossible to gain through him.
The play of the Princeton team at the outset was disappointing. Jim Rodgers, the Yale captain, was driving his men hard and they responded heartily. Some of them stood out conspicuously by their playing. De Saulles' open field work was remarkable. I remember well the great run of fifty-five yards which he made. He was a wonderfully clever dodger and used the stiff arm well. He evaded the Princeton tacklers successfully, until Billy Bannard made a tackle on Princeton's 25-yard line.
Garry Cochran was one of the Princeton players who failed in his effort to tackle de Saulles, although it was a remarkable attempt with a low, diving tackle. De Saulles hurdled over him and Cochran struck the ground, breaking his right shoulder.
That Cochran was so seriously injured did not become known until after de Saulles had finished his long run. Then it was seen that Cochran was badly hurt. The trainer ran out and took him to the side lines to fix up his injury.
Time was being taken out and as we waited for Cochran to return to the game we discussed the situation and hoped that his injury would not prove serious. Every one of us realized the tremendous handicap we would be under without him.
The tension showed in the faces of Alex Moffat and Johnny Poe as they sat there on the side line, trying to reach a solution of the problem that confronted them as coaches. They realized better than the players that the tide was against them.
To conceal the true location of his injury from the Yale players, Cochran had his left shoulder bandaged and entered the scrimmage again, game though handicapped, remaining on the field until the trainer finally dragged him to the side line.
This was the last football contest in which Garry Cochran took part. He was game to the end.
At New Haven that fall Frank Butterworth and some of the other coaches had heard a rumor that when Cochran and de Saulles parted at Lawrenceville they had a strange understanding. Both had agreed, so the rumor went, that should they ever meet in a Yale-Princeton game, one would have to leave the game.
Butterworth told de Saulles what he had heard and cautioned him, reminding him that he wanted him to play a game that would escape criticism. De Saulles put every ounce of himself into his game, Cochran did the same. To this day Frank Butterworth and the coaches believe that when de Saulles was making his great run up the field he kept his pledge to Cochran.
De Saulles and Cochran laugh at the suggestion that it was other than an accident, but they have never been able to convince their friends. The dramatic element in it was too strong for a mere chance affair.
Princeton's handicap when Cochran had to go out was increased by the withdrawal because of injuries of Johnny Baird, the quarterback, that wonderful drop-kicker of previous games. He was out of condition and had to be carried from the field with a serious injury.
Dudley, the ex-Lawrencevillian, here began to get in his telling work. The Yale stands were wild with enthusiasm as they saw their team about to score against the much-heralded Princeton team. We were a three to one bet. On the next play Dudley went through the Princeton line. At the bottom of the heap, hugging the ball and happy in his success, was Charlie Dudley, Yale hero, Lawrenceville stocking and all.
After George Cadwalader had kicked the goal, the score stood 6 to 0.
One of the greatest problems that confronts a coach is to select the proper men to start in a game. Injuries often handicap a team. Ad Kelly, king of all line-plunging halfbacks, had been injured the week before at Princeton and for that reason was not in the original lineup that day at New Haven. He was on the side lines waiting for a chance to go in. His chance came.
Kelly was Princeton's only hope. Herbert Reed, known among writers on football as "Right Wing," thus describes this stage of the game:
"With almost certain defeat staring them in the face, the Tigers made one last desperate rally and in doing so called repeatedly on Kelly, with the result that with this star carrying the ball in nearly every rush the Princeton eleven carried the ball fifty-five yards up the field only to lose it at last on a fumble to Jim Rodgers.
"Time and again in the course of this heroic advance, Kelly went into or slid outside of tackle practically unaided, bowling along more like a huge ball than a human being. It was one of the greatest exhibitions of a born runner, of a football genius and much more to be lauded than his work the previous year, when he was aided by one of the greatest football machines ever sent into a big game."
But Kelly's brilliant work was unavailing and when the game ended the score was still 6 to 0. Yale had won an unexpected victory.
The Yale supporters descended like an avalanche upon the field and carried off their team. Groups of men paraded about carrying aloft the victors. There were Captain Jim Rodgers, Charlie Chadwick, George Cadwalader, Gordon Brown, Burr Chamberlain, John Hall, Charlie de Saulles, Dudley, Benjamin, McBride, and Hazen.
Many were the injuries in this game. It was a hard fought contest. There were interesting encounters which were known only to the players themselves. As for myself, it may best be said that I spent three weeks in the University of Pennsylvania Hospital with water on the knee. I certainly had plenty of time to think about the sadness of defeat—the ever present thought—"Wait until next year"—was in my mind. Garry Cochran used to say in his talks to the team: "We must win this year—make it two years straight against Yale. If you lose, Princeton will be a dreary old place for you. It will be a long, hard winter. The frost on the window pane will be an inch thick." And, in the sadness of our recollections, his words came back to us and to him.
These words came back to me again in 1899.
I had looked forward all the year to our playing Cornell at Ithaca. It was just the game we wanted on our schedule to give us the test before we met Yale. We surely got a test, and Cornell men to this day will tell you of their great victory in 1899 over Princeton, 5 to 0.
There were many friends of mine in Ithaca, which was only thirty miles from my old home, and I was naturally happy over the fact that Princeton was going to play there. But the loyal supporters who had expected a Princeton victory were as disappointed as I was. Bill Robinson, manager of the Princeton team, reserved seats for about thirty of my closest boyhood friends who came over from Lisle to see the game. The Princeton cheering section was rivalled in enthusiasm by the "Lisle section." And the disappointment of each one of my friends at the outcome of that memorable game was as keen as that of any man from Princeton.
Our team was clearly outplayed. Unfortunately we had changed our signals that week and we did not play together. But all the honors were Cornell's, her sure footed George Young in the second half made a goal from the field, fixing the score at 5 to 0.
I remember the wonderful spirit of victory that came over the Cornell team, the brilliant playing of Starbuck, the Cornell captain, and of Bill Warner, Walbridge, Young and the other men who contributed to the Cornell victory. Percy Field swarmed with Cornell students when the game ended, each one of them crazy to reach the members of their team and help to carry them victoriously off the field.
Never will I forget the humiliation of the Princeton team. Trolley cars never seemed to move as slowly as those cars that carried us that day through the streets of Ithaca. Enthusiastic, yelling undergraduates grinned at us from the sidewalks as we crawled along to the hotel. Sadness reigned supreme in our company. We were glad to get to our rooms.
Instead of leaving Ithaca at 9:30 as we had planned, we hired a special engine to take our private cars to Owego there to await the express for New York on the main line.
My only pleasant recollection of that trip was a brief call I made at the home of a girl friend of mine, who had attended the game. My arm was in a sling and sympathy was welcome.
As our train rolled over the zig-zag road out of Ithaca, we had a source of consolation in the fact that we had evaded the send-off which the Cornell men had planned in the expectation that we were to leave on the later train.
There were no outstretched hands at Princeton for our homecoming. But every man on that Princeton team was grimly determined to learn the lesson of the Cornell defeat, to correct faults and leave nothing undone that would insure victory for Princeton in the coming game with Yale.
MY LAST GAME
Every player knows the anxious anticipation and the nerve strain connected with the last game of the football season. In my last year there were many men on the team who were to say good-bye to their playing days. Every player who reads these lines will agree with me that it was his keenest ambition to make his last game his best game.
It was in the fall of 1899. There were many of us who had played on a victorious team the year before. Princeton had never beaten Yale two years in succession. This was our opportunity. Our slogan during the entire season had been, "On to New Haven." The dominating idea in the mind of everyone was to add another victory over Yale to the one of the year before.
The Cornell game with its defeat was forgotten. We had learned our lesson. We had made a tremendous advance in two weeks. I recall so well the days before the Yale game, when we were leaving for New York en route to New Haven. We met at the Varsity field house. I will never forget how strange the boys looked in their derby hats and overcoats. It was a striking contrast to the regular everyday football costumes and campus clothes.
There were hundreds of undergraduates at the station to cheer us off. As the train pulled out the familiar strains of "Old Nassau" floated after us and we realized that the next time we would see that loyal crowd would be in the cheering section on the Princeton side at New Haven.
We went directly to the Murray Hill Hotel, where Princeton had held its headquarters for years. After luncheon Walter Christie, the trainer, took us up to Central Park. We walked about for a time and finally reached the Obelisk.
Biffy Lee, the head coach, suggested that we run through our signals. All of us doffed our overcoats and hats and, there on the expansive lawn, flanked by Cleopatra's Needle and the Metropolitan Art Museum, we ran through our signals.
We then resumed our walk and returned to the hotel for dinner. The evening was spent in the hotel parlors, where the team was entertained and had opportunity for relaxation from the mental strain that was necessarily a part of the situation. A general reception took place in the corridors, players of old days came around to see the team, to revive old memories, and cheer the men of the team on to victory.
Football writers from the daily papers mingled with the throng, and their accounts the following day reflected the optimistic spirit they encountered. The betting odds were quoted at three to one on Princeton. "Betting odds" is the way some people gauge the outcome of a football contest, but I have learned from experience, that big odds are not justified on either side in a championship game.
We were up bright and early in the morning and out for a walk before breakfast. Our team then took the ten o'clock train for New Haven. Only those who have been through the experience can appreciate the difficulty encountered in getting on board a train for New Haven on the day of a football game.
We were ushered through a side entrance, however, and were finally landed in the special cars provided for us.
On the journey there was a jolly good time. Good fellowship reigned supreme. That relieved the nervous tension. Arthur Poe and Bosey Reiter were the leading spirits in the jollification. A happier crowd never entered New Haven than the Princeton team that day. The cars pulled in on a siding near the station and everybody realized that we were at last in the town where the coveted prize was. We were after the Yale ball. "On to New Haven" had been our watchword. We were there.
Following a light lunch in our dining car we soon got our football clothes, and, in a short time, the palatial Pullman car was transformed. It assumed the appearance of the dressing room at Princeton. Football togs hung everywhere. Nose-guards, head-gears, stockings, shin-guards, jerseys, and other gridiron equipment were everywhere. Here and there the trainer or his assistants were limbering up joints that needed attention.
Two big buses waited at the car platform. The team piled into them. We were off to the field. The trip was made through a welcome of friendly salutes from Princeton men encountered on the way. Personal friends of individual players called to them from the sidewalks. Others shouted words of confidence. Old Nassau was out in overwhelming force.
No team ever received more loyal support. It keyed the players up to the highest pitch of determination. Their spirits, naturally at a high mark, rose still higher under the warmth of the welcome. Repression was a thing of the past. Every player was jubilant and did not attempt to conceal the fact.
The enthusiasm mounted as we neared the scene of the coming battle. As we entered the field the air was rent by a mighty shout of welcome from the Princeton hosts. Our hearts palpitated in response to it. There was not a man of the team that did not feel himself repaid a thousand-fold for the season's hard knocks.
But this soon gave way to sober thought of the work ahead of us. We were there for business. Falling on the ball, sprinting and limbering up, and running through a few signals, we spent the few minutes before the Yale team came through the corner of the field. The scenes of enthusiasm that had marked our arrival were repeated, the Yale stand being the center this time of the maelstrom of cheers. I shall not attempt to describe our own feelings as we got the first glimpse of our opponents in the coming fray. Who can describe the sensations of the contestants in the first moment of a championship game?
But it was not long before the coin had been tossed, and the game was on. Not a man who has played in the line will ever forget how he tried to block his man or get down the field and tackle the man with the ball. I recall most vividly those three strapping Yale center men, Brown, Hale and Olcott, flanked by Stillman and Francis. There was Al Sharpe and McBride. Fincke was at quarter.
If there had been any one play during the season that we had had drilled into us, a play which we had hoped might win the game, it was the long end run. It was Lea's pet play.
I can recall the herculean work we had performed to perfect this play. It was time well spent. The reward came within seven minutes after the game began. The end running ability of that great player, Bosey Reiter showed. Every man was doing his part, and the play was made possible. Reiter scored a touchdown along the side of the field. I never saw a happier man than Bosey. But he was no happier than his ten team-mates. They were leaping in the air with joy. The Princeton stand arose in a solid body and sent an avalanche of cheers across the field.
What proved to be one of the most important features of the game was the well-delivered punt by Bert Wheeler, who kicked the ball out to Hutchinson. Hutch heeled it in front of the goal and Bert Wheeler boosted the ball straight over the cross bar and Princeton scored an additional point. At that moment we did not realize that this would be the decisive factor in the Princeton victory.
As the Princeton team went back to the middle of the field to take their places for the next kick-off, the Princeton side of the field was a perfect bedlam of enthusiasm. Old grads were hugging each other on the side lines, and every eye was strained for the next move in the game.
At the same time the Yale stand was cheering its side and urging the Blue players to rally. McBride, the Yale captain, was rousing his men with the Yale spirit, and they realized what was demanded of them. The effect became evident. It showed how Yale could rise to an occasion. We felt that the old bull-dog spirit of Yale was after us—as strong as ever.
How wonderfully well McBride, the Yale captain, kicked that day! What a power he was on defence! I saw him do some wonderful work. It was after one of his long punts, which, with the wind in his favor, went about seventy yards, that Princeton caught the ball on the ten-yard line.
Wheeler dropped back to kick. The Yale line men were on their toes ready to break through and block the kick. The Yale stand was cheering them on. Stillman was the first man through. It seemed as if he were off-side. Wheeler delayed his kick, expecting that an off-side penalty would be given. When he did kick, it was too late, the ball was blocked and McBride fell on it behind the goal line, scoring a touchdown for Yale, and making the score 6 to 5 in favor of Princeton.
Believe me, the Yale spirit was running high. The men were playing like demons. Here was a team that was considered a defeated team before the game. Here were eleven men who had risen to the occasion and who were slowly, but surely, getting the best of the argument.
Gloom hung heavy over the Princeton stand. Defeat seemed inevitable. Of eleven players who started in the game on the Princeton side, eight had been incapacitated by injuries of one kind or another. Doc Hillebrand, the ever-reliable, All-American tackle, had been compelled to leave the game with a broken collar-bone just before McBride made his touchdown.
I remember well the play in which he was injured and I have resurrected a photograph that was snapped of the game at the moment that he was lying on the ground, knocked out.
Bummie Booth, who had stood the strain of the contest wonderfully well, and had played a grand game against Hale, gave way to Horace Bannard, brother of Bill Bannard, the famous Princeton halfback of '98.
It was no wonder that Princeton was downcast when McBride scored the touchdown and the goal was about to be kicked.
Just then I saw a man in football togs come out from the side lines wearing a blue visor cap. He was to kick for the goal. It was an unusual spectacle on a football field. I rushed up to the referee, Ed Wrightington of Harvard, and called his attention to the man with the cap. I asked if that man was in the game.
"Why," he replied with a broad smile, "you ought to know him. He is the man you have been playing against all along, Gordon Brown. He only ran into the side lines to get a cap to shade his eyes."
I am frank to say that it was one on me, but the chagrin wore off when Brown missed the goal, which would have tied the final score, and robbed Princeton of the ultimate victory.
The tide of battle turned toward Yale. Al Sharpe kicked a goal from the field, from the forty-five yard line. It was a wonderful achievement. It is true that circumstances later substituted Arthur Poe for him as the hero of the game, but those who witnessed Sharpe's performance will never forget it. The laurels that he won by it were snatched from him by Poe only in the last half-minute of play. The score was changed by Sharpe's goal from 6 to 5 in our favor to 10 to 6. Yale leading.
The half was over. The score was 10 to 6 against Princeton. Every Princeton player felt that there was still a real opportunity to win out. We were all optimistic. This optimism was increased by the appeals made to the men in the dressing room by the coaches. It was not long before the team was back on the field more determined than ever to carry the Yale ball back to Princeton.
The last half of this game is everlastingly impressed upon my memory. Every man that played for Princeton, although eight of them were substitutes, played like a veteran. I shall ever treasure the memory of the loyal support that those men gave me as captain, and their response to my appeal to stand together and play not only for Princeton but for the injured men on the side-lines whose places they had taken.