1st Army-Navy Game in 1891, by Walter Camp 120 Years Ago

November, 1891 – Outing Magazine

Walter Camp Reports on the First Army-Navy Game

… Speaking of the importation of the game leads us to a new phase and one which promises even a more extended progress of the game than that through the schools and colleges. In 1890 a match was instituted between Annapolis and West Point and the enthusiasm provoked was remarkable. The West Point men had not enjoyed the same privileges as their more fortunate opponents in the way of previous outside matches, nor had they played the game in preceding years, as had the Annapolis men. In spite of these odds they put up a very plucky fight, and it is safe to say that if the game once obtains a foothold among these men its fascinations will make themselves felt so strongly as to perpetuate it wherever they go.

These men are making a study of the art of war, and there is no sport known that in its very nature so mimics that art as the game of football. The tactics, the formations, the strategies, the attack and defense, all belong equally to the military commander and the football captain.

English and American commanders have both recognized the similarity of the football tactics to the tactics of war, and more than one has said that a good football player will make a good soldier….

From “The Lost Century of American Football” – www.LostCentury.com


Army-Navy Football 119 Years Ago Today, Dec. 10, 1892

Army-Navy Football Game Image 119 Years Ago Today!

Army-Navy Football Game Image from Harper's Weekly, Dec. 10, 1892

From “The Lost Century of American Football” – www.LostCentury.com

Football Art by Remington Dec. 2, 1893

Frederic Remington Football Art Dec. 2, 1893

Frederic Remington Football Art, Dec. 2, 1893, Harper's Weekly

From “The Lost Century of American Football” – www.LostCentury.com

The First Alabama-Auburn Game! The Great Rivalry is Born, 1893

January 11, 1893, Monday – Birmingham Weekly


Auburn and Tuskaloosa to Meet in the Arena


On the Birthday of the Great and Good George Washington

Auburn, Jan. 6.— (Special Correspondence.) —The great foot ball match to be played between Auburn and Tuskaloosa, on February 22, is all the talk now in athletic circles here. Enthusiasm runs high and there is a fixed determination to down the university boys. The strength of the “varsity” eleven is not underrated, but they will certainly have a lively tilt for the wreath of laurel.

The combatants are worthy foes—Greek meets Greek. Worthy sons of Alabama meet other worthy sons to re-enact the days of the Olympic Games of Greece, or when the young Roman, stripped and oiled, heaved the discus in rivalry with his fellows.

So far the Tuskaloosa team is an unknown quantity in the foot ball arena. This is their first year, but report comes of excellent practice games and the Auburn boys are bracing for a heavy fight. Forewarned, forearmed.

Last year the Auburn team won a brilliant battle from the University of Georgia team in Atlanta. The scene was inspiring. All Georgia, as it were, had its heart set on the university. The affair became one of the leading society events. The old alumni, gray headed statesmen, mature matrons and lovely girls, all came in multitudes. A more brilliant assemblage has never witnessed an athletic contest in the south. The score stood 10 to 0 in favor of Auburn, and it goes without saying the Auburn boys enjoyed their spoils.

This year the Auburn team has played three games, losing two. As to these two defeats, it may be said, that it was absolutely impossible to do anything with the North Carolina team. They are descendants of Goliath. There is not a team in the south that they will not bowl down like ten pins. Indeed they have done it, and are the champions of the south. The game with Trinity was brilliant while Auburn defeated the “Techs” with a much heavier score (26 to 0) than did Vanderbilt. So Birmingham will see a lively tussle on the 22d of February.

All New York goes out on Thanksgiving day to see Princeton and Yale pursue the flying sphere across the checkered field. All Birmingham will go to see Auburn and Tuskaloosa on the anniversary of great and good George Washington’s birthday. The immortal hero, indeed, may be forgotten in the exhilarating, contagious fun of the generous contest between the brawn and muscle of the sister institutions.

As a matter of fact, the Magic City will witness a contest that for pluck and dash, excitement, rare and glorious pleasure, is altogether unequalled by aught that has yet come within her borders.

A few of her citizens have already seen something this fall of foot ball; but beyond doubt, the impending contest will eclipse all previous exhibitions. Tuskaloosa boys will be there. Auburn boys will surely be there; and the encircling hills of old Jefferson will ring with such shouts as have never been heard before.

It is sincerely to be hoped that the public spirited citizens of Birmingham, (the progressive spirits, indeed, of our commonwealth) will rally to the patronage of this, the first effort at intercollegiate foot ball in the state.

The game is generally unknown. But once understood it will come to stay. It is a manly game, and recommends itself to every lover of outdoor sports.

Nothing is better for the physical development of the boy than the training preparatory for a contest. Regular diet, according to the most scientific principles of physiology; regular hours; total abstinence from all tobacco, and from all alcoholic beverages—these are only a few of the good points that commend the game from the standpoint of morals and health.

Then, the game itself is a splendid mental discipline. A fool cannot play successful football. Mere fat does not count. Skill, coolness, pluck, endurance, and all those qualities that are necessary for the real battle of life come into play on the foot ball ground.

Let us have foot ball. Away with the fossiliferous idea that men must stalk about in a staid, solemn, stilted, “Sir Oracle” fashion in order to play at being learned and wise. A sound mind in a sound body is the old reliable maxim, and in these days of increasing competition the sounder one’s body the more probable one’s success. From time immemorial the foot ball field has been the great nursery of health and vigor in the English public schools. Wellington is said to have learned to fight Waterloo on the ball fields of Eton.

And as a matter of fun, foot ball is “par excellence.” It can’t be beat. All Birmingham, of course, knows base ball. Base ball is child’s play to foot ball. Instead of one or two men batting and running, imagine twenty-two stout, knotted frames struggling, swaying, pushing, pulling at one great leather ball with all the vim and fury of twenty-two tigers. The excitement is hair-raising, nerve-thrilling, side-splitting—in a word, magnificent.

On with foot ball! Let us all be there, and give the great sport such a reception as will insure its permanent establishment in our state.

From “The Lost Century of American Footballwww.LostCentury.com

[Spelling of “Tuskaloosa” is from the original publication.]

Thanksgiving Football in 1878, articles from The New York World

November 11, 1878, Monday – The World: New York


    The three victories won last Saturday by Harvard at Cambridge, Yale at New Haven, and Princeton at Philadelphia, merely strengthens the belief produced by their previous successes of the season, that the real struggle for the foot-ball championship is confined to the teams of the oldest and largest colleges. The earlier matches played by these, with the teams picked from the smaller bodies of collegians, are largely in the nature of practice games preparatory to the three decisive contests with one another.

    As the Yale faculty consented last Wednesday to allow the players of that college to leave New Haven on the days required by Harvard and Princeton, nothing but good weather seems now wanting to insure a series of interesting matches.

    The Princeton men will go to Boston next Saturday and the Yale men on the Saturday following, to play with Harvard, and if the visitors should both be successful, the closing match at Hoboken on Thanksgiving Day will have all the charm which belongs to the combination of a championship contest. If Harvard wins both the Boston games the final meeting between the two defeated teams will at least be an exciting struggle for the second place. In any event, therefore, metropolitan lovers of sport will have an opportunity to amuse themselves on Thanksgiving Day.

December 16, 1878, Monday – The World: New York


    The rapid growth in the popularity of foot-ball has been a noteworthy characteristic of the undergraduate athletics of the past three years, and the present season in particular has seen a great advance made at the several colleges towards attaining uniformity in the practice of the pastime.

    Though the three oldest and largest ones have exhibited the strongest teams, and though the “championship” has been gained by the college where the game has longest had a prominent position in the calendar of sports, the “new men” nevertheless feel greatly encouraged by the general result of the intercollegiate meetings, for they have pretty generally done themselves credit and pushed the victors to do their very best as a condition of success. Nearly all the matches have shown excellent playing on both sides, and the contests have been much closer than a mere record of the scores would indicate. Next autumn, undoubtedly, the sport will be more vigorously engaged in than ever before.

    Spite of the disagreements which were developed early in the season, both in respect to the numbers which ought to belong to each team and in respect to the dates of the games, the contests of Harvard, Yale and Princeton for the championship were characterized by an unusual amount of good nature, and the final result has been accepted pleasantly by every one.

    The Princetonian of December 5 says: “On Thanksgiving Day our splendid team won the last of the long series of victories with which the past few weeks have been crowded, and gained the championship to which a long season of hard and unremitted practice had fully entitled them. Though our victory was a very decided one, the Yale team certainly proved themselves gallant antagonists. They played strongly and, at times, skillfully. Their comparative weakness lay in lack of skill not in want of strength. While our men were quite their matches in point of strength, they were more than matches in point of skill, passing the ball more surely and supporting each other more carefully….”

From The Lost Century of American Football and The First Decade of College Football


Exciting Stanford Football Game 117 Years Ago

November 12, 1894, Monday – Sacramento Daily Record-Union


It Was “Hot Stuff” From the Start to Finish

The Stanford Students Won, But They Discovered They Were in a Game

The best football game that has ever been played in this city, and one of the hardest contests that has taken place on this coast, was witnessed at Snowflake Park on Saturday by about 500 people.

The Stanford University team and the Sacramentos were the opposing elevens, and the stubborn fight made by the latter team was a source of surprise to everybody present.
Victory rested with the Stanfords, but the Sacramento boys have reason to feel justly proud of their work against a team which has for a long time enjoyed the advantage of Walter Camp’s coaching.

Had Oscar Taylor, the great ex-Berkeley team player, arrived in Sacramento a week sooner than he did, it is more than likely that the score of yesterday’s game would have been very different, and favorable to Sacramento.

Those who attended the game were greatly surprised at the work of the team which appeared on the field to represent this city. The majority of people half expected to see a contest similar to that played when the Berkeley team appeared here two years ago. The score at that time was something like 32 to 4, but yesterday’s game was an entirely different affair. It was the unanimous opinion of those present who understood football that the home team, with good coaching, can be made a working foe for any of the ’Varsity elevens…

The Stanford men expected a very easy thing, and after the game very frankly admitted that they never wanted to play a harder game. The score was 6 to 0 in their favor…

From “The Lost Century of American Footballwww.LostCentury.com