Thanksgiving Football in 1878, articles from The New York World

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

FOOT-BALL PROSPECTS

    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

CLOSE OF THE FOOT-BALL SEASON

    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

www.LostCentury.com

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