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

Exciting Stanford Football Game 117 Years Ago

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

AN EXCITING GAME OF FOOTBALL

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

Harvard vs Yale Football 136 Years Ago, Rules of the Game

November 13, 1875, Saturday – The Boston Daily Globe

FOOTBALL GAME BETWEEN HARVARD AND YALE TODAY

The Harvard foot-ball team of fifteen men left for New Haven yesterday to play the Yales today. As a special reduction of railroad fares had been effected, quite a number of Harvard men accompanied the team. They will be the guests of the Yales at the New Haven House and will return home early tomorrow morning.

The team is composed of the following persons: Morse, ’74; Faucon, ’75; Bacon andHull, ’76, Cate, Seamans, Curtis, Cushing, Keyes,Leeds, Tower and Herrick, ’77; Thayer and Wetherbee, ’78; and Blanchard, ’79. Owing to an injury received last spring and aggravated this fall, Mr. Whiting will not play, but will accompany the team and probably act as umpire.

Concessionary rules have been adopted which make the game neither Rugby, Harvard, nor Yale. There are to be no “have it downs,” no “touch-downs,” no distinction between a “drop” and a “punt kick.” Any kind of a kick over the pole is a goal.

Captain Whiting has kept his men in good practice since the games with Tufts and Montreal, and the Yales have long been contemplating this game, some fine sport may be expected.

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

College Football Riot 170 Years Ago, Rowdy Students in 1841

November 24, 1841, Wednesday – The Experimenter, Norwalk, Ohio

RIOT AND EXCITEMENT AT NEW HAVEN

The Students of Old Yale have been creating a disturbance of a very serious character and have disgraced themselves by an outrage upon public property which is attended with public danger, and at the same time unjustifiable and infamous in its character.

It appears that on Saturday last the fire department of that city turned out with their eight engines for inspection and review. An attempt was made to try the power of the machines upon the Central Church, for which purpose it was necessary to lay two trains of hose across the upper Green, but the students, who were engaged playing foot ball upon the Green, determined that the hose should not be laid across the Green, and in the face of the public authorities who had assembled to witness the performance, successfully kept possession of the Green, and drove off the department.

But the quarrel did not end here. Soon after 12 o’clock on Sunday night, a gang of students in disguise, made a rush upon the engine house, and almost entirely demolished a beautiful machine, called the Washington, which was entirely new, and ornamented with a beautiful portrait of the Father of his country. About 200 feet of hose were also deliberately cut and destroyed.

While this was going on, the city watch rallied, but were assailed with brickbats and so overpowered by numbers that their services were inefficient, and it was not until the alarm bells were rung and the citizens began to turn out, that the rioters dispersed.

The College Faculty view these circumstances with deep regret, and have come promptly forward and offered to repair all damages, and will exercise all the means in their power to prevent a repetition of such offenses.

From “The Lost Century of American Football

“Football of Today” 119 Years Ago, Nov. 7, 1892

November 7, 1892, MondayThe Herald: Syracuse, New York

FOOTBALL OF TODAY

Development of the Game Into a Strategic Battle

BRAINS BACKED BY MUSCLE

Mind of More Account Than Matter, but Both Play Their Part in Modern Football

If the weather is at all pleasant next Wednesday it is quite probable that a large majority of the 5,000 people who have been sent invitations will go down to Star park to witness the game of foot ball between the Syracuse Athletic Association and the Syracuse University teams.

Although foot ball as it is played to-day is after a careful comparison with other out door sports conceded to be the brainiest and manliest of them all comparatively few people have been able to master the mysteries of the game for the simple reason that if one is unfamiliar with the rules and reasons of play and the scientific variations which a crafty captain will signal to his team under varying conditions, it all looks like a shoving match between eleven men with an occasional run or kick to relieve the monotony.

But when once the spectator is able to put himself mentally in the place of the captain and reason why this or that play is feasible, whether one man or another should at such a time choose to hurl himself through the opposing eleven or try to run around them, the game becomes as interesting as a strategic battle between two armies. It becomes not an individual “scrapping” match between eleven men to advance the ball to one goal or the other, but a battle of brains between two captains, backed by the brawn and instant obedience of the team as a whole.

There was a day when individual playing was much thought of. Now-a-days team work is what wins, unless the disparity in weight is so great as to utterly demolish an opposing line.

The game of to-day as it is played in Syracuse is by no means the game that was played last year or the year before. Fastidious folk who were shocked by accounts of fistic encounters that went by the name of foot ball games will see nothing of the sort in the games that are played at Star park this season.

So far there has not been a single “slugging” match and games are conducted in scientific and gentlemanly fashion.

To be sure, the game is rough, but then it must be remembered that the players are all in the finest muscular trim by long and severe training and by the most exemplary habits of living, and that they are protected from injury by heavily padded jackets and pants, and by nose and shin guards and rubber bands.

From “The Lost Century of American Football

Carlisle Native American Football Team 114 Years Ago

November 4, 1897

COACHING THE CARLISLE INDIANS AT FOOT-BALL

COACHING THE CARLISLE INDIANS AT FOOT-BALL

COACHING THE CARLISLE INDIANS AT FOOT-BALL

The strength, spirit, and enthusiasm of the play of the famous Indian foot-ball team from the school at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is the most interesting feature to-day in the foot-ball world. Their condition is so amazing that they play from beginning to end without appreciable loss of strength. Almost without armor, they move with a dash and quickness unequaled by any of their opponents. When the university men call time, so as to patch up wounds, take refreshments, and catch breath, the Indians throw handsprings and turn somersaults.

In this picture Mr. W. T. Bull, formerly a noted full-back at Yale, is teaching the backs of the Indian team how they should plunge through the line when an opening has been made between centre and guard. The group in the background of the picture is composed of players and substitutes taking note of the lesson. These Indians have learned all of the old university tricks and have others invented for them by Mr. Bull. There is little doubt that they can beat all the teams in the country except those of Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Pennsylvania, and possibly Cornell.

From “The Lost Century of American Football

Sports on Sunday a Sin in 1874 — Oops, We Changed Our Mind!

October 23, 1874, Friday – The Bulletin, Cairo, Illinois

The weather permitting there will be another game of base ball played in the Fifth ward on next Sunday; and also a game of foot ball. The whole to be concluded by a rousing fight. These kind of amusements are becoming very fashionable; and yet our good Christian people do nothing to prevent them. They ought to pray for a change. This is not, we are sure, asking too much of them. We do not wish to trouble them, but really this matter ought to be attended to, and it seems to us they are the people to attend to it.

October 24, 1874, Saturday – The Bulletin, Cairo, Illinois

It seems that we have been misunderstood. Several sinners have called upon us and remarked that base ball is not a sin and that foot ball is a virtue; that therefore it is not a sin to play these games on Sunday. This we admit. In our belief Sunday is a day of recreation, and if recreation can be had at base ball or foot ball or any other kind of ball, we have no objections to urge. We do however maintain that pugilistic encounters should not be put down upon the list of recreations.

Several Christians also called upon us to say that they had prayed for the reformation of base ball men, but to little effect. They seem to be of the opinion that neither prayer nor salt will save these men; that they are all on the highway to the bad place, and like the journey. Our Christian friends, however, do not intend to weary of well doing and will go on praying.

From ebook: “The First Decade of College Football: 300 Published Reports of American Football from 1869 to 1879